- Last Updated on 12:21 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Two professional athletes, former NFL football star Tyrone Davis and late NASCAR racing legend Ray Hendrick, standout golfer Charlie Baskervill, and Carl and Nancy Duffie, who made their impact in baseball, softball basketball and bowling are now the newest inductees into the Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall Of Fame.
The five former athletes were inducted Saturday night during the 24th Annual Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall Of Fame Induction Banquet at Halifax County Middle School.
In addition to the induction ceremony, four outstanding Halifax County High School seniors received scholarships. Comets football and basketball standout Freddie Edmonds received the Buck Williams Scholarship, while Jacob New, a former Comets baseball player who has played Dixie Baseball for 12 years and participated in two Dixie World Series, received the Matze Family Scholarship.
Halifax County High School softball standout Samantha Gibson, who ranks in the top 20 in this year’s senior class, received the Don Thompson Memorial Scholarship, and Delontae Miller, an outstanding swimmer on the Halifax County High School swim team, received the Hugh M. Moore Memorial Scholarship.
For Williams, the first-ever inductee into the Sports Hall Of Fame, Saturday night marked the final presentation of the Buck Williams Scholarship. He has presented the scholarship annually for 20 years.
Williams announced Saturday he has worked with Sports Hall Of Fame officials and a local investment firm to establish an endowment fund that will make it possible for the Sports Hall of Fame to continue to award annual scholarships. The fund is known as the Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame Endowment Fund.
“That fund is there to guarantee my original plans that there will be scholarships granted as long as there is a Sports Hall Of Fame, and that as long as they are giving out scholarships there will be money there to do it,” Williams explained.
Williams explained that the plan is to have donors from the community and elsewhere contribute to and grow the endowment fund.
“Our hope is to grow it and make it one that we can give larger scholarships or more scholarships,” Williams remarked.
“The Hall of Fame will be in charge of the scholarships and how they want to handle it. We’re hoping to get contributions and that everybody can give whatever it is that they would like to contribute to see this tradition carried on.”
Sports Hall Of fame President Carlyle Wimbish Jr. did not divulge the amount of the endowment fund, but said Williams “has donated a substantial amount of money” to ensure that the Sports Hall Of Fame Scholarship Program will continue.
Wimbish presented Williams a plaque lauding Williams as the founder of the Sports Hall Of Fame Scholarship Program and noted his longstanding generosity in the 20 years that the Buck Williams Scholarship has been presented.
The induction ceremony honoring the five new inductees into the Sports Hall Of Fame included notations of the accomplishments of the outstanding former athletes, recollections of past experiences, and heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the honors given.
Former Sports Hall Of Fame inductee Bobby Wilborn, himself an avid golfer, cited Baskervill’s collegiate golf accomplishments, which included his being selected to the NCAA Division III First Team All-American Golf Team and his winning the individual championship in the NCAAA Division III Golf Tournament in 1975 as a member of the Hampden-Sydney College golf team.
Wilborn called Baskervill a great friend “and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever play golf with.”
Baskervill said the person most responsible for his success in golf is his brother, Bill Baskervill.
“There are not too many older brothers that would give the time of day to a kid brother,” Baskervill pointed out, “much less the time he gave me. He has always been my biggest supporter and he is the reason I’m here tonight.”
Jeff Davis, the older brother of former NFL star Tyrone Davis, presented the NFL standout for induction.
His brother’s path to football stardom, Jeff Davis said, is an ironic one.
“Football was not one of our top sports,” he said, noting their childhood years.
‘We were always baseball players.”
Recalling how his brother played only one year of high school football and went on to forge a stellar career at the University of Virginia and ultimately in the NFL where he played in a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, he noted, “this is truly an ironic path for this young man. Through the years, this man did the unthinkable.”
Tyrone Davis thanked Sports Hall Of Fame officials for his election for induction, and added “I never imagined I would be here. I never really thought I’d be playing any kind of football. I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for my family.”
Former Sports Hall Of Fame inductee Addison Marable presented Carl and Nancy Duffie, who were accomplished athletes in baseball, softball basketball and bowling for induction.
Marable called the Duffies “the All-American athletic family” and cited the many accomplishments of the two inductees. Carl Duffie, Marable said, “was the epitome of a team player.”
Nancy Duffie said she was somewhat overwhelmed by the congratulations she received after her pending induction into the Sports Hall Of Fame was announced.
“I thought this is not for me,” she said.
“I’m a plain ol’ country girl. I’m not a celebrity. I’m thankful to the Sports Hall Of Fame for nominating and voting me to be a member.”
Carl Duffie added, “I want to thank everyone concerned who nominated us for this honor. I’ve enjoyed every minute of all of the sports I’ve played everywhere I went.”
NASCAR racing legend the late Ray Hendrick, was presented for induction by Joe Chandler, a member of the Sports Hall Of Fame Board of Directors.
Chandler cited Hendrick’s many accomplishments that included five South Boston Speedway NASCAR track titles and his being named as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
“Ray Hendrick was a racer who would race any time anywhere,” Chandler said.
“Racing fans loved his hard-charging style of driving. His ability to handle a racecar and make passes in traffic were pure artistry.”
Hendrick’s son, Roy Hendrick, a former South Boston Speedway NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division track champion, accepted the honor on his late father’s behalf.
Hendrick shared some memories of his father’s racing career and thanked the many people that helped his late father during his racing career.
“Everything he ever raced in, he won,” Hendrick recalled.
Hendrick also expressed his appreciation for the honor.
“I would like to thank the Hall of Fame for this honor,” he said, “and I congratulate all of the inductees that have been inducted here tonight.”