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Ward Burton to lead Hall of Fame inductions

NASCAR competitor and noted conservationist Ward Burton heads a list of six inductees for the 25th anniversary class of the Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame.

The induction banquet will be held April 6 at Halifax County Middle School, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Five other noted area athletes will be inducted along with Burton in April, including former Halifax County High School all state running back and Virginia Tech signee Lawson Osborne, multiple sports standout Louie Seabolt Jr., baseball and basketball standout Todd Trickey, Mary M. Bethune High School football star Richard O. Wilkins and the late Everett Taylor, a longtime district and state director for Dixie Youth Baseball and coach in the Babe Ruth Baseball League.

Burton owns a total of five career Sprint Cup wins and four Nationwide Series wins in his 17 years of NASCAR racing, capped by his win in the 2002 Daytona 500.

A graduate of Hargrave Military Academy and student at Elon University, he collected his first Winston Cup win at Rockingham in 1995.

He finished in the top-10 in points (ninth) in 1999 and followed that up with a 10th-place finish in points the next season.

Burton is as well known now for his efforts through the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation as an advocate for land and wildlife conservation.

Osborne was a talented baseball and basketball player, but he enjoyed a stellar football career, setting rushing and touchdown records for Halifax County High School in 1967 and 1968.

He was an all-region, all-state and all-American running back those two years while also being a standout in both basketball and track.

He received a full athletic scholarship to Virginia Tech and continues his service to his country as a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

Seabolt, a member of the 1955 Virginia State Little League baseball championship team, played little league baseball for the American Legion team.

He started at shortstop for the Halifax County High School baseball team for three years, and he started for two years at the University of Virginia, playing both third base and shortstop.

Seabolt also played little league football in South Boston and later played quarterback for the Halifax County High School football team, helping his team to an 8-2 record in 1959.

Seabolt also has excelled in basketball, golf and tennis during his athletic career.

Trickey was a standout athlete in baseball, basketball and tennis as a youth, winning a conference championship in baseball his ninth-grade year in junior high school and winning four championships in Babe Ruth baseball in a six-year span.

Trickey was captain, MVP and All-Western District his senior year at Halifax County High School, where he was a three-year varsity starter in three positions, including pitcher.

He was all-district his junior and senior years and an all-state baseball player his senior year before enrolling at Virginia Tech.

Trickey was a Collegiate at Baseball All-American at Virginia Tech and an All-Metro Conference team member his sophomore year, before breaking the school record for wins as a pitcher his senior season.

Trickey also has three state championships to his credit as an all-star coach in the Dixie Boys and Dixie Majors baseball programs after returning to live in Halifax County.

Wilkins was a standout lineman at Mary M. Bethune High School for three years, being selected to the All-Western District team his senior year and being named Most Outstanding Lineman in the Western District of the Virginia Interscholastic Association.

A starter at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Princess Anne), Wilkins had tryouts with two professional football teams, the Denver Broncos and the Houston Oilers.

Wilkins returned to South Boston, where he became a successful builder and contractor.

Taylor played football and baseball while in high school in Slater, S.C., before moving to South Boston after service in the U.S. Navy.

Starting as an assistant coach in the Dixie Youth Baseball League in 1964, Taylor coached for approximately seven years before becoming district director, a position he held for 25 years.

He succeeded Charlie Moorefield as state director and held that post for three years.

Taylor coached in the Babe Ruth baseball league for more than 10 years and also coached a Pee Wee football league team.