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Dixie Youth’s key figure

The late Everett Taylor, a key figure on both the local and state levels of Dixie Youth Baseball for more than a quarter of a century has been named as one of this year’s inductees into the Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame. 

Taylor, who will be inducted posthumously, is one of six individuals to be inducted into the Hall of Fame during the 25th Annual Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall Of Fame Induction Banquet that will be held Saturday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Halifax County Middle School Cafeteria.

Also slated to be inducted are NASCAR Daytona 500 Winner Ward Burton, former Halifax County High School all-state running back Lawson Osborne, HCHS multiple sport stand-out Louie Seabolt Jr., former Mary M. Bethune High School football stand-out Richard O. Wilkins and former HCHS and Virginia Teach baseball stand-out Todd Trickey.

Taylor’s involvement in youth sports began when he started coaching in the South Boston Dixie Youth Baseball League about 1964. During the next three decades Taylor served not only the young people of South Boston, but those of the surrounding area and the state as well.

He served as an assistant coach and head coach in the South Boston Dixie Youth Baseball League for a number of years before becoming a District Director. Taylor served as District Director for 25 years and then became a state director. He served in the state post for three years.

When his son, Mike, concluded his time in Dixie Youth Baseball and moved up to play in the South Boston Babe Ruth Baseball League, Taylor moved up to coach in the Babe Ruth League ranks.

Taylor coached for 10 years or more in the Babe Ruth League, even while he continued to work and serve in Dixie Youth Baseball.

Not only was Taylor active in baseball, he was also involved in the youth football program. Taylor coached the Polar Bears, the team his son, Mike, played for in the South Boston Pee Wee Football League. He continued to coach the team for several years after his son moved up to play at the next level.

While Taylor is best known for his service to the South Boston Dixie Youth Baseball League, he was also a good athlete in his own right. Taylor played both football and baseball (catcher) at Welcome High School in Greensville, S.C. 

The South Carolina native enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he completed high school and worked as a machinist. In 1947, after getting out of the Navy, he moved to South Boston and joined his parents who had recently moved here from South Carolina.

Taylor acquired a job at the South Boston J.P. Stevens plant, where he met his wife, Jeanne Headspeth, whom he married in Sept. of 1948.

He owned and operated Carroll’s Sporting Goods for 38 years with his wife and father-in-law Carroll Headspeth.

Taylor was active in his church, serving as a Deacon and Sunday School teacher. He was also active in civic affairs, serving on the South Boston Board of Zoning Appeals.

The late Hugh Moore, a former Sports Editor of the Gazette-Virginian, penned a column about Taylor shortly after Taylor’s death.

In that column, Moore wrote “Everett Taylor was a Christian gentleman who practiced his faith in his everyday life. He served his fellow man in a variety of ways, and much of his service was done quietly and behind-the-scenes, with no desire whatever of personal recognition or praise.”

Moore also wrote “Dixie Youth Baseball and other youth sports lost a special coach and leader who influenced hundreds of local youngsters to set out upon a straighter path than otherwise might have been the case.”