For 23 years, the Williamson High School Athletic Hall of Fame has honored the great athletes, coaches, and supporters of Williamson High School. Athletics at Williamson High School were a force to be reckoned with, and former Wolfpack coach Greg Smith and fellow board members wished to honor that. “It honors former great WHS athletes and supporters of the programs,” says Kyle Lovern, a current member of the board.
A History of Great Athletes
Williamson High School had their first graduating class in 1910, and during the time it was open, it was housed in 3 different buildings, and was later merged with two other high schools: Chattaroy High School in 1963, and Liberty High School in 1966. Williamson High School won thirteen different state titles: six for boy’s basketball, four for football, two for baseball, and one for cheerleading.
Plaques commemorating inductees were placed in the cafeteria at WHS at first. When WHS closed due to consolidation in 2011, the plaques were relocated to the Williamson Fieldhouse, an idea from the late Cecil Hatfield, Curt Phillips, and Pierce Whitt. Since then, more athletes have been inducted regularly, except in 2020, when the Hall of Fame activities were prevented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, there will be eight new inductees: Steve Thorn, a three-year letterman in basketball, Tonya Yvonne Phillips Strother, three-year letterman in basketball and marching band and one in softball, Rufus Franklin Diamond Jr., a letterman in baseball and basketball, Pam Sword-Crum, three-year letterman for basketball, track, and tennis, Dennis Hannah, letterman in basketball, baseball, and football, Clarence Davis, team manager from 1985-2011, Jarred Blalock, four-year letterman in basketball and tennis, and James Kipper Melmige, letterman in baseball and basketball.
Organizers believe that, in light of the school’s closing, this event helps to keep the spirit of the school alive. “This event helps keep the legacy of Williamson High School alive,” Kyle says “There were many great men and women who wore the maroon and white, and great coaches and boosters for over 100 years.”
The 2021 Williamson Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will be held Saturday, September 18th at 6pm, with a social hour beginning at 5pm. For more information on the dinner please contact Kyle Lovern, or any Williamson Hall of Fame Board member by Saturday, August 14th. You’ll find the group on Facebook at Williamson High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Thanks to Kyle Lovern for sharing information about the history of the Williamson Wolfpack