City fielding nominations for sports hall

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

January 14, 2014

The clock is winding down on the nomination process for the Class of 2014 of the Greater Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame.

Each year since 2003, athletes, coaches and others who’ve played prominent roles in local sports history have been inducted in the hall.

However, Catrina Alexander — who works with the recognition program through her position as Mount Airy parks and recreation director — believes there are plenty more individuals worthy of consideration.

Nominations for the next group of inductees must be received or postmarked by Jan. 31.

The 2013 class included Marion G. Jones, Sandra “Sonnie” Sanders, James E. Holleman and William L. Mabry Jr.

In all since 2003, 44 individuals have been named to the Greater Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame. Whole teams were included in two years during that period, for a total number of inductees to date of 46.

Eleven other individuals and/or families have received the annual Granite City Award, including the Moody family last year. That honor goes to someone who has made a major contribution to sports in this area other than as an athlete, coach or administrator.

The hall of fame selections are decided by a special committee, which will evaluate new nominees and previous ones to complete the 2014 class.

Once a person has been put on the nomination list, he or she is considered again each year, Alexander said Monday. “So we still have quite a few that have been nominated in the past to consider in addition to any new ones that we get,” she added.

“I think we’ve got several very good, qualified candidates in the mix and, of course, anything new is just added to that.”

One holdover, for example, is Alex Gibbs, who was nominated in 2010 but hasn’t yet made the hall. Gibbs was football coach at Mount Airy High School in the 1960s and advanced to the professional ranks, where he gained fame as an innovative offensive line coach with teams including the Denver Broncos.

Induction Process

The nomination process is open to past athletes, coaches, administrators, referees, umpires or other officials in a sports program. The non-athlete category can include someone still active, but who has served in one of those capacities at least 25 years.

Up to four people, who can be living or awarded posthumously, are chosen for each annual class in addition to the Granite City Award recipient.

Nominees must hail from a defined area that includes the city limits, the Mount Airy school district and the one-mile extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction surrounding the municipality. Those inducted are required to have been a resident of the defined area by birth or relocation.

One’s career must have brought recognition to the individual and the community by their involvement, and contributed to the promotion and success of sports in the area through their actions.

A prospective inductee is required to be of good character and reputation, who has upheld the ideals of good sportsmanship. In order to be elected to membership, a nominee may receive no more than one dissenting vote from the selection committee.

There are seven voting members of the group. “They spend a lot of time going through the statistics and the information to make a decision,” the parks and recreation director said.

Nomination forms can be obtained at Reeves Community Center, City Hall and online at More information is available from Alexander at 786-8313 or by email at

The inductees will be honored during a ceremony this spring and have their names added to a monument located near the Mount Airy Municipal Building.

Other Class Members

The inaugural hall of fame class in 2003 consisted of James “Butter” Cox, Billy Cox, Fred Folger Jr. and Wallace Shelton.

Later inductees, in addition to the 2013 class listed previously, include Ernie Beamer, Johnny Coble, Sam Moir, Mike Cook, Charles Atkins, William Hawks, Charles Moir, Harry Monday, Tom Childress, Chubby Dean Lovill, Jim Miller, John Yokley, The Graniteers team, Angela Harbour, James Brim, Doc Wall, Jerry Hollingsworth;

Also, Newton “Corky” Fowler, Todd Greenwood, Keri Whitehead, Dennis France, Mack Haynes, Dick Belton, Jack R. Childress, Natalie A. Nester, the Mount Airy High basketball teams of 1960-61, Bill Slate, Randy Joyce, H. Floyd Jones, Christine Sanders Warren, Terry Pruett, John Richard Gruble, Charles “Buster” Cox, Derek Slate, Johnny Sanders, James Thomas Hayes, Michael K. Patton and Elizabeth Boyd Bell.

Past recipients of the Granite City Award, along with the Moody family, include Ronald Johnson, Al Peavy, Floyd Rees, Erie Perry, Gary York, Polly Cox, William Carter, Carlton Everhart, Ronald Boyles and Griggs Hampton.

Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or