College athletes sometimes take a year off from competition for one reason or another, and a local variation of the practice called “redshirting” is now occurring with the Greater Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame.
The program was launched in 2002 to recognize those who have had exemplary sports careers locally, and normally the process of considering the latest nominations for the Hall of Fame would be under way at this time.
But with the Greater Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame now in its 15th year, its handlers are doing something different for 2017.
“Several months back, the Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee met and it was discussed that we would like to celebrate the 15th year of the SHOF this year with a reunion of inductees, in lieu of the regular induction ceremony,” Mount Airy Parks and Recreation Director Catrina Alexander explained.
In deciding to commemorate the 15th year with a reunion, Alexander announced that the event will include a reception for all previous inductees and serve to collectively recognize the area’s rich sports history.
The reunion will take place at the Mount Airy High School Commons Area on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. Invitations were sent out to former inductees over the winter.
A time to “reflect”
Alexander said that with 15 years under its belt, the committee considered it a good time to “reflect” on or take stock of what has transpired so far.
More than 60 individuals or teams have been inducted into the hall, beginning with its first class in the spring of 2003.
Another 14 people or families have received the Granite City Award since then, which goes to those who have contributed to the promotion of sports in the community other than as an athlete, coach or administrator.
Inductees have traditionally been honored in front of family members and friends at a special awards ceremony in the Andy Griffith Playhouse and with the unveiling of their names etched on the Sports Hall of Fame Monument near the city library.
Persons selected for membership have had recognized careers as athletes, coaches, administrators, referees, umpires or other officials in a sports program in the defined area. Those careers have brought attention to them and the area by their involvement, and contributed to the promotion and success of sports in the community.
In 2016, those inducted were Clarence J. Hines, Sarah Ann Knott, Donald D. Price and the Mount Airy High School boys’ tennis teams of 2005-2006. David Beal received the Granite City Award.