Surry Sports Hall of Fame inducts Class of ‘16 today

By John Cate -

Six prominent figures in Surry County sports history will take their places in the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame this afternoon.

Brenda Bledsoe, Steven Caudill, David Diamont, Tony George, Vicky Hardy and Will Holthouser will be inducted as the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 today at 4 p.m. in the auditorium at Surry Community College. One hour prior to the induction ceremony, the six new members, along with the 2000-01 East Surry High School girls’ basketball team and David J. Beal, the current announcer for the Mount Airy High School football and baseball teams, will all be honored at the unveiling of the monument at Fisher River Park in Dobson.

The 2001 Lady Cardinals, who won the NCHSAA 1A state championship with an overall record of 28-3, and Mr. Beal are both being inducted into the Ring of Honor, which recognizes local teams and individuals who have made meritorious contributions to Surry County athletics.

In addition, Brent and Linda Steelman, who were part of the Class of 2015, will be honored at the induction ceremony at SCC. The Steelmans were recognized last year, but were unable to attend last year’s induction.

The Class of 2016 inductees are as follows:

Brenda Bledsoe: Bledsoe played women’s basketball for Copeland High School from 1956-60, and was twice an all-state selection. She scored 2,186 points in her career and won numerous local and regional honors, in addition to the all-state recognition as a junior (when she averaged 29 points per game) and senior (32 ppg). She also earned the Babe Ruth Sportsman Award, the honor which she says she is most proud of.

Steven Caudill: Caudill swam for Elkin High School between 2003 and 2007, winning seven individual state championships with the Buckin’ Elks and MVP honors at the 2005, 2006 and 2007 NCHSAA 1A/2A state championship meets. He still holds eight Elkin High School records for men’s swimming. After graduation, he went on to a record-setting career at a college swimmer at Gardner-Webb, and spent three years as a graduate assistant coach at Florida State.

David Diamont: The current East Surry football coach has won 273 games over 39 years with the Cardinals and Mount Airy football programs. He was the head coach for the East-West All-State game in 1985 and 2008, and an assistant coach for the Elite Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in 2006.

Tony George: A former athlete at Mount Airy High School and at Pfeiffer University, George coached the Bears for 11 years with a 226-107 record, winning three regular-season and four conference tournament championships in basketball. His teams won three sectional titles and were regional runners-up twice. He later coached a year at Surry Community College and won the conference, sectional and regional titles, advancing all the way to the NJCAA Division III Final Four.

Vickie Hardy: A standout athlete at North Surry from 1973-77, she was a High School All-American and won the Women’s All-Star Sports Award in 1976. An all-conference performer in volleyball her last two years with the Lady Greyhounds, she later moved on to Catawba College and continued to excel there, winning the school’s Lomax Award as its most outstanding female athlete. She was MVP of both the volleyball and softball teams at Catawba.

Will Holthouser: Holthouser played football, basketball and baseball for Elkin High School between 1965 and 1968. He was an all-conference guard three times for the Elks’ football team, and earned a scholarship to Wake Forest University, where he played for four years and graduated. At Wake Forest, he played linebacker and was the team’s defensive captain, earning a championship ring as part of the Deacons’ 1970 ACC champions. After college, he went on to a 37-year coaching career, including 30 at the collegiate level.

Following the induction ceremony, a reception will be held honoring the inductees, their families, and the new Ring of Honor members.

By John Cate