The second annual induction ceremony for the Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame will be held Saturday, December 15.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Lee Street Resource Center.
Admission is $20 per person. Seating capacity is limited to 300.
“This year we are switching from a formal dinner format to light hors d’oeuvres.We also will not feature a keynote speaker. We analyzed feedback from last year’s attendees and discovered that folks really more than anything wanted the opportunity mix and mingle. So that’s what we are shooting for this year,” said John DuPont, one of the organizers of the event.
This year’s class of inductees includes the late Lindy Blount, the late R.L. Ransom, Genevieve Strickland Pope, H.M. “Mac” Thompson and Fitzgerald Williams.
Blount was a football standout for Blackshear High School. The late Mr. Blount was the first — and remains the only — three-time All-State selection in county history. He was accorded honorable mention status in 1966 and again in 1967. In 1968, he was named first team, Class B, All-State.
“As an offensive and defensive back, he helped lead BHS to its first back-to-back seasons of seven-wins or more in school history. So many folks still remember his athleticism, all these years later. It’s a privilege to be able to welcome Lindy Blount to the Hall of Fame’s ranks,” DuPont said.
R.L. Ransom was head coach for the Lee Street High boys basketball team.
Coach Ransom shepherded the bulk of Lee Street’s basketball success. The Hornets won the Georgia Interscholastic Association Class B state boys’ title in 1951, 1954, 1955, and 1957 - the year Lee Street also won the girls’ state title for the first time (Lee Street subsequently won girls’ titles in 1958, 1960, and 1968).
“Lee Street’s memories are so precious, and we really want to savor them because the school closed its doors so long ago. Last year we decided to induct a living ex-coach as the first representative for Lee Street so that family could enjoy the moment with her. So we are especially pleased now that we can recognize Coach Ransom, who was the architect of that great, and forever-proud Lee Street program.”
Pope was a basketball player and later head girls’ basketball coach at both Patterson High and Pierce County High School.
As a player, she set a school record with 58 points scored in a single game for PHS. It is believed to be the unofficial county record still. Strickland also served as the last head girls coach at PHS and the first to coach girls’ basketball at PCHS. She started her career at Ware County High School, where she coached her Lady Gators to a state title. She is already enshrined in the Waycross-Ware County Sports Hall of Fame.
“Genevieve Strickland Pope is one of Pierce County’s true treasures, not just as an athlete and coach, but really foremost as a person. We are humbled to be able to enshrine her in this, her hometown hall of fame. After coaching actively, she spent a number of years still imparting the fundamentals of basketball as a PE coach. She has always been fond of teaching the game the way its founder, James Naismith, intended, and he no doubt would approve her contributions as an ambassador of the game.”
Thompson was a long-time booster and community supporter for athletics.
Thompson has a field named after him at the PC Rec Department. He is already enshrined in the Brewton-Parker College Athletic Hall of Fame.
“In short, we can’t count the number of folks affected by Mr. Mac’s generosity through the years. Each board member and enshrinee probably has a tie of some sort to Mr. Mac. His monetary and in-kind donations through the years launched the careers of countless athletes and accounted for immeasurable sports success in Pierce County. And that’s just the sports part.”
Williams is inducted for his skills on the football field at Pierce County High School. He was the first PCHS Bear ever accorded All-State accolades (1982) and later played collegiately at Valdosta State University. An all-around athlete for all seasons, he is best remembered for his leadership role when Patterson and Blackshear consolidated schools in 1981. He and the 1982 Bears won the school’s first region football title, en route to an undefeated regular season (12-1 overall). The ‘82 Bears, for which he played linebacker, still hold the single season school record for fewest points allowed (32).
“Fitzgerald was the glue of PCHS after consolidation, the school’s first true superstar. When he played at Valdosta State, he also helped what was then a fledgling, start-up college program. Fitzgerald was so good that they never could figure out where to play him. He played five different positions in college, on both sides of the ball, finishing his career as a defensive back. You’d be had pressed to find a more complete package of pure athleticism combined with natural school spirit than Fitzgerald.”