9-23 WHS Athletic Hall of Fame board member Jarrid McCormick and Blalock taking picture with Blalock's plaque.jpg

Jarrid McCormick and Jared Blalock

On Saturday evening, the 23rd Williamson High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held to honor a new group of alumni who displayed excellence in sports.

Welcoming remarks, the National Anthem and an invocation kicked off the festivities. A dinner for everyone in attendance followed.

Afterward, Kyle Lovern led recognition of past inductees. New inductees were then recognized.

The 2021 class included Jared Blalock, Clarence “Willie” Davis, Rufus Franklin Diamond Jr., Dennis Hannah, James Kipper Melmige, Tonya Yvonne Phillips Strother, Pam Sword-Crum and Steve Thorn.

Blalock graduated from Williamson High School in 2005. He was a four-year letterman in basketball and tennis. His tennis team was the No. 1 seed all four years that he was in school and they advanced to the State Tennis Tournament in 2005 while qualifying for the final four. He was All-State in tennis in 2005 and is the only tennis player in WHS history to achieve that feat. He also played in the State Basketball Tournament in 2004.

Davis, also nicknamed “Half-court Willie”, was a 1988 graduate of Williamson High School. He was the team manager for the Wolfpack from 1985 until the school closed in 2011. He managed for four state championship teams, and he has been known as a half-court specialist. He made nine straight half-court shots during a Wolfpack game at St. Albans.

Diamond Jr. was a 1968 graduate of Williamson High School and was a letterman in baseball and basketball in 1967 and 1968. He threw a no-hitter for the baseball team in 1968 and played basketball at Marshall Branch in Williamson in 1969 and 1970. He also played and coached American Legion Post 49 and Williamson Little League.

Hannah graduated from Williamson in 1999 and was a three-year letterman in basketball as well as a two-year letterman in baseball and football. He was First-Team Class A All-State in basketball in 1999 and a First-Team All-Area team selection in 1999. He was selected the best All-Around Athlete in 1999 and he won a Co-MVP award in basketball in 1999. He was a Class AA Honorable Mention All-State selection in 1998, and he also played in the State Tournament in 1999. He once scored 43 points in a game.

Melmige was a 1973 graduate of Williamson High School and was a four-year letterman for baseball as well as a three-year letterman for basketball.

Strother graduated from Williamson High School in 1985 and was a three-year letterman in basketball and the marching band. She was a one-year letterman in softball and was a All-Area team selection from 1983-1985. She also walked on for Marshall Basketball.

Sword-Crum was a 1980 graduate of Williamson and was a three-year letterman for basketball, track and tennis. She played on the first Williamson girls basketball team to reach the State Tournament. She scored over 1,000 career points and was selected for the All-Area Team in 1979 and 1980.

Lastly, Thorn was a 1985 graduate of Williamson High School and was a three-year letterman in basketball. He was also a First Team All-Area Team selection in 1984 and 1985 and was a First Team All-State selection in 1985. He also made the All-Tournament team in 1985 and scored 1,015 career points.

The ceremony was held in memory of Tommy Fletcher and Cecil Hatfield.

Fletcher, who was inducted into the Williamson High School Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015, was a member of the class of 1971 and was a 1970-1971 First Team All-Area baseball selection. He was a 1971 Honorable Mention All-State AAA baseball selection as well as a 1971 Second Team All-Area Basketball selection. He won the 1971 Billy Ray Hager award and was a coach for Little League baseball.

Hatfield was inducted in 1999 and was the baseball head coach from 1961-1972. He led the baseball team to the AA state championship in 1965 and was an All-Area First Team Baseball selection in 1954. He was a letterman in baseball from 1952-1954. He was an assistant coach for baseball in 1960, for football from 1960-1972, and for basketball in 1971 and 1972. He was the head basketball coach at Williamson Junior High from 1960-1972 as well as the head football coach during the same time period.

Recommended for you