Five outstanding former high school athletes, including legendary Cleveland Browns’ tight end Ozzie Newsome from Alabama and pro basketball star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway from Tennessee, headline the 2014 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.
Joining Newsome and Hardaway as athletes in the 2014 class are Casey Blake, a four-sport star at Indianola (Iowa) High School, who had a 13-year professional baseball career; Michael Devereaux, a four-sport standout at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyoming, who enjoyed an 12-year professional baseball career; and Suzy Powell, a basketball and track and field star at Thomas Downey High School in Modesto, California, who competed in three Olympic Games.
These five individuals, along with four high school coaches, one contest official, one administrator and one in the performing arts, will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts. The 32nd Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 95thannual NFHS Summer Meeting.
High school coaches slated for induction this year include Bob McDonald, basketball coach at Chisholm (Minnesota) High School who is retiring this year after a legendary 59-year coaching career; Morgan Gilbert, who retired last year from Tuckerman (Arkansas) High School after winning more than 1,000 games as both a basketball coach and baseball coach during a 48-year career; Katie Horstman, who started the girls sports program at Minster (Ohio) High School in 1972 and led the girls track team to eight state championships; and Frank Pecora, who becomes Vermont’s first inductee in the National High School Hall of Fame after leading Northfield (Vermont) High School to 15 state baseball championships.
Other members of the 2014 induction class are George Demetriou, a football and baseball official from Colorado Springs, Colorado, who is a state and national officiating leader in both sports; Sheryl Solberg, a state and national leader in the development of girls athletics programs during her 34 years as assistant to the executive secretary of the North Dakota High School Activities Association; and Randy Pierce, a state and national debate leader who coached debate at Pattonville High School in Maryland Heights, Missouri, for almost 40 years before retiring in 2012.
Ozzie Newsome was a three-sport standout (football, basketball, baseball) at Colbert County High School in Leighton, Alabama, in the early 1970s. He helped Colbert County to state championships in football and basketball in 1972 and to the state finals in baseball in 1973. After four years at the University of Alabama, Newsome became one of the greatest tight ends in National Football League (NFL) history during his 13-year career with the Cleveland Browns. He has been general manager/executive vice president of the Baltimore Ravens since 1996 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway scored more than 3,000 points during his three-year basketball career at Treadwell High School in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1987 to 1990. As a senior, Hardaway averaged 36 points and 10 rebounds per game and was the Parade National Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball in Tennessee. Hardaway was an all-American at Memphis State University and a four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) all-star with the Orlando Magic. He played with three other NBA teams during his 15-year career and was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal.
Casey Blake was named the Top Male High School Athlete in Iowa in 1992 at the conclusion of his four-sport, four-year career at Indianola High School. As the team’s quarterback, he led Indianola to the state football playoffs twice and was the leading scorer on the basketball team. He was the first freshman to play on the school’s baseball team and was named all-state two times, and he was a medal winner in the 400-meter hurdles in the state track meet. Blake was a three-time All-American at Wichita State University and retired in 2011 after a 13-year career in professional baseball with five teams, including the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Michael Devereaux was one of the greatest high school athletes in Wyoming history at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper (1979-81). He led the track team to the 1981 state championship while setting state records in four events (100, 200, 400 and high jump), helped the basketball team to back-to-back titles in 1980 and 1981, and was a member of the state football championship team in 1980. Though the Wyoming High School Activities Association does not sponsor baseball, Devereaux led his American Legion team to three state titles. The highlights of his 12-year professional baseball career were with the Baltimore Orioles in 1992, when he finished seventh in the MVP voting, and with the Atlanta Braves in 1995, when he was MVP of the National League Championship Series and helped the Braves to the World Series title.
Suzy Powell was one of the top discus throwers at all levels of competition in this country – from her days at Thomas Downey High School in Modesto, California, until her retirement in 2012. Powell set the national high school girls discus record of 188-4 in 1994 and held the mark until 2009. She was three-time California state champion in the discus and was the California Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year in 1994. Powell also played basketball and averaged 21.6 points per game as a senior. She was a member of three U.S. Olympic teams (1996, 2000 and 2008) and was ranked No. 1 in the United States in the discus as recently as 2007.
After 59 years and at the age of 80, Bob McDonald concluded his amazing basketball coaching career this year. McDonald spent the final 53 years at Chisholm (Minnesota) High School and finished with an overall record of 1,012-428, which included three state championships and 11 state tournament appearances. He is one of only 13 coaches nationally to surpass 1,000 victories. McDonald also coached track and field at Chisholm for 50 years and won a state title in 2001.
Morgan Gilbert is the only high school coach in history to surpass 1,000 victories in both basketball and baseball and ranks among the top 10 all-time leaders in both sports. After concluding his remarkable 48-year career last year, including the past 40 years at Tuckerman (Arkansas) High School, Gilbert ranked sixth all-time in baseball coaching victories with a 1,030-396 career mark and seventh all-time in basketball with a 1,077-593 career record. His teams competed in the state basketball playoffs 38 times and the state baseball playoffs 39 times.
Katie Horstman was considered a pioneer in the area of girls athletics in the state of Ohio after starting the girls athletic program at her alma mater – Minster High School – in 1972. In her 25 years at Minster, Horstman coached volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, track and field, cross country and softball. Her track and field teams won eight state titles and finished second four other times, and she led the cross country team to one state title and three runner-up finishes. Prior to returning to Minster, Horstman played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1950s.
The first person from Vermont to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame, Frank Pecora had an outstanding career as baseball coach at Northfield High School. In 38 years (1973, 1976-2012), Pecora’s teams won 15 state championships, including five in a row from 1997 to 2001, and finished second four other times. Pecora was the school’s athletic director as well during his career at Northfield. He was president of the Vermont State Athletic Directors Association and served on the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Board of Directors.
George Demetriou has officiated high school baseball and football in Colorado for 25 years, including three championship games in baseball and two in football; however, his contributions to officiating in those sports go far beyond his on-the-field accomplishments. Demetriou has served as the Colorado High School Activities Association baseball and football rules interpreter and has authored widely distributed books in both sports. He has written more than 300 articles, many of which have appeared in Referee magazine, and he is the author of an annual football study guide for NFHS and NCAA rules.
Sheryl Solberg was one of the leaders in the development and growth of girls sports programs – in her state and across the nation – during her 34 years as assistant to the executive secretary of the North Dakota High School Activities Association (1978-2012). At the state level, she handled coaches and officials programs for most of the state’s sports, and was involved with several national rules experiments, including rally scoring and the libero position in volleyball and the smaller-size basketball for girls. She also led numerous officiating camps and clinics throughout the country.
Randy Pierce was a leader in high school debate at all levels – from almost 40 years at Pattonville High School to his work with the Missouri State High School Activities Association to his work with the NFHS and the National Debate Topic Selection Committee. Pierce coached the Pattonville High School mock trial team to six state championships and qualified students to MSHSAA state championships for 37 consecutive years. In 2010, Pierce received his seventh diamond award from the National Forensic League.
The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and activity programs. This year’s class increases the number of people in the Hall of Fame to 423.
The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.