CRESTVIEW — More than 20 coaches and athletes who helped form Crestview High School's proud athletic history were on hand Friday as the second class was enshrined in the Crestview High School Sports Hall of Fame.
This year's inductees are Larry Adams, Lori Baggett, Juan Bonilla, Jerry Davis, Terri Zan Davis, Kathy Dortch, Lt. Col. Joe Dortch, Erick Harris, A.C. Koeninger, Joe Lawrence, Pat Lawrence, Kelvin Lee, Dean Mason, Red Medley, David Morgan, Charlie Powell, Justin Riley, Summer Rogers, Cam Sanders, Mark Sieron and Taucier Smalls.
John Bale, a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee who couldn’t attend last year’s ceremony, also was on hand for this year's event.
The inductees were treated to a luncheon at Woodlawn Baptist Church, where they received their plaques. They also were honored at Jack Foster Stadium on Friday night during halftime of Crestview's football game with Tate.
Athletes and coaches from numerous sports — running the gamut from cheerleading to baseball, basketball, football, track and field and golf — were represented.
Adams, a 1977 CHS graduate, remains perhaps the most decorated golfer in school history. He might also be one of the smartest, as his 2013 Hall of Fame classmates Sieron and Lee each told stories of caddying for Adams.
Medley was a 1949 All-State football player whose college career at Ole Miss was cut short by an injury. Medley returned to his alma mater to teach and coach many of the athletes he was inducted with Friday.
"I could tell you some things about a lot of these people and they would never get in the hall of fame," Medley told the audience at the luncheon. "But they could tell you some things about me that would keep me out too.
"This is just wonderful. I wouldn't take a hundred dollars for all the old kids and all the ones that I have known. It has just been wonderful."
When Sieron wasn't carrying Adams' golf bag, he was an outstanding football player and discus and shot put man on the track team.
Sieron, now a Jacksonville area attorney who helps coach at Bolles School, told the story that one day as Medley was coaching him on throwing events, he looked over to see the coach reading what to do from a book.
"When I got the word (about being an inductee) I was speechless," he said. "Family is what it's all about. Crestview is a very special place.
"Crestview gave me a foundation of hard work and discipline. It led me when I got to college to work hard and achieve career goals that I could only have dreamed of without sports."
Sieron said members of the Bolles football team, which played Crestview in last year's Hall of Fame game, shared with him that Jack Foster Stadium was the best place they had ever played and they loved playing at Crestview.
Each inductee, whether player or coach, had similar stories about love for their school and hometown and how Crestview has been so instrumental in shaping their lives and careers.
Linda Parker, Powell's daughter, who was on the first Bulldog teams from 1927-1930, said she was accepting the award not only for her father, but also for all original Bulldogs.
Harris, who went on to play college football at Liberty University and on the practice squads of the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, credited his old coaches for pushing him.
"The coaching really set the foundation of ‘never quit, never give up and to keep pushing harder and harder,’" he said.
Bale, who played Major League Baseball for several years, credited his success to the start he got a Crestview.
"It's definitely a huge honor to come back to where it all started," he said."There are a lot of great memories here at Crestview High School. I wouldn’t be where I am today without coming through here and meeting the people I did and the coaches I did.
"It was such a great experience and it's such a great feeling to be back here with my family."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.