BOONE — One of my favorite sports assignments ever did not take place in Boone, nor was it for the Watauga Democrat.
I was lucky enough to cover Wingate University’s football game at Youngstown State on Oct. 21, 1995.
The game wasn’t all that competitive. Youngstown State, a Division I-AA power, blasted Wingate 56-7 after taking a 35-0 halftime lead.
That wasn’t the good part. I expected that from the start.
The cool part was that covering the game meant I got to fly with Wingate, which flew into the Akron-Canton Airport one day before the game. After the flight, we all stopped at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is still the only time I’ve been there.
We have a Watauga Sports Hall of Fame, but I don’t know if a lot of people know that. After a handful of years that saw inductions of athletes and teams from the county, it stopped adding people.
Watauga High School wants to start a hall of fame this year. I’m all for it.
This has to be a high priority to the Watauga High School administration, athletic department and central office for it to work.
It’s going to take more than one person to make this idea work. As with athletic success, this has to be a team effort. One person can’t be forced to send out the nomination forms, gather them up, notify who is selected each year, plan the induction ceremony and all that.
It will also take maintenance. It will take somebody to make sure that it turns into a labor of love and not a pain in the neck.
A suitable location is also important. The area just outside of Lentz-Eggers Gym is a logical place. Purchase some display cases and give the athletic Pioneers their due.
Maybe this Hall of Fame idea could grow. It would be great if a display for top academic students could come out of it.
I’m sure the Watauga boosters and athletic department, led by Athletic Director Dustin Kerley, have tossed ideas around while ironing out the details regarding the hall’s selection.
There is no shortage in candidates for induction. Watauga has seen quality people who would make excellent choices to be inducted into the first class, and the next class and so on.
Those are always the easy classes to fill. It’s keeping up with the future classes that is key to a successful hall. The few times I have to visit trophy cases of Watauga opponents away from Boone, I’ve found them interesting.
Greensboro Page has a great trophy case next to its gym, which has photos of alum Danny Manning it. I’d love to see old newspaper clippings, jerseys and photos of the inductees in the trophy case with the certificates, or whatever will be included.
I think it’s worth the effort. But, if there is no extra effort put forth, it will struggle.