Many stories were shared Saturday night as honorees were recognized during the North Augusta Sports Commission’s eighth annual Sports Hall of Fame banquet.
Gathered at the Wesley Center of Grace United Methodist Church, the honorees reminisced about their greatest moments on the playing fields and some provided encouraging words to up-and-coming athletes.
“It’s an honor to be recognized and I’m humble. I thank them,” said Charles Anthony Williams, who was one of the 2013 inductees into the hall fame.
Williams played football, basketball and baseball and ran track at North Augusta High School in the 1950s. As a football player, he had a 38-1-4 record. He then went on to play football at the University of South Carolina.
Other hall of fame inductees were Charles Overstreet, who played football at North Augusta High in the 1950s and never lost a football game during his high school career; Frank Staley, who was a member of the undefeated 1956 and 1957 teams; and the 1949 state champion baseball team from North Augusta High, which was accepted by team member Charles William Humphries.
“It made me feel real good to speak for my teammates,” said Humphries, who is known in North Augusta as “Billy”. “We’re like family, I love those guys.”
Overstreet’s induction was accepted by his daughter Amy Overstreet.
The Lou Brissie Award was given to former North Augusta mayor Ray Walters, who lettered in baseball, football and basketball at the University of North Carolina and was the catcher for the Wilmington (Del.)Blue Rocks, the Utica, (N.Y.) Blue Sox, the Schenectady (N.Y.) Blue Jays, the Danville (Va.) Leafs and the Americus (Ga.) Phillies.
There are many athletes from North Augusta who have achieved great things and the hall of fame is a way to recognize their accomplishments, said Terrell Wiggins III, a member of the hall of fame selection committee.
“North Augusta is proud of its own,” he said, noting the turnout as evidence of the support the community gives to its own. About 240 people attended the banquet.
Several Athletes of Distinction, those who had unique sports accomplishments over the past 12 months, were also recognized.
Many of them were still in middle or high school.
“This is recognizing them for what they’ve done,” said Wiggins. “Maybe one day we’ll be inducting them into the hall of fame.”
Humphries said that he hopes the youths were also inspired by the inductees to give their all in everything they do.
“In life, like in sports, nothing comes easy, you have to work hard to get where you want to be,” he said. “It’s hard work, but the rewards are worth it.”