Hall of Fame day will be historic

Published 2:49 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saturday, Feb. 26, will be a historic day in Bainbridge and Decatur County sports.

That night, at Bainbridge College’s Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center, four very deserving men with outstanding athletic resumes will become the first class inducted into the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame.

The four are former outstanding Bainbridge High School Bearcats head football coach Spencer “Onion” Davis, who was also an outstanding minor league baseball pitcher; former Auburn University Tigers All-American football player Ken Rice, who played for Coach Davis at BHS; former major league baseball player Ernest Riles, and outstanding Bearcat track coach Larry Clark.

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In today’s The Post-Searchlight, we are beginning a four-part series leading up to the induction ceremony, in which each of the inductees is highlighted. Today’s story is on coach Davis.

I commend BHS assistant football coach Steve Bench, president of the Hall of Fame board of directors, and his board members for their outstanding work.

They got the word out by speaking to civic organizations, soliciting nominations from Bainbridge and Decatur County residents and generally making the public aware of their intentions and bylaws.

The bylaws call for four members to be inducted into the hall of fame in each of its first two years of existence.

Each inductee will receive a plaque containing their picture and biography. Similar plaques will be placed at the Hall of Fame’s permanent location, which is to be determined.

On the board along with Coach Bench are Leann Inlow, Ralph Jones, Larry Clark, Mike Harrell, Larry Ware, Wayne Shiver, Joan Shiver, Brian Parker, Keith Lyle and Chip Ariail.

Tickets to the induction ceremony, which are just $20, can be purchased at the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, Keith Lyle’s Edward Jones office, Dehildren Realty, Palmer Insurance, First Port City Bank, Park Avenue Bank, Family Bank, Southwest Georgia Oil and Live 101.9 Radio.

All four members of the initial Decatur County Sports Hall of Frame class have not only been outstanding in their field, but have also been outstanding role models for young people.

Many Bainbridge and Decatur County sports fans played for or watched each of the soon-to-be inductees during their careers.

They are all richly deserving of the honor that will be bestowed upon them.

I urge the many people whose lives they have touched and made better to fill the Kirbo Center on their big night. Let them know how proud you are of them and how much you appreciate what they have done to put such a positive light on Bainbridge and Decatur County sports through the years.

Individuals or businesses who would like to make a donation to the Hall of Fame can contact Coach Bench (229) 400-0681 or board member Wayne Shiver at 400-2346.

See you on the big night.