Another great class

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I commend chairman Wayne Shiver and members of the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame on four more outstanding selections for this year’s class.

Last year’s first class of former Bainbridge High School Bearcats head football coach Spencer “Onion” Davis, formber Bearcats head track coach Larry Clark, Bearcats All Region and All State and Auburn University Tigers All American football player Ken Rice and former Major League Baseball player Earnest Riles, was outstanding.

This year’s class of former Bainbridge and University of Georgia running back Fred Barber; Ralph Jones, who led the Bearcats to the 1982 State Class AAA football championship; the late coach Alfred Gant, who coached many district champion Hutto High School Tigers football and basketball teams; and Pam Martin-Wells, one of the top female bass anglers in the country, is equally as impressive.

Email newsletter signup

I had the pleasure or watching or covering all four of this year’s inductees.

While I did not cover Fred Barber, as a 1962 graduate of Cairo High School, I saw many of his outstanding runs. I saw many of his outstanding runs against us during the early 1960s. It was very difficult to bring him down at the high school and college levels.

I covered coach Jones’s 1982 Bearcats state championship team. The 7-6 championship clinching victory over the Gainesville High School Red Elephants on a rain-soaked City Park Stadium field in Gainesville was a classic.

Coach Jones was a great motivator. It didn’t take him long to get his teams fired up. I remember one day, as practice began all the players and coaches were on the Centennial Field practice field, but coach Jones was nowhere to be found.

Suddenly, the door of the field house flew open and he came running out raising his hands and hollering.

The team went crazy and had a great practice. That was the kind of motivator he was.

I covered Gant during his years on the Bainbridge High School Bearcats coaching staff.

More recently, I had the pleasure of covering Pam Martin-Wells on some of her great bass fishing efforts on Lake Seminole.

I’m looking forward to seeing all four new inductees at the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame ceremony and banquet Saturday, March 3, at Bainbridge College’s Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center.

The committee could not have made a better four choices.

Joe Crine is the sports editor for The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at