Saturday night will be special

Published 6:48 am Friday, March 2, 2012

I am looking forward to Saturday night’s induction of four outstanding members into the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame.

Let’s fill Bainbridge College’s Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center to capacity to honor the four richly-deserving inductees and let them know how proud we are of them and the great sports accomplishments they have made to honor Bainbridge and Decatur County.

Tickets are just $20 and are available at the Kirbo Center, at Parker Paints or from any Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame board member. Festivities begin at 6 p.m.

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This year’s class joins last year’s outstanding inaugural class of former Bainbridge High School head football coach Spencer “Onion” Davis; one of his outstanding players, Ken Rice, who earned All-American honors as a defensive lineman with the Auburn Tigers; former Bearcats and Major League Baseball player Earnest Riles; and Dr. Larry Clark, who led the Bearcats’ track team to many outstanding seasons.

This year’s group is equally as outstanding and deserving. It includes Fred Barber, who will be introduced by longtime Georgia Bulldogs football sideline reporter Loran Smith.

Barber played for Davis, and is the second-leading Bearcats rusher of all time, with 3,357 yards. He scored 42 touchdowns and converted 17 extra points.

Also in the class is its first female member, Pam Martin-Wells, the top angler on the Lady Bass Fishing Association, Womens Bass Fishing Association, Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) and Forest Woods Tours.

She has won 19 national bass fishing titles, and five angler of the year awards.

Her outstanding career also includes 56 top-five finishes and 62 top-10 finishes, She will be introduced by Don Day, formerly Larry Prevatte of Bainbridge, who hosts a television fishing show in Dothan, Ala.

Barber, an all-around great athlete, was a charter member and speaker with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was an All-State catcher for the Bearcats’ baseball team and an All-State sprinter for the Bearcats’ track team.

He was on a state record setting 440-yard relay team as well. He lettered as a running back with the Georgia Bulldogs in 1962, 1963 and 1964.

When Martin-Wells fished on the Bass ’NGal Tournament Trail, she set a tournament record weight of 47.14 pounds at Lake Sam Raburn in Texas.

On Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010, at Lay Lake in Alabama, Martin-Wells became the first lady in the 40-year history of the Bassmaster Classic to make the final cut and fish the final day.

She put a five-fish limit in the boat each of the first two days of the three-day event, and also had the first limit of the 51-angler field both days.

She nailed down the 2011 Lady Bass Anglers Association (LBAA) angler of the year award Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, when she won the tour’s inaugural classic on Kentucky Lake with a three-day total of 25.6 pounds.

Martin-Wells had previously won tournaments at Guntersville Lake in Alabama and Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee.

Also in this year’s Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame Class are Ralph Jones, who led the Bearcats to the 1982 State Class AAA football championship, and the late coach Alfred Gant, who led his Hutto High School basketball teams to two state championships and two district championships, and his HHS football teams to three district championships.

Jones will be introduced by Roy Siimpson, who broadcast the 1982 state championship season on WAZA Radio.

Gant’s family will be introduced by his brother, Dr. James Lamar Gant, the retired dean of education at Florida State University.

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