Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame announces 2023 Class

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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The Board of Directors is  proud to announce that James Butler, Stan Killough, Lynwood Mock, and Larry Wilkinson have been selected to be inducted into the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame.  The 2023 Induction Ceremony will be Saturday, March 11 at the Kirbo Regional Center with a reception beginning at 6 PM and the banquet starting at 6:45 PM.   Tickets are $25 and are available at Parker Paints, Bainbridge High School, and Grimsley Pharmacy Center.

Founded in 2010, the purpose of the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame is to recognize outstanding local athletes, coaches, officials, and citizens who have made major contributions to the sports tradition of Decatur County.   The Board of Directors, as well as interested citizens, may nominate candidates using a nomination form that provides a biographical sketch of the candidate.

In order to be eligible for consideration for induction, the candidate must be, at least 40 years of age, current or past participant, coach, referee, trainer, or other person who made an exceptional contribution to sports and who has lived a lifestyle as a positive role model, and must have attended a school in Decatur County or has lived in Decatur County for a sufficient length of time to be considered a permanent resident.

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The 2023 Class of Inductees will be the eighth group selected to the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame and comes after a four year hiatus due to the pandemic. The Sports Hall of Fame is housed on the campus of Bainbridge High School.

James Butler, Bainbridge High School class of 2001, excelled at football, basketball and track during his time as a Bearcat and was awarded with a football scholarship at Georgia Tech. While at Georgia Tech, Butler was named First Team All-ACC in 2003 and 2004, set the single season record for tackles by a defensive back in 2003, was named team captain in 2004 and was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. After his time at Georgia Tech, Butler made a career in the NFL as a special teams captain, winning Super Bowl 42 with the New York Giants in 2007.

Lynwood Mock was born in Early County in 1930 and a graduate of Damascus High School as Mock went on to attend Georgia Southwestern College and also earned a master’s degree from Troy State University before serving in the United States Air Force. During Mock’s time as a teacher and coach, Mock won GACA Coach of the Year for Track twice in the years 1961 and 1963 and was also named GACA Coach of the Year for Basketball twice in the years 1961 and 1962. While at Bainbridge High School, Mock Coached football, basketball, and tennis, served as announcer, official clock keeper, and score keeper for varsity basketball teams and was known as the “Voice of Conger Gym”.

Stan Kilough was born in Greenville, Alabama where he played collegiate baseball at the University of Alabama in 1976-77. Kilough served as the Athletic Director for the City of Bainbridge Recreation Department in 1977 before joining the Bainbridge High School staff in 1979. During his time at Bainbridge High School, Kilough served as the Head Baseball Coach for 15 years where he earned a Region Championship in 1984, a Region Coach of the Year in 1984 and a Georgia Dugout Club All-State Coach in 1999. Kilough also served as the Athletic Director from 2011-2018, winning Region Athletic Director of the Year in 2015.

Larry Wilkinson graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1968 after earning fourteen varsity letters in four sports during his time as a Bearcat. As a football player, Wilkinson was named captain and team MVP of the 1966 Championship Team as the starting fullback and linebacker. As a tennis player, Wilkinson earned four letters, winning the Doubles Championship in 1968 as he was named Outstanding Tennis Player of the Year. Wilkinson was a starter all four years for the Bearcats basketball team as he was a captain from 1967-68. Wilkinson was also the starting first Baseman for the Bearcats baseball team from 1966-68