Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame Inducts 2023 Class

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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The 2023 Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held March 11 at the Kirbo Center.  Lynwood Mock, Stan Killough, James Butler, and Larry Wilkinson were honored as the newest inductees.  Board President Ralph Jones presided over the banquet. Board directors Dewayne Shiver, Brian Parker, and Larry Ware assisted in conducting the program.

Lynwood Mock was the first inductee recognized. Coach Mock, who passed away in 1987, was recognized for his many years of dedicated service to the students and athletes of Decatur County.   He coached basketball and track at West Bainbridge High School where he received Coach of the Year honors in 1961, 1962, and 1963.  After consolidation, he continued to teach and coach at Bainbridge High School and Hutto Junior High School.   He spent many years involved in the Bainbridge Recreation Department serving as baseball coach and umpire.  He was the announcer, official clock keeper for BHS varsity basketball teams and was known as the “Voice of Conger Gym”.   He later served as Decatur County Transportation Director and was nationally recognized for his efforts with the School Bus Safety Road-eo. Accepting his Hall of Fame honor were his children Linda Mock Smith and Dale Mock.

Introducing Stan Killough was former BHS and University of Georgia baseball star Rodney Close who described Killough as a father figure. Stan Killough, a former University of Alabama baseball player, was the long-time varsity baseball coach at Bainbridge High School leading the Bearcats to a region championship. He was recognized as Region Coach of the Year and served as coach for the All-Star team. He later served as an administrator and athletic director at BHS and was named Region Athletic Director of the Year. During his acceptance speech, Killough thanked his family for their unwavering support. He described how he came to Bainbridge as the Recreation Department and later became a faculty member at BHS.

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Coach Kelvin Cochran introduced James Butler. Butler was a multi-sport athlete and scholar at BHS.  He received All-Region honors in football and was the track state champion in triple jump.

He had a very successful football career at Georgia Tech earning All Atlantic Coast Conference honors and was a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. He was named Academic All-ACC twice, and he was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. After college, he played in the NFL and was a starter for the New York Giants Super Bowl 42 Champions. He later played for the St. Louis Rams. During his acceptance speech, he thanked his former coaches and commented on his dedication to his family and his church.

Larry Wilkinson was introduced by teammate and friend John Wells. Wilkinson was a multi-sport athlete at Bainbridge High School. Described as one of the most versatile athletes to ever attend BHS, he earned an incredible 14 varsity letters in a variety of sports including football, basketball, tennis, and baseball. He received many awards in each of the sports he played.  In addition to his athletic prowess, he exhibited strong leadership qualities serving as captain of both the football and basketball teams.  During his acceptance speech, he described how he and his friends would play sports all day during his youth.

To be considered for the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame, candidates must be at least 40 years of age; be a current or past participant, coach, referee, trainer, or other person who has made an exceptional contribution to sports and have lived a lifestyle as a positive role model; and must have attended a school in Decatur County or lived in the county for a sufficient amount of time to be considered a permanent resident.