Howell addresses Rotary Club about Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame history and inductees

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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Members of the Bainbridge Rotary Club met at the Kirbo Center on Tuesday for their weekly meeting. Making an impromptu presentation as the week’s guest speaker was Rotarian and former BHS principal Tommie Howell, who spoke about the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame.

To start, Howell went over the criteria one must meet for nomination. These include: be at least 40 years old; have been a past participant in Decatur County Sports; and they must be an individual that has provided a positive role model in the community. Additional criteria include: they must have attended a school in Decatur County, be a native of Decatur County, or have lived in Decatur County for long enough to be considered a permanent resident.

Howell went on to discuss the many inductees into the Hall of Fame at length. The four most recent inductees, recognized just last month, include James Butler, a Climax native, BHS graduate, and retired NFL football player; Stan Killough, former head baseball coach for BHS; the late Lynwood Mock, former basketball and track coach for West Bainbridge High School, and later Bainbridge High School and Hutto Middle School; and Larry Wilkinson, described as “one of the most versatile athletes to ever attend Bainbridge High School,” earning 14 varsity letters in everything from football, to basketball, to tennis.

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Howell praised each of the inductees. Of Butler, he said, “James, I knew him as a student. He was an outstanding student.” According to Howell, Butler was even given an award typically given to “the best boy in the class.”

Likewise, he praised Coach Mock, saying that, “He was the sports department at West Bainbridge.” Howell called attention to Kilough’s accomplishments, including being named Region Athletic Director in 2015.

“Larry Wilkinson was your total, all-around athlete,” Howell said, recalling not just Wilkinson’s varsity letters, but his time as captain on both the football and basketball teams.

“We’ve had some really good folks to come through Bainbridge,” Howell said in conclusion, before mentioning some deserving coaches and athletes who have yet to be nominated. “The Hall of Fame, we’ve got a bright future… we have a lot to be proud of.”