Sportsman Club announces 2018 HS Hall of Fame Class

Sportsman Club announces 2018 HS Hall of Fame Class
April 12
03:00 2018

Over the years the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System has had its fair share of dynamic athletes.  Some of those athletes leave such an impressive mark on their respective programs their names will never be forgotten.  To honor those athletes, the Sportsman Club announced its inductees for the 2018 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County High School Hall of Fame.

The class, which will be honored at a banquet at the Benton Convention Center on Friday, May 4, is comprised of William E. Brown, Gerald Carter, Donald F. Covington, Danielle Hardy, Mendy McKenzie Pack, LaShaunda Renee Pratt, Johnny Stoutamire Jr. and Brittany Strachan.

This year’s class is a diverse one consisting of a wide range of athletes from various disciplines.  Robert Wynn, Sportsman Club president, says this year they have an “outstanding class” that displayed a wealth of talent during their high school years.

“Our mission is to recognize those who made contributions to their schools academically and athletically,” Wynn said.  “To be able to honor those persons is a tremendous honor for us.”

Danielle Hardy, former star basketball player at Carver High School, says it was great to be inducted into the Sportsman Club Hall of Fame.  Hardy was such a phenomenal player at Carver she had her jersey retired in February 2009.

“I didn’t know this day was coming, but I am very honored to have it come,” she said.  “This just shows young ladies that if you put the work in, the sky is the limit.

“When I get up on the stage I will be excited, honored and nervous but happy all in all just to be in the class of other greats from around the city,” she continued.  “I had the mind frame that nothing was going to stop me and now I made it here it shows you can get whatever you want out of life.”

Gerald Carter was the head coach of Carver during Hardy’s phenomenal run.  Over a four-year stretch he led the Lady Yellowjackets to a 112-13 record while also capturing a state title.

“I have mixed emotions because you wonder if it’s justified when you hear about all of these great athletes,” Carter said.  “As a coach you never score a point, grab a rebound or set a pick.  You kind of are a reflection of your players, and I am very honored.

“I have been to the Hall of Fame banquet three or four times for other friends, but I never really thought about me getting here, and its very humbling,” he said.

LaShaunda Renee Pratt is another member of that tough Lady Yellowjacket basketball team of the early 2000s.  Pratt also had her jersey retired by Carver in January 2009, which is a testament to how good that team really was.

“I am surprised and honored that I am in this class of people,” said Pratt.  “I was kind of nervous about it because I never really looked at it that way.  I just think about how close we were as a team and how it was not about an individual it was a team effort all the way.”

Donald Covington was a two-sport athlete in the early ’60s for Atkins High School.  He was an All-County football player and state champion in track and field.  He says he played sports for the fun of it, so for him to make it to the hall of fame is truly remarkable.

“I grew up in east Winston and my coaches instilled in me that I can compete and if I prepare myself mentally and physically, I will win,” he said.  “I carried that all through my life no matter what the task.

“It was an honor for me to play and it was a bigger honor for me to be recognized as one of the best,” he went on to say.  “When they called me I cried because it was a lot of great ball players and for them to say ‘you’re one of them’ is one of the best feelings I have ever had.”

Johnny Stoutamire Jr. was one of the best athletes to ever come through West Forsyth by all accounts.  He starred in three different sports for the Titans and was the first person ever to have his varsity football jersey retired by the school. “This is absolutely humbling and I am honored and privileged to be selected to go into a hall of fame with such elite athletes,”

Stoutamire said.  “You never think things will happen to you like this in your life, but this is really special because this is where it all started.

“When they put the medal around my neck, I will think about all the people who were influential in making this moment happen for me,” he said.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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