MACON, GA -- The Macon (Ga.) Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its Class of Inductees for 2008. This distinguished group includes:
Trelle Kite McCombs - Golf: Trelle Kite McCombs honed her golf game in Macon. She starred at Central High School before moving on to Georgia State University. At Georgia State won 2 college tournaments and was four time Academic All-Conference selection. She also qualified for the United States Women's Aamateur in 1998. She began her college coaching career at Mercer before moving on to Augusta State, Tulsa and her current position as head women's golf coach at Texas A&M University.
Antonio Pettigrew - Track: The former Southwest Patriot standout burst onto the national scene with his track exploits. In addition to the Olympic and world championship titles he piled up in the 4x400 meter relay during his career, Pettigrew is a five-time U.S. champion in the 400 meters - over a remarkable span of 12 years. His first title came in 1989, just two years after graduating from high school, and his last came in 2001, an extended period of consistently maintained excellence rarely seen in the world of track and field.
Pettigrew won a Gold Medal at the 2000 Olympics running the 2nd leg on the 4x400 relay team. He was a 3 time world champion in the 4x400 winning in'97, '99, '01.
Pettigrew's incredible success extends even farther, though. He spent his collegiate days competing at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C. - where he earned his degree in 1992 - and was a 10-time All-America performer and four-time Division II NCAA champion in the 400 meters. Pettigrew made his first Olympic Team in 2000 when he placed third in the 400...has the second-fastest relay leg in history, a 43.1 to help the U.S. to gold at the 1997 World Championships. His split in that race was second only to Michael Johnson's 42.94.
Pettigrew won the Georgia state 400 meters in 1986 and then won the state 200 and 400 meters in 19087.
He is currently an assistant track coach at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Elbert T. "Sonny" Wilcher - Track: Sonny Wilcher was a track standout at Lanier High School and then at the University of South Carolina. He won the GIAA state championship in the 440 in 1951. He also won the state 440 and 880 in 1952 while finishing second in the 100 and 220. He was named the outstanding competitor at the state meet in leading Lanier to the GIAA State title. He also won the 440 in the Georgia-Alabama Bi-State track meet in 1952.
Wilcher wasted little time making his mark at the University of South Carolina. He finished his first collegiate season in 1953 undefeated in the 440. He repeated that feat in 1954 winning every 440 event he entered.
Edward Ahn - Tae Kwon Do: Edward Ahn has spent the past fifty years training in the highly dsiciplined and rigorous sport of Tae Kwon Do. He earned his 1st degree black belt in 1955 while living in South Korea where his family fled from North Korea in 1951. In 1960 Ahn became the first person to demonstrate Tae Kwan Do on television. He emigrated to the United States in 1974 and opened the first ever martial arts schoiol in Macon in 1974. The school has been continually operating ever since. He coached the men's, women's and junior Southeastern cahmpions ion 1977. That same year he was chosen Executive Vice-President of the American Tae Kwan Do Association. He was inducted into the Karate Hall of Fame in Ohio in 1988. In 1993 he achieved the 9th degree black belt - the highest rank attainable.
Chris Wilson - Football: Chris Wilson starred on the football field for the First Presbyterian Day School Vikings from 1990 thru 1993. Wilson finished as the schools career leader in rushing yards, touchdowns, career points career touchdowns. In 1992 Wilson rushed for 1984 yards while scoring 28 touchdowns. He was named All-State in 19912 and was voted Macon Touchdown Club Back of the year in 1992. He was voted the school's 1992-93 Senior Male Athlete of the Year beating out classmate John Rocker. He walked on to the fotoball team at Georgia Southern in 1993. He was awarded a scholarship in 1996.
Ed Grisamore - Contributor: Ed Grisamore began his newspaper career in the sports department of the Macon Telegraph. During his years on the sprots beat he spent time as an editor, reporter and columnist. He covered everything from the Masters to the Atlanta Olympic Games to the Braves winning the World Series in 1995. He began writing local columns in 1996 and replaced the retiring Bill Boyd in June 1998. He is the author and five books and has won more than 40 writing awards.
Darrell Parker - Football: Darrell Parker was a three year starter at halfback, safety and punter for Macon's Willingham High School. He was named all-state as a seniro and helped lead Willingham to three straight wins over perennial state power Valdosta. He was also a three year starter in basketball and also excelled on the prep baseball field and the track. Coach Billy Henderson called Parker one of the finest athletes ever to play at Willingham. He was awarded a combination football/baseball scholarship to Georgia Tech in 1966. He won varsity letters in both sports while at Tech. He was named Tech's baseball MVP in his senor season.
Walt Fugate - Golf: Walt Fugate was born in Chickamauga, Georgia but he made his sports mark on golf courses in Macon and around the Central Georgia area. He aatended the University of Chattanooga where played on the men's basketball and golf teams. He is a 2 time winner of the Georgia Senior Aamateur Championship. He also won the state Senior 4-ball championship twice. He was twice named Georgia Senor Golfer of the Year by the Georgia State Golf Association. He played in the U.S. Senior Amateur twice. Locally, he won the Dixie Amateur 10 times - 4 when it was an individual tournament and six times after it became a team event. He also won the Macon-Middle Georgia tournament twice along with a host of toehr local events.
Craig Hertwig - Football: Craig Hertwig began his fotoball career at mark Smith High School where he excelled in football, basketball and track. He played center on the Mark Smith team that won the state basketball title in 1969. The 6'8'' then went on to the University of Georgia where he starred with the Bulldogs. Hertwig won the J.B. Whitworth Award in 1974 - an hjonor that goes to the lineman of the year. That same year he also earned Associated Press All-America honors and played in the 1975 Senior Bowl. He was a fourth round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 1975. He played three seasons with the Lions before finishing his pro career by playing two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Hertwig later starred in the pro football based movie North Dallas 40.
Jimmy Hammond - Coach: Jimmy Hammond actually began his coaching career while he was a high school senior. he served as head baseball coach for Jessie Rice Elementary School and led the team to the Bibb County Elementary School championship in the large school division. Hammond served as an assistant football coach under both Billy Henderson and "Goot" Steiner. He took voer the head coaching reigns of the Southwest Patriots football program from 1973 thru 1978 guiding the Patriots to an 8-2 record in 1973. In 1980 Hammond guided the Windsor Knights to a SEAIS region title. The team eventually lsot in the state semi-finals to Pinewood Academy. Hammond coached the Windsor Lady Knights softball team to a state title in 1981 winning state coach of the year honors. He returned to Southwest in 1981 where he served as defensive coordinator under Edgar Hatcher.. He was chosen to be the first head football coach and athletic director at Southeast High School won the school opened in 1988.
Vince Dattilo - Soccer: Vince Dattilo was the first star on the Central georgia soccer field. He was voted player of the year 4 times by the Macon Telegraph while starring at Mt. de Sales. He aslo earned GISA All-State honors four straight years. He earned a spot on the Georgia Olympic Youth development team as a youth player and an adult player. He was named Trans Atlantic Conference player of the year while playing for the Mercer Bears. He was a first round draft pick in the National Professional Soccer leage. He played professionally with the Atlanta Quicksilver, Dayton Dynamo and Chicago Power. He also coached on the high school level at Mt. de Sales and on the collegiate level at Mercer University.
Steve Dennis - Football: Dennis starred at Central High School before going on to play three years for Vince Dooley and the Georgia Bulldogs. He was named a team captain in 1978 and also earned Academic All-SEC honors in 1978. Dennis began his coachingc areer at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before moving to Auburn where he coached under Pat Dye from 1985 thru 1993. He returned to his alma mater and coached with the Bulldogs from 1994 thru 1996. He currently serves as the Athletic Director at Troy University in Alabama.