The annual induction ceremony of the Pittsylvania County Sports Hall of Fame will be held at 6 p.m., July 20 at White Oak Grove Outreach Ministries in Dry Fork.
The organization was formed in December 2013 with the mission to promote the common good, general welfare and civic excellence of the residents of the community by recognizing the achievement of former or current individuals and groups of Pittsylvania County who have been involved in, and/or contributed to, the success of Pittsylvania County sports programs in county youth leagues, public or private school sports, college sports, professional or personal sports endeavors.
The ceremony includes dinner and is open to the public, but requires a reservation. Advance reservations received by July 8 will pay $10 admission. Otherwise, the cost will be $12 at the door. RSVP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following nominees were selected for the induction ceremony:
- Acie Brumfield: More than 30 years of playing, managing or coaching teams in baseball and football, including the Gretna Connie Mack baseball league (1963 to 1967, in which his team went to the regional finals two years). One of his players, Dennis Dalton, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and went on the play with the Washington Senators. He also coached the Gretna Little League Baseball (1985 to 1995, in which two of his teams went to the Dixie Youth Regional Finals and to the state finals), coached Gretna football 10 years, in which one of his teams (1991) was undefeated and won the championship. He was a player/manager on a semi-pro team from the Brights Community (Pittsylvania County in the 1970s).
- Gretna High School Hawks football: Winners of five state championships — 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, three of which were 14-0 undefeated seasons, six regional championships and seven district championships.
- Bobby Jones: Instrumental in the formation of the Pittsylvania County Youth Football program in 1980, which started with youth from Brosville, Whitmell, Coates and Mount Hermon. Jones asked for and was granted funds from the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and soon thereafter Glenwood, Southside and Dan River came into the program. Jones continued coaching and mentoring the youth for 15 years.
- Richard Knick: Has for more than 45 years coached young people. He started coaching youth baseball in 1964 in the city of Danville, then moved to Pittsylvania County in 1977 and continued coaching for the next 33 years. In 1981, he helped form the county baseball league and, after receiving permission for the league to play at the Tunstall baseball field, he, along with H.F. Haymore and Ed Fitz, secured $20,000 operating capital from Virginia Bank South to purchase uniforms, bats, catchers equipment, baseballs and lights for the field. In addition, along with Tink Richardson, they put lights on the football field at Tunstall, new sod and sprinklers underground for the field; he constructed the press box and former concession stand at the Tunstall Baseball Field.
- Mike Neal, fire chief of Ringgold Volunteer Fire and Rescue: Provides EMS coverage to Pittsylvania County youth games, high school games and as one of the largest fundraisers for the Dan River area, he works with the Dan River Youth Football, and many other sports teams and church groups with fundraising, provides availability of the fire department building for fundraising for the Pittsylvania County Sports Hall of Fame.
- Craig Saunders: Original board member, coach, referee and groundskeeper for the Southside Soccer Club since its creation in 2003 and president for 12 years, seeing the soccer club grow each year. He was head coach of Dan River High School for 10 years.
- Mark Scarce: More than
- 10 years as coach of youth football, wrestling and volleyball, and nine years at Tunstall High School. In 2013, along with Tammy Bowles, varsity volleyball coach at Westover Christian Academy, they combined resources and created the Piedmont South Volleyball Club, giving young women an opportunity to play travel volleyball across Virginia.
- Barry Shelton: Teacher and coach at Tunstall High School for 36 years. He’s coached baseball for 36 years, football 22 years and wrestling 14 years. He was a Pittsylvania County Youth Baseball board member for more than
- 20 years, coaching county schools summer programs and youth league programs. His overall record includes 14 district, eight regional and two state championships wins with many runner-up, semifinalist and quarterfinals teams. He also coached nine players who have played professional baseball.
- Larry Shelton (posthumous): The Pittsylvania County Youth Baseball League’s championship trophies he gave are named in his honor for the time and effort he gave area baseball. He also coached semi-pro baseball, which traveled and played 50 to 60 games during the summer. He paid umpires to officiate games, supplied baseballs and equipment, paid the hotel bills for those players who did not have the means and was like a second father to the young men. In his later years, he would come to the high-school field and sit in the dugout and watch practices. When he died, the Tunstall baseball team wore their jerseys to his funeral as a thank you to him for all he had done for baseball.
- Jody Tate: He played football and golf in the Dan River school district, was assistant jayvee football coach for two years and coached in the Dan River Elementary School Recreation League for two years. He also coached county recreation league softball for three years; coached youth soccer for four years; was the treasurer of Dan River Booster Club for 14 years and one year as president. He’s also been a board member of youth football for 14 years, director of Dan River youth football for five years. He was instrumental in development of projects at Dan River Middle School football field including sodding the entire football field; adding a well house, posts and scoreboard; and building a concession stand and announcer’s stand. He also managed concession stand activities and participated in fundraising for 14 years.
- Steven Waller: Played as a youth in Pittsylvania County basketball and football leagues in the ’80s up until graduation in 1991. Upon graduation, he began coaching youth football and watched his three boys and play through the organization until 2007. He then began coaching at Dan River High School and also coached Chatham Youth League T-ball to major league for 10 years and coached youth basketball six years, including coaching his daughter’s youth girls basketball team.