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Nominations needed for VWSD hall of fame class

Last fall, the Vicksburg Warren School District started a new tradition by creating an athletic hall of fame. The funny thing about traditions, though, is that they soon become forgotten fads without support.

So, with that in mind, the district is asking for your help in finding worthy nominees for the second class of the VWSD Athletic Hall of Fame.

Nomination forms are available at the VWSD athletic office on Mission 66, or online at the district’s web site (vwsd.k12.ms.us), and they are being accepted until June 15. Anyone can nominate a former athlete, coach or administrator, but there are a few rules on who is eligible:

• Athletes must have participated in a sport for at least two years at Vicksburg High or Warren Central beginning in 1970, and must have been part of a class that graduated at least 15 years prior to nomination. For this year, that means anyone who played between 1970 and 2002.

• Coaches must have coached for at least five years within the VWSD and for at least 10 years in their sport. They must also be out of coaching for the sport they’re nominated in for at least five years.

• Administrators must have made a major contribution to VWSD athletics and be five years removed from their position.

The inaugural Class of 2016 included Warren Central football players Sean Brewer, Carl Blue and Tony Smith, Vicksburg basketball player Cynthia Hall, and Vicksburg tennis player Barry Hassell.

So who should be the next five inductees? That’s up to the public and the selection committee — and the nominees themselves, since they have to accept the honor — but there are certainly some worthwhile candidates floating around.

We’ll shift away from football on the athlete side and pick three from the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Taylor Tankersley was the best baseball pitcher ever to come out of Warren County. He led Warren Central to the Class 5A title in 2001, was a first-round draft pick and played in the majors with the Florida Marlins.

Smith was Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year in boys basketball in 1996, when he led Vicksburg High to the Class 5A semifinals.

Hubert was the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year in girls’ soccer in 2001 at Warren Central. The goalkeeper went on to play for Mississippi State but was killed in a car wreck in 2002 along with her younger sister Erin. A hall of fame induction would be an excellent tribute to two young people who left us too soon.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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