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Hopson, Martin-Glass, Henry head VWSD Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019

No matter where his career has taken him, Jay Hopson has always considered Vicksburg home. He’ll soon return to take his place among the city’s sports legends.

Hopson, the Southern Miss football head coach and Warren Central alum, is among six athletes who will be inducted into the Vicksburg Warren School District’s Athletic Hall of Fame next month.

Joining Hopson are Vicksburg High football stars James Jones and Michael Sweet; Temple football player William Wooley; VHS baseball player Justin Henry; Warren Central basketball standout Jackie Martin-Glass, who is also the head coach of Hinds Community College’s women’s team; and Vicksburg High soccer player Gates Weaver.

The group will be inducted at a ceremony Sept. 5 at the Vicksburg City Auditorium. Tickets are $20, and are available in advance at the Vicksburg Warren School District’s athletic office on Mission 66. The inductees will also be honored at the Vicksburg vs. Warren Central football game on Sept. 6.

Hopson is entering his fourth season as Southern Miss’ head coach, and 25th year overall in coaching. He has had stops at 10 different college programs, including two separate stints at Southern Miss before he was hired as the head coach in 2016.

Hopson was also the head coach at Alcorn State from 2012-15. He led the Braves to two Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and the Black College National Championship in 2014. He made history by being the first white head coach in the league comprised of historically black colleges and universities.

Before his coaching career began, however, Hopson was a very good football player. As a safety, he was a starting safety and quarterback at Warren Central and then lettered for four years at Ole Miss. He was the starting quarterback on the 1986 Warren Central team that finished 10-1.

Martin-Glass has had a similarly successful transition from playing to coaching. As a player at Warren Central, she led the Lady Vikes to two MHSAA Class 5A state championships and was the Mississippi Player of the Year in 1987.

Martin-Glass returned to her alma mater as the head coach of the girls’ team in 2009 and went on to post a 130-116 record. Martin-Glass won The Vicksburg Post’s basketball Coach of the Year award four times in nine seasons and led the Lady Vikes to the Class 6A quarterfinals in 2018.

In June 2018, she was hired as the head coach of Hinds’ women’s team and is heading into her second season in that job.

Henry was the 2003 Vicksburg Post baseball Player of the Year in his senior season at Vicksburg High, and then went on to a successful college and pro career.

Henry starred at Ole Miss from 2005-07 and is tied for the school’s career and single-season records for 14 triples. He still ranks in the top 10 on Ole Miss’ career lists for batting average (.359), triples (14) and stolen bases (46).

Henry was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the ninth round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft, and now works for the team as a scout. He never reached the majors as a player, but did play eight seasons in the minors and got as far as Triple-A with the Tigers and Boston Red Sox organizations. He had a career .280 average as a pro.
Jones and Sweet both played football at Vicksburg High in the 1970s.

Sweet played at North Vicksburg and Vicksburg High from 1971-73 and was a standout running back and receiver. He had 71 receptions for 1,574 yards and 16 touchdowns in his career, and then went on to play at Ole Miss.

Sweet led Ole Miss in rushing in 1975, but a knee injury ended his playing career the following season.

Sweet’s career receiving yardage total at VHS was a Warren County record that stood for 33 years. He also set the county’s single-game records for receptions, yards and touchdowns by catching 10 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns in a 1973 game against McComb. All of the single-game records have since been surpassed, although he remains one of only four Warren County players to have four or more touchdown receptions in a single game.

Jones played at VHS from 1973-75. He still ranks second on the school’s career rushing list with 2,730 yards, and is tied with Sylvester Stamps for the touchdown record with 30.

Jones went on to play at Mississippi State. He was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs, led the team with 687 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 1978, and was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection.

Jones was selected in the third round of the 1980 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He played five seasons with the team as an all-purpose back and kick returner. He finished his career with 331 rushing yards, 312 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. He still holds the franchise’s single-season records for punt returns (54) and punt return yardage (548), both set in his 1980 rookie season.

Wooley starred at Temple from 1968-70, when the Buccaneers had a 39-game unbeaten streak capped by the 1970 Red Carpet Bowl over New Orleans’ St. Augustine. Wooley threw for 1,784 yards and 28 touchdown passes in his senior season, both single-season Warren County records at the time. Wooley’s yardage record stood until 1997. His touchdown record was tied by Vicksburg’s Ernest Moore in 1973, but not broken until 2011.

Weaver was a Vicksburg High soccer star from 1979-83. He scored more than 100 goals in his high school career and was a Mississippi All-Star and a member of the U.S. U-17 team. He went on to play professionally in Germany, Italy and Jamaica. After his playing career, he became a respected soccer referee both in Mississippi and on the national level.

VWSD ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME MEMBERS
2019

Justin Henry, Vicksburg, baseball
Jay Hopson, Warren Central, football
James Jones, Vicksburg, football
Jackie Martin-Glass, WC, basketball
Michael Sweet, Vicksburg, football
Gates Weaver, Vicksburg, soccer
2018
Michael Dottorey, Vicksburg, football
Houston Markham, VHS, football
Sylvester Stamps, Vicksburg, football
Monique Varnado, VHS, track and field
Lucy Young, WC softball/soccer
2017
Eddie Burns, Vicksburg, football
Mary Logue, WC, basketball
Robert Morgan, WC, football
George Nasif, Vicksburg, football
Jackie Pettway, Warren Central, softball
Michael Phelps, Vicksburg, basketball
Taylor Tankersley, WC, baseball
2016
Carl Blue, Warren Central, football
Sean Brewer, Warren Central, football
Cynthia Hall, Vicksburg, basketball
Barry Hassell, Vicksburg, tennis
Tony Smith, Warren Central, football

INDUCTION CEREMONY:
The Vicksburg Warren School District Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 will be inducted Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m., at the Vicksburg City Auditorium.
Tickets are $20 and are available at the Vicksburg Warren School District athletic office on Mission 66.

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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