Sports

Biloxi will induct 17 new members into Hall of Fame class

The 1966 Biloxi Dodgers.
The 1966 Biloxi Dodgers. Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame

The Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame will add 17 new members at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Biloxi Civic Center.

The new members are Freddie Steinwinder III, John Pugh, Barbara Ferrill, Wayne Kopszywa, Richard Frentz, Forest Rodolfich, George Wright, Freddie Wright, Andrew Wright, Randolph Peyton, Frank Gill, Mark Graham, Gene Ganucheau, Ronnie Farris, Walter Blessey IV, Ronald Bond and Richard Pitalo.

Amateur boxing champions Kopszywa, Frentz and Rodolfich were selected as a group. Biloxi Dodgers standouts George Wright, Freddie Wright, Andrew Wright, Peyton and Gill were also chosen as a group.

Here’s a brief bio of each member:

Ronald Bond: A starting end on the Biloxi High football team from 1954 to 1956, he was named All-Big 8 Conference first team his senior year. Set state records in the 100-yard dash, the 220-yard dash, the 440-, 880- and mile relays and the broad jump.

Walter Blessey: A three-year star letterman in track at Biloxi High, he was the Big 8 mile champion his senior year, setting a mile record at the South State Meet. He ran track at Ole Miss, helping set a school record in the mile relay.

Ronnie Farris: The Corinth native coached football and basketball for many years at Biloxi High, but Farris is best known for his state championship baseball teams in 1965 and 1970.

Barbara Ferrill: A 1950 graduate of Biloxi High, Ferrill had a legendary career as a softball, basketball and swimming coach. The softball fields at Hiller Park were named in her honor in 1996. She joins her husband, Tom, in the Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame.

Gene Ganucheau: He played on Biloxi High’s 1969 Big 8 championship team in football and on Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s national title team in 1971. He was a two-year starter at Kentucky and is a member of the MGCCC Hall of Fame.

Mark Graham: A star in football and baseball, Graham is a member of the Delta State Sports Hall of Fame. He led the Statesmen to the 1982 Division II College World Series, where Delta State finished third.

Richard Pitalo: The Prep All-American in 1968 led the Biloxi Indians to an 11-0 season with a record-setting 25 touchdown passes. Pitalo rushed for seven touchdowns that season. He accepted a scholarship to play at Alabama, but transferred to Tulsa and played baseball.

John Pugh: His 20-year coaching career at Biloxi High was highlighted by state basketball championships in 2001 and 2004. Pugh’s coaching record was 243-73 for a .768 winning percentage.

Freddie Steinwinder III: A 1974 graduate of Biloxi High, Steinwinder crafted a 30-year career in amateur

and professional boxing officiating, including 38 world title bouts.

Biloxi Boxing Group: Wayne Kopszywa, Richard Frentz and Forrest Rodolfich. A 14-year star in local boxing, Kopszywa was a multi-state and regional Golden Gloves champion. Rodolfich and Frentz each won numerous titles.

Biloxi Dodgers Group: Peyton’s playing career as a slugging first baseman spanned four decades. George, Freddie and Andrew Wright, and Gill were all widely respected for their careers with the former Negro League team.

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