High School Sports

Star athletes, coaches highlight first class for St. Martin Athletics Hall of Fame

C.J. Hawthorne was a standout receiver at St. Martin and Hawaii.
C.J. Hawthorne was a standout receiver at St. Martin and Hawaii. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

The St. Martin Athletics Hall of Fame is set to induct 18 members into its inaugural class.

A seven-person committee of former athletes, coaches and administrators first gathered in June to begin to piece together the first class and they gathered a lengthy list of prominent former Yellow Jackets.

The group will be recognized prior to Friday night’s home game against Ocean Springs and a banquet will be held on Jan. 26 at the St. Martin Community Center. Tickets will go on sale in December.

If you would like to help sponsor the banquet, call (228) 327-2434.

The Class of 2018 includes:

Joe Barlow — Former superintendent for St. Martin schools from 1977-1993. He was instrumental in the building of a new high school and other academic buildings. He was also important in the construction of new baseball, football and track and field facilities for St. Martin. He retired 1993 and still resides in St. Martin. Barlow is the first recipient of the “Our St. Martin Spirit Award.”

Glen David — Former St. Martin linebacker who graduated in 1980. He was named the Sun Herald Defensive Player of the Year in 1979 and helped lead the Yellow Jackets to the 1980 Shrimp Bowl. He played one year at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College before working in the Army National Guard for 36 years.

Jimmy Davis — Had a record of 24-7-1 in three seasons as the St. Martin High School football coach. He won three bowl games. The Yellow Jackets finished 9-2 in 1970, setting the school mark for wins.

Nancy Goff Evans — The 1966 graduate was a standout female athlete in basketball, track and tennis. She won a district title in singles tennis and won a state title at at MGCCC.

Les French — Coached baseball 19 years at St. Martin starting 1968. He won 198 games, including six Pascagoula River Conference titles.

Larry Gomila — Standout football kicker and lineman who graduated in 1976. He earned an all-star selection after the 1975 season and played for four years at Mississippi State.

Charles Hand — 1968 graduate was a standout football and baseball player for the Yellow Jackets. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns during his senior year.

C.J. Hawthorne — 2003 graduate was a star athlete on the St. Martin football team. He played at Southwest Mississippi Community College and MGCCC before transferring to Hawaii. As a senior receiver at Hawaii in 2007, he caught 61 passes for 859 yards and six touchdowns. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills before playing for the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL.

Chalanda Hilliard — 2002 graduate was a standout center for the St. Martin girls basketball team. Earned McDonald’s All-American and All-State selections. She was also named Sun Herald player of the Year before signing with Mississippi State.

Kim Letort — Multi-sport athlete who graduated in 1972. He threw for 1,279 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for close to 700 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior. He attended MGCCC and Delta State.

DeLois Moore — 1999 graduate who starred in football, track and power-lifting. He was a two-time state champion in power-lifting. He rushed for 1,335 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1997. Moore played at MGCCC and Troy University before signing as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Robert Payton — Standout in football, baseball, basketball and track before graduating in 1977. He played football at MGCCC in 1978.

Mike Perkins — St. Martin athletic director from 1998-2006 and coached boys basketball starting in 1978.

Wayne Rodolfich — 1985 graduate of St. Martin who earned all-district in football as a senior. He was a member of the 1985 district championship track team, won the district title in discus. He played football at MGCCC and Delta State. He coached and taught at St. Martin from 1993-99. He has been the superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District for 14 years.

Huelondria Smith — 1990 graduate who played basketball, track and softball. She was a four-time state champion in the 800 meters in track. She has been in the U.S. Army since 1999.

Delores Sumrall — Former girls basketball and softball standout who graduated in 1951. She played at MGCCC and started coaching track and basketball at St. Martin in 1968. She became a teacher, coach, bus driver, assistant principal and principal. She is a member of the MGCCC Athletic Hall of Fame and the St. Martin gymnasium was named in her honor in 2001.

Jerry Twiggs — Coached girls track, softball and track starting in 1992. He coached girls basketball for 10 years and won over 170 games. He retired as assistant superintendent for Ocean Springs School District in 2018.

Joe Williams — Football kicker and linebacker who graduated in 1976. He was an all-conference selection in football and a long-jumper in track. He played at MGCCC and holds the NCAA record for the longest field goal with a 67-yarder for Wichita State. He played in two preseason games with the Seattle Seahawks.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @CoastCoverage.