The committee to select the first class of inductees into the Pascagoula Sports Hall of Fame had an impressive group to choose from. In the end, the committee settled on a class of 20.
Former athletes who competed prior to 1999 at Pascagoula High School and Carver High School, which existed prior to integration, were eligible for selection.
Richard Lucas, vice president of communications for Singing River Health Systems, and Gary Stevens, a local historian who is retired from Chevron, chaired the selection committee.
A banquet will be held on June 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pascagoula to honor the new inductees, which include Pascagoula legends like former quarterback Shane Matthews and star defensive back Terrell Buckley.
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The members of the first Pascagoula Sports Hall of Fame inductees are:
Jennings Moates (Pascagoula High School) – Played running back from 1938-39, scoring 28 touchdowns. He played at Mississippi State and scored the lone touchdown in a 6-0 win over Ole Miss to claim the SEC title.
Dr. Kenneth Seay (PHS) – Lineman and co-captain in 1942-1943. He entered coaching and served PHS as an assistant football for 12 years and head basketball coach for eight years. He became superintendent of the Pascagoula School District.
Rocky Byrd (PHS) – Quarterback from 1945-1947. He led the Panthers to a 12-0 record and the Big 8 championship in 1947 with nine touchdown passes. He played quarterback at Ole Miss from 1949-51.
Lionel Martin (Carver High) – Co-founded the first Carver football squad and originated school mascot “Hornets." He was a coach/player in 1949. He graduated from Alcorn State and went into teaching.
George Blair (PHS) – Running/defensive back from 1953-1955. He earned All-Big 8 honors in 1954-1955 and played running back/defensive back at Ole Miss from 1958-1960. He helped lead Ole Miss to a share of two national championships and played for four seasons with the San Diego Chargers as a defensive back and kicker. He led the AFL in scoring in 1963. He coached Laurel High for 15 years, winning one South Big 8 title.
Doug Horn (PHS) – Three-sport letterman from 1957-1959 in baseball, basketball and football. He played baseball at Mississippi College and served as the PHS baseball coach for three years, winning back-to-back state titles in 1967-68.
Ernest T. Williams (Carver High) – Quarterback at Carver from 1950-1953. He played quarterback at Jackson State from 1956-1957 and earned All-Midwest Conference Honors. He coached basketball and football at Amanda Elzy High School in Greenville.
Alberta Martin Moore (Carver High) – Forward/Guard in girls’ basketball from 1949-1953. She the was leading scorer and served as captain from 1952-1953. She attended Dillard University.
Beauchamp Colle (PHS) – Quarterback/defensive back and baseball catcher from 1958-1961. He rushed for eight touchdowns in 1960 and had two kick returns for touchdown. He earned All-American, All-South, All-State and All-Big 8 honors. He played defensive back at LSU from 1963-65.
Calvin Huey (Carver High) – Wide receiver/defensive back and basketball forward from 1958-1961. He served as captain in both sports; earned All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference honors in football; played quarterback at Oakland City Jr. College and earned all-conference. He earned appointment to the Naval Academy. He played wide receiver from 1963-1964 and was first African-American to play at Navy.
Dick Ingwersen (PHS) – A four-sport letterman from 1964-1966 in basketball, baseball, football and track. He played wide receiver and defensive end in football and earned all-state and All-Big 8 honors in 1965. He played tight end and defensive end at Auburn from 1967-69.
Earl Gilbert (PHS) – Pitcher and outfielder from 1967-1969. He led the Panthers to back-to-back state titles in 1967 & 1968. He had a career pitching record of 27-2 at PHS. He played professionally in the Seattle Pilots organization.
Aaron Jones (Carver/PHS) – Served as athletic director/head football coach/teacher for 11 years at Carver High; directed the Hornets to numerous winning seasons and multiple Gulf Conference Championships. He later coached at PHS. He is a graduate of Jackson State and the Pascagoula Family Interactive Center is named in his honor.
Ben Garry (PHS) – Running back from 1971-1973. He rushed for 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns in 1973. He earned All-American, All-State and All-Big 8 honors in 1973. He rushed for 3,595 yards and 30 touchdowns at Southern Miss from 1974-77. He played for two seasons with the Baltimore Colts.
Ray Charles “Rooster” Jones (PHS) – Running back from 1974-1976. He helped lead PHS to the 1976 Big 8 State Championship, rushing for 28 touchdowns and 1,895 yards that season. He earned All-American, All-South, All-State, All-Big 8 and Big 8 Back of the Year honors. He is the all-time leading rusher at PHS with 3,762 yards and 52 touchdowns. He played at Pittsburgh from 1977-1980.
Tony Dees (PHS) – Track and field athlete in high hurdles and sprints from 1979-1981. In 1981, he won the 120 high hurdles and 180 high hurdles at the Class 5A State track meet.. Dees ran the 60 &110 high hurdles and sprints at Ole Miss from 1982-1984. He was a four-time SEC champion and twice earned All-American honors. He won the silver medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Shane Matthews (PHS) – Quarterback from 1986-1987. He helped lead the 1987 Panthers to a 14-0 record and the 5A State Championship. He threw for 2,650 yards, 25 touchdown passes and was selected All-American, All-South, All-State and Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year. He played quarterback at Florida from 1990-1992, where he was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1991. He earned All-SEC honors in all three years and went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL with six teams.
Terrell Buckley (PHS) – Defensive back from 1986-1988. He had 13 interceptions on the 1987 state championship squad. He was named All-American in 1988 and is the school's all-time leader in interceptions with 21. He played cornerback at Florida State from 1989-91. In 1991, he earned All-American honors, was a Heisman Trophy finalist and won the Jim Thorpe Award. He played 14 seasons in the NFL with five teams.
Blair Varnes (PHS) – Pitcher and first baseman from 1994-1997. He led the Panthers to the 1996 5A state title with a 15-0 record. He was named Mississippi Player of the Year in 1996 and was selected as an All-American in 1997. He played from 1999-2002 at Florida State and helped lead the Seminoles to the College World Series twice. He had a 41-10 pitching record at FSU.
Erin Sims-Guillerand (PHS) – Track and field participant in long distance running from 1996-1999. She earned All-American honors in 1998 and 1999. She ran long distance track events at the University of Texas from 2001-2004. She earned All-America honors in 2001 and All-Big 12 honors from 2001-2004. She won the Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany.