Twenty-two former Gordon Central graduates were honored including one administrator, four coaches, and 17 players.
Leading the group was Dr. Harold Hughes, who was the principal at Gordon Central, when most of the inductees were students. He was also GC’s first principal.
Hughes oversaw the building of the schools athletic facilities. During his tenure, Gordon Central was recognized by the state as a Georgia School of Excellence.
Four coaches were inducted to the Hall of Fame, JB Bearden, Pete Valentino, Susan Burton and Walter Pitts.
Bearden led the Lady Warrior basketball team for 10 years. Under his leadership, the girls had six consecutive winning season from 1986-92. During his tenure at six different school systems, Bearden earned 1,164 wins, including 15 region championships, seven state runner-ups, and two state championships.
Valentino was Gordon Central’s first track coach and was the longest tenured coach in school history at 20 years. He lead the Warriors to several region and state track championships. He was also named Region Track Coach of the Year on numerous occasions.
Burton led the GC cheerleading squad to 10 region championships during her tenure. Her teams earned top state rankings numerous times and in 1996 she was named Georgia Cheerleading Coach of the Year. The following year, Burton received the National Cheerleading Coach of the Year award.
Pitts amassed a 169-136 record with three ties during his time as the Warrior wrestling coach. He lead his wrestlers to 43 state placers, and four state champions.
Of the 17 athletes inducted to the Hall, three stood out with multiple sport inductions, Marcus Reynolds, Jimmy Pope and Gary Harris.
Reynolds was nominated for both football and basketball. The currently a Gordon Central football coach, was a high school All-American and a three year starter at quarterback. He was named team MVP two seasons, Gordon County Player of the Year, and Atlanta Journal Top 100 Player for the state. He was also the first Gordon Central student to receive a full athletic scholarship, signing for Alabama A&M.
Reynolds was also a three year starter on the basketball team where he averaged 23 points per game. He was named First Team All-Area, First Team All-Region, and Chattanooga Times First-Team Player. He was a member of the team that posted the best record in school history at 23-4. Reynolds amassed over 1,000 points and was named GC Male Athlete of the Year.
Harris was inducted for football and baseball. As a football player, he was named to the All-Area and All-Region teams. While playing, Harris accumulated 11 offensive records including Most Passing Yards in a Game, Most Passing Yards in a Season, Most Completions in a Game, Total Offense in a Season, and Most Touchdowns in a Season. Harris was also named Offensive Back of the Year.
As a member of the baseball team Harris batted .507 for his career with 21 stolen bases. An All-North Georgia Team Selection, Harris later became an All-Peach Belt Conference Player and College All-American at Georgia College and State University. Harris was the first college outfielder selected in the 2002 draft when he was chosen in the 18th round by the Seattle Mariners.
The final two sport inductee was Pope, who played football and ran track.
Pope was a First Team All-Area and All-State football player for the Warriors. He had 30 receptions for 702 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was a member of the team that posted the best record in school history at 10-3. He received a football scholarship to play at Fort Valley State University.
As a member of the track team, Pope earned All-Area and All-Region honors. He established the school record in the 100-meter dash and the high jump.
Barry Hall, and Spencer Harris were inducted to the Hall of Fame as football players.
Hall, who is currently a football coach at Gordon Central, was an All-State Offensive Player and Lineman. He was also part of the team that posted a 10-3 record. In 1995, Hall received a full scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University where he started 42 straight games. In 2000, he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans and played multiple seasons in the NFL.
Harris was an All-Area and All-Region Football Player and was also apart of the 10-3 season. Harris was the first freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game. He also established records for Best season for a Running Back with 1,356 yards and 21 touchdowns, as well as Most Rushing Yards in a Game with 218. He also had Most Touchdowns in a Game with four and Most Yards Per Carry with 7.7. Harris received a scholarship to play for Fort Valley State University.
Athletes elected to the basketball wing of the Hall were Stacie Miller Banks, Pam Sexton, Greg Reynolds, and Ron Curtis.
Banks was an AJC Top 100 Athlete and a three time Team MVP where she earned records including Most Points in a Career, Most Rebounds in a Career, and Most Free-Throws in a career. She was a GC Female Athlete of the Year in 1992 and received an athletic scholarship to Valdosta State University.
Sexton became the first Lady Warrior to receive a basketball scholarship. She was also on the 1988 track team that went to state and played softball.
Reynolds was a two time City MVP and All Tri-State Team Player. He scored the most points in a single season with 628. He also has the best single game performance with 40 points, 32 rebounds, and a perfect 15-for-15 from the free throw line.
Curtis was a four year starter for GC where he was an All-State player, a two time First Team All-Region Team Member and a three time All-Area Player. He also achieved Gordon Central records for Most Points in a Career (1,863), Most Points in a Game (48) and Average Points Per Game (26).
Deron Walraven and Russell Walraven were inducted into the baseball wing of the Hall.
Deron hit .508 as a Warrior and was named to the 1992 and 1993 All-Area Baseball Team and Northwest Georgia All-Stars. He received a scholarship to Carson-Newman College. Deron is the current baseball coach at Sonoraville High School.
Russell was a 1994 and 1995 RN-T All-Area Selection. In ’95 he also was named to the Northwest Georgia All-Stars. Russell received a scholarship to Carson-Newman.
Monyette Chattam, Shea Thurman Walraven and Cardel Aker were inducted to the track wing of the Hall of Fame.
Chattam was a Region and State Track Champion. She was also selected as a Gordon Central Female Athlete of the Year. Chattam was the first GC female track athlete to sign a Division-I scholarship when she signed to Florida A&M.
Walraven was a two time State Champion in the 100-meter dash and a three time State Champion in the 200-meters. She was named the Gatorade Circle of Champions Athlete of the Year. She holds the school record in the 200.
Aker earned All-Area and All-Region honors as a Warrior. He was a Region Track Champion and achieved the school record in the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles.
Cary Blalock, Matthew Pitts and Monte Garland wrapped up the athlete inductions, filling the wrestling wing.
Blalock was a 1984 State Champion his sophomore year. not satisfied with just one win, Blalock repeated the following two years as champion.
Pitts was also a three time State Champion, coming from 1999-2000. He earned both Area and State titles. Pitts accumulated a record of 150-15 and was ranked the eighth best athlete in the country. he was also a high school All-American and received a scholarship to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Garland was a 1998 and 1990 Area Champion for Gordon Central. In 1991 Garland added a State Championship.
Along with the individual inductions, six teams were also elected to the Hall of Fame.
The teams include the 1988-89 Boys Varsity Basketball Team, the 1990-91 Girls Varsity Basketball Team, the 1990-91 Girls Track Team, the 199501996 Varsity Football Team, the 1998-19 Competition Cheerleading Squad, and the 2004-05 Boys Varsity Basketball Team.
A formal banquet will be held at a later date to further recognize the individual players and teams.