Garner Magnet High School’s athletic history is one that gets brighter and more vibrant with every passing May in recent years. It will again on May 1 at the Anfesa’s Grand Marquise Ballroom with the induction of the 2014 class of the Garner Sports Hall of Fame.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend all of the banquets so far and every year I think the previous year can’t be topped and the inductees do what so many Trojan athletes have done throughout the years: go out and do it better.
The Hall of Fame was the brainchild of former Garner athletic director Doc Harrell, longtime supporter Todd Jones and others. They modeled their Hall of Fame process after those used by the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame and the Cary High School Hall of Fame.
The group developed criteria for players (must be at least 10 years out of high school), coaches (must have coached at the school for 10 years), administrators, supporters and contributors.
The hall can add as many as five honorees a year and will always induct at least one candidate from the pool of candidates. A committee that includes three Trojan Club board members, the Garner principal and athletic director and an outside representative reviews the candidates. Applications are kept on file and those not selected can be re-nominated. Nominations, which are open to any one, begin yearly at the conclusion of that year’s Hall of Fame ceremony and close on Sept. 1. The next year’s Hall of Fame class is named in the fall and recognized at the last regular-season home football game.
Each Hall of Fame class is honored with a display at Garner Magnet High School outside of the gymnasium.
“It was never intended as a fundraiser,” said Trojan Club board member Ricky Harris. “We just realized that a lot of people needed recognition for what they’ve accomplished here in high school, in college and professionally. Our goal is to recognize success and contributions to the Garner community.”
The Hall of Fame night also honors current Trojan standouts with the presentation of the Trojan Club Scholarships during the banquet. The Trojan Club has presented six $500 scholarships to Garner students in recent years.
“That’s been a tough, tough job for the past few years,” Harris said. “We have so many outstanding candidates. It’s a way to recognize our potential future Hall of Famers as well as the current one.”
Applications for the scholarships are available from school counselors and are due by April 1.
A golf tournament to support the event is held on the Friday after the Hall of Fame ceremony with proceeds supporting the Hall of Fame and the scholarship fund. This year’s tournament is May 2 at River Ridge. (Information on the golf tournament will be available at gmhssports.com.)
The 2014 class of Hall of Fame inductees includes the late Raymond Lynn Miller, a former professional basketball player and 1973 graduate, football standout John Leach (class of 1990) and James Farris, a basketball and track coach instrumental in the consolidation of Garner high schools in the late 1960s. Hall of Fame member Stacey Betts will also be the keynote speaker.
Tickets to the 2014 gala, which includes a full dinner, are on sale now for $50 each at the high school, the Garner Chamber of Commerce and from Trojan Club board members. Tickets can also be purchased through Paypal for $55 through gmhssports.com.
Attendance has risen every year and never has an attendee gone away disappointed with their evening.
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