2018 Heard County Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees (L-R): Coe Bonner, Dontavious Jackson, Shereetha Jackson, Emily Chambers, Ross Henry, Skip Reeves, Kyle Yates, Charles Echols (Not pictured: Hank Pike and the late Mr. Don Staples)
(Franklin, GA) — Ten new members were honored by being placed into the Heard County Athletics Hall of Fame Friday prior to the Braves scrimmage game versus Alexander.
Friends and family members of each honoree were present as the esteemed members of the second class were officially inducted into the Hall at the HCHS school cafeteria Friday afternoon before being ushered down to Staples Stadium to be introduced to the large crowd in attendance for the special night.
At the initial ceremony in the cafeteria, those families and friends in attendance were able to hear remarks from one guest of honor for each inductee and in most cases from the inductee themselves.
The recognized coaching/faculty inductee for the 2018 HOF class was the late Mr. Don Staples. Staples was an iconic coach and principal at Heard High School from the 1950’s until 1970’s and the namesake of the football stadium.
The highlight of his coaching career was leading the boys’ basketball team to the state semifinals in both 1959 and 1960 in Class B. The 1960 team had an awesome record of 30-1.
The community representative in the 2018 class was Heard County Sheriff Ross Henry, a dedicated supporter of the Heard County athletic programs for many years. Most notably, Henry has supported the football program where he has accompanied Coach Barron and the team at almost every road and home game for the past 18 years.
Ross Henry was also an accomplished member of Heard High’s first football team in the early 1970’s and graduated from HHS in 1975.
Football inductee Mr. Coe Bonner was an explosive athlete at Heard County in the 1990’s. He was a very well-rounded athlete and as a senior, he was awarded the Golden Helmet Award. After graduation Coe attended Southern Illinois University where he was the 1996 rushing yardage leader with 1,234 yards. He scored 11 touchdowns and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. He was named to first team offense in the conference.
Coe finished his career at Southern Illinois as the 12th overall TD leader, finished as 11th overall with most 100 yard rushing games. He was listed in numerous categories in the Southern Illinois record book in all-purpose as well as rushing yards.
Emily Chambers was selected for the Hall of Fame for her accomplishments in both varsity softball and basketball teams during her four years of high school,1985-1989. She was a member of the all state basketball team in 1987, and MVP of both the softball team and the basketball team during her senior year.
Off the court and athletic playing field, Emily also excelled and was the Valedictorian of her class. She went on to play basketball all four years at Columbus College, being one of the first to play all four years in that program’s history.
Charles Echols was also a two-sport standout for the Braves in baseball and basketball in the mid 1980’s. Charles was one of the primary leaders on the 1985 North Georgia Championship baseball team in Class A during his senior year while batting over .500. He finished his high school baseball career with a better than .400 batting average. He also served as team captain in both baseball and basketball during his time with the Braves.
Charles has since continued to serve the community as a successful travel softball coach and is currently on the softball coaching staff at Heritage High School in Coweta County. His daughters Ebonee and Charla are current members of the Michigan State University softball team.
Dontavious Jackson was an electrifying football player for the Braves in the Early 2000’s. Known by many as Foo, there were not many who were on his level. Despite an injury his senior year, he signed a scholarship with University of Georgia and later played for the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Dontavious was one of the country’s top players coming out of high school despite missing all but the first half of the first game of his senior season. He rushed for 4,742 yards with 56 touchdowns in less than three seasons as a running back for the Braves and was also credited with 242 career tackles on defense.
Shereetha Jackson was a three-sport standout for the Lady Braves in the early 2000’s excelling in basketball, softball, and track and field. She was especially strong in Track and Field placing in the top four in the state in Class A in the Shot Put three different times.
Shereetha was the Class A Shot Put State Champion her senior year, while placing fourth in her freshman year and second during her sophomore season.
Hank Pike was a tackling machine in the early years of Brave football in the mid 1970’s. He played linebacker and recorded over 100 tackles in multiple seasons. He was listed on the first team defense in every poll at that time, and was a four-year starter at linebacker. He also was named to a high school all-american team.
Skip Reeves was a dynamic athlete for the Braves during the 90’s. He accumulated numerous awards in multiple sports. Skip most excelled in baseball playing for the Braves from 1989-1992. During his career, he played in 71 games, scored 70 runs, had 95 hits, and 63 RBI’s. Further breaking down his statistics he amassed 26 stolen bases, 60 singles, 18 doubles, and 13 home-runs.
The most overwhelming stat for Reeves was out of 235 career varsity at bats he only struck out 19 times. He was the Offensive MVP in 1990 and a four-year letterman MVP in 1991 and 1992. While attending Georgia State University, Reeves carried a .302 career batting average.
Current Brave head wrestling coach and assistant football coach Kyle Yates was a multi-sport star for Heard County in the 2000’s. He was all-state in both football and wrestling during the same year. Kyle played four years of high school baseball and was a two year starter. As a wrestler, he was a two time state placer. In football, he started all four years on the offensive line and two years on the defensive line.
Kyle was First Team All Region Offensive Lineman three times and First Team All State Lineman his senior year. He was also a part of the first region championship in the history of Heard County football and the first undefeated regular season. Despite not originally being offered a scholarship there, Kyle went on to become a four-year starter in football at the University of West Georgia.
Guests speakers representing and speaking for each nominee were Tim Barron (Ross Henry, Kyle Yates, Dontavious Jackson), Tracey Hunt (Hank Pike), Vic Lovelace (Charles Echols), Kathy Scott (Emily Chambers), Derrick Quinn (Skip Reeves), Eddie Payne (Coe Bonner), Jannie Davis (Shereetha Jackson), Donna Brooks, Sandra Stevens, Ryan Brooks, and Roy Awbrey (Don Staples).
The Heard County Hall of Fame committee is already accepting nominations for the 2019 Hall of Fame Class. Click here to download a nomination form.