Alford, Stevens among 8 greats to join Hall of Fame

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2002

McComb native Warner Alford and Hazlehurst product Bob Stevenshead the list of eight inductees who will be enshrined in the 41stAnnual Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame for 2003. They areofficially being recognized this afternoon during a pressconference at the Mississippi Sports Museum in Jackson, just offI-55 on Lakeland Drive.

Other members of the 2003 group are James Ray Carpenter ofHattiesburg, Sue Gunter of Walnut Grove, Mildred Netter Graves ofRosedale, Kent Hull of Greenwood, Jackie Slater of Jackson and thelate Bill Foster of Rodney.

Induction ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 2, 2003, at theVicksburg Convention Center. Vicksburg hosted the event last yearand did a great job as a capacity crowd of 1,000 folks attended.Brookhaven native Ralph “Catfish” Smith, former Ole Miss andprofessional football star receiver, was among the eight 2002inductees.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Alford was a longtime athletic director at Ole Miss. He alsoplayed football for the Rebels on the SEC and National Championshipteams.

Stevens was a Hall of Fame high school coach. He was one of thetop linemen at Southern Miss.

Carpenter, recognized for his wit and wisdom, was the firstMississippian to be chosen president of the PGA. He wasinstrumental in forming the Timberton Golf Club in Hattiesburg.

Graves was an Olympic gold medal winner and a championship highschool track coach.

Gunter is a Hall of Fame basketball coach who is the fourthwinningest women’s basketball coach in NCAA history at LSU.

Hull was an All-Pro center who starred at Mississippi State andplayed in four consecutive Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills.

Slater is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was adurable All-American at Jackson State and an All-Pro offensivelineman for the Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams.

Foster was a star pitcher in the Negro Leagues. He is a memberof the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

With the induction of the MSHOF Class of 2003, membership in theMSHOF will increase from 209 to 217 athletes, coaches,administrators and sports media. The MSHOF was created in 1960 bythe Jackson Touchdown Club and the suggestion of MSHOF memberJimmie “Mississippi Red” McDowell. He is a Brookhaven native wholaunched his long sportswriting career in the early 1940s, coveringthe BHS Panthers.

McDowell currently heads the All-American FootballFoundation.

The current president of the Jackson TD Club is Ralph Sowell andhe can be reached at (601) 982-9383. The 2003 chairman of the MSHOFAwards Banquet is A.M. Zeidman, who is the incoming president ofthe TD Club. Zeidman can be contacted at (601) 992-5095.

For more information regarding the banquet and other activitiesfor the MSHOF Induction and Award Ceremonies, contact Glen Waddle,TD Club secretary; at 948-4471,ext. 229; or 1-800-682-6423, ext.229.

While on the subject of Hall of Fames, the Copiah-LincolnCommunity College HOF is accepting nominations for the 2002 Class.The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, Oct. 8, duringhomecoming celebration on the Co-Lin campus.

Nomination forms can be obtained by contacting Allen Kent atCo-Lin. Criteria used as a guideline for nominating Athletic Hallof Fame candidates include excellence on the college level whileattending for a minimum of two full years in the Co-LinAgricultural High School or Community College; accomplishments inthe business world and interest in the betterment of Co-Lin.

The nominees should have been out of school at least 10 years.They can be a coach or an active participant, deceased orliving.

Kent can be contacted at (601) 643-8332, or e-mail or by writing him at P.O. Box 649, Wesson, MS39191.

Thank God for air conditioning. Also, think of those young mensweltering in the heat during preseason football practice this weekand remember them in your prayers. Coaches and players are takingextra precautions to stay hydrated and avoid overheating.

Water is in abundance at all practice sessions. Coaches givetheir players numerous water breaks.

It’s amazing how practice philosophy has changed over the years.Back in our high school days, coaches frowned upon water breaks.The hotter the better. To combat the loss of saline due toperspiration, the coaches handed out salt pills before and afterpractice.

Air conditioning has really spoiled us. As one football coachput it, “How can a big, heavy kid expect to get in shape when he’slaid under the air conditioner all summer?”

That’s a tough assignment for coach and player alike.

Sports editor Tom Goetz can be contacted either by or by writing the Daily Leader at P.O. Box551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.