On Wednesday, the Calhoun-Gordon County Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors selected its Class of 2019 at the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce.
Of the 25 names on the ballot, the top six were voted in, becoming the fifth class of the hall’s existence.
“It’s a tremendous honor just to be nominated for the hall of fame, let alone get inducted,” president of the board Barry Blevins said. “As board members, we can’t nominate anyone, so that means that someone in the community thought highly enough of that nominee to not only fill out an application, but to pay the nomination fee as well on their behalf.”
The six inductees are as follows in alphabetical order: Michelle Palmer Griffith, Jayne Curtis Maupin, Jeffery McBee, Sabrina Bell Poole, Lindsey “LJ” McDaniel and Bettie Smith.
“We had 25 nominees this year, all of which were very impressive,” Blevins said. “These six that got inducted definitely are very worthy of being placed into the hall of fame.”
The group will officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 10.
The Vote ItselfThe selection consisted of a three-way tie for the top three spots. Maupin, McBee and McDaniel each received 25 votes to lead the way.
“I think there’s definitely a consensus in the room that all of these folks were very talented, very worthy of being inducted,” Blevins said. “When you have three get 25 votes each, that means pretty much everybody in the room, for the most part, is in agreement that these are folks that need to be in the hall of fame.”
Poole was close behind with 24 total votes. Griffith recorded 23 and Smith tallied 21 votes to round out the six picks.
Before the vote, each candidate’s resume was reviewed, and past inductees who were familiar with the individuals had the opportunity to speak on their behalf.
“I think for board members, we know some of it, but it helps to get the folks who are actually inducted into the hall of fame into the room because … they really know the nominees way better than I will because I’m looking at what it says on a piece of paper, whereas they know the background and the stories,” Blevins said. “I think for these six (individuals), it was very beneficial to have the inductees here today to speak on their behalf.”
Of the six chosen, four attended Calhoun High School and two represent Stephens High School. More on the inductees below.
The Inductees Michelle Griffith
Michelle Griffith’s induction will be the first mother-son pair in the hall of fame. Her son, Adam, is a member of the class of 2018. Adam, a graduate of Calhoun High School, was a kicker with the University of Alabama Crimson Tide from 2013-2016.
Michelle’s has numerous accomplishments in the world of sports to her name.
A graduate of Calhoun High School in 1990, she was a four-year letterman in tennis, softball, basketball and track. During her career as a Yellow Jacket, she was named Georgia Female Scholar Athlete by the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association for the state of Georgia.
After Calhoun, Griffith attended Berry College on a tennis and basketball scholarship. After university, Griffith returned to Calhoun High and coached basketball and softball. She also served as head tennis and swim team coach.
Griffith currently serves as the Calhoun chief human resources officer and community education director.
Jayne Maupin competed in softball, basketball and golf while attending Calhoun High School, graduating in 2006. Maupin shined in golf, as she achieved region and state runner up in freshman and sophomore year, then won region and state championships during her junior and senior campaigns. She still holds the school record low for a round with 68.
After high school, Maupin attended Berry College on a golf scholarship. While in Rome, Maupin was an NAIA All-American three times, an NAIA Academic All-American, earned a spot on eight all-tournament teams, won six college tournaments and recorded 18 top-10 finishes, among others. After college, she coached middle school and high school golf in Oconee County.
Jeffery McBee was a stellar track athlete, attending Calhoun High School from 1985-1989. A state champion in both the 200 and 400 meter dash, McBee set a freshman record of 22.4 seconds in the 200, set a freshman record of 48.84 seconds in the 400, and ran for a school record 47.57 seconds in the 400 his junior year. After CHS, McBee attended the University of Georgia, graduating in 1994.
While at UGA, he set a school record in the 1600-meter race with a time of 3 minutes, 3.66 seconds and placed first at the Georgia Tech Invitational.
Lindsey “LJ” McDaniel
Lindsey “LJ” McDaniel played basketball at Stephens High School. McDaniel led the team in scoring and was named MVP in a state tournament. After graduating from Stephens High School in 1952, he attended Savannah State College, becoming a four-year letterman in basketball, football and track and field. In track and field, he achieved an undefeated record in each the 100, 200 and 400 meter for four straight years.
He joined the United States Army, continuing to participate in track and field. He was the 8th Army Champion in the 100, 220 and 440.
McDaniel returned to Calhoun to Stephens High School and served as head coach of the basketball team, leading them to a state title. He also coached Summerhill High School, guiding the team to a region championship. He also served as a City Council member for the City of Cartersville.
Sabrina Poole attended Calhoun High School from 1976-1980. During that time, Poole was a four-year letterman in track and field, basketball and softball, as well as a one-year letterman in tennis. In basketball, Poole was named to the all-region team in both her junior and senior year and achieved Most-Valuable Player recognition of the regional tournament her senior season.
In softball, she won MVP and accomplished highest batting average and most RBIs as a senior.
After graduating, Poole attended Hiawassee Junior College and competed in softball and basketball. The softball team only lost a total of three games in two years and she earned the academic award for the highest GPA among all student athletes.
Poole then attended Georgia Southern and West Georgia on a basketball scholarship.
She turned to coaching and served as a youth basketball coach in Cobb and Gordon counties.
Dr. Bettie Smith served as the principal of Stephens High School from 1952-1966.
During the same period of time, Smith also served as head coach of the basketball team. Under her leadership, the team won a staggering 11 state titles in 13 years. She graduated from Dalton High School and attended Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State University (now Tennessee State University) in Nashville.
The Next Steps
The first order of business after the vote is to contact the individuals or families of the selected candidates. Then, work begins on the upcoming banquet.
“We do a video for each inductee for the banquet, so we’ll have to put together a bio for both that and the program,” Belvins said. “On August 10, we get to recognize them and it’s their night, so we definitely want to try to do it up right and make it special for them.”
One new addition to the event this year is the presentation of the team award. This year, it will be named in Jerry Smith’s honor, who died last month at the age of 84. Smith served as the head coach of Calhoun football from 1982-1990 and later served on the Calhoun-Gordon County Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
“This year, the 1965 Red Bud girls’ (basketball) team is going to be the team that gets inducted, so they’ll be the first one to receive the Jerry Smith award,” Blevins said. “We’re very excited about that. I’m excited to learn more about the girls’ basketball team. I know they won the state, but there’s a lot of stories I don’t know yet that we’ll be learning more about.”
The banquet will be held at Belmont Baptist Church on Saturday, Aug. 10. Tickets will cost $25.