One of Cedartown’s most decorated coaches in school athletics is getting inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
Escue Rodgers, who was synonymous with Cedar Hill High School athletics for more than two decades during the 1950s and 1960s, was selected to be inducted in the Legends category of the Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame co-chairs Don Leebern III and Emily Parker Myers recently announced the full class of 2021, which also includes Tony Barnhart, Tom Glavine and Ray Lamb.
Rodgers was a native of Atlanta, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School and attending Morris Brown College. He received a degree in teaching and became head coach and athletic director of Cedar Hill High School in Cedartown.
His teams won 85 trophies in 24 years in football, basketball, and track. He coached all sports at the school. The Cedar Hill Fighting Panthers football team was a perennial winner. During the time of segregation, Escue was named head Coach of the North Team, the first ever Georgia Interscholastic Association All-Star Team.
His interest was not just to produce a winning football team, but he also felt a coach has an obligation to guarantee his boys a good education. Rodgers was honored during his lifetime with numerous coaching and teaching awards including Coach of the Year from Fort Valley State in 1953, Morris Brown College Outstanding Coaching Achievement Award in 1956, and the distinguished Coaching Award from the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association in 1974.
Rodgers passed away in 1978.
The 65th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held May 21 and 22 in Macon. Activities will begin May 21, with GSHF Burgess Golf Classic hosted at The Brickyard. Later that evening the annual Jacket Ceremony will be held at the Hall.
On May 22 at midday the annual Stifel FanFest Autograph session will once again be at the Hall and that event is open to the public at no charge. That evening will also feature the 65th Annual Induction Ceremony held at the historic Macon City Auditorium.
Here is a rundown of the other members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021:
Tony Barnhart — Known as “Mr. College Football”, Barnhart is a Greensboro native and one of the most knowledgeable sports personalities working today. Tony spent 25 years as the national college football reporter for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and worked with CBS Sports before joining the SEC Network during its launch.
Tom Glavine — The two-time Cy Young Award winner was one of the Atlanta Braves’ most prolific pitchers during their reign in the 1990’s. A 10-time All-Star with a career 3.54 ERA, he is one of only 24 pitchers to record 300 career wins. Tom helped lead the Braves to a World Series win in 1995 and was named MVP of the series.
Joseph Hamilton — Regarded as one of Georgia Tech’s greatest quarterbacks, Joe Hamilton was Tech’s highest finisher in the Heisman Trophy race. From 1996 to 1999, Joe set ACC records in career yards for total offense and in pass efficiency, still ranking second in both categories today.
Janet Harris — An outstanding basketball player at Marshall High School in Chicago, Janet Harris moved south to play college basketball for the University of Georgia becoming the first player in NCAA women’s basketball history to record 2,500 points and 1,250 rebounds in her four years with the Lady Bulldogs.
Brian Jordan — A player of dual talent, Brian Jordan played professionally for both the NFL and the MLB. He made his debut in professional football for the Atlanta Falcons in 1989, and had five interceptions and four sacks before deciding to play baseball exclusively, signing with the St. Louis Cardinals. Brian had two stints with the Atlanta Braves during his baseball career and was named an All-Star in 1999.
Ray Lamb — Ray Lamb is one of high school football’s coaching greats. He started his 35-year coaching career at Warrenton High School, coaching his team to two state titles. Moving on to Commerce High School in 1967, Ray helped turn the Tigers into a winning team, eventually claiming a state title in 1981.
Maya Moore — One of the most accomplished women’s basketball players in the world, Maya Moore started her career at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia and was named Naismith Prep Player of the Year her junior and senior years. At the University of Connecticut, Maya led her team to two NCAA Championships and multiple Player of the Year awards.
Matt Stinchcomb — A USA Today High School All-American at Parkview High School in Lilburn, Matt Stinchcomb played college football for the University of Georgia. As an offensive tackle, Matt was a First Team All-American in 1998 and a two-time All-American in 1997 and 1998. He was awarded the Jim Parker Trophy in 1998 as the nation’s top collegiate offensive lineman.