The Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame will induct five members into its third class on April 25, 2019.
Chosen for the third class were William Hill, Bill Hogan, Lonnie Pulley, Phil Rogers and Clovis Simmons.
The induction ceremony will be held at The Ridge at Laurens at 6:30 p.m.
The process of selecting the third class of the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame began in the summer of 2018. Nominations were taken from Sept. 15 until Dec. 31.
Once nominations were complete, the nominating committee, made up of eight individuals from Laurens County, narrowed the field of 53 nominations down to 10 finalists. The 10 finalists were then taken to the anonymous three-person selection committee that picked the five finalists that will make up the class of 2019.
To be eligible for the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame, nominees must have lived in Laurens County for five years and must be 10 years out of high school.
Current members of the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame are: Keith Richardson, Chrissy Floyd, J.D. Fuller, Kevin Long, King Dixon, Barry Atkinson, Cally Gault, Sam Owens, Kinard Littleton, Rickey Foggie, Truman Owens, Bobby Ivey and Chick Galloway.
“After two great classes of inductees, we are excited about the group that we have assembled to induct in 2019,” said Billy Dunlap, president of the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame. “It is once again a who’s who of individuals that have been involved in the sports landscape of Laurens County for the past century. I think the committees did a great job of selecting this class and it is something that we can all be proud of.”
Members of the class of 2019 of the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame are:
William Hill – Hill was a three-sport athlete at Presbyterian College, playing basketball, football and running track. He attended PC on a football scholarship. At PC, Hill was named to the All-Decade team, started on the 1959 Tangerine Bowl team and still holds the record for most interceptions in a season with 11. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL and the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL. Hill played two seasons with the Eskimos.
Bill Hogan – Hogan was a pioneer in sports broadcasting in S.C. At WLBG AM/FM, Hogan expanded the footprint of the local station to include high school and college sports throughout the Upstate. He was the play-by-play announcer for Laurens High School, Presbyterian College and Furman University. Hogan also hosted a statewide high school football scoreboard show, a first of its kind at the time.
Lonnie Pulley – Pulley led the Laurens Raiders to a football state championship in 1983. That same year, he was Shrine Bowl MVP, All-State, S.C. Back of the Year and named to the Adidas All-American team. He played collegiately at Winston-Salem State University from 1984-1987, winning the CIAA championship and named all-conference in 1987.
Phil Rogers – Rogers played for the legendary Coach Frank Howard at Clemson University from 1964-1968. He was a starter at receiver for three seasons, setting records that stood for over 40 years for most catches in a game (11) and most catches in a career (106). Rogers played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1968 and the New Orleans Saints in 1971. At Clinton High School, Rogers played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. Inducted posthumously into the Clemson University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.
Clovis Simmons – Simmons is currently in her 28th year as the head boys and girls tennis coach at Clinton High School. During her tenure at CHS, Simmons has won 33 conference coach of the year awards and taken her team to the state finals 13 times, winning the boys championship in 2000. She has served 24 years as the SCHSL boys and girls singles tournament director.
Tickets for the induction banquet will go on sale on Monday, March 25, at the Clinton and Laurens YMCAs. Individual tickets are $25 and include a meal catered by Lee’s BBQ.