The Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame will induct five members into its fourth class on Tuesday, August 30.
The induction ceremony will be held in The Magnolia Room at the Laurens County Museum on the Historic Square in Laurens at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale at the Laurens YMCA and Clinton YMCA. Tickets will also be on sale at the door on the night of the event. Tickets are $25 and includes a catered dinner by Lee's BBQ.
The process of selecting the 2022 class of the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame began in the summer of 2019. The class was originally scheduled to be inducted in March of 2020 but the pandemic postponed the event until 2022.
"We were ready to induct this great class in 2020 but the pandemic brought that to a halt," said Billy Dunlap, president of the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame. "It's exciting to get this back on the calendar. It will be a great night!"
Once nominations were complete in 2019, the nominating committee, made up of eight individuals from Laurens County, narrowed the field of 40 nominations down to 10 finalists. The 10 finalists were then taken to the anonymous 3-person selection committee that picked the five finalists that will make up the class of 2022.
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 include: 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, Chick Galloway, William Hill, Bill Hogan, Lonnie Pulley, Phil Rogers and Clovis Simmons.
“After three great classes of inductees, we are excited about the group that we have assembled to induct in 2022,” said Dunlap. “It is once again a who’s who of individuals that have made up 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 2022 of the Laurens County Sports Hall of Fame are:
Shell Dula – A native of Laurens and a graduate of Presbyterian College, Dula coached high school football for 40 years. During his illustrious career, Dula was a head coach for 32 years, winning 254 games and six state championships. Dula was head coach at Greenwood, Ninety Six and Union. He is one of two coaches to win state championships at three different schools.
Buddy Jennings – Jennings led Laurens to back-to-back Class 4A Division II state football championships in 1983 and 1984. He was the head football coach at LDHS from 1982-1987, winning region coach of the year four times. Under Jennings, the Raiders won region titles in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986.
Ann Simmons Dean Parks – Parks coached at Clinton High School from 1974-1980. She won an upper state championship in track and girls’ basketball in 1978-79. Parks was named the S.C. High School Basketball Coach of the Year in 1978-79. She coached at Newberry College from 1983-1990. As a player at Ware Shoals High School, Parks led her team to back-to-back state basketball championships in 1968-69 and 1969-70 and a perfect 42-0 record.
Edward Pitts – A native of Clinton, Pitts played football at Clinton High School from 1952-55 and the University of South Carolina from 1956-1959. Regarded as one of the Gamecocks’ finest linemen, Pitts was a 2-way starter at tackle. He was twice named All-ACC and was named All-American after his senior season. Pitts was the director of the Gamecock Club for 22 years.
Roy Walker – Walker was an All-State and All-Region football player for the Clinton Red Devils, winning a state championship in 1975. Walker was a captain on the Presbyterian College football team as an All-Conference and All-American offensive tackle. Widely considered one of the greatest players in Blue Hose history, Walker won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the top offensive lineman in S.C., regardless of classification.