By Kyle Lovern
A diverse group reaching across three generations will enter the Williamson High School Hall of Fame class of 2014.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, September 27 at the new WHS HOF room at the historic Williamson Fieldhouse.
Jimmy Barker (1980 graduate) was a three-year starter for both the basketball and baseball teams at WHS from 1978-1980. He served as captain of the baseball team as a senior and tri-captain of the basketball team (along with Donald Hairston and Robert Williamson). Barker was named first team All-Area in baseball three consecutive years and first team all-state as a senior in baseball.
He was named to the 1979 West Virginia state baseball all-tournament team. That Wolfpack squad in 1979 was the Class AA state baseball runners-up (WHS lost to Tygarts Valley 2-1 the championship game).
Barker batted .608 during senior his season and only struck out only three times the entire season.
He was also a member of the 1979 West Virginia American Legion state championship team that went on to play in Boyertown, PA in the Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament.
He was also named to the All-Area team in basketball as a senior. Barker was a member of the 1979-80 Wolfpack team that finished the season as the top-ranked basketball team (regardless of class) in W.Va. with a final record was 20-3.
Barker has been coaching and teaching in Tennessee and most recently was named as a principal in Sullivan, TN.
Brandon Ball (1999 graduate) was a 2-time All-Area selection in basketball. He was a 4-year starter under coach David Hatfield. Ball was on two state tournament teams and also played on some top AAU teams.
Ball was also an All-State selection in 1999. He shot over 40 percent from 3-point range for his career. He received the award as the top basketball player his senior season at WHS.
He recently served as assistant coach for Williamson Middle School basketball and has several summer league teams, both boys and girls.
Henry Moore (1998 graduate) was a 3-year letterman winner at Williamson. He was the team’s leading tackler his junior and senior seasons.
He had a career high 25 tackles against rival Matewan. He also played in the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s Senior Bowl. He received the 110 percent award at WHS his senior year.
Moore was a Who’s Who among High School Athletes and 2-time recipient of the Williamson High School Iron Man (weight room) Award. He went on to play at Marshall University for the Thundering Herd.
Jonathan “Duke” Jewell (1991 graduate) was a member of the 1989 Class AA state championship team. In 1991 he was an All-State Special Honorable Mention selection and first team All-Area in basketball.
Jewell received the 1991 WHS Boys’ Basketball Award. He lettered three seasons for the Wolfpack. He is now a local attorney working in Williamson.
Chris Harris (1989 graduate) was the starting center on the 1988 and 1989 back to back Class AA state championship basketball teams.
Harris was honorable mention All-State in 1989. He was also honorable mention All-Area. Harris had seven games in a row where he shot perfect from the field without missing a field goal.
He is currently a lawyer in Williamson and an elected state representative frpm Pike County, Kentucky.
Susan Beinhorn (1976 graduate) was the first WHS cheerleader to incorporate gymnastics into the sport. She went on to become a U.S. National Aerobics champion.
While at WHS she was the winner of the Miss West Virginia Pageant in 1976. She has been the owner of Hip Hop Kidz for 24 years, which is a world renowned dance program for kids and teens. She has had students who have been World Hip Hop champions.
Stephen Tackett (1968 graduate) was a varsity football player from 1965 to 1967. He was a first team All-Area lineman and played in the Kiwanis Senior Bowl the summer of 1968.
Tackett went on to join the U.S. Air Force and served from 1968 to 1989. He served two tours in South Korea and four years in Japan.
Thomas Richard Mills (1962 graduate) was on the Wolfpack state championship football teams in 1961 and 1962.
Mills was one of the top linemen on Coach John Moricle’s successful and top rated teams in the early 60s.
Joe Lee Chapman (1948 graduate) is the oldest member of this year’s class. Chapman pitched the first-ever state championship baseball game for the Wolfpack in 1948. He helped that squad win the state title.
Chapman signed a contract with the then Brooklyn Dodgers and played five years in professional baseball. He was also an excellent basketball player for the Wolfpack.
He is said to be one of the all-time best baseball players in Williamson High School history.
Reservations are being taken for the event. For both Friday and Saturday, which includes meals, it is $50. For the Saturday only event the cost is $35 for adults and $25 for students.
Each of the inductees will receive a free ticket.
Tickets can be purchased at the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce (Coal House.) The deadline for reservations is September 10. Anyone is welcome to attend and past inductees are encouraged to participate.
If you have any questions contact Cecil Hatfield at 304-235-4001, 235-5240 or by cell phone at 606-625-1037.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)