Two deaths occurred this week and both men had ties to Williamson High School sports.
Frank Offutt, who was an outstanding baseball and basketball player for the Williamson Wolfpack back in the 1950s, passed away earlier this week.
He is a member of the WHS athletic Hall Of Fame. Frank also played for the Post 49 American Legion baseball teams during that era. He still had a lot of friends in this area.
Those American Legion teams were state champs and played in the Eastern Regional finals of the national tournament where they finished as runner-up.
Frank was known as a great defensive infielder who had a strong arm.
He was living in St. Albans, W.Va. and was very proud of his grandchildren, especially of Sydney Moss, who is now playing basketball at the University of Florida. She was selected as the top female prep player in the state of Kentucky last year.
I got to know Frank during the last few months after writing an article about Sydney. I recently ran a story about his mother Ann, who was the first female coach in the Williamson Midget League back in the 50s, when she coached both football and basketball.
… George Williamson also passed away this week. George was a longtime supporter of Williamson area sports. Whether it was midget league or high school, George and his late wife Virginia were very active in athletic booster’s clubs.
They had three sons who played in the youth leagues and for the Wolfpack. Dennis, Robert and Shawn. Their daughter, Robin Griffey, is currently very active at Riverside Elementary School as a parent volunteer and with the First Baptist Church Bible Basketball Camp.
George worked for the Norfolk Western railroad for many years and also had a Radio Shack dealership in downtown Williamson. He was also a well-known baker and made many a wedding cake or birthday cake back in the day.
Our prayers and sympathy go out to both families.
The Tug Valley Road Runners Club will be holding a different type of race on Saturday. It will be a 1-mile Run/Walk. There is a $5 entry fee. The race will be held at the West Williamson floodwall. The run starts at 12 noon, but get there early for registration. No T-shirts or trophies will be given out for this event, but there will be door prizes.
…. The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has a contest for the Champion of the Year. Alexis Clark, a track athlete with local ties, is up for the award. Her great-grandfather was the legendary Al “Bearmeat” Vipperman, the former football coach at Belfry High School. You can vote for her and there is a link on Facebook. The voting closes Sunday, Dec. 2, at 11:30 p.m.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)