The inaugural Clover School District Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony recognized four Clover icons before Friday’s Clover-White Knoll football game at Memorial Stadium.
“It’s something we’ve needed for a long time,” CHS athletic director Carroll Hester said. “There are a lot of former Clover High School and Roosevelt High School athletes deserving of Hall of Fame recognition.”
In announcing the inductees, Ron Wright, a former CHS principal and longtime Blue Eagle loyalist, said Clover “has a proud and rich athletic history.”
The 2014 inductees were the late Fred Hambright, Bill Tate, Leslie Adams and Lamont Hall.
Clover’s Lynden Smith accepted a Hall of Fame plaque on behalf of Hambright, a 1929 Clover High School graduate and award-winning Blue Eagle athlete.
Hambright attended the University of South Carolina, where he played baseball and football for the Gamecocks.
Hambright lettered in football at USC from 1931 to 1933 and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 1931.
He was a part of American football history, playing for the Charlotte Bantams of the American Football League in 1934.
Hambright was an Associated Press halfback selection for the 1934 All-AFL team and played for the New York football team of the All-America Football Conference in 1936.
He was inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1969.
Tate was a gifted athlete and a 1969 graduate of Roosevelt High School. The school has since closed and been transformed into Roosevelt Community Park in Clover.
He made his presence felt as a four-sport athlete at Roosevelt High School, competing in football, basketball, baseball and track.
Following a stellar career at Roosevelt, Tate played for Claflin University and Friendship College.
Tate is the head football coach at Timmonsville High School, where he has coached for 35 years. His Timmonsville teams made eight appearances in the state championship game and won state titles in 1995 and 1998.
Because Timmonsville was playing Friday night, Tate was unable to attend the Hall of Fame ceremony. Accepting the award on his behalf were Sammy Tate, Sonny Watson and Dianne Watson.
Adams, a 1989 graduate of Clover High School, is one of the most celebrated athletes in school history.
A basketball, volleyball and softball standout at CHS, her resume includes nine all-conference selections, four conference MVP awards, three all-state selections and two All-Herald awards. She was a North-South All-Star in softball and the 1989 South Carolina 3A Softball Player of the Year.
Adams played softball at Florida State University, where she was an All-ACC and All-Tournament selection in 1992 and 1993.
She played professional softball with the Stratford, Connecticut Rebastas Brakettes, during which the team won two ASA fast-pitch championships. She played in the Olympic Sports Festival in LA in 1991 and was a starting catcher for the Carolina Diamonds of the Women’s Professional Softball League.
Adams served as an assistant softball coach at the University of Louisville from 1999 to 2005 and is a member of the York County Athletic Hall of Fame.
Hall, a 1993 graduate of Clover High School, left his mark as a dominant football, basketball and baseball player in Blue Eagle Country.
Hall lettered in every sport he played, every year he played at CHS.
In his senior year, he was MVP, all-conference and Region Three Player of the Year in basketball.
After high school, Hall attended Clemson University, where he played tight end for the Tigers.
He played in every Clemson football game his four years, winning the Joe Francis Leadership Award in 1997. In 1996, he was named second team All-ACC, becoming the first tight end to make an all-star team in 12 years at Clemson.
Hall played professional football for the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints from 1999 to 2005.
Accepting the Hall of Fame award for Hall was his mother, Novella Hall and brother, Rodney Hall.
Longtime Clover football supporter Jimmy Bryant, a 36-year member of the chain crew on Friday nights, was instrumental in the formation of the Clover School District Athletic Hall of Fame.