YORK -- A former coach and four athletes will be inducted in the York School District One Athletic Hall of Fame during halftime of Friday's York-Gaffney football game at Pratt Field.
"We are always happy to honor our former athletes and coaches in York School District One," said Steve Boyd, athletic director. "We have another select group this year."
A pregame drop-in honoring the new hall of famers is 6 to 7 p.m. Friday in the YCHS Media Center.
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• The late Jack Miller, head football coach at York High School from 1958 to 1965. The Green Dragon teams won six conference titles. Under his leadership, York High played in two upper state championship games and one state title game. In 1965, Miller was selected as the Pepsi High School Coach of the Year. He was named conference coach of the year three times and selected to coach in the 1963 Shrine Bowl Classic. A 1943 Shrine Bowl participant, Miller played football for legendary coach Frank Howard at Clemson, booting the winning field goal for the unbeaten Tigers against Missouri in the 1948 Gator Bowl. Said former York High principal John Hunter, "Mr. Miller was a kind and loving coach and his loyalty to the players and to the school were an example to everyone. His moral standards were unquestionable. He was an active member of the church and the community."
• Walter Blanton was an outstanding football and basketball player at York High School. He was an all-region basketball player his junior and senior year and was named all-state his senior year. Blanton captained the York High team his senior year and was voted MVP his junior and senior year. In 1956, the Green Dragon standout finished second in voting for the No. 1 high school basketball player in the state. Blanton was awarded a full four-year basketball scholarship to Erskine College, where he lettered four years and earned the reputation as one of the best rebounders to ever play for the Flying Fleet.
• William (Billy) Bryant was a five-year basketball letterman for the Jefferson High School Blue Devils, averaging 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game. At 6-foot-3, Bryant was one of the premier centers in the conference, earning MVP honors his junior and senior year. After graduating from Jefferson in 1958, Bryant followed Hall of Famer Dan Lowry to Johnson C. Smith University, where he played football and basketball.In 1959, Bryant enlisted in the Air Force. While stationed in Puerto Rico, he was one of two military players selected to play for the Puerto Rican National Basketball Team. Upon his military discharge, Bryant returned to Johnson C. Smith, where he played alongside teammates Pettis Norman, who later played for the Dallas Cowboys, Horace Jones (Houston Oilers), Robert Wells (San Diego Chargers) and York County sheriff's deputy James "Jim Boy" Williams, who was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings.
• Preston Ramsey was a multi-talented athlete for the Hickory Grove Cardinals. The four-year letterman, a leading scorer for the Cardinals, helped lead the team to the 1964 upper state basketball championship and No. 2 in the state and the 1965 state playoffs. He was a member of the 1964 Cardinal baseball team that finished second in the state. In 1965, Ramsey placed second in the 440-yard dash in the state track meet. As a track star for The Citadel, Ramsey set the school record in the 500-yard event. After graduation, he continued his sports involvement. He is a three-time winner of the one-mile race at the Peach Festival in Gaffney and coached YCHS tennis and Little League Baseball.
• Robert L. "Rob" Kemp was a York Comprehensive High School four-year letterman in baseball and three-year letterman in football. Kemp was a member of the 1977 YCHS Class AAA state champion baseball team. He was the team's leading hitter with a hefty .485 batting average and a member of the 1977 Peach Blossom All-Region baseball team. Kemp was selected to the all-region and all-area teams in football. He was the 1977 Junior Boyd Memorial Football Captain designee and MVP recipient for the YCHS team. Kemp attended East Tennessee State University on a football scholarship. He has three brothers who were outstanding football players in York. Mark and Matthew Kemp played for the Cougars. Current YCHS assistant football coach Jerry Kemp was an offensive lineman for York High.