Special to Iredell Free News
The Iredell County Sports Hall of Fame recently announced its fifth class of inductees.
The class, which encompasses over 90 years of athletics in Iredell County, includes 10 individuals and the Harold Johnson Community Partner Award recipient.
“This class is special since it encompasses two years of 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. This class has some firsts for the Hall of Fame with a soccer player and a golfer being inducted in the class of 2021,” said Executive Director Ryan Pegarsch.
Class of 2020-2021
♦ Addie Holbrook Hightower graduated from Statesville High School and played basketball for the Greyhounds. She was a three-time All-Conference player and two-time Conference Player of the Year. Addie was selected as All-State and played in the East/West All-Star Game in 1995. She was the leading scorer for the game. Addie went on to have a stellar career at Wingate University.
♦ Bobby Graham graduated from Statesville High School and was a three-sport athlete for the Greyhounds. He played football, basketball and ran track. Bobby was named MVP in both basketball and football twice, as well, most outstanding runner for track. Also, Bobby was a member of the Shrine Bowl and East/ West All-Star team in 1997. He was also named NCHSAA Scholar Athlete and Academic All-Star in 1997. Bobby went on to play football at the University of Tennessee.
♦ Jesse Jackson was a multi-sport coach at Statesville High School. He coached wrestling, track, and football. Jesse was named Coach of the Year 12 times for track within the Foothills and Western Piedmont Conference. He was recognized in 1995 for over 30 years of coaching by the Foothills Conference. Jesse remains involved with athletics at Statesville High School.
♦ Jim Conger graduated from Scotts High School and was a multi-sport athlete with an outstanding career playing six-man football. He started for three years for football and was a two-year starter for basketball. He was a captain for both teams and received All-Conference honors in 1955 for both sports. Jim went on to play football at Appalachian State University, where he was a four-year starter and letter winner and was inducted into the Appalachian State Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. Jim went on to get into coaching and came back to Iredell County and coached at North Iredell for 18 years.
♦ John McNeely graduated from South Iredell High School and was a three-sport athlete for the Vikings. He played football, basketball and golf. John received All-Conference honors in each sport. He was Team MVP for basketball and was a member of the East/West All-Star Game in 1970. John left South Iredell and went to North Carolina State University to play basketball on scholarship but due to injuries he transferred to East Tennessee State University on scholarship to play golf. John is still involved in the game as a PGA Pro in Banner Elk, N.C.
♦ Justin Moose graduated from Statesville High School and played soccer for the Greyhounds. He was All-Conference every year and was Conference Player of the year in 2001 as well as All-Region and N.C. Soccer Coaches Association All-State Team. Justin was also a National Team Player for U.S. Soccer for the U-18 team. He went on to play at Wake Forest University, where he was Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and member of the All-Conference Team each year. Justin was then drafted in the first round to play Major League Soccer for DC United. Justin still is involved in the game on a day to day basis.
♦ Lib Barkley Smith graduated from Cool Spring High School and played women’s basketball in the “three vs. three” era. She made All-State Team in 1950 and 1951. She helped her team make the state tournament in 1950 and 1951. She was voted the best guard in the tournament both years by the coaches. Lib was an All-Star all four years from 1948-1951 for the County Tournament for women’s basketball.
♦ Misty Horne Kerr graduated from Statesville High School and played basketball for the Greyhounds. She was Player of the Year in 1996 and Co-Player of the Year in 1993 for the Foothills Conference. She was All-Conference in 1993, 1995, and 1996. Misty helped lead the Greyhounds to the Conference Championship in 1993 and 1995. She holds the single-season 3-pointer record of 64 in 1994 and holds the career record of 207 at Statesville. Misty went on to play at East Carolina University and moved back to Iredell County and gives back as a Youth Basketball Coach.
♦ Roger Bost graduated from Statesville High School and was a member of the football and track and field teams. He was a captain and won the best blocker award in 1965 for football. He was Conference Champion for Shotput in 1964 and was Western North Carolina High School Athletic Association Champion for Shotput in 1965. Roger went on to East Carolina University to play football and came back to Iredell County to coach. He was football, tennis and golf coach for Statesville High School. He was named Coach of Year for the respective sports nine times. He was East/West All-Star Coach in 2004 for football.
♦ Steve Rankin graduated from South Iredell High School and was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, and baseball). He received All-Conference honors in baseball and football. Steve received the Scholar Athlete Award in 1969. Steve went on to Appalachian State University for college and came back to Iredell County and served as a Teacher/Coach and Athletic Director for over 39 years. Steve started at Oakwood Jr. High and went to Statesville and then Lake Norman as Athletic Director. He was voted as North Carolina High School Athletic Association Athletic Director of the Year for Region 7 in 1993. He was inducted in the North Carolina Athletic Directors Hall of Fame in 2018 and South Iredell Athletic Hall of Fame in 2020. He still gives back as a volunteer at Lake Norman High School and the Commissioner/Executive Secretary of the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference.
Harold Johnson Community Partner Award
JD Harris graduated from Statesville High School and played football, baseball and basketball. He was awarded the Perdue Athletic Award for Outstanding Male Athlete in 1955. JD right out of high school began his service to the community. He began to coach the Statesville Babe Ruth Baseball Team. He would then go on to help build a football program at Oakwood Jr. High and would continue to help while serving a Professional Firefighter for the City of Statesville. JD then was enlisted to help the City of Statesville Parks and Recreation to develop and coach the midget football program. He had a coaching record of 102-24-4. He then went on to help at Statesville and North Iredell with football as a trainer and lay coach. During all of this, JD gave back to the sports he loved by being an official. He was doing it to help the youth learn the rules of the game.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held in May 2021. The Iredell County Sports Hall of Fame will release more details as the event gets closer.