Sneak peak of my Sunday column (2012 HOF)

Here you go, dear bloggees — a peak at my Sunday column 11 hours before it hits the paper:

Get your nominations in for the Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame

Plans are beginning for the fourth class of the Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame, which will finally have a permanent home in the city later this summer.

The Hall enshrined classes of nine inductees each in 2004, 2007 and 2010. In 2004’s inaugural class, Lin Dawson, Bill Grice, Leo Hart, Bobby Hodges, Paul Jones, Cedric Maxwell, Frank Mock, Jerry Stackhouse and Ron Wooten were inducted while the Class of 2007 featured Bryant Aldridge, Grady Bethel, Eleanor Howard Cummings, Emmitt R. (Bobby) Davis, Eugene (Red) McDaniel, Amos Sexton, Oliver Smith, Donna Horton White and George Whitfield.

In 2010, the class included Marshall Happer, Alley Hart, Linwood Hartsell, Charlie Lewis, Tommy Mattocks, Vernon “Poo” Rochelle, Bill Rowe, Sam Shepherd and Jimmy Smith. For the first time, the Hall also inducted Kinston’s only state championship football teams – Adkin High School’s 1952 squad and the 1955 Grainger High School Red Devils.

The nomination process for this year’s class will begin Wednesday, when you can go by the Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Department, 405 N. McLewean Street; or The Free Press, 2103 N. Queen Street, for an application. You can also contact me at the methods listed below for more details.

The criteria for inclusion are simple: if the nomination is for an athlete, they must’ve played and finished their prep careers in Kinston or Lenoir County at least 10 years ago; for a coach or contributor, they must’ve coached or contributed in Kinston or Lenoir County for at least 10 years (unless there are extenuating circumstances).

I am honored to have been a part of the first three steering committees and to be heading up this year’s committee, taking over the reins from Parks and Recreation Director Bill Ellis.

No date has been set for this year’s induction ceremony, which will take place at the new Kinston Woodmen of the World Community Center in the late summer or early fall. The Woodmen Center will also be the permanent home for the Kinston/Lenoir County Hall of Fame, with all the memorabilia, banners and artifacts collected being displayed within its walls.

This is the most important part of the Hall, though – it’s your Hall. Please send in nominations beginning Wednesday. If you’d like to be considered to serve on the steering committee, you may also contact me.

Stay tuned – I’ll keep you updated here in my column and on my blog on all developments.

Bryan C. Hanks’ column appears every Sunday in The Free Press. You can reach him at 252-559-1074 or at Check out his blog at and follow him on Twitter at BCHanks.

P.S. (to bloggees only): You guys get the first dibs — who would you like to see in the Class of 2012? LCC’s Bobby Dawson was one of the final cuts in 2010, so I can pretty much assure you he’s in for 2012; outside of that, it’s up in the air. I’d also like to see middle school coaches such as Skeet Davis, Coley Little and Frankie Casey be considered this year, too.

Let me know what y’all think.