BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Some local legends gained another piece of silverware for their trophy cases. Biloxi inducted 13 former athletes into the city’s Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday.
The men inducted in the class of 2019 hail from all walks of life. Whether they loved basketball, football, boxing, or even baseball, they all made a difference in Biloxi.
Among those inducted are high school and college football coach John Williams and former Indians basketball star Seber Windham, who now coaches at Biloxi High.
It was an especially poignant moment for Windham, whose own parents are also inductees into the city’s Hall of Fame.
“My mother and father put so many years in Biloxi, so many people here love and respect them," said Windham. “And as a son, all I wanted to do is carry on the Windham tradition.”
Windham said he works hard every day to give back to the community that shaped him.
“It means the world to me to grow up in the great city of Biloxi. We got a great community here but to now come full circle and turn around and coach these kids, and a lot of the kids I am coaching now are from the guys I played with. It is just a total blessing.”
Many members from the community came out to pay their respects to the 13 standout athletes.
“This is one of the highlights of my life," said inductee Roger Smith. “I am so proud to be a part of this. I have worked my life doing for others and it is nice to be recognized.”
Smith has worked as a softball umpire for more than 43 years. He is even a three-time Mississippi High School Association Umpire of the Year. The honor of joining the Hall of Fame was made all the sweeter as Roger shared the moment with his family.
Charlie Nobles echoed that sentiment, saying he was very grateful to be chosen and make his family proud.
“It is incredible. I literally didn’t think I would ever make it, and then here I am. Whatever they saw to make me eligible, I just appreciate it. I am overwhelmed," said Nobles. "You know my family is so proud of me, my wife said she is so proud. I am just beyond words. It is great.”
Nobles is one of the best pitchers the state has ever seen, helping win nine state title for teams at various levels of competition.
Other inductees include:
- George Creel, a titan in the boxing community on the coast;
- Anthony “Thrill” Hill, one of the most electric play makers that has ever graced Biloxi’s football field;
- Alan Marsland, who helped shape the lives of dozens of young men and women;
- Chris McGee, a gifted wide receiver that caught Brett Favre’s first college touchdown pass at USM;
- D’Jon McNair, who practically made it a hobby collecting honors for his basketball talent;
- Byron Meaut, who was feared on the mound both in high school and as a Rebel up in Oxford;
- Alex “Lou” Pitalo, a hero who put his ambitions on hold to serve the country in World War II;
- David Ward Sr, who coached dozens of fighters to glory in the sport of boxing;
- Paul Webster, who also found success in the ring as a five-time Mississippi Golden Gloves champion;
- John Williams, who led Biloxi to a state championship in 1968.
Nominations for the 20-20 class are due by June 26, 2020. Information on doing that can be found by visiting the City of Biloxi’s website.