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Mississippi Hall of Fame to induct largest group ever

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame will induct 11 into its ranks at the end of the month.
The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame will induct 11 into its ranks at the end of the month.(WLOX | WLOX Sports)
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 3:06 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) _ Thanks to COVID-19, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will be performing a double-dip induction at the end of the month.

The Class of 2020, which had its day in the sun overshadowed by the pandemic, will be feted and honored along the with the Class of 2021 on July 31.

“Due to COVID concerns, we were unable to properly induct the 2020 class,” said Bill Blackwell, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

“We will have 11 new members going into the hall that night.”

The Class of 2020 features five inductees, including:

  • Jerry Boatner, winningest high school baseball coach in state history
  • Pete Brown, first African-American winner of a PGA event
  • Janet Marie Smith, stadium designer from Jackson
  • Larry Templeton, long-time Mississippi State University athletic director
  • Patrick Willis, All-America linebacker at Ole Miss, All-Pro linebacker with San Francisco 49ers.

The sixth member, former Mississippi State basketball great Antonio McDyess, was unable to make this summer’s ceremony.

The Class of 2021 features six members, including:

  • Debbie Brock, playmaker extraordinaire for three national champion Delta State University women’s basketball teams
  • Erick Dampier, key cog on MSU’s Final Four men’s basketball team
  • Lindsey Hunter, star guard at Jackson Murrah High School and Jackson State University before embarking on a 17-year National Basketball Association career
  • Terrance Metcalf, standout offensive lineman at Ole Miss and the National Football League
  • Dave Randall, Tupelo native and All-America tennis player at Ole Miss, spent 11 years on professional tour
  • Randy Watkins, national junior golf champion and former PGA Tour member.

The induction weekend, sponsored by Sanderson Farms, will kick off with silent and live auctions during a “Drawdown of Champions” at the Madison Healthplex.

Saturday morning, a “Meet-The-Inductees” autograph session will be held at the museum, 1152 Lakeland Drive, Jackson.

Induction Evening begins at the Downtown Jackson Convention Complex with a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Tickets for all events can be found online at www.msfame.com or at the hall/museum offices.

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