Union to induct 16 into Hall of Fame


Sports Editor - Union Daily Times

Some of Union and Sims high schools' greatest athletes will be honored Friday night during halftime of the Hall of Fame game.  Union hosts York at 7:30 p.m. The Jackets have never lost a Hall of Fame game.

This year, 16 athletes will be inducted into the Union Athletic Hall of Fame. This is the seventh year for the Hall of Fame, started in 1998 by former Union coach Mike Anthony.

Anthony is on a committee that selects inductees. This year's honorees came from about 200 nominees.  "It's a difficult process," said Anthony. "We try to select two or three per decade and we make sure that all sports are represented." More than 100 athletes have been honored. This year's inductees are:

Guy Rice (1956-60) was a two sport athlete - football and baseball - at Sims High School. Many fans believe Rice was one of the best ever to play at Sims.

James Peake (1957-59) scored 32 points per game in basketball and also played baseball. He was invited to tryout at Yankee Stadium in 1961.

Robert Garner (1960-65) was one of the most versatile athletes to play at Sims. He competed in baseball, basketball, football and track.

Howard Barrett (1971-75) started as a ninth grader and lettered four years in football, playing both offense and defense. He's now a police officer in Columbia.

Clara Hill Combs (1965-73) coached basketball at Union and led the Lady Yellow Jackets to their first state title in 1970-71.

Judy Nichols (1963-67) was the leading scorer on the 1966 and 1967 basketball teams. Fans said Nichols was the first girl to truly shoot a jump shot at the school. She played for Combs and was an all-state athlete.

Janice Jackson (1963-67) has taught and coached at Union for the last 33 years. She was a defensive MVP in 1966, a defender in the half-court game.  She also played for Combs.

Willard "Snowball" Hucks (1971) was a three sport athlete. He earned 12 letters in high school. Hucks was a member of the "Love Machine" in 1971 and an all-region athlete. He won the upperstate title in wrestling three times and was the pitcher for the 1970-71 state baseball championship team.

Nate Sanders (1969-73) played for both Union and Sims high schools. He was MVP in 1972-73 in football. A runningback, Sanders scored 17 touchdowns in 1972.

Mike Patrick (1971-75) was a three sport athlete, earning four letters in baseball, two in basketball and two in football. He was a member of the 1974 state championship baseball team. He broke the base stealing record in 1975.  Patrick played one year at SMC and three years at Clemson.

Mark Austin (1975-77) earned three letters in track and football. He was a All-American football player in 1977. Austin was chosen for the North-South and Shrine Bowl. He was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference player for South Carolina.

Tammy Duncan Knox (1975-78) played basketball at Union. she was all-region in 1977-78 and averaged more than 20 points per game. Knox also played girls tennis in 1975-76 and had a 16-2 record as the No. 2 singles player.

David Kitchens (1975-79) was a track athlete who broke several records - 2 mile (9:32), 880 yard (1:58) and one mile (4:34) - in 1979.  Kitchens was MVP in cross country and the 1980 freshman of the year in track at the College of Charleston.

Lynn Moore Tucker (1980-84) is the first cheerleader to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She was the captain of the 1984 team. Tucker also was a member of the 1983-84 track team. She's now the co-director of the University Hospital Breast Health Center in Augusta, Ga.

Sean Keenan (1983-87) competed in football, track and wrestling. He was a four-year letterer at Wofford College and first team all-state in 1990.

Joe Woods (1991) was a three-sport letterman - football, basketball and track. He competed in the 1991 Shrine Bowl and was all-region in football.  Woods signed with Mississippi in 1992 and transferred to Clemson in 1993. He was an All-ACC athlete in 1996, played in the Gator and Peach bowls.

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