Union inducts 15 into athletic hall of fame

September 30th, 2005

Some of Union and Sims high schools' greatest athletes were honored Friday night during halftime of the Hall of Fame game. Union hosted Clinton and kickoff was 7:30 p.m.

This year, 15 athletes were inducted into the Union Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall was started in 1998 by former Union coach Mike Anthony. Anthony is part of a committee that selects inductees.

"The list is still growing," he said. "We have a wonderful list of athletes to chose from and it's a difficult process. This is a great group. It's a great way to recognize people for their accomplishments during their high school days."

A list of the inductees with a short notation of their accomplishments is at the bottom of this page.

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This year's inductees are:

Eddie Robinson (1935-38) lettered four years in football as a lineman on offense and defense at Union. He was the captain of the 1943 Wofford football team and lettered for the Terriers.

William Shelton ('50s-'60s) was a coach at Sims.

Ben Rice (1948-50) played football at Sims. He was part of the 97-game winning streak and the 13-game streak where opponents were held scoreless.

Dean Valentine (early '50s) played baseball and football at Union. He was second baseman for the 1953 state championship baseball team.

Harold Babb (1957-60) lettered four years in football and baseball at Union. He was a starting pitcher as a 9th-grader.

Ben Starks (1960-63) lettered four years in football and track. He was voted best lineman in 1960.

Wade Hampton (1960-62) was quarterback at Sims. He also was good in track, competing in the 440 and broad jump. Today, he's the municipal court judge for Union.

David Jones (1961-63) lettered three of four years in football at Sims. He led the team in tackles one season and later played semi-pro football in Gaffney.

Joe Willard Jr. (1962-64) played football at Union. He was voted most valuable back in 1964. He played college football for two years at Gardner-Webb.

Ronnie Boozer (1965-68) lettered three years in football at Union. He was all-region and most valuable lineman in football and most valuable player in baseball. He played college ball at Furman and was honorable mention all-SoCon.

Steve Moss (1965-67) was a fullback for Union's football team. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry his senior year and was Herald-Journal player of the week. He also ran track.

Torance Inman (1967-70) lettered in track, wrestling and football at Union. He was on the first wrestling team and was the first Jacket to have an undefeated season in the sport. Today, he's director of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

Vanessa Woodard ('70s) played basketball and ran track. She won state titles in the 100-yard and 220-yard dash.

Tony Painter (1973-77) played football, basketball and baseball at Union. He lettered three years as a defensive back at Wofford. In 1980, he was voted all-American and led the nation in interceptions.

Sarah Smith (1977-81) played basketball, softball and tennis at Union. She was all-region in basketball, played on the 1980 4A state championship softball team and was the first Jacket to win an individual state title in tennis.

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