(Mark Doiron, right, formerly of Vicksburg, has been an Allstate agent 28 years in Madison. He has officiated college football for 20 years. What follows is taken from a letter Doiron wrote to me. Would like to know what others think. — Rick Cleveland)
Does or will the Hall ever consider selecting great high school athletes that made such a tremendous impact on a sport but never had the opportunity of continuing to further themselves on that particular sport because of finances of going to college or even maybe playing another sport that got them in college?
What I am trying to drive at is I see where high school coaches get inducted because of many reasons such as the years they spent coaching a particular sport and had great successes, but what about the high school athlete that did make an impact but got side tracked?
One of Mississippi’s best all-around high school track sports athlete for many years was Winn Foshee. He held the 100-yard dash record from the 60′s to the 80′s until Olympian Calvin Smith broke it. Of course, the 100 yards is now the 100 meter. Still today as I meet people who grew up during the 60′s I ask them if they ever heard of Winn Foshee? Praises and astonishment are the replies I get.
Winn ended up playing football only one season and practically the entire football world recruited him. As you know, he ended up going to USM. However, the impact he had on MS. High School Track cannot be left unnoticed. Winn has all the articles, letters, pictures, etc. that were written about his accomplishments. He was recognized nationally as well.
I talked to his Murrah HS Track Coach and Hall of Famer Jack Carlisle who said “Winn was a dominate player in his time and could have been even now.” Coach Carlisle continued to say “there’s no telling what Winn could have done today running on these synthetic tracks instead of running on cinders.”
Rick, all I am saying is that the Hall should consider adding a category for a athlete who was just such an outstanding high school athlete in a particular sport. I am sure the MS. Sports Hall of Fame is and should be an institution for all athletes no matter at what level. Yes, there could be many to consider as you move forward but these high school athletes dream and also work hard on their sport to succeed but there are some that just go that extra mile and achieve national recognition that makes an impact on that particular sport.
Opening up a high school athlete category will be a positive move for the Hall. Winn is only one high school story. There are many.
I hope you and the board will consider “opening up” a special category in MS. Sports Hall of Fame for high school athletes.
Thanks and I wish you success at the Hall.