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Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame returns with 2021 class of five and noted speaker

By Richard Walker

The Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame will return in 2021 after the coronavirus forced a year off in 2020.

This year’s banquet will be held Oct. 16 at the Gastonia Conference Center.

Lou Holtz during his career as a ESPN television analyst.

National championship-winning college football coach and respected TV analyst Lou Holtz is the featured speaker and Belmont’s Stanley Dudko and Mickey Lineberger, Bessemer City’s Phillip Crosby, Dallas’ Hal White and Gastonia’s late Charlotte Whitesides will be inducted.

Crosby, a 1995 Bessemer City High graduate, was a two-way standout for the Yellow Jackets at fullback and linebacker and the school’s first and only Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection in 1994. That honor came in his senior season in which Bessemer City had its first 10-win season (10-3-1) in school history.

After high school, Crosby went to junior college power Coffeyville, Kansas, before transferring to Tennessee. At Tennessee, he was a fullback on the Volunteers’ 1998 national championship team. After college, he was a fullback and special teams player for the Buffalo Bills from 2000 to 2003.

Lineberger, a 1972 South Point High graduate, was a member of the school’s 1971 Western N.C. Activities Association state championship football team who went on to greater fame as a coach after playing college football at Carson-Newman.

Phillip Crosby helped the Tennessee Volunteers win the 1998 national football title.

After beginning his coaching career at Chase High School in Rutherford County for Stanley native John Keeter, Lineberger came to South Point in 1983 and began a long career as a baseball and football coach. He was head coach and assistant coach for both programs in addition to being head coach of Belmont Post 144’s American Legion baseball team. Also an athletic director at South Point from 1990 to 2016, Lineberger had 541 head coaching victories that include winning the 2016 N.C. 3A football state championship.

White, a 1970 Dallas High graduate, helped his alma mater to a school-record 23 wins as a senior and into the N.C. 2A state championship tournament before helping Lenoir-Rhyne to two regular season titles and one tournament title (White was MVP) in his four-year career there.

Hired by North Gaston, which replaced Dallas High in 1971, White was a basketball and golf coach for more than 30 years. His 332-325 overall basketball head coaching record includes North Gaston’s only boys basketball regular season, tournament and regional titles. And that 1987 regional title team advanced to the N.C. 3A state championship game at the Smith Center at the University of North Carolina.

Whitesides, a 1947 Belmont High graduate, was the Gaston County YMCA’s first swim director. Her career there began when the facility opened on Feb. 2, 1960 until her Feb. 3, 1992 retirement.

Stanley Dudko played on Belmont Abbey’s first soccer team in 1958 and coached the Crusaders from 1967 to 1976.

Also the coach of the championship-winning Gaston Gators swim club, Whitesides once coached eventual U.S. Olympic champion Melvin Stewart; Stewart won the gold medal in the 200 butterfly and 400 medley and a bronze medal in the 800 freestyle relay at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Whitesides died in April 2017 at 87.

Holtz is a Follansbee, W.Va., native who played linebacker at Kent State in 1956 and 1957 before embarking on a long coaching career in 1960.

After spending time as an assistant coach at Iowa (1960), William & Mary (1961-63), Connecticut (1964-65), South Carolina (1966-67) and Ohio State (1968), Holtz became head coach at William & Mary (1969-71), N.C. State (1972-75), Arkansas (1977-83), Minnesota (1984-85), Notre Dame (1986-96) and South Carolina (1999-2004). He also coached one season for the NFL’s New York Jets in 1976.

His overall head coaching record is 249-132-7.

He led William & Mary (Southern 1970), N.C. State (ACC 1973) and Arkansas (Southwest 1979) to conference titles and independent Notre Dame to the 1988 national title.

A two-time national coach of the year, Holtz was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and has gained notereity as a ESPN college football analyst.

Mickey Lineberger with the 2016 N.C. 3A football state championship plaque.

Holtz becomes the ninth national championship-winning college coach to become the featured speaker at the Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame banquet. He joins Paul “Bear” Bryant (5 national titles), Darrell Royal (3), Roy Williams (3), Bobby Bowden (2), Joe Paterno (2), Duffy Daugherty (1), Paul Dietzel (1) and Bobby Ross (1).

Here’s the complete Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame History:

Roster of inductees:
1965 — A.L. “Roy” Sudduth
1966 — John “J.C.” Roberts
1967 — J.K. “Buddy” Lewis
1968 — Russ Bergmann
1969 — Everette “Shu” Carlton
1970 — Ted Abernathy
1971 — Cary Boshamer
1972 — Wade Walker
1973 — Dick Thompson
1974 — J.R. Bradshaw, Leonel Brunnemer
1975 — Earl Groves
1976 — J.V. McGinnis, Dave Smith
1977 — Bennie Cunningham, Jack Huss
1978 — Lawrence “Crash” Davis, Eugene L. Dunn
1979 — Chuck Hartman, Larry Rhodes
2004 — Ken Alexander, James Worthy
2005 — Dennis Franklin, Sylvia Rhyne Hatchell, Robert O. Mason, Delmer Wiles
2006 — Dwight Frady, Joe Robinson, Humpy Wheeler Jr., Humpy Wheeler Sr.
2007 — Jim Biggerstaff, Leonard Hamilton, Doug McDonald, Jackson Parker, Don Saine
2008 — James Ferguson, Gayle Waldrop Fulbright, Jimmie Hall, Ruby Heafner
2009 — John Derr, Larry Penley, Dave Robbins, Charlie Smith
2010 — Max Crowder, Elmore Hill, Joe Ladd, Harold Stowe
2011 — Doug Hoffman, William Partlow, Charlie Pearson, Thomas “Bubba” Wilson
2012 — Tony Byers, Guy Eaker, Perry Fewell, Bruce Sudderth
2013 — Scott Crawford, Francis Essic, Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, Buddy Green
2014 — Jerry Carpenter, Rufus Crawford, Nancy Scoggins-Janas, Frank Tate
2015 — Darrell Armstrong, Bill Jarman, Wales Sigmon, Joe Spears, Phil Tate
2016 — Ted Crunkleton, Wes Helms, Wilbur Howard, Kevin Millwood, Scott Stewart
2017 — Pat Crawford, Cheryl Littlejohn, Bobby Reynolds, Koren Robinson, Duane Ross
2018 — Gary Adams, Bruce Bolick, Thomas Gunnings, Henry Jones, Deanna Tate
2019 — Gary Henry, William Outen, Stephanie Rauch, Mike Reidy
2020 — postponed (coronavirus)
2021 — Phillip Crosby, Stanley Dudko, Mickey Lineberger, Hal White, Charlotte Whitesides

Hal White guided North Gaston to the only boys basketball titles the school has ever had.

Date and featured speakers:
1961-64 (banquet held without inductions)
Jan. 30, 1961 at Gastonia YMCA — Dick Groat
Jan. 29, 1962 at Gastonia YMCA — Darrell Royal
Feb. 4, 1963 at Gastonia YMCA — Paul “Bear” Bryant
Jan. 27, 1964 at Gastonia YMCA — Paul Dietzel
Jan. 18, 1965 at Gastonia YMCA — Otto Graham
Jan. 31, 1966 at Gastonia YMCA — Fran Tarkenton
Jan. 23, 1967 at Gastonia YMCA — Bobby Richardson
Feb. 5, 1968 at Gastonia YMCA — Sam Huff
Jan. 27, 1969 at Gastonia YMCA — Bill Curry
Jan. 26, 1970 at Gastonia YMCA — Duffy Daugherty
Feb. 1, 1971 at Gastonia Holiday Inn — Bill Battle
Feb. 1, 1972 at Gastonia YMCA — Bart Starr
Feb. 20, 1973 at Gastonia YMCA — Jesse Owens
March 12, 1974 at Gastonia YMCA — Joe Paterno
Feb. 11, 1975 at Gastonia YMCA — Norm Snead
Jan. 26, 1976 at Gaston Country Club — Pepper Rodgers
Jan. 31, 1977 at Gaston Country Club — Dr. Earl Ruth
Apr. 10, 1978 at Huss HS — Billy Packer
Apr. 2, 1979 at Huss HS — Shirley “Red” Wilson
Aug. 30, 2004 at Cramer Mountain Country Club — Billy Packer
Aug. 30, 2005 at Cramer Mountain Country Club — Mick Mixon
Aug. 29, 2006 at Cramer Mountain Country Club — Buddy Baker
Aug. 6, 2007 at Cramer Mountain Country Club — Bobby Ross
Sept. 8, 2008 at Cramer Mountain Country Club — Charles “Lefty” Driesell
Sept. 21, 2009 at Cramer Mountain Country Club — Mark Packer
Sept. 20, 2010 at Cramer Mountain Country Club — Jay Bilas
Aug. 15, 2011 at Cramer Mountain Country Club — Bobby Bowden
June 18, 2012 at Gastonia Conference Center — Ron Rivera
May 20, 2013 at Gastonia Conference Center — David Cutcliffe
May 19, 2014 at Gastonia Conference Center — Larry Fedora
June 22, 2015 at Gastonia Conference Center — Roy Williams
Oct. 3, 2016 at Gastonia Conference Center — Bobby Richardson
June 12, 2017 at Gastonia Conference Center — Dave Doeren
April 16, 2018 at Gastonia Conference Center — Will Muschamp
May 13, 2019 at Gastonia Conference Center — Bobby Cremins
Oct. 16, 2021 at Gastonia Conference Center — Lou Holtz

Charlotte Whitesides was a longtime Gaston County swimming coach.