Starmount unveils Hall of Fame

By Kristian Russell -

The Starmount Hall of Fame inductees, or their representatives, show off their plaques after they were honored on Saturday afternoon in Boonville.

Melanie Matthews | Starmount High School

BOONVILLE — If there is one thing Starmount High School exceeds at, it’s bringing the community together to celebrate athletic and administration successes. On Saturday afternoon, Starmount unveiled its Hall of Fame in a ceremony that showcased athletes, teachers, principals and community members. The Hall of Fame came from the mind of Starmount Athletic Director Scott Johnson and Starmount Principal Cody Hemric.

“I was at the AD conference last spring, and I turned 50 myself last summer, so I was thinking about how the school was 50 years old and things I wanted to do for football season. I started talking to a guy who went around through the states helping schools put together athletic halls of fame,” said Johnson. “I didn’t want it to be just an athletic hall of fame, so I started thinking about it and came back and brought the idea up to Mr. Hemric and he was all for it.

“It took a long time and a lot of work to figure out how we wanted to do it. We researched other people’s hall of fame and then came up with our own. We started last April and it’s nice to see it all come together,” he said.

Johnson and Hemric were joined by community members, Starmount teachers and coaches to round out the Hall of Fame committee — Booster Club President Dale Martin, Starmount Coach Jeffery Hague, community member Robin Vann and faculty member Rebecca Bryant.

“For this year’s class we took the six committee members and we all sat down and thought up a list of people who mean a lot to the school,” said Johnson. “We all compared who we had on our sheets and narrowed it down from there.”

The first class included 12 inductees — Bob Adams, Jackie Brown, Coach B.W. Holt, Carlos King, Reid Lowder, Heather Macy, John Mathis, Marilyn Scales, Mary Parker, Bill Parker, Brad Storie and Sylvia Wingler. The nominees had a different range of success while at Starmount. They were teachers, coaches, athletes and staff members. The Hall of Fame inductees all have one thing in common, they encompass what it truly means to be a Ram.

Bob Adams was a guidance counselor, a coach and a teacher at Starmount from 1967-1997. Adams was Starmount’s first football coach and led the Rams to the school’s first winning season and its first playoff appearance.

Jackie Brown was a student-athlete at Starmount from 1967-1969. Brown was an outstanding student-athlete who made his mark on the football and the baseball teams. He remains one of the only Starmount athletes to be drafted to play baseball and football. Brown went on to the University of South Carolina, where he was one of the first African-American athletes. Brown led the Gamecocks in receiving yards in three different seasons.

B.W. Holt had several key roles a Starmount High School, as he was a football coach, teacher and the athletic director from 1979-1998. Holt is still revered as one of the best Starmount football coaches, and is well known throughout the community. Thirty of Holt’s players played in college, while 15 of his players became head coaches. Holt is an inspiration for any person in the Starmount community who is looking to become a head coach, as his success is what still drives the Starmount community today.

Carlos King is one of the most notable student-athletes to come out of Starmount High School. King was a Ram from 1988-1992 before graduating and attending NC State University. King started every game his senior season and gained 587 yards. After his time in Raleigh, King was drafted in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Reid Lowder was the Starmount principal from 1967-1974. Lowder is credited as bringing three separate communities together to form Starmount High School. Before coming to Starmount, Lowder coached at Jonesville High where he was the coach of All-American, Dickie Hemric. Starmount will forever be grateful for Lowder and his contributions to the high school as well as the community.

Heather Macy was inducted into the Hall of Fame due to her impressive basketball career at Starmount, as well as her current job as the head women’s basketball coach at East Carolina University. Macy attended Starmount from 1992-1996 where she earned several All-Conference selections for basketball and several conference championships.

John W. Mathis was a coach and teacher at Starmount from 1967-1986. Mathis is a beacon of light for the Starmount community as the high school named a conference room after him and his success. In the Hall of Fame program, Mathis stated, “If he had any impact in the students the way the students impacted him, then he had been successful.”

Marilyn Scales was the first African-American teacher to grace the halls at Starmount High School. Scales taught from 1967-1993 where she had an impact on everyone she came into contact with.

Mary Parker was inducted into the hall of fame for her charismatic attitude and her teaching abilities. Parker taught at Starmount from 1967-1992, in the time she was a sponsor for the Future Teachers of America. After Parker’s passing in 2010, a scholarship was set up in her honor to help students reach their fullest potential. Parker was inducted into the hall of fame alongside her husband, Coach Bill “Ace” Parker. Parker is known as the Voice of the Rams at Starmount football games where he has been a staple for more than 48 years. Parker was also a teacher at Starmount before retiring and serving as the game day announcer during football season.

Burl Storie Jr. spent more than 30 years at Starmount as a student, teacher, coach and administrator. Storie was a baseball coach, as well as a football coach. He taught at Starmount and served as the assistant principal for a few years.

Sylvia Wingler rounded out the first Hall of Fame class for the Rams. Wingler served as a teacher for more than 40 years as she started teaching in 1970 and retired in 2013. Wingler helped Starmount in a variety of ways, but her spirit and attitude helped make Starmount what it is today.

One special moment from the event was Rebecca Bryant getting to induct both her mother and her father, Mary and Ace Parker, into the Hall of Fame.

“It was a wonderful honor, but at the same time it was very emotional,” said Bryant on inducting her parents into the Hall of Fame. “It was very emotional thing because my mom and dad were all about this school. I grew up at this school and it’s just a unique situation. My mom would be so incredibly honored. She would probably just whistle because she had a unique whistle she was known for. My dad is very proud of to be inducted as well. He’s proud of what my mother did, too. It’s a special day.”

The day was special for a variety of people, as members from all over the Starmount community as well as other communities came out to support the Rams inaugural Hall of Fame class.

“This is something to honor all of the people in the community. In Coach Johnson’s speech he talked about it being a family and if you listen to everyone else’s speech about the inductees, family atmosphere was repeated numerous times. This community really is a family. What these 12 individuals have contributed, as well as numerous others, in 50 years time is great,” said Principal Cody Hemric. “To see these coaches, students, and other members come together today and get to see each other, that shows what type of community we are. This is the stuff you’ll cherish and remember for years to come. To see these people happy and come together to share stories. It’s about the relationships. What does it matter what you accomplish if you don’t have those relationships along the way.”

To nominate someone for the next Hall of Fame class, forms can be found on the Starmount High School website or in the front office at Starmount High School. Forms will be accepted until April 5. There is also a donation link on the school website to donate to the Hall of Fame. While anyone can nominate an inductee, the inductees must meet a certain criteria. Any administrator or teacher with a minimum of five years experience that has shown significant growth towards Starmount, any Starmount graduate who obtained a varsity letter, any Starmount head coach with a minimum of seven years coaching, and any alumni or other individual in the Starmount community who has made significant contributions towards the high school.

The Starmount Hall of Fame committee expressed thanks to Ryan Boles, who built the cabinet for the Hall of Fame. The committee also thanked its various sponsors —Gary York, Smith Farms, B and J Farm Supply, Carl Rose and Sons, Crissman, Mendenhall, and Steelman INS, Darwin’s Cafe, D-Rex, James Doll and the Doll family, Edward Jones Financial, 21 Motors, Casstevens Lumber, Foothills Sugar Cured Hams, S and S Motors, and the other companies who donated gift bags, programs and reception necessities.

“We hope we have students that graduate from here that become fine young men and women. We hope they remember the impact that Starmount had on them,” said Hemric. “We hope that this Hall of Fame will inspire young people and make them want to be part of something bigger. The one thing these inductees have in common is the love they have for this community and for Starmount High School.”

The Starmount Hall of Fame inductees, or their representatives, show off their plaques after they were honored on Saturday afternoon in Boonville. Starmount Hall of Fame inductees, or their representatives, show off their plaques after they were honored on Saturday afternoon in Boonville. Melanie Matthews | Starmount High School

By Kristian Russell

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