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CLASS OF 1986

 

MORRIS BRYAN, JR.

Morris M. Bryan, Jr. was born in Athens and was a graduate of McCallie School of Technology in Tennessee and Georgia Tech. Bryan had been an excellent high hurdler during his Georgia Tech years and that love of track and field would spur his committed to the betterment of the sport in Georgia. Morris and his brother Tom partnered with the city of Jefferson to get the Georgia Olympics started in 1972, and it has been a raging success ever since. Some of the nation’s best athletes like: Roger Kingdom, Sam Graddy, Herschel Walker and Reese Hoffa, among many others, have graced the Georgia Olympics with their talents before representing their country in the international Olympics. The idea and dream of Georgia Olympics was Bryan’s. He believed in it. It was one of the highlights of his life. The Morris M. Bryan Memorial Trophy is awarded each year to the athlete who is the outstanding performer over all sessions and classifications of Georgia Olympics.

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BOBBY BRYANT

Bobby Bryant was a three sports star at Macon’s Willingham High School before going on to play baseball and football at the University of South Carolina. He was the A.C.C. Athlete of the Year in both 1966 and 1967. Minnesota took Bryant in the seventh round of the ’67 NFL Draft and he would play defensive back for the Vikings for 13 seasons. In the 1976 NFC Championship game, Bryant returned a blocked FG attempt by the Los Angeles Rams Tom Dempsey for a TD and had 2 interceptions in the game. He was named to the 1975 and 1976 NFC Pro Bowl squads. Bryant had his career high seven interceptions in 1978 and he would retire 2 years later at age 36. Bobby played in 161 NFL games and ranks second on the Vikings all-time list with 51 career interceptions including a pick in his final game against the Oilers and Ken Stabler. He is one of 11 Vikings to have played in all four of their Super Bowls in the 1970’s. 

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WALT FRAZIER

Walt Frazier attended Atlanta's David Tobias Howard High School. He quarterbacked the football team, played catcher on the baseball team, but basketball was the sport that made him a household name. Mainly recruited for football, Frazier opted instead for a basketball scholarship from Southern Illinois University. He was named a Division II All-American in 1964 and 1965 and was named Most Valuable Player of the 1967 N.I.T. Tournament. That summer, Frazier was drafted fifth overall by the New York Knicks and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team during his first season. In 1970, the Knicks claimed the NBA Championship as Frazier posted one of the greatest performances in NBA playoff history, scoring 36 points, seven rebounds, 19 assists, and six steals in leading New York to the title. Walt led the Knicks to a second NBA championship in 1973, topping the Lakers in a five-game series. Frazier was eventually traded to Cleveland and closed his career with 15,571 points and 5040 assists in 822 games. He was a seven time All-Star and his #10 jersey was retired by the Knicks. Frazier was a fashion icon during the ‘70’s and picked up the nickname "Clyde" because he wore a fedora similar to that of Warren Beatty, who played Clyde Barrow in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. 

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JOE GERSON

Small in stature, Joe H. Gerson was an All-State baseball player for Boys High in Atlanta. His skills landed him in Athens to play for the University of Georgia. Gerson possessed a keen eye at the plate and played a mean centerfield for the Diamond Dogs from 1937-1939. Joe was a three-year letterman for Coach J.V. Sikes. Known for his excellent knowledge of the strike zone, Gerson hit safely in every game he played for Georgia, except one. He was All S.E.C. and named team captain of the 1938 squad. When not playing baseball, Gerson was a football manager earning a letter for that as well. Gerson stayed interested in sports, especially baseball throughout his professional life. In 1965, he co-founded the Atlanta Braves 400 club. The booster club was organized one full year before the Milwaukee Braves came to Atlanta. Each year the Fan Club provides means for disadvantaged youths to attend Braves games, and the Fan Club supports youth baseball organizations and provides volunteers for various Braves Foundation activities.

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MARTHA HUDSON PENNYMAN

Martha Hudson “Peewee” (Pennyman) grew up in Eastman and on the playground, she often raced against the boys, generally besting them. When she entered Twin City High School, she ran track and took up basketball, where she was elected team captain. After graduating as salutatorian of her class in 1957, Hudson attended Tennessee State University, becoming a member of the famous Tigerbelles track team. In 1959, she earned a position on the AAU All-American women's track and field team. She won the indoor 100-yard dash the same year. When the 1960 Olympics were held in Rome, four Tigerbelles comprised the U.S. 4x100-meter team: Martha Hudson, Lucinda Williams, Barbara Jones , and Wilma Rudolph. At 4'10", Hudson was the shortest athlete to participate in Olympic competition. With Martha running the first leg, the U.S. team took the gold with a time of 44.5 seconds. After graduating from Tennessee State in 1962, Hudson moved to Thomaston where she became an elementary school teacher and coached the girls' track and basketball teams. She was inducted into the Tennessee Hall of Fame in 1983.

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BILLY LOTHRIDGE

William Lamar “Billy” Lothridge was a graduate of Gainesville High School where he was an All-State quarterback. He signed with Georgia Tech and became a starter his junior season as a three-way player; quarterback on offense, defensive back on defense, and as the team’s punter. In his senior year of 1963, Lothridge was one of the nation’s best players. He threw for 1,017 yards with 10 touchdowns, rushed for 223 yards with 3 touchdowns, had 7 interceptions on defense, and ranked tenth in the nation with a 40.8 yard punting average. Billy finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting that year behind Navy’s Roger Staubach. Lothridge was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the 1964 NFL Draft as a punter and placekicker. Billy bounced around the league until 1965 when he signed with the Atlanta Falcons. He won the NFL punting title in 1967 with a 43.7 average and repeated the next year with a 42.8 average, while receiving All-Pro honors. In 1968, he was also a starter at safety and had 3 interceptions. He is a member of the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

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ANTHONY "ZIPPY" MOROCCO

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Anthony Morocco signed with Georgia in 1948 and he is considered one of the greatest two-sport athletes ever to play for the Bulldogs. Nicknamed “Zippy” for his incredible quickness, Morocco was a football standout and one of the S.E.C.’s top basketball players during his Georgia career. In football, he led the Bulldogs in kickoff returns three consecutive years and in punt returns two years. He also led the Georgia receivers in 1950 averaging more than 10 yards per catch. In basketball, Morocco became Georgia’s first All-American in 1953 when he set the SEC record for scoring (590 points at the time). His greatest performance came that season with Georgia trailing Tennessee 86-85 in Knoxville. Morocco dribbled away nearly the entire final minute. Then, with four seconds remaining, he unleashed a set shot from an estimated 40 feet, swishing a victorious jump shot as time expired. Morocco was named the SEC’s Most Valuable Player that season. He was inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor in 2002.

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JAKE SCOTT

Jacob E. (Jake) Scott III ironically grew up in Athens, moved away and played high school football at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia before migrating back to Athens for a standout career at the University of Georgia. He was the Georgia leader in interceptions in both 1967 and 1968 and was named first-team All-S.E.C. defensive back. Scott left the Bulldogs program after his junior year to go to Canada and play professional football in the CFL for the B.C. Lions. The following year he was eligible for the NFL Draft and was selected by the Miami Dolphins in seventh round in 1970. In just his second season, the free safety had 7 interceptions helping the team reach Super Bowl VI, which they lost 24-3 to the Dallas Cowboys. Jake was named Super Bowl MVP of Super Bowl VII, recording two interceptions in the Dolphins' 14-7 win over the Washington Redskins preserving Miami’s undefeated season. The next year, Scott had two fumble recoveries in the Dolphins 24-7 Super Bowl VIII win. Jake finished with 35 career interceptions in his six seasons with Miami before being traded to Washington where he added another 14 in his three years with the Redskins. Scott is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.