CLASS OF 2013
Benjamin Franklin "Buck" Belue was a two-sport standout in baseball and football at Valdosta High School. When it came to making his college selection, Belue wanted a school that would allow him to play both sports and Vince Dooley and the Georgia Bulldogs agreed. Belue was the starting QB for the Bulldogs undefeated National Championship team of 1980. One of the most storied plays in Bulldogs history came during that 1980 season when Buck hit Lindsay Scott with a 93-yard touchdown pass in a come-from-behind win over Florida. Belue also lettered in baseball all four years at Georgia batting .356 for his career. He was drafted and played three years in the Montreal Expos organization. Belue also played quarterback during the 1984 and 1985 seasons for the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL. After the demise of the USFL, Belue spent two years on the football coaching staff at Valdosta State University. Belue was inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame in 1996.
Harry Christopher "Skip" Caray Jr. was born in St. Louis, the son of the Cardinals famed play-by-play announcer Harry Caray. Naturally, Skip grew up around baseball. He earned his own stripes by attending the University of Missouri where he received a degree in journalism. His professional career began back in St. Louis where he called basketball games for both St. Louis University and the St. Louis Hawks. In 1968, Caray moved with the Hawks to Atlanta, where he also called Atlanta Flames hockey games and did morning sportscasts on WSB-AM. In 1976, he was added to the broadcast team for the Atlanta Braves, a position he would hold for 30 years. Caray was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2004 alongside Pete Van Wieren.
John Barrett (J.B.) Hawkins was born in Whitfield County and graduated from Murray County High School in 1938, where he ran track and played basketball. He attended Berry College and ultimately graduated from the University of Georgia in 1948. After graduation, Hawkins became head basketball coach at Bowdon High School posting a 161-55 record in seven seasons. Then it was on to Roberta to lead the Crawford County basketball program. Hawkins took on the difficult task of coaching both the boys and girls teams. Over the next 32 years, he coached girls for 28 years and boys for 32 years. His won-loss records: girls’ teams: 425-287 and boys’ teams: 649-293. Combined he totaled an amazing 1074 wins. Hawkins took 19 teams to the State Tournament winning a Class C Title in 1969 and finishing second two times.
HEATHER STEPP McCORMICK
Heather Stepp McCormick was born in Detroit, Michigan and at an early age she had an affinity for gymnastics. She began competing at the tender age of seven and by 18 she received a full scholarship to the University of Georgia. As a freshman, she won the 1990 NCAA Southeast Regional Vaulting Championship and was named team MVP. During her sophomore year, Heather won the Honda Inspiration Award after recovering from a career-threatening elbow injury. In 1992, McCormick was the NCAA National Vault Champion, All-American in the Balance Beam and Floor Exercises, All-SEC All-Around Champion, and All-SEC Vault Champion. In 1993, she led the GymDogs to a National Team Championship and captured the NCAA National Vault Championship, the National Floor Exercise Championship, and the Regional Balance Beam Championship. McCormick was a 9-time All-America and twice earned First-Team All-SEC distinction. She was inducted into UGA’s Circle of Honor.
Reggie Wilkes was a two-sport star for Southwest Atlanta High School. An All-State defensive end on the 1973 State Championship football team, and a forward on the school’s back-to-back State Championship basketball teams of ’73 and ’74. Wilkes stayed close to home and selected Georgia Tech where he was a three-year starter at outside linebacker for the Jackets. He compiled 200 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions from 1975 to 1977. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1978 and moved into the starting lineup in just his third game. Wilkes finished the season with 88 tackles which earned him a place on the NFL All-Rookie team. In 1980, the Eagles posted a 12-4 record and captured the NFC Championship only to lose Super Bowl XV to Oakland 27-10. Wilkes would spend two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons from 1986-1987 where he registered 116 tackles.