May 19, 2004
Raleigh, N.C. - The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame will enshrine nine outstanding North Carolina sports figures at the 41st annual induction ceremonies in Raleigh on May 20. The inductees will be introduced at an afternoon news conference at the N.C. Museum of History. Formal induction will come during a sold-out evening banquet at the North Raleigh Hilton.
The 2004 inductees include the following:
-Charles (Babe) Howell of Newland
-Carey Brewbaker, deceased
-Joe Cheves of Morganton
-Jimmy Clack of Greensboro
-George Clark of High Point
-Tony Cloninger of Kings Mountain
-Leora (Sam) Jones of Raleigh
-John Henry Moss of Kings Mountain
-H.A. (Humpy) Wheeler of Cornelius
Biographical data on the inductees is as follows:
Charles (Babe) Howell: A native of Monroe who had an outstanding football and baseball player at Western Carolina, playing four years in both sports. At Western, he was named "Oustanding Player" as a tackle on the 1951 football team and he was a three-year starting pitcher for the Cats. Howell found his niche teaching others how to play those games during a 44-year coaching career. He spent 24 years at Sylva-Webster High School where he won 5 state football championships and two state baseball titles. Howell?s 301 career wins as a football coach and 618 baseball victories are both North Carolina records. Howell lives in Newland.
Carey Brewbaker: An outstanding football coach at Durham High School where his teams won or shared five state championships from 1938-1945. The Bulldogs lost only once in Brewbaker?s final 38 games at Durham. He spent 18 years as defensive line coach on Earle Edwards? staff at NC State University. The Wolfpack won five Atlantic Coast Conference championships during Brewbaker?s tenure. Brewbaker is deceased.
Joe Cheves: One of North Carolina?s top teaching professional golfers at the age of 85. A resident of Morganton, he still plays golf and holds the record for shooting his age or better. Posted a 68 when he was 80 years old, a record for such a feat on a regulation 18-hole golf course.
Jimmy Clack: Football and basketball star at Rocky Mount High School, where his team won two state football championships and one state title in basketball. Linebacker and offensive tackle at Wake Forest University and played in the 1964 Shrine Bowl and the 1965 East-West game. Clack had a 10-year NFL career with Pittsburgh and the New York Giants. He earned two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers (IX and X). Clack lives in Greensboro.
George Clark: Played football for legendary coach Leon Brogden at Wilson, then lettered in baseball and football at Duke. Clark was a 2nd team All-America in 1945 and was one of the Blue Devils? stars in a 29-26 victory over Alabama in the 1945 Sugar Bowl. Holds the Duke record for longest punt return and best punt return average for a season. Clark lives in High Point.
Tony Cloninger: A Lincoln County native who spent 12 years as a major league baseball pitcher with the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati, and St. Louis Cardinals. Cloninger won 113 games, including 24 with Milwaukee in 1965. He hit a pair of grand slam home runs in 1966 with Atlanta. Played in two World Series with Cincinnati. Cloninger lives in Kings Mountain.
Leora (Sam) Jones: Mount Olive native and basketball star at East Carolina, she earned a world-class reputation as a team handball player. Jones was a member of three U-S Olympic teams (1984, 1988, 1992) and was named the national team handball Player of the Year three times. The Lady Pirates participated in post-season tournaments two consecutive years while Jones was on the roster. Jones lives in Raleigh.
John Henry Moss: A leader in minor league baseball administration for many years. President of the South Atlantic League, with several teams in North Carolina, for over 40 years, Moss has seen 41 teams operate in four states. Moss is a native of Kings Mountain and has served as that town?s mayor.
H.A. (Humpy Wheeler): A leader in NASCAR?s success and President and General Manager of Lowe?s Motorspeedway since 1975. The Belmont native is recognized as the foremost showman in major league stock car racing. He played football and boxed as a student as the University of South Carolina, compiling a 40-2 record in Golden Gloves competition. Wheeler lives in Cornelius.
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, with 217 members, was established in 1963 and is housed in the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. The 4,000 square foot exhibit includes sports memorabilia ranging from a Richard Petty race car to the Homestead Grays? uniform worn by the late Walter "Buck" Leonard, who played baseball in the Negro National League, to the NBA Championship Ring of Boston Celtics star Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell.
The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free.