Sports Hall of Fame

Rory Segrest – 2013


Rory Segrest
Inducted 2013
One of the all-time great Waycross High School Bulldog linemen, Prep All-American Rory Segrest went on to play at Alabama before embarking on a successful coaching career in the National Football League and on the college level.
He is on the football staff at Samford University today.
He stockpiled nearly every award he was eligible to receive as one of Coach Dale Williams’ top players in Waycross Bulldog history, starting on the offensive line while also playing defensive line. In 1990 he was team captain, team MVP, All-State and Super Prep First Team All American. At Waycross he also was a track athlete in the shot and discus events.
He was an Alabama Crimson Tide footballer 1991-1994 before a career-ending injury. He was twice a letterman and a member of the 1992 National Championship Team. He immediately started his coaching career as a student assistant while still on scholarship in Tuscaloosa in 1994 and has been coaching in college or in the NFL since.
His coaching stints have included Auburn and the Philadelphia Eagles. His assignments have included defensive line coach, special teams coordinator, offensive tackles coach, tight ends coach, strength and conditioning coach and recruiting coordinator.
Rory coached in the 2009 Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
In 1994 he wed the former Jacqueline Stapchuk of San Angelo, Texas. They have a son, James.

Jim (Smiley) Burrows – 2013


Jim (Smiley) Burrows 
Inducted 2013
Jim “Smiley” Burrows played football for the Waycross High School Bulldogs from 1956 through 1959. His life-long love for sports, particularly football, began as a running back for the Morton Avenue Elementary School Panthers. Following his sophomore season at Waycross, he was selected by the YMCA Men’s Club as one of only five athletes in Georgia and 150 nationwide to attend the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Summer Conference at Estes Park, Colo.
As a Waycross High Bulldog running back, Smiley helped lead the 1959 Bulldogs to an 8-2 record and the state playoffs. He was the leading rusher in six games and near the end of the season was tied with Marvin Hurst as the scoring leader. His best game was against Glynn Academy as he had 150 yards rushing, 54 yards receiving and scored three touchdowns. Smiley was named four times to the weekly state AP Roll Call of Stars, was Honorable Mention All-State and won his team’s Offensive Back MVP Award.
Following his senior season he received a full grant-in-aid scholarship to the University of Georgia where he played for legendary Coach Wally Butts and for Coach Johnny Griffith.
In October 2010, he and five other members of the 1959 Waycross Bulldogs were invited by the 1960 State Championship Waycross Bulldogs to join in the 50th Anniversary celebration for their part in helping the 1960 team become state champions.
Smiley graduated from Georgia with a degree in education and continued his involvement in sports. He served in public recreation for the Moultrie Parks and Recreation Department for the last 39 years, most of them as Athletics Program Director. He was a member of the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association, serving on the Membership Committee, Awards Committee and State Athletics Committee for 10 years.
In 2000 he received the Jim Buck Goff District III Distinguished Professional Award which recognizes “an individual who has excelled in situations where they are primarily responsible for the supervision or implementation of recreation, parks or leisure services.”
He retired from full-time work in January of this year, but he continues to be active in sports as an official with the local Sunbelt Umpires Association.
Smiley and his wife, the former Elaine Myddelton of Waycross, have two children and seven grandchildren. Daughter Katy Martin and husband Bud have three children and son Brown Burrows and wife Tina have four children.

Kenny Whiddon – 2013



Kenny Whiddon

Inducted 2013
Ken Whiddon was born and grew up in Waycross where he played football and ran track at Waycross High and graduated in 1961.
After high school, Kenny walked on at the University of Georgia. Although he was told he was too small to play for the Bulldogs, he earned a full scholarship and lettered with the Bulldogs
three years. He was on the early Vince Dooley and Erk Russell teams in Athens.
During his senior year, Georgia won the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs won the Cotton Bowl as he recovered a fumble on a key play in the game. A close-up camera shot on TV marked the first time Ken’s future in-laws saw his face.
As Ken graduated from UGA with a BA in Physical Education and Recreation, he stayed and helped Coach Russell as a grad assistant, honing his coaching skills under Erk’s tutelage.
Kenney became “Coach Whiddon” and kept that title for the next 37 years.
Throughout his coaching career Ken coached many sports, but football and wrestling were his primary focus. He became known and sought after for his ability to build successful high school wrestling programs, several of them winning state championships. In each of the school systems that Ken coached, one thing was constant — he always left the program in excellent shape and always left for the next challenge before the current school was ready for him to go.
Near the end of Coach Whiddon’s career, he was inducted into the National High School Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. and received the Lifetime Achievement Award. A high school gym where he coached in Dublin, Ga. bears his name.
Ken is now retired from teaching and coaching and lives in Dublin, Ga. where he is a pillar of the community. Because of his gracious humility, after meeting Ken, one would never guess
what he has achieved during his life. However, a short walk with Ken through town would make it obvious to anyone which achievement makes him the proudest. He has touched literally
thousands of lives through his coaching.

Lisa Lee Hudson – 2013


Lisa Lee Hudson
Inducted 2013
As a standout athlete for Ware County High School in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Lisa earned a reputation for her strong work ethic, versatility and competitive
spirit. She accomplished much in track, basketball and cross country.
As a middle distance runner for the first women’s track squad at WCHS in 1978 and 1979 Lisa competed individually at the 800 meter, 1 mile and 2 mile distances in addition to anchoring the 4 by 100 and 4 by 400 relay teams. During her senior year in 1980 she also ran cross country.
What originally began as a way to stay fit during her basketball off-season, running the un-paved roads of Bickley became her track and cross country training ground.
Her passion for running earned her top region honors in the 800 meters and 1 mile in 1978 and 1979, qualifying her for state competition. In 1980, Lisa was a top qualifier in the 1 and 2 mile events and a top state 2 miler. In cross country that same year, she won the region and qualified for state.
As a Lady Gator basketball guard she lettered in 1978, 1979 and 1980.
Lisa was voted the track MVP in 1978, 1979 and 1980 and Most Outstanding Female Athlete at WCHS in 1980.
After graduation, Lisa’s track success led her to run competitively on the first women’s cross country team at Valdosta State University. She continues to stay active and compete in distance running events, triathlons and adventure races throughout the southeast.
Lisa is the daughter of Shirley and Joe Lee. She is married to husband, Gary with two sons, Hayden and Jacob. They live in Athens, Ga.

J. Maxie Hemmans – 2013


J. Maxie Hemmans
Inducted 2013
Center High School athlete J. Maxie Hemmans played football four years for the Tigers, donning the blue and gold from 1958 through 1961. He was a three-year starter as both an offensive and defensive tackle. Labeled a “60-Minute Man” because he never left the field, Hemmans played both offense and defense, and was a member of all special teams.
As a senior, Hemmans was voted captain of the football team, elected student body president, and was named to the Georgia All-Star football team in Atlanta as a twoway starter at guard.
He earned a full athletic scholarship to Morris Brown College in Atlanta. He played four years there as a first-string offensive and defensive guard, and was selected to the All-SIAC conference team.
After earning his B.S. degree in mathematics, Hemmans returned to Waycross to teach math and coach football at Center High and then at Waycross High.
When he moved to California, he earned his master’s degree and continued to teach and coach in Los Angeles, building character and influencing the lives of many young men who later played major college and professional football, including one athlete who would later be named head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
Hemmans later served as an administrator at several secondary schools in the Los Angeles School District, retiring as a principal in 2005. He currently resides in Carson, Calif. with his wife Eve. The couple has three children and five grandchildren.

J. L. Clark – 2012


J. L. Clark
Inducted 2012
John Lee “J.L” Clark was one of the best football players in Wacona Hornet history. Playing in the mid-1950s, he was twice an All-State Team choice and was named the Class “B” Lineman of the Year after his senior season (1956) by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The first organized football game that he ever witnessed was one that he played in, having moved to Waycross from Kingsland, the town in which he was born. While watching Wacona’s varsity football team practice from his classroom window, he decided that was something he would like to try. He made the team in the ninth grade and played four years of varsity football (1953-1956). He and his teammates never wore protective faceguards; therefore he suffered three broken noses.
At the end of his junior year, he was named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class “B” All-State Team. Following his senior year J.L. again earned All-State honors, including being named the Class “B” Lineman of the Year.
After graduating from Wacona he played in the annual North-South All-Star game in Atlanta in 1956. The South squad trounced the North All-Stars. While at the North-South game, he signed a scholarship agreement to play at the University of Chattanooga, but he decided against playing college ball by the time the fall rolled around.
Today J.L. resides in Marianna, Florida with his wife, Annette Beverly. They have four children, fourteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Johnny Taylor – 2012


Johnny Taylor
Inducted 2012
A premier athlete at Ware County High School, Johnny Taylor had a stellar career as a quarterback 1989-1991. He earned All-State and All-America recognition as he was breaking Ware High passing records held by Chris Sloan, Doug Gill and others.
His career stats at Ware include over 5,700 yards passing, 53 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns. He was a standout on the basketball court as well.
Johnny went on to become the starting quarterback at the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I. and later transferred to Valdosta State University where he was a two-year letterman at tight end and fullback.
During his Ware career, he was recognized for honor by local, state and national media. Among honors bestowed were Blue Chip Magazine Pre-Season All-America, three-time All-Region quarterback, three-time All-State (honorable mention) by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, two-time All Coastal Empire by the Savannah Morning News, Florida Times-Union Super 11, the No. 15 State of Georgia Single Season Passing Leader by Peach State Football (1991), USA Today “Players to Watch” in Georgia, Max Emfinger’s Future Superstars of 1991 and National 200 Top 28 Quarterbacks.
He is married to the former Jennifer Allen and they have five children, Seth, Anslei, Brody, Addison and Emmaline.

Mike Mincey – 2012


Mike Mincey
Inducted 2012
One of the finest all-around athletes in Ware County High history, Mike Mincey went on to star collegiately at Morehead State College in Kentucky.
He earned letters in football, basketball and track at Ware between 1961 and 1965. He was particularly outstanding in football, earning the first team running back berth on the 1963 Class AA All-State team as a junior.
Injured for much of his ninth-grade season, by his sophomore year Mike was the starting fullback. He also punted, played linebacker and received the George Fesperman Blocking Award for the season. His junior season he led Ware in rushing and was the second leading tackler behind All-State linebacker Clyde Roberson. He made All-State on offense. As a senior tailback in the newly installed single-wing offense at Ware, he led the team in rushing yardage and total offense and was the leading tackler on defense. He received the Rivenbark Most Valuable Football Player Award, the O.K. Burgess Athletic Achievement Award and the Ware High Outstanding Athlete Award. He was honorable mention All-State as a senior.
Mike then attended Morehead State on an athletic scholarship, was a four-year starter playing fullback and various positions on defense and helped the team win the Ohio Valley Conference championship in 1966. He graduated in 1969 with a degree in education.
Following a short tenure in teaching and coaching in Kentucky and at Tift County High in Georgia, he completed graduate studies and returned to Morehead State University, serving in several administrative roles over the next 27 years. His final 16 years at Morehead he was the vice president for student life, and, for the final five years, he also held the dual role of director of athletics. He retired in 2002.
Mike has three married children and one grandchild, with another expected in May.
He resides with his wife, Kathy, on a farm in southern Ohio.

Gerald Anderson – 2012


Gerald Anderson
Inducted 2012
Gerald Anderson won four letters in football and in track at Ware County High between 1997 and 2000. He was a three-year starter on the defensive and offensive lines for the Gators earning numerous honors. He was twice All-Region and All-Okefenokee Area at defensive tackle, the position he later played at Georgia (where he earned All-SEC status). His Ware career stats include 203 tackles, 32 tackles for loss and 12 QB sacks. He played in the Georgia-Florida High School all-star football game in 2001. In a game versus Valdosta High in 2000, Gerald accrued 14 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 2 QB sacks as the Gators won. A Florida newspaper made him the Georgia-Florida Defensive Player of the Week for that performance.
In track, he set the Ware Gator shot put record of 56 feet and 6 inches to help win the team region title in 2001. He placed fifth in the shot at the state track meet as a senior.
At UGA he was starting DT for three seasons and had 132 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 5 QB sacks. He was among the top five strongest players in school football history with a record setting 710-pound squat max, 520-pound bench press max and 350-pound power clean max.
Later Gerald would serve as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Ware County.
Today he is on the coaching staff at Birmingham Southern.

Donny Carter – 2012


Donny Carter
Inducted 2012
Wacona athlete Donny Carter excelled for the Hornets in the middle 1950s. In 1956, the second baseman with a .480 batting average earned his way onto the All-State team. He was a football standout at Wacona, too. He later coached recreational department football.
He played baseball for four years at Wacona, helping the Hornets reach the Class B state championship final series. They finished that season as the state runner-up. He was a good all-around player. Donny was a solid fielder, hitter and base-runner. He and the Hornets won four region championships, two South Georgia championships and one 6th District (West Georgia) championship. In football he lettered three years as a defense back and safety (the first two years), then as a senior, at running back, defensive back and return specialist. Wacona’s record during his tenure was 23 wins and 7 losses.
He is married to Wanda and they have two sons, one daughter, three grandsons and one granddaughter.