High School Sports

The Numbers Game: The 60s

The Numbers Game

Numbers 69-60

No. 60

Steve Wilson, Willingham/Southwest, football

Bio: After graduating from Southwest, Wilson earned three letters at Georgia. He started his final two seasons – at guard in 1974 and replacing fellow Macon native Craig Hertwig at tackle in 1975. Wilson became a fifth round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976. Wilson played in the NFL for 10 seasons, all with the Buccaneers. He was the final original Buccaneers player to retire. He anchored the offensive line on three playoff teams for Tampa Bay.

Why we picked him: One of the first standout players for Southwest, Wilson got better with each step along the way in his career. He went from good high school player to very good college player to one of the best centers in the NFL. He was a steady force in the Buccaneers progression from laughing stock expansion franchise to perennial playoff contender from 1979-82.

Others to consider

Mark Stewart, Northside, football: A current assistant coach at his alma mater, Stewart signed with Florida State out of high school after an All-Middle Georgia senior season.

Jimmy Moore, Hawkinsville, football: Moore played on two of the best teams in Red Devils history. The Red Devils lost to West Point in the 1958 state championship game. Hawkinsville, however, bounced back a year later when it beat North Cobb 6-0 in the championship game. Moore was named lineman of the year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following the win.

Gordon Watson, Mary Persons, football: Watson was named The Telegraph’s Player of the Year in 1974.

No. 61

Danny Carpenter, Northside, football

Bio: Carpenter earned All-Middle Georgia honors as a standout lineman for Northside in 1967. He helped the Eagles to a 6-3-1 record that year, which gave the school its best winning percentage to that point in school history. He also was on the first two Northside teams to beat Warner Robins. Carpenter later 33-13 as a Northside head coach from 1982-1985 and became superintendent of the Houston County school system.

Why we picked him: Carpenter was one of the key players in the early years of the Northside football program. He earned honorable mention all-state honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a distinction that only two Northside players had received before him.

No. 62

Jim Parker, Hudson, football

Bio: Parker grew up in Macon and attended Ballard-Hudson for his first three years before moving to Toldeo, Ohio for his senior season. He caught the eye of Ohio State’s then head football coach Woody Hayes in 1952 and went on to a stellar college career. Parker played on both sides of the ball and helped the Buckeyes win the national championship in 1954. Over the next two seasons, Parker earned two All America selections, won the Outland Trophy and finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Parker was the first-round selection of the Baltimore Colts. He played 11 seasons for the Colts, making eight Pro Bowl appearances and earning 10 All-Pro selections. He won two NFL championships with the Colts and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Parker’s obituary in the New York Times said he “is widely regarded as the best offensive lineman ever.”

Why we picked him: Although he didn’t graduate high school in Macon, Parker is undoubtedly one of Macon’s and Georgia’s greatest athletes. In addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he’s in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Ohio State’s Varsity O Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. He also made Sports Illustrated’s All-Century college team and the NFL’s 75th anniversary team.

Others to consider

Carlie McNeil, Willingham, football: McNeil was one of seven all-state players in Willingham history. McNeil signed with Florida State.

Chip Minton, Southwest, bobsledding: Minton wore No. 62 as a football player at Southwest, but he became known for making two Olympic bobsledding teams and winning a bronze in the event at the 1997 World Championships.

No. 63

Neil Callaway, Central, football

Bio: After landing on the honorable mention all-state list as a junior, Callaway was named to the all-state team in 1972 after helping lead the Chargers to an 11-1-1 record. The Chargers lost to Lakeside-DeKalb in the state championship game. Callaway played in two Sugar Bowls and one Orange Bowl as a player at Alabama from 1975-77. His versatility allowed him to play five different positions for the Crimson Tide. Callaway went on to coach at six different colleges, including stints at Auburn, Alabama and Georgia before becoming the head coach at UAB n 2006.

Why we picked him: Callaway played on some of the great Central football teams that helped pave the way for the 1975 Chargers’ championship run. His outstanding player career helped earn him induction into the Macon Sports Hall of Fame. Callaway earned Alabama’s Frank Thomas Award as the team’s outstanding athlete in 1977.

Others to consider

Harold Hallman, Southwest, football: Hallman earned All-SEC honors at Auburn in 1985 before embarking on a standout career in the Canadian Football League. He made four all-star teams with Toronto and Calgary, and he won a Grey Cup with Toronto.

Jason Respert, Northside, football: Respert made two all-state teams as a high school player in 1998 and 1999 before heading to Tennessee, where he lettered for four seasons and became team captain as a senior. He currently is the head football coach at Douglas County.

Tommy Seward, Lanier, football: The standout offensive lineman signed with South Carolina.

Sid Smith, Warner Robins, football: Smith attended Warner Robins during the Demons’ five-year run of nine wins from 1968-72. Smith went on to play at Alabama.

No. 64

Roger Womack, Tift County, football

Bio: Womack was the best player on arguably the best Tift County team prior to the Gene Brodie era that began in 1976. Womack earned All-Middle Georgia Lineman of the Year honors from The Telegraph in 1966

Why we picked him: Womack was the first All-Middle Georgia player of the year for Tift County high school. He was also a stalwart on the defense that stopped top-ranked Moultrie in an upset over the Packers in the first game ever the stadium that would later be called Brodie Field.

No. 65

Justin Brown, Warner Robins, football

Bio: Brown was a consensus all-state selection in 2004 after helping lead Warner Robins to the state championship. Brown went to Furman, where he earned All-Southern Conference honors in 2006 and 2007. He also earned Sports Network honorable mention All-America honors in 2007. Brown is now an assistant coach at Mercer.

Why we picked him: Brown was the captain on the Demon’s 2004 team that went 14-0-1 and ended a 16-year championship drought for Warner Robins.

Others to consider

Dion Armstrong, Peach County, football: A three-year high school starter, Armstrong helped the Trojans win state titles in 2005 and 2006 before signing with Maryland.

Greg Crabb, Dublin, football: Crabb made an all-state team at Dublin before lettering for three years at South Carolina.

Haywood Simmons, Southwest, football: Simmons went from Southwest to lettering two years and winning the 1994 Rose Bowl at Wisconsin.

No. 66

Le Kevin Smith, Stratford, football

Bio:Smith’s dominant prep career was highlighted by being named the USA Today Georgia Player of the Year in 2000. He was The Telegraph’s City Player of the Year the same year and earned Georgia Player of the Year honors from the Macon Touchdown Club. Smith started 35 games during his career at Nebraska, where he would become one of the leaders of the Cornhuskers’ “Blackshirt” defense as a senior. He finished his college career with 36 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. He was named to the Sporting News’ Big 12 All-Freshmen team. The New England Patriots drafted Smith in the sixth round in 2006, and he played for both the Patriots and the Denver Broncos from 2006-10.

Why we picked him: Smith is one of the greatest football players in GISA history. He completed dominated the league during his tenure at Stratford, which including record-breaking performances in track and field.

Others to consider

Antron Harper, Dodge County, football: The undersized lineman started 38 straight games and anchored an offensive line that led the nation in rushing yards. Harper landed on the Rimington and Outland Trophy watch lists, and he made the All-East team as a senior alongside future NFL stars Matt Ryan, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy and Chris Long.

Otis Lindsey, Dodge County, football: Lindsey played on Clemson’s 1981 national championship team, and he started five games at linebacker a year later.

No. 67

Carl Summers, Willingham, football/wrestling

Bio: Summers left Willingham following a solid high school career, but he took a detour to college by serving three tours in Vietnam. While serving in the Vietnam Conflict, Summers was awarded the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts, and a Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Bravery. After returning, Summers competed on Tennessee-Martin’s first wrestling team, serving as a captain for two years. Summers is in UT-Martin’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

Why we picked him: Summers was one of the toughest athletes to ever come out of Willingham, or maybe even Macon altogether. He held Marine and world records in fitness and weightlifting. He also lettered three years on UT-Martin’s football team.

Others to consider

Shaquan Hicks, Washington County, football: Hicks earned all-state honors in 2006 on his way to helping the Golden Hawks back to the state semifinals. He signed with Florida International.

No. 68

Dustin Chancellor, Peach County, football

Bio: Chancellor was an all-state standout on the Trojans’ offensive line that won the 2005 state championship. He moved on to Furman, where knee injuries derailed his four-year college career. He did play in 11 games as one of four true freshmen to suit up for the Paladins.

Why we picked him: Quarterback Antonio Henton, wide receivers Chris Slaughter and Udom Umoh and running backs Mareo Howard and Duranzo Brown received much of the attention during the Trojans’ record-breaking offensive season in 2005. Someone, however, had to lead the way up front, and Chancellor did just that.

Others to consider

Gerald Payton, Central, football: Payton helped anchor a defense that led the Chargers win the 1975 state championship. He earned All-City honors from The Telegraph following the season.

No. 69

Terry Jolly, Peach County, football

Bio: After a strong junior season that resulted in all-state honorable mention recognition, Jolly followed with a dominant defensive season as a senior. He earned consensus all-state honors while playing on the same defense with Adrian Hollingshed in 1995. He became an anchor up front for Clemson in 1999 and 2000. He made second-team All-ACC as a junior and landed on the first-team as a senior. The State, the Columbia, S.C. newspaper, named Jolly to its Clemson All-Decade Team in 2009.

Why we picked him: Jolly played a part in setting the stage for what was to come under then-Peach County head coach Rodney Walker. He went from being one of the best defensive linemen in Georgia to becoming one of the best in the ACC.

Others to consider

Johnnie Farms, Perry, football: Farms made all-state teams as a junior and senior (2007 and 2008) to become the third Perry player – alongside Kanorris Davis and Lee St. John – to achieve the honor. He now plays at Memphis.

Related stories from Macon Telegraph