|Four new members to be inducted into Sulphur Springs Athletic Hall of Fame|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Sept. 10, 2005 - Two state champions, a four-time state qualifier and a gritty football standout will be the newest inductees into the Sulphur Springs Athletic Hall of Fame.
State champion distance runner Greg Adair (Class of 1980), state medalist golfer Kirk Walker ('76), tennis record holder Julie Stone ('93) and football standout David Rawson ('65) were selected for induction by a seven-member committee chaired by Stacy Cody.
The three former Wildcats and one former Lady Cat will be inducted in pre-game ceremonies at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at Gerald Prim Stadium. The Wildcats host Paris in the District 12-4A opener at 7:30 that night.
Cody said the four athletes show how Sulphur Springs has excelled in so many different sports over the last four decades.
"We're pleased once again to have such a diverse class of inductees from multiple sports and from a wide range of graduating classes," Cody said. "We're excited also to be putting in another Lady Cat to join the two already in the Hall of Fame along with two state champions and record holders.
"It's phenomenal to realize what a great group of athletes we had come through here that we don't necessarily think about on a daily basis until it comes time to recognize them."
Her family moved to Sulphur Springs from Tyler before her freshman year, and what a coup it was for the Wildcat tennis program.
Stone showed her mettle in 1990 as a freshman when she won the district title, was runner-up at regional and went two rounds deep at the state tennis tournament.
The next year, she did even better, winning district and regional. She did the same her junior year ... and her senior year.
Before her high school career was over, Stone had won the district singles title all four years, was a three-time regional champion and a four-time state qualifier. Along the way, she was the school tennis MVP and won the Forrest Gregg MVP Award.
Her high school career record of 136 wins and 9 losses has never been matched.
She received tennis scholarships to Tyler Junior College and the University of Houston. She currently teaches tennis at Royal Oak Country Club in Houston.
Sulphur Springs has become a hotbed for high school distance runners, and it was Adair who set the standard in the late '70s and 1980.
Adair was a pole vaulter and distance runner in junior high, but turned strictly to running as a high school freshman and it paid off. He could be seen running all over town in any kind of weather.
At a time when the longest event was the mile run, the hard-working Adair was the district champion in the 1,600-meter run all four years of high school and was a regional qualifier each year. His time of 4 minutes, 20.90 seconds, set his senior year in 1980, is still the school record 25 years later.
Adair made his mark on a statewide basis in cross country. He became the school's first state champion in a distance event when he won the Class 4A title his junior year. As a senior, he was state runner-up.
He was named the school's track MVP.
He went on to Northeast Louisiana University on a track/cross country scholarship. He is currently the senior buyer for Dynamic Health Solutions in Richardson. He lives in Rockwall with his wife, Bridgett, and their two children, Matthew and Olivia.
Like Adair in distance running, Walker was the forerunner for the long-running success in the Wildcat golf program.
He reached the pinnacle as a SSHS senior when he won the individual state championship in 1976, becoming the first local golfer to achieve that measure of success. He set the standard that launched Sulphur Springs to golfing prominence over the next several decades.
Walker was a four-year golf letterman and three-year regional qualifier, including becoming the regional co-champion in 1976. He was the school's golf MVP as a senior.
He received golf scholarships from Paris Junior College and Stephen F. Austin State University. He has also been club champion at the Sulphur Springs Country Club numerous times.
He has been employed by UPS for over 23 years and currently lives in Sulphur Springs with his wife, Rhonda. They have two children, Cort and Heather.
A promising running back for the Wildcat football teams in the early- to mid-'60s, Rawson was converted to an offensive lineman due to a knee injury and he then succeeded there.
"Not many people could go from being a great running back to having a severe injury to becoming a great lineman," Cody said. "That just showed the exceptional athletic ability that he had."
Members of the selection committee who played with Rawson or saw him play said it was a disservice to have a Hall of Fame without him in it.
A four-year letterman in football, he rushed for 192 yards in a game against Hugo, Okla., as a sophomore. At the time, that was the second-highest rushing effort in school history (now ninth).
After an injury during his junior year, he converted to offensive line, where he was named All-District as a senior. Rawson received a football scholarship to East Texas State University.
He is currently retired from Southwestern Bell and a local president of CWA. He and his wife, Judy, have four children.