Suki Newton still gets a little tingle when she remembers the first induction ceremony for the Chapel Hill-Lincoln High School Athletics Hall of Fame.
Lincoln High’s 1961 football players, the golden team that had gone undefeated and untied in winning its state championship, were justifiably the collective stars of the night.
“No one was expecting it when they were introduced, but they all got up and starting singing their school fight song,” recalls Newton, a charter member of the selection committee.
“You could just feel the pride they still had in their team and their school.”
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It was a special moment shared by athletes at Chapel Hill High School.
Since the beginning of the hall in 2001, current student-athletes have done most of the ground work for the dinner and ceremony, serving as ticket-takers, waiters and other functionaries.
“It’s really nice to have the kids get to meet and talk with the athletes who were there before them,” said Gordon Neville, who played Chapel Hill Senior High’s 23-0 basketball team in 1957 and was inducted into the Hall of fame in 2010.
Some of this weekend’s faces already will be familiar to current Tiger athletes. Neil Alderman coaches tennis at CHHS and Tripp Price is head wrestling coach.
Alderman (’79) is heading into the hall alongside doubles teammate Edwin Caldwell (’80). Both played on Chapel Hill’s 1979 N.C. High School Athletics Association team champions and paired to win the NCHSAA individual doubles championship that same year.
Price is also a CHHS graduate but is better known for helping to build the Tiger wrestling program from the ground up.
The 2014 inductees also include Jack Bolas (cross country), Meredith Green (swimming), Ryan Horton (football), Tom Maultsby (football, basketball, baseball) and coach John William “Bill” Grice.
Bolas (’06) was the NCHSAA cross-country champion his senior year and twice won the 1600 meters in the state high school championship meet, setting the NCHSAA 1600 record in 2006.
Green (’01), was undefeated in individual events 1999-2001. She was a state champion in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle in 2001.
Horton (’04) was a two-time conference MVP in football, setting PAC-6 records for touchdowns and passing yards, plus a CHHS record for yards.
Maultsby (’52) earned 12 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball at Chapel Hill Senior High School. Of the 12 teams on which he played, seven won district championships.
Before going on to star at Carolina, Maultsby played under Bill Grice, who will be inducted posthumously Saturday. Grice’s football, basketball and baseball teams (1948-55) won nine conference championships in seven years, sweeping the Eastern District championships in all three sports in 1948-49. He later coached football at Oberlin and was athletics director at Campbell and then Case Western until retiring in 1985.
Tickets ($25) are still available at Chapel Hill High School for Saturday’s 6 p.m. dinner and ceremony. For more information call 919-967-4148.