Johnston County Public Schools inducted six new members to the Johnston County Athletic Hall of Fame on May 7, during the annual Hall of Fame Banquet held at Princeton High.
In the fall of 2005, the high school athletic directors and principals met with JCPS administrators and presented the need to preserve the accomplishments and memories of the men and women who established athletic history in Johnston County.
A Hall of Fame committee consisting of JCPS personnel was encouraged to pursue the possibility of establishing our own Hall of Fame. After a year of researching other models with colleges, high schools, and athletic organizations, the committee established their own by-laws and continued their efforts.
In the fall of 2006, each high school was challenged to find individuals from their communities who were deserving of Hall of Fame recognition as an athlete, coach or support person.
In 2007, JCPS established a permanent display of all inductees as a way to say thank you to the individuals who have helped shape athletic history in Johnston County.
Joining the class of 2022 are D. Clay Best, Al Evans, Sarah Henry, Glen M. Hinnant, LuLong Ogburn Medlin, and Rodney Ormond.
D. Clay Best covered Johnston County high school sports, including the State Championship runs of the Clayton High School boys golf team in 2005, the Princeton High baseball team in 2007, Princeton High’s volleyball team in 2014, and the Princeton High softball team in 2015. Best traveled to cover Johnston County athletic teams in the high school playoffs from Cherokee (1A football playoffs) to Cape Hatteras (2A basketball and soccer playoffs) and all points in between.
Al Evans was born in Kenly, NC on September 28, 1916. He went to school in Kenly, then
went to Oak Ridge Military Academy in Oak Ridge, NC, after graduating from high school. After leaving Oak Ridge, Evans began his baseball career in the Carolina “Textile Leagues” in 1936 and 1937, before being discovered and signed by Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith. When he was released by the Senators in 1950, he was signed by the Boston Red Sox. He played his final major league game on August 5, 1951 and then played in the minor leagues until 1955. He was a career .250 hitter in over 700 games in the major leagues.
Sarah Henry is a 2010 graduate of West Johnston High. As a high school freshman swimmer in 2007, she was the 4A State Champion in the 100 Butterfly. As a junior in 2009, she was the 4A State Champion in the 500 Freestyle. As a senior in 2010 her team were conference champions, and she was the 4A State Champion in both the 200 and 500 Freestyle events. As a result of these two championships, she was named the Most Valuable Female Swimmer at the NCHSAA 4A State Swim Championships
Glen M. Hinnant graduated from Corinth Holders High School in 1969 after a decorated athletic career. He played basketball for three years, leading the team in rebounding and scoring as they won a conference championship in his senior year. He was even more special as a baseball player, playing varsity for four years and leading the teams to three straight conference championships (1967, 1968, 1969) and three straight berths in the 1A StatePlayoffs.
LuLong Ogburn Medlin was born in Smithfield. Her high school basketball career began as a freshman in 1947. The coach, Luby Royal, decided to start her first game and over the next four years Medlin became a standout for North Carolina. That year she scored approximately 250 points. As a sophomore, Medlin scored 400 hundred points. In her junior year she bagged 486 points, and she ended her high school career by scoring 718 points during her senior year. LuLong became the all-time scoring leader of Johnston County with nearly 2000 points. She went on to become Miss North Carolina in 1951 and runner up in the Miss America Pageant.
Rodney Ormond was born and raised in Princeton, NC and attended the Princeton K-12 school. In high school, Ormond was a three-sport standout with college recruitment in football, basketball and baseball. He was awarded AllConference in baseball, football and basketball and was selected to the All-State baseball team his junior and senior year. Ormond also helped lead the Bulldogs to two baseball state championships where he was awarded MVP of the series. He earned the Bulldog Award his senior year, along with MVP awards in baseball and football. In 2009, Ormond was inducted into the Princeton High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Johnston County Athletic Hall of Fame display is located at 211 Rose Street in Smithfield in the JCS West Campus Building and can be viewed during regular business hours Monday through Friday.