RHSSHOF Induction Ceremony Saturday
The Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame is set to welcome the 2017 inductees on Saturday, Sept. 2.
Named earlier this summer were Charlie Bateman, a member of the Rector High School class of 1978, Scotty Johnson, a member of the Rector High School class of 1977 and the late David Shelton, of the Rector High School class of 1982. Also being honored are the members of the 1964 Rector High School basketball team.
1964 Blackcat Basketball Team
The 1964 Rector Blackcat basketball team is remembered as one of the best Rector teams of all time, finishing their campaign as the state semi-finalist, at 27-9.
Although this was decades before the three-point basket, during the regular season the Cats topped the 100 point mark at least two times. That season they were seeded number one in the NEA tournament, and posted a 72-47 win over the Brinkley Tigers—the eventual state champions in Class A.
After beating Perryville 52-50 in the opening round of the state tournament, Rector lost its starting center, Lee Roy Brewer due to an injury. The Cats then faced Mountain Home in the quarterfinals. Coach Bucy started junior Garvin Gatewood in Brewer’s place--and he responded with 15 points in the 64-59 win.
Accounts of the day noted defense was key to the win. The season for Rector ended with a loss to Waldo in the state semi-finals by a score of 53-70.
The 1964 basketball team included nine players who started at one time or another according to Coach Bucy: 6’4” Lee Roy Brewer, 6’3” Steve Bookout, 6’2” Allen Williams, 6’0” Bill Cossey (the team’s leading shooter and rebounder), 5’11” Allan Pruett, 5’8” Mike Gibson, 5’8” Mark Crow, 6’2” Garvin Gatewood and 5’11” Bobby McKeel. In addition, the “B” team consisted of Johnny Frets, Ronnie Hardin, Tommy Pruett, Roger Fred, Marvin Gatewood, Teddy Glaub, Ricky Gatewood, Jimmy Wagster, Phil Clayton, and Dennis Cate. Team managers were Lynn Wimberley and Mike Linam. Head coach was Jess Bucy and assistant coach was Jim Fowler.
The high quality of the members of the 1964 team is also evident by the honors earned in their high school and college careers.
David Neal Shelton
Inductee David Neal Shelton was a standout for RHS in several sports, but his best work was on the baseball diamond.
In fact, David Neal Shelton was an all-around athlete during his years at Rector High School. He loved playing any kind of ball, and as a small boy had the dream of playing baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. He competed in peewee basketball, baseball and football, along with elementary basketball and football. He also played basketball and football in junior high school. During his high school years he spent three seasons as a member of the basketball squad, and was on the football and baseball teams all four years. Following graduation, he went on to compete in both American Legion and collegiate baseball.
As a Rector Blackcat, Shelton was recognized as the outstanding defensive back in football for both 1978 and 1979. As a member of the baseball squad he was chosen All-State in 1979 and was an All-District selection as both a junior and senior.
The stats also bear witness to his abilities, as he hit .309 as a freshman; .383 as a sophomore, .380 as a junior and .500 his senior season. This production helped the teams he was on to a number of titles, including state runner-ups in 1979; conference champs in 1978-1979; district champs in 1978-1979 and 1980-1981 and county champs 1977-1978, 1978-1979 and 1980-1981.
Shelton was selected three of those years (1980-1982) to play American Legion baseball in Paragould. On that team he played second base, left field and pitched. In 1981 he led the team in six catagories. He had a .348 batting average, as he went 40 for 115 at the plate. Along the way he drove-in 29 runs, scored 26 runs himself and hit 15 doubles.
The following season he also led the team in six catagories, including 20 extra-base hits—including 13 doubles, six triples and one homerun. He drove in 51 runs in 55 games; walked 59 times and had a batting average of .389. Shelton also recorded an 11-1 record on the mound, with a .256 ERA.
Following his days at RHS, Shelton signed a four-year scholarship with Arkansas State University in 1982. Sadly, an ankle injury limited him to just 12 games as a freshman, although he was credited with a grand slam homerun for the Indians.
In 1984 he returned to ASU and played 29 games, recording a .262 batting average along the way. The following year he was again hampered by an ankle injury, sidelining him for much of the season.
After his college days, Shelton returned to Rector and coached softball for several years. Following his death a softball field at the Jeremy McDaniel Memorial Sports Complex in Rector was dedicated in his memory.
Inductee Scotty Johnson enjoys the distinction of being a standout for RHS on both the basketball court and baseball diamond. At the time it was noted—Scott(y) Johnson is Rector's center (6-foot) and averages 20 points a game. His coach, Kelly Scobey, was quoted as saying “Johnson's 22-point average and 66-percent from the field clearly shows he's a scorer.”
Johnson was a letterman for the basketball squad three years, earning the distinction in 1975, 1976 and 1977. During the 1974-75 season he was named to the All-County team; as a junior he was All-District and was named to the Arkansas College Tournament All-Tourney team. He was also an All-District selection for RHS as a senior during the 1976-77 campaign.
His junior and senior seasons were his most productive, as he scored 567 and 620 points respectively those two years.
On the baseball diamond he was equally impressive, batting .410 as a junior and .300 his senior season.
Playing with another RSSHOF inductee, Charlie Bateman, the Rector squad proved to be a force to be reckoned with—as published accounts of the day would point out. For Johnson, his play on both the hardwood and diamond drew attention.
His success also earned the team postseason play, with a great deal of success.
“Rector's Randy Rogers and Scotty Johnson went to work on Pine Bluff from both sides of the plate and, as a result, the Blackcats prolonged their stay at the high school state baseball tournament at the University of Arkansas. Johson went four-for-four with two runs batted in,” one account of the day would say.
Of Charlie Bateman it was said “In the fall of 1978 the old Rector High School (before the days of CCC) graduated one of its all time great high school basketball superstars, Charlie Bateman. Many Blackcat fans from back then still remember how Charlie dominated the floor at high school basketball games during late ‘70s.”
Coach Kelly Scobey also had high praise for Bateman, noting “if you are a high school basketball fan and you missed seeing Charlie Bateman play, you missed a treat. Charlie was a fierce competitor who always gave 110 percent in a game and also in practice. Charlie was the only player I ever coached who I didn’t want to block-out while rebounding; I just wanted him to get the basketball. He thought every rebound or loose ball belonged to him alone.”
Thanks to this attitude, and his talent, Bateman lettered in basketball in 1976, 1977 and 1978.
During his junior year, Rector played a strong Tuckerman team (26-6) in the regional tournament to qualify for state. Charlie [at just six-feet tall] led Rector to a win with 34 points and 28 rebounds. During his junior year Rector won 27 consecutive games and finished with a 29-3 record, spending most of the season ranked #1 in its classification earning him All District honors.
In his senior year, Bateman led his team in scoring, rebounding and assists. His performances helped Rector advance to the quarterfinals of the State tournament, and Charlie was again named to the All-District team and also to the All-State team.
Bateman graduated from Arkansas Tech in 1983 earning a BS in Health and Physical Education. He then began what would become a 28 year coaching career at Bentonville Jr High, and later he coached at Danville and Warren. He is currently coaching at Texarkana, where he has been for the past 18 years.
In 2014, Bateman was the North Heights Jr. High (Texarkana Arkansas School District) Teacher of the Year. In 1996, while coaching at Warren he was selected as “Coach of the Year” in 4A.
Over the course of his successful coaching career he has been head basketball coach of both boys and girls basketball teams at both the senior high and junior high levels. In addition, he has coached golf, tennis, soccer, football and track.
The induction ceremony will be held immediately following the annual luncheon, set for noon this Saturday, Sept. 2, at Rector High School.