RHSSHOF Lavaughn Robertson Memorial Classic Held
The Rector High School gym was a hotbed of activity on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 18 and 19, despite the fact classes had already been dismissed for the Christmas-New Year's holidays. Throughout the day on Monday, and on Tuesday afternoon, regional basketball fans were treated to a full slate of boys and girls contests as the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame Lavaughn Robertson Memorial Classic Tournament was held. The tourney, which serves as one of the primary fundraisers for the RHSSHOF, is sponsored by St. Bernard's Healthcare, with the assistance of a variety of other businesses and individuals. This year the popular tourney was re-named in memory of Robertson, one of the founders of the hall of fame, and the first president of the board of directors.
At halftime of the final game of the night on Tuesday, the inductees of the class of 2017 were recognized and the commemorative plaques placed in the case for permenant display.
The first afternoon and evening featured six games, with the Piggott Lady Mohawks getting their first win of the season in the kick-off game as they prevailed over the Holcomb Lady Hornets. Afterward, the Piggott boys team handled the Cooter Wildcats. The Rector junior boys and girls both fell to Maynard in the afternoon contests, while the Lady Tigers also prevailed in the senior girls game with the Lady Cougars. In the nightcap the Cougar boys rolled to a 10 point win over Maynard.
Tuesday afternoon the Cougar junior girls and boys prevailed in their games with their Mohawk counterparts. Later, the Lady Cougars easily prevailed over a short-handed Holcomb squad, and the RHS boys rolled over Cooter in the finale.
At halftime of the last game of the tournament this year's inductees were honored, and the plaque ceremony held. Handling the introductions was RHSSHOF board president Ted Glaub, with board secretary and treasurer Owen Moseley presenting the plaques. Glaub also outlined the many efforts undertaken by the group, which includes the purchase of equipment and endowment of several scholarships.
In addition to the scholarships, nearly $10,000 was used for purchases this year. Included was $6,600 for a new trophy case at RHS; $1,506 for warm-up suits for the boy's basketball team; $860 for members of the girls team to attend the Lady Bison basketball camp; $711 for warm-up tops for the girls' basketball team and $107 for pink pom poms for the cheerleaders.
Charlie Bateman was not in attendance, and standing in for him was Coach Kelly Scobey. A basketball standout for the Blackcats, he was All-District as a junior and All-District and All-State his senior year, averaging a double-double with 22 points and 16 rebounds a game. He later played two years at Southern Baptist, which is now known as Williams Baptist, and then a season at Arkansas Tech before injuries ended his career.
Scotty Johnson was not in attendance, and he was represented by fellow HOF member Roma Nell Sanders. Johnson was an outstanding basketball and baseball player for RHS, lettering on both sports in 1975, 1976 and 1977. He was also All-District two years, and batted .410 and .300 his junior and senior campaigns on the diamond.
The late David Neal Shelton was represented by his parents, Betty and Dewey Shelton, and was an outstanding RHS athlete in both football and baseball. He was named outstanding defensive back in both 1978 and 1979 and was All-State in Baseball in 1979 and All-District in both 1981 and 1982. He was an intergral part of the RHS baseball team which finished as the state runner-up in 1979, and he later received a scholarship to play baseball at ASU. He also left a strong legacy with the local baseball and softball programs in Rector.
The Rector High School Blackcat basketball team of 1964 was represented by Garvin Gatewood. Considered one of the best RHS teams of all-time, the squad finished at 27-9 in the state semi-finals. Seeded number one in the NEA, they beat the eventual state Class A champion Brinkley Tigers. They were ranked in the Top 10 in the state, and in the final UPI poll for the 1963-64 season.
There were four All-State players, and four who went on to have outstanding college careers. Three of the players have been inducted into the RHSSHOF as individuals as well.
Following the recognition ceremony at halftime, the representatives placed the commemorative plaques in the display case to complete this year's induction.
Organizers noted the efforts of the RHSSHOF would not be possible without the support and donations of business and individuals. They also offered their thanks to everyone who supported, and attended, this year's basketball tournament. In addition to Glaub and Moseley, the board of directors includes Jim Speer, Keat Cohn, Clinton Haley, Michele Haley, Shannon Hill-Haywood, Nate Henderson, Jonathan Kemp, John Mack, Joe Perry Pruett, Randy Rogers, Vicki Romine, Roma Nell Sanders, John Taylor and Mitchell Weber.
Contributions, and nominations to the hall of fame, may be sent to Owen Moseley at 1703 Loberg Lane, Jonesboro, Ark., 72401. Additional information may also be found on the HOF facebook page at www.facebook.com/RHSSHOF.com