HALL OF FAME: Catawba County’s 2022 class includes 2 fishermen



HICKORY — After a two-year hiatus, the Hickory Metro Sports Commission (HMSC) has announced the return of the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame (CCSHOF) induction ceremony along with a new induction class.

The CCSHOF Class of 2022 includes former Hickory High, Western Carolina and professional baseball standout Christopher “Grant” Brittain; longtime NASCAR driver and former Hickory Motor Speedway track champion Dennis Setzer, longtime local coach, teacher and administrator Jerry Willard, and legendary professional anglers Elwood “Buck” Perry and James “Jim” Ledbetter.

The 1971-73 St. Stephens baseball state championship teams are also being honored as the 2022 Team of Distinction.

“The 2022 class is another very worthy and outstanding group,” said Juju Phillips, chairman for the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame. “We are recognizing some really fantastic people and a dominant baseball program that have brought, pride, honor and esteem to Catawba County sports history. The Selection Committee did a fantastic job. This will be our 20th banquet with almost 100 Hall of Fame inductees now. We are so very pleased once again to be able to showcase this county’s rich and diverse sports history.”

These five new inductees and Team of Distinction will be inducted on Monday, May 9 at the Highland Recreation Center along with the 2020 class, which hasn’t been inducted yet due to the COVID-19 pandemic postponing its ceremony.

The 2020 Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame Class includes former Bandys basketball standout Tiffany Chappell Freeman; longtime St. Stephens wrestling coach Billy Baker; former Newton-Conover standout athlete and longtime SEC referee James “Pud” Mosteller; former Maiden basketball standout Jo Anne McCaslin Potts; former Hickory High and Lenoir-Rhyne men’s basketball player Daniel Willis; and the 2020 Team of Distinction — the 1964 Ridgeview High School football team.

“These are some of the finest individuals and one of the most successful teams to represent not only Catawba County, but their respective sports as well,” Phillips said of the 2020 Catawba County Hall of Fame Class. “The 2020 class really highlighted the county’s rich basketball, football and wrestling traditions.”

Along with these inductions, two students from each of the 11 high schools in Catawba County will be honored as Scholar Athletes of Excellence.

Doors for the 2022 Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony open at 5:30 p.m. with the induction program starting at 6 p.m.

Tickets to the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony cost $30 and will go on sale starting April 4 and can be purchased at all area high schools. The last day to purchase tickets will be May 2. No tickets will be sold at the door.

The inductions will bring the total number of Catawba County Sports Hall of Famers up to 99 and the number of Teams of Distinction up to five.

Cody S. Dalton, sports information director at Catawba Valley Community College, now handles press releases for the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame

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