The Jackson County Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome six more members this fall with the induction of its 2020 class.
Jimmy Williams (long-time multi-sport coach), Daivon Ledford (wrestling), Chris Walker (football), Jimmy Hill (basketball), Katie Phillips (soccer) and the 2001 fast-pitch softball team will be enshrined during an Oct. 24 ceremony and banquet.
"We are excited to release names of this year's inductees into the Jackson County High School Athletic Hall of Fame,” Jackson County athletic director Brad Hayes said. “Each of these inductees has played a significant role in the history of our community, our school and our athletic department … We look forward to seeing members of our community come out and celebrate with us that evening."
The Jackson County Athletic Hall of Fame honors athletes from Jackson County Comprehensive High School throughout its history and all its different locations. This is will be the seventh class inducted. The first class was enshrined in 1985 before the hall of fame went dormant for 30 years. It returned with its second class in 2015. A class has been inducted each year since.
Here’s more on each inductee:
•Jimmy Williams — Williams coached 38 years at Jackson County (Comprehensive) High School over three locations: Braselton, Gordon Street and Hwy. 11. Williams spent 45 years as a coach overall. He was a head boys’ basketball, baseball, tennis and volleyball coach and also served 10 years as an assistant football coach. Williams guided Jackson County to the 1982 8A sub-region baseball title in baseball, the Class A baseball Sweet 16 the same year and area volleyball championships in 1995 and 1996 and volleyball state finalist showing in 1996.
•Daivon Ledford – Ledford was the 2013 Class AAA 170-pound state wrestling champion and a 2012 area champion. He finished with a 175-58 record on the wrestling mat and went 46-1 during his state-championship campaign his senior year. Ledford ranks fourth all-time at Jackson County in victories. Ledford eared nine varsity letters between wrestling, football and track and field.
•Chris Walker — Walker, a four-year football letterman and three-year starter, was Jackson County football’s first all-state selection, earning the honor in 1987. Walker led the Panthers in tackles his junior and senior seasons and rushed for over 500 yards as a sophomore. He was a member of playoff teams in 1986 and 1987, with the 1986 team defeating Buford in the first round. Walker served as a team captain his senior year. He was named to the Panther 40th anniversary team and was named the Co-Player of the Decade for the 1980s along with Troy Rouse.
•Jimmy Hill — Hill was the leading scorer for Jackson County’s basketball team for three years in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He helped the 1960 team win the 8A-North title. Hill, a starter on both the inaugural Jackson County baseball and basketball teams, finished with 994 points during his Panther career, which ranks 10th all-time in school history. He shot 65 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free-throw line in his career. He is considered the best pure shooter to ever play for the Panthers, according to Hall of Fame committee member Ricky Sanders.
•Katie Phillips — Phillips racked up 120 goals, first all-time in Jackson County history, as a soccer star for the Panthers. She was a two-sport athlete (basketball and soccer), earning eight varsity letters. She was also a top scholar and 2014 honor graduate. She played college soccer at West Georgia, where she ranks ninth all-time in school history in goals scored despite playing only two full seasons due to injuries.
•2001 fast-pitch softball team — As a first-year program, Jackson County finished as Area 8-AAA runner up and advanced to the state Elite Eight, placing sixth in Class AAA. With no seniors and just one junior, the team had no high school fast-pitch experience. The squad produced one all-state player and four all-region selections, while eight would go on to play college softball. The 2001 team’s Elite Eight run was named the Jackson Herald Sports Story of the Year.
NOTES: The Oct. 24 hall of fame banquet will be held at Panther Indoor Stadium and will include a reverse raffle with a $5,000 cash prize.