GREENSBORO, N.C. — Former East Carolina University star football player Tony Baker is one of 10 individuals who will be inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame.
The class is headed by the first father and son combination to be inducted, Tony Baker and Toney Baker, both renown football players from the area. Toney Baker was also a star football player who played at N.C. State, despite missing two seasons with a severe knee injury.
The Class of 2021 is the 16th class of athletes, coaches, contributors, and members of the media to be inducted into the Hall which was created in 2005. This class increases membership in the Hall to 175.
The inductees will be introduced at a virtual press conference hosted by the Greensboro Coliseum at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The induction reception and banquet will be held on Sept. 20 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Tickets for the reception and banquet are $90 and can be ordered with the ticket order form found on the GCSHOF website.
TONY BAKER (ECU bio)
Tony Baker was an exceptional football player at Andrews High School while also excelling in track and field. He rushed for over 1,600 yards as a senior while leading Andrews to the 1981 state 4A semifinals. He was selected as Conference Player of the Year and was a member of the All-State team while also playing in both the Shrine Bowl and East-West All-Star games. Baker is still a record holder at Andrews in the long jump. He attended East Carolina University where he started at tailback for four years. He was voted Outstanding Freshman in 1982, Most Valuable Offensive Player as a senior in 1986, and was named an Honorable Mention All-American as a senior. He is the fourth leading rusher in ECU history. Baker was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1986, playing three seasons with the Cleveland Browns and one year with the Phoenix Cardinals. He also played two years with the Frankfort Galaxy of the World Football League, leading the league in all-purpose yards and finishing second in rushing. He was runner-up for league MVP and in 2017 was among a large group of “Pioneers of the Game” who were honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Baker was inducted into the Andrews Hall of Fame in 2016.
Others to be inducted include (Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame bios):
Toney Baker was recognized as one of the best high school football players in the nation at Ragsdale High School when he graduated in 2005. As a four-year starter, he rushed for 10,241 yards and scored 131 touchdowns during his career. He was second in rushing for his career and fifth in rushing yards (3,411) in one season statewide when he completed his high school career. He also ranked third in career rushing yards in national high school history, and his career rushing yards still place him in the top 20. As a senior, he was Conference Player of the Year and North Carolina Player of the Year. He also played in the Shrine Bowl and U.S. Army All-American games. Baker was named to the USA Today All-USA High School Football Team, and his jersey was retired at Ragsdale. He had an injury-filled career at North Carolina State, missing two entire seasons with a severe knee injury. Baker totaled 2,721 rushing and receiving yards with 21 touchdowns. He received the Brian Piccolo Award as the Most Courageous Player from the Atlantic Coast Conference. He signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos but was not able to play in the NFL due to his injury.
Charlie Brown has had an exceptional career as a cross country and track & field coach since the early 1980s. He competed as a cross country and track athlete at Grimsley High School, graduating in 1977. He then was a track athlete at the University of North Carolina for two seasons, graduating in 1981. Brown founded the Greensboro Pacesetters Club in 1979 and the Greensboro Cross Country Invitational in 1983. He has coached at least 21 USA National Junior Olympic track & field athletes as well as multiple national champions at various high schools, Brown was the coach of the USA cross country team at the IAAF World Championships in France in 2005 and coach of the USA Junior team at the NCAC Cross Country championships, also in 2005. He has served as the meet director in multiple USA Track & Field National and World Qualifying Meets as well as a variety of high school and college meets. Brown coached state championship teams in both cross country and track & field at Greensboro Day School and coached the boys North Carolina 3A state championship team in indoor track and field in 2009 while at Southwest Guilford High School, as well as the girls state runner-up teams in 2002 and 2003.
MEGAN JEIDY CROTTS
A highly accomplished soccer player at Northwest Guilford High School, Crotts was named North Carolina Player of the Year in addition to being a McDonald’s All-American and Parade magazine All-American as a senior in 1994. She was twice named Conference and Regional Player of the Year and selected to play in the East-West All-Star game. Crotts played one season with the Raleigh Spartans soccer club, winning the 1995 national championship as she was named both MVP of the Final Four and won the Fair Play Sportsmanship Award. The Spartans team was inducted into the NC Soccer Hall of Honor in 2013. Her team was inducted into the NC Soccer Hall of Honor in 2013. Crotts played four seasons at North Carolina State and was named All-ACC, All-South Region, and to the ACC All-Tournament team in 1995. After college, Crotts played between 1998-2000 with the Raleigh Wings of the United Soccer League W-League with her team winning two league titles and being runner-up during the third season. After the 1999 World Cup win by the U.S. women’s national team, the Woman’s United Soccer League was formed as the first professional soccer league for women. Crotts was a member of the Bay Area (California) Cyber Rays in 2001 which won the WUSA inaugural Founders Cup championship.
Mike Hogewood was a decorated sportscaster for 42 years in the Triad area and beyond. A graduate of Grimsley High School and Lenoir-Rhyne College, he began his career in 1976 as a sports reporter in Charlotte, then was sports director in Ft. Myers and Birmingham until 1985. Between 1985-2000, Hogewood was the sports director at WGHP-TV in High Point and then at WFMY-TV in Greensboro, where he created Friday Night Football Fever. Afterward, he worked for the ACC Regional Sports Network for years, serving as an on-site host, sideline reporter, and play-by-play announcer for a variety of sports. Additionally, he worked with the Jefferson Pilot/Raycom Sports Network for over 25 years, notably covering ACC football, men and women’s basketball, and baseball. Hogewood’s additional broadcast affiliations include Webstream Sports, ESPN3, SPEED channel, TNN, and the Turner/TNT/TBS networks. Hogewood earned a multitude of awards for regional and state reporting from various organizations, including two Southeastern Regional Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2001 and 2006. He passed away in 2018.
A native of Greensboro, Rodney James was an outstanding wrestler and wrestling coach. He was a member of the wrestling team at Grimsley High School for three years and also played football for two years. The wrestling team was the 1974 runner-up in the North Carolina state championships while James, as a senior, was an individual state champion in his weight class in 1974. He graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1978, where he was the first four-year MEAC wrestling champion in his weight class with his team winning the MEAC championship in 1975 and 1976. He was voted three times the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the MEAC and went on to be the NCAA Division I Eastern Regional individual runner-up in 1977. James was named the Most Outstanding Athlete at NC A&T in 1978. He coached at Grimsley High School, George Washington High School in Virginia, and Reidsville High School during his storied career, posting over 300 wins and earning Mid-State 2A conference Coach of the Year honors. James was honored with the “2 Those Who Care” Award in 1997 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Winston-Salem Chronicle in 1998. He was inducted into the A&T Hall of Fame in 1996.
The embodiment of an exceptional athlete, Kim Jones played volleyball for four years, basketball for three years, and excelled in both indoor and outdoor track for four years at Grimsley High School, graduating in 1999. She won the North Carolina state championship in the long jump four times and was the NC champion in the Indoor 60M and 100M hurdles in 1998 and 1999. Jones was the national high school champion in the indoor long jump in 1998, the 1999 outdoor long jump and 100M hurdles, and was named the 1999 MVP for the Nike/New Balance National High School Championships. She attended Florida State University, where she was All-ACC for three years; an ACC Track & Field event champion eight times; Most Valuable Performer in track & field at Florida State; and a three-time NCAA All-American; and competed in multiple international events as a Nike-sponsored athlete. Jones earned All-ACC Academic honors all four years and was a member of the PHI ETA SIGMA National Honors Society in 2000. She has served as an assistant coach at Florida State, with the Christian Crusaders Youth Track & Field Club, and has been a personal coach for multiple high school athletes.
Serving as a champion of youth sports in High Point has been a lifelong passion of Ed Price, a graduate of High Point Central High School and Wake Forest University. Since the 1970s, he has been a significant force in the expansion of youth sports while fund-raising and building new facilities in High Point, coaching youth teams, and founding youth tournaments. He headed the drive to build a new YMCA complex in the early 1980s and in 1990, the City of High Point completed an extensive athletic complex named after Price. He founded invitational tournaments in soccer, baseball, and basketball during the 1990s while also founding and chairing the High Point Youth Sports Council. He organized and coached multiple youth sport teams over the years, including the Gators AAU U-12 basketball team, which won a national championship. Price served as president of both HP Central and HP Andrews booster clubs during the 1980s and 1990s. For his efforts, he has been presented the High Point Jaycees Distinguished Service Award (1976), the Salvation Army Man and Youth Award (1992), Humanitarian of the Year (2005), Citizen of the Year (2009), and the NAACP B. Elton Cox Award (2018), among a multitude of awards.
An accomplished high school and college athlete as well as a coach, Joyce Spruill has had a significant impact on Guilford County sports since the late 1960s. She graduated from Dudley High School in 1970 where she participated in track & field, volleyball, basketball, and softball. During her senior year, Dudley won the city-wide championship in basketball with Spruill as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. She also led her team to a city-wide championship in track & field and was voted Athlete of the Year at Dudley. From 1971-1975, Spruill continued her athletic career at North Carolina A&T State University starring in basketball as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder during her junior and senior years. After graduating from college, she served from 1975-1979 as the school’s first Director of Women’s Athletics before beginning her coaching career at A&T, where her basketball teams twice won the NCAIAW District III championship and finished second in the NCAIAW Division II and Division III state tournaments. As the Aggies’ softball coach, her team won a championship in the NCAIAW Division I tournament. She later took her coaching abilities to Bennett College, twice winning the NC-VA Women’s College Tournament championship and having one second-place finish. She also had seven second-place finishes in the NC-Georgia Women’s College tournaments. Spruill was inducted into the NC A&T Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Dudley Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
SUSAN “SUSIE” BLACK WALL
One of the most accomplished tennis players in the City of Greensboro and the State of North Carolina, Susie Wall won the North Carolina state 4-A singles championship in both her junior and senior years while a student at Page High School. She also led her team to the 4-A state championship as a senior in 1974. While a youth player in Greensboro, Wall won the Sportsmanship Award in the 16 & Under NC Closed Tournament. She attended the University of North Carolina, where she was the number one singles player during her sophomore and junior years. Between 1975-1999, Wall was one of the best amateur tennis players in North Carolina as she won 19 state championships and was a runner-up on 13 occasions. In 2009, the Alamance Junior Tennis Foundation established the “Susie Black Wall Determination Award” while she was inducted earlier that year into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.