Thanks to the vision of two former Richmond Academy football players, there's a movement to create an Augusta Hall of Fame to honor not just athletes, but those who've helped define the Garden City's image.
The Augusta Sports and Achievement Hall of Fame group has formed a non-profit charter similar to a church, and it's looking to induct its first class after the 2000 Masters.
A sample of the eligible inductees would include Gov. Carl Sanders, entertainer James Brown, golfer Larry Mize, high school coach David Dupree and four-star general Bill Richardson.
"We want this to be a catch-all for everybody with Augusta ties," said Jack Hall, a member of the Hall's board of directors and quarterback on the 1951 ARC team that played in the Peanut Bowl.
"There are so many people who have contributed to this community but never get the recognition they deserve."
The group is negotiating to buy a building downtown to house this hall, quite possibly the Miller Theater. There are plans to sell bricks for a Walk of Fame, and Hall and partner Hank Schnieder are contacting specific individuals and corporations for the initial fund-raising.
Green Bay cornerback Fred Vinson, a North Augusta native, is expected to play when rookies and selected veterans practice for the first time on Monday, Packer general manager Ron Wolf said last week.
"He hasn't really kicked it in gear yet, but so far he looks pretty good," Wolf said.
Asked if Vinson will be able to run full speed, Wolf said, "The indications are he'll be able to do that. If he doesn't, then it won't be that much longer after that."
Vinson, the team's second-round draft selection, was considered a first-round talent until he had surgery Dec. 29 to repair a torn ligament in his left arch. If he can regain his sub-4.4 second speed in the 40-yard dash, then Vinson (5-foot-11, 177 pounds) will be an asset to the Packers' secondary in 1999.
Two area products, former Butler High star Andre Kerr and former Josey player Rod Ashmore, have landed in the Kennesaw State basketball program.
Kerr played three years at Division I Furman before leaving the team at the beginning of last season. The 6-foot-6 forward received his undergraduate degree at Furman, but still had basketball eligibility, so he tested the Division II waters at various Peach Belt Conference schools, including Augusta State and Francis Marion, before landing at Kennesaw, where he will be immediately eligible and be a graduate student.
Ashmore, a 6-5 forward, transferred from Truett-McConnell Junior College, where he was all-region and averaged 16.7 points per game.
Former Westside High stars William Avery and Ricky Moore, linked in various honorary ceremonies in town over the last month, could face off on the basketball court again next week in Salt Lake City at the Rocky Mountain Review, an NBA summer league. They met in the NCAA Men's Championship game in April, when Moore's Connecticut team beat Avery's Duke club.
Moore, who is getting a free-agent tryout, is participating through today in the Denver Nuggets three-day mini-camp for rookies and free agents in Denver. A team of 12 players will be determined to play in Salt Lake City Monday through Aug. 2. Moore will be battling second-round draft pick Chris Herren and veteran guard Terry Dehere for a spot on the summer league team.
Avery, Minnesota's second No. 1 pick, will be playing with a group of rookies and free agents. Other participating teams include Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Sacramento and San Antonio.
Most of the Augusta-area basketball talent, including Avery, Kerr, Penn State signee Ndu Egekeze, Seton Hall point guard Ty Shine, former Auburn player Gerald White, ex-Florida State player Chuck Graham and former Augusta State guard Kavossy Franklin, is playing in the Warren Road Summer League at Warren Road Recreation Center. Play will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from Aug. 3-19, with no admission charge. Oliver Ottley, a rising senior at ASU, scored 41 points in a game last week.