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32nd Annual Belmont Sports Hall of Fame Banquet set

Jan 16, 2020 09:50AM

Jerry Moore

By Stan Cromlish

The Belmont Sports Hall of Fame will hold its 32nd banquet at 7:00 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at the Park Street United Methodist Church Family Life Center in Belmont.

The inductees headlining the 2019 Belmont Sports Hall of Fame class are three outstanding athletes and a Belmont sports icon.

The keynote speaker for the banquet is Jerry Moore, former Appalachian State University head football coach. Jerry Moore was a football coach for more than thirty years and was the man responsible for the rise of Appalachian State football to national prominence in the Division I-AA Football Championship Series. From 1989, when he took the job at ASU, through 2012, his team only had one losing season and shocked the world on September 1, 2007 when it defeated national powerhouse and the fifth-ranked Division I-A Football Bowl Series team, the Michigan Wolverines, 34-32 at the Big House in Ann Arbor, MI. This was the biggest win in school history, but even more telling were the back-to-back-to-back Division I-AA FCS National Championships from 2005-2007. Appalachian State has the distinction of being the only college football program in the State of North Carolina to have ever won a National Championship in football at any level. Jerry currently makes his home in Boone with his wife, Margaret.

The inductees for the 32nd class are Pam Smith, Shelley Frye, Joe Messer, and Don Davis.  Pam Smith was an all-around athlete who excelled in basketball, tennis, swimming, and softball. Her accolades from her sports career include Western North Carolina High School Activities Association All-Conference awards in basketball and tennis; South Point High School’s Most Athletic in 1975 along with being selected to the Southwestern Conference All-Star basketball team. Pam has volunteered extensively in Gaston County and has served as a secretary for the Gaston Pop Warner Football Conference, a board member of Pharr Yarns Family YMCA, a member of the Lowell Master Planning Committee, and as a hospice volunteer for the YMCA. Athletic prowess and volunteerism were the keys to Pam Smith’s selection for induction into the Belmont Sports Hall of Fame in the 2019 class.

Shelley Frye was one of those rare athletes to come through South Point High School. She was an eleven-time Southwestern All Conference in softball, basketball, volleyball, and track. From ninth to twelfth grade, she was undefeated on the track in all the 800-meter and 1600-meter races in which she competed. She was part of the conference championship team in 1985 for the 4 x 800-meter relay. For twenty years, she held the county record time for the 800-meter and 1600-meter. Shelley was the Junior Olympic champion in the 800-meters in 10th grade. On the volleyball and basketball court, she was part of two conference championship teams. Shelley walked on to the UNC-Chapel Hill varsity track team as a freshman. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently working in that profession. Athleticism and a desire to care for others are what make Shelley’s induction into the 2019 class easy.

An all-around athlete, Don Davis played football and baseball in Belmont and was part of a VFW Teener League District, State, and Regional Championship baseball team in 1967 which went on to compete in the 1967 VFW Teener World Series. From 1967 through 1971 as a high school athlete, he was a four-year letterman in basketball and football as a varsity player and a two-year letterman as a baseball player. Don earned all-conference honors in baseball and football at South Point High School. Don’s quote from his biography really sums up what it was like growing up in the 1960s and 1970s in Belmont, “I grew up in a time when sports was the highlight of each season. I was so fortunate and blessed to have coaches who knew the game, taught the basic skills, and most importantly, instilled in us an ethic of hard work.” Don lives in Seneca, South Carolina and has been married to Lynn for 41 years. His induction will add one more player from the 1966 and 1967 VFW Teener League team that brought great recognition to Belmont.

There is no one who personifies Belmont sports like Joe Messer has for the past fifty years. He has done so many things to help the youth of Belmont succeed in sports and has supported the youth of Belmont and Gaston County through service. He has coached Little League Baseball, played softball, broadcast Belmont High School, South Point High School, and American Legion baseball on WCGC, and he handled the PA work for Belmont and South Point High School football from the 1950s through 1983. He was the master of ceremonies for the Belmont Sports Hall of Fame Banquet for the first 13 years. There are so many ways Joe has served this community that it is a wonder it took 32 years, but it is that service that has Joe a member of the 2019 class.

This year’s class and the keynote speaker will make tickets a hot commodity and the event a sure sellout. Tickets are now available for purchase at State Farm at 140 North Main Street in Historic Downtown Belmont and Belmont Drug Company in Historic East Belmont for $20.00 each.