Richard K. Smith, who coached the Lincolnton Wolves to their only state football championship in 1993, heads a list of 10 inductees into the 2004 class of the Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame.
The newest additions will be enshrined in the annual banquet Nov. 13 at the James Warren Citizens Center.
Smith guided Lincolnton to the 2A title seven years after replacing his high school coach, Von Ray Harris, in the dual role of head football coach and athletics director. One year later, the Wolves returned to the state final and finished as runners-up to Wallace-Rose Hill.
A three-sport star at Lincolnton in the early 1960s, Smith played professional baseball in the Washington Senators organization.
Joining Smith in this yearâ€™s class are Don Powers, Darrell Bost, Bill Barkley, Lee Kanipe, Bob Beal Jr., Lee Boyd, Bobby Lineberger, Chunk Rudisill and Shirley Gabriel.
Powers, a Lincolnton alumnus, coached in the college ranks at Western Carolina, Western Kentucky, East Carolina and The Citadel. He was head coach at The Citadel for five years. As a football player at WCU, Powers was a four-year letterman and team MVP in his senior year.
A Lincolnton High basketball star in the 1950s, Bost held the schoolâ€™s career scoring record for 44 years. Bost led the Wolves to a conference title in 1956 and earned all-state honors.
Kanipe made his mark both as an athlete and as a game official. He played running back for the 1960 Lenoir-Rhyne Bears football team that won a national championship. Later, as a high school official, Kanipe received numerous accolades, including a 25-year service award from the N.C. High School Athletics Association in 1990.
In 1996, Kanipe was named to the officiating crew for the Shrine Bowl, and in 2001 he marked his 40th year of officiating high school football in North Carolina.
Barkley, known to friends and family as â€œBig Bill,â€ was a standout pitcher at Rock Springs High School, Gardner-Webb, the University of North Carolina and in the professional ranks. In 1948, Barkley fashioned a 7-0 pitching record in leading Gardner-Webb to a conference title. While at the Boiling Springs institution, Barkley set a school record for strikeouts at stood for 22 years.
After his college career ended, Barkley played with the Lincolnton Cardinals, a Class A baseball team, and won 20 games in two seasons. He later pitched for the Charlotte Hornets and played in the Washington Senators organization.
The son of a professional baseball player, Beal was a multi-sport standout at Lincolnton High from 1958-61. He continued his involvement with athletics after graduation from N.C. State, both as a softball player and as a youth coach for baseball, basketball and football.
Beal built the Lincolnton Rotary Rams into a youth football power in the 1980s, posting undefeated regular season from 1982-88. He received the Rotary International Award for Coaching Dedication and Service to Youth in 1988.
Boyd is the latest former Lincolnton boxing standout to earn hall of fame honors. As a amateur flyweight in the mid-to-late 1950s, Boyd posted a record of 150-13 and earned a tryout for the 1960 Olympic Games. He fought twice in New Yorkâ€™s Madison Square Garden, and in 1958 Boyd fought on the same card as Muhammad Ali. Boyd was named to the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001.
Gabriel was an all-conference pick in three sports at Lincolnton in 1949 and starred in college at Appalachian State. He was voted conference MVP in his senior season and earned honorable mention Little All-America honors. He led the state in scoring in 1953 (111 points) and was named to the Flaming Five of the Carolinas along with such standouts as Frank Selvy and Pappy Gault.
In 1975, Gabriel was inducted into the Appalachian State Athletic Hall of Fame.
Lineberger, a former Lincolnton resident who now resides on Oak Island, earned his reputation as a stellar softball player for national power Howardâ€™s Furniture of Denver in the 1960s and 1970s. A .600 career hitter with 550 home runs, Lineberger continued to play in area leagues long after his retirement from Howardâ€™s in 1974. He is a member of the American Softball Association Hall of Fame in North Carolina.
Rudisill, who is inducted posthumously, was a standout football and baseball player at Lincolnton High and at Lenoir-Rhyne College. He signed with the New York Yankees as a sophomore at L-R but gave up a pro career to serve in the military during World War II.
After the war, Rudisill had a stint with the Yankeesâ€™ Class A farm team in Norfolk, Va. He later played semi-pro baseball and was a player-manager for the Lincolnton Cardinals in the early 1950s.by Mike Powell