By Lance Hickey
Leicester – Erwin High School held a ceremony for its 2018 Hall of Fame inductees Friday, recognizing athletes who had impactful careers during their time at the school.
“I think it’s wonderful we had the opportunity to have some athletes that played here back in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s,” said Erwin High School Hall of Fame chairman Roger Aiken. “We were able to bring them back and they were able to get recognized for their efforts and accomplishments here and what they’ve done with their lives.”
The Hall of Fame Inductees included the 1980 NCHSAA 3-A Women’s Basketball State Champions; David Ball, Class of 1975; Chris Hawkins, Class of 1980; Charlie Metcalf, Class of 1972; and Rick Waldrop, Class of 1966.
The ceremony, which was rescheduled from last month because of weather, began at 5 pm with a Hall of Fame Induction banquet at Mount Carmel Baptist Church where the inductees were celebrated for their efforts at the school. The banquet was followed with the induction ceremony, held between the Varsity Girls and Boys basketball home games against North Buncombe on Friday, January 25, 2019.
* The 1980 NCHSAA 3-A Women’s Basketball State Champions became the first Erwin High School team to be inducted into the hall of fame. The 1980 Women’s Basketball team is the only state champion in Erwin’s history. They were also the NCHSAA District 8 Champions and NCHSAA Western Regional Champions, collecting a 29-2 record in the 1980 season.
* Charlie Metcalf assumed both roles as a football player for Erwin and a football coach for the Asheville Cougars. Metcalf lettered in football at Erwin from 1970 through 1972. He was the 1972 Lion’s Club Sportsmanship Award recipient. He was also a coach on the staff of the 2005 NCHSAA 3-A State Champion Asheville High School Cougars, along with being selected as the offensive coordinator for the NC East/West All-Star game and the NC-SC Shrine Bowl. He also coaches eight future Nation Football League players.
* David Ball played and participated for Erwin’s Basketball, Baseball and Cross Country teams. He was All-Conference in both Basketball and Baseball. Ball served as Erwin’s athletic director for 17 years. Ball also functioned as Erwin’s baseball coach for 19 years, compiling a 286-160 record while going to the state playoffs in 13 seasons. He was inducted into the NCADA Hall of Fame in 2018.
* Chris Hawkins, now deceased, was a baseball, basketball and football athlete for Erwin, graduating in 1980. He was an All-Conference athlete in baseball, also playing for the conference champion Erwin High football team in 1979. Hawkins held a .450 batting average in 1980, earning recognition as the Most Valuable Player. Hawkins became paralyzed in 1984 due to an accident. A golf tournament, benefitting many local charities, was later founded in his name and has continued for several years following Hawkins death.
* Finally, Rick Waldrop, a basketball, football and track athlete and coach, garnered 10 varsity letters in basketball, football and track. He was a captain and MVP of the 1965 football team, while also helping lead the 1966 Erwin High School basketball team to the NCHSAA final eight. Waldrop was selected All-Conference and team MVP in track in 1965 and 1966 and would later go on to coach football and basketball in the area.