Athletic Department to open Hall of Fame


Coach Rock Harrison and coach Anthony Trentini are memorialized in the stadium, but are not in the hall of fame due to no prior existence of one. The first class will be inducted Jan. 31 at the basketball game against Heritage.

Camille Knecht, Staff Reporter

Whether you can float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, or run like the wind, Cougar athletes now have a place to preserve their exploits.

The Athletic department will launch the inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame.

“It was an idea that our principal had, and it was also an idea for this school since it had 70 or 80 years of history behind it,” said Michael Joyner, athletic director. “It seemed like the right thing to come up with a way to honor our past.”

The new HOF will be on the wall where the current football trophy case is, taking up about one-fourth of the gym lobby. The trophy case will be moved across the hall.

“Our vision is to have a title on the wall like ‘Wake Forest High School Hall of Fame’, and then we would have a big picture frame that would say ‘Class of 2017’ and then it would have each class member’s picture and name,” Joyner said. “The vision would be to have, after 20 years, 20 frames with each class’ name and picture in it, so if you wanted to see who was inducted in the class of 2022 you would go up to that picture, and each class would be a group photo like in a collage.”

Not only will the HOF be new to our school, it will also be unique from those of other schools.

“We are just trying to pull the great ideas we get from other schools and try to put them into one that is our own,” Joyner said.

These ideas will soon be made into a reality as plans are developed for the construction of the wall.

“We will probably bring in a sign company and work with them, but we have a basic design in mind, and then we will just get that to them, and then they would come up with some proofs or drafts of what they envision it would look like and then tweak it from there,” Joyner said.

A committee was assembled that includes Booster Club officers, community members, Joyner and Geoff Belcher, assistant athletic director to oversee the process.

“We have already picked the committee, but myself and coach Belcher bring booster club people who bring people from the outside that have had a long background here at the school that would know history as far as 30 or 40 years ago, so they can make recommendations based on what they remember about the school,” Joyner said.

Monthly meetings were held by the committee to create criteria and work on receiving nominations.

Now that everything is set, forms will be found on the school website and athletic Twitter page as well as Joyner’s office.

Nominations are due by Dec.15, and the first class will be announced at the Jan. 31, 2017 basketball game versus Heritage.

“I will reach out personally to each of the nominees for each class to let them know the details, so it would be like a personal invite,” Joyner said.

The committee chose the Heritage game on purpose.

“It is a Wake Forest event,” Joyner said. “Heritage is in Wake Forest, so there may be a lot of people associated with Heritage now that have past ties here and vise-versa, so it would be a good night for a lot of people from Wake Forest in the gym.”

Each athlete will also be awarded with commemorative plaques showing the year they got inducted and their accomplishments.

The committee is planning on a banquet in May as well to honor the athletes, and a venue is still being decided.

According to Joyner, the HOF will greatly benefit the school along with proudly displaying the success of the athletic program.

“I think it would definitely bring some publicity to our past athletes that have had great careers here,” Joyner said. “There’s quite a few of them, and I think it would bring some positive publicity to the school as far as when we announce the class and go into the media people will realize what a rich history of athletics we have here.”

Even though new athletes will be added to the wall each year moving forward, the format of the wall will remain consistent.

The wall will serve as a way to inspire future athletes at the school, according to Joyner.

Joyner said, “To just have a history so that somebody can walk into our gym lobby to a basketball game, or a wrestling match, or a volleyball game and be able to go over there and look and see the history of Wake Forest High School athletics on that wall in one spot. Rather than having to go piece it together in the trophy case or look at news archives, you can at least see the famous people that we have had here that have done well in athletics.”