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Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame

Greater Savannah Athletic Hall-of-Fame Greater Savannah Athletic Hall-of-Fame

It was a great night for four athletes who were inducted into the Greater Savannah Athletic Hall-of Fame.

There were also two citation honorees, and swimmer Patricia Forrester was honored as the athlete of the year, presented the Lawton M. Calhoun Award.

The four inductees were George Crafts who played multiple sports at Savannah High in the 50s and played football at South Carolina.  Randall Mitchell who played football at Jenkins in the 80s and went to play at Tennessee Chattanooga.  And Steve Taylor, a great all around athlete at Jenkins, and he played football at Georgia.

"It's a great honor, it's humbling, and I look at it as bringing my football career, sports career, full circle, and I got all the support the fellow Jenkins alumni and family and friends," said Mitchell.

Crafts added, "Rick, it's a true honor.  I'm truly humbled by it.  Savannah has always been very fond in my memory, I was born here, raised here and to be recognized in this fashion is just almost unbelievable."

Taylor chimed in with, "It means a lot because when you play, you want to be remembered and it's been so long ago and then tonight I get to see some of my friends I haven't seen in 40 years."

The fourth athlete was the late Vernell Golden Holley, a track and field star at Beach High and went to Tuskegee University in the 50s.  Her brother Jim Golden remembers, "Bringing her back home in memories and what has been accomplished.  And what she did in sports and athletics, it's a joy.  This is the place to be among the best."

The Citation honorees were John Burke who wrote for the Savannah Morning News and Gary Sharpe who played and coached at Jenkins and had a long career as a college coach and athletic director of the Brunswick schools.  The M. A. Spellman award was presented to longtime athlete and supporter of athletics, Gordon Varnedoe, who still plays rugby and lifts weights, "I'm telling you, I know a lot of people in this hall of fame, I have relatives and family, so it's like a dream come true, Rick," said Vanedoe.  "They finally got an award for a guy who just wouldn't give up."

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