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Rankin among HOF Class of 2021

Rankin among HOF Class of 2021

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Former Lake Norman Athletic Director Steve Rankin is one of the inductees into the Iredell County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The class includes 10 individuals and the Harold Johnson Community Partner Award.

Steve Rankin served as Lake Norman’s first athletic director and is still a volunteer at the school. He is included in the 2021 HOF class.

“The ICSHOF is pleased to have another amazing class to induct into the Hall of Fame. This class is special since it encompasses two years of 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. This class has some first for the Hall of Fame with a soccer player and a  golfer being inducted in the class of 2021.” said Ryan Pegarsch, executive director, ICSHOF

Rankin graduated from South Iredell High School and was a three-sport athlete. (football, basketball, and baseball) He received All-Conference honors in baseball and football. He received the Scholar Athlete Award in 1969. Rankin went onto Appalachian State University for college and came back to Iredell County and served as a teacher/coach and athletic director for more than 39 years. He started at Oakwood Junior High and went to Statesville and then to Lake Norman. He was voted as North Carolina High School Athletic Association Athletic Director if the Year for Region 7 in 1993. He was inducted in the North Carolina Athletic Directors Hall of Fame in 2018 and South Iredell Athletic Hall of Fame in 2020. He is the commissioner/executive secretary of the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference.

The other inductees are:

Addie Holbrook Hightower - Hightower graduated from Statesville High School and played basketball for the Greyhounds. She was 3-time All-Conference and 2-time Conference Player of the Year. She was selected as All-State and played in the East/West All-Star game in 1995. She was the leading scorer for the game. She went on to have a stellar career at Wingate University.

Bobby Graham - Graham graduated from Statesville High School and was a three-sport athlete for the Greyhounds. He played football, basketball and ran track. He was named MVP in both basketball and football twice, as well, most outstanding runner for track. Also, Graham was a member of the Shrine Bowl and East/ West All-Star team in 1997. He was also named NCHSAA Scholar Athlete and Academic All-Star in 1997. He went on to play football at the University of Tennessee.

Jesse Jackson - Jackson was a multi-sport coach at Statesville High School. He coached wrestling, track, and football. He was named Coach of the Year 12 times for track in the Foothills and Western Piedmont conferences. He was recognized in 1995 for more than30 years of coaching by the Foothills Conference. He is still involved with athletics at Statesville High School.

Jim Conger - Conger graduated from Scotts High School and was a multi-sport athlete with an outstanding career playing 6-man football. He started for three years for football and two-year starter for basketball. He was a captain for both teams and received All-Conference honors in 1955 for both sports. Conger went on to play football at Appalachian State University, where he was a four-year starter and letter winner and was inducted into the Appalachian State Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. Conger went into coaching and came back to Iredell County and coached at North Iredell for 18 years.

John McNeely - McNeely graduated from South Iredell High School and was a three-sport athlete for the Vikings. He played football, basketball and golf. McNeely received All-Conference honors in each sport. He was team MVP for basketball and member of the East/West All-Start game in 1970. McNeely left South Iredell and went to North Carolina State University to play basketball on scholarship but due to injuries he transferred to East Tennessee State University on scholarship to play golf. He is still involved in the game as a PGA Pro in Banner Elk, NC.

Justin Moose - Moose graduated from Statesville High School and played soccer for the Greyhounds. He was All-Conference every year and was Conference Player of the Year in 2001 as well as All-Region and NC Soccer Coaches Association All-State Team. He was also a National Team Player for US Soccer for the U-18 team. He went on to play at Wake Forest University where he was Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and member of the All-Conference Team each year. Moose was then drafted in the first round to play Major League Soccer for DC United. He is still involved in the game in a day-to-day basis.

Lib Barkley Smith - Smith graduated from Cool Springs High School and played women’s basketball in the “three vs three” era. She made All-State Team in 1950 and 1951. She helped her team make the state tournament in 1950 and 1951. She was voted the best guard in the tournament both years by the coaches. Smith was All-Star all four years from 1948-1951 for the county tournament for women’s basketball.

Misty Horne Kerr - Kerr graduated from Statesville High School and played basketball for the Greyhounds. She was Player of the Year in 1996 and Co-Player of the Year in 1993 for the Foothills Conference. She was All-Conference in 1993, 1995, and 1996. Kerr helped lead the Greyhounds to the Conference Championship in 1993 and 1995. She holds the single season 3-pointer record of 64 in 1994 and holds the career record of 207 at Statesville. Misty went on to play at East Carolina University and moved back to Iredell County and gives back as a youth basketball coach.

Roger Bost - Bost graduated from Statesville High School and was a member of the football and track and field teams. He was a captain and won the best blocker award in 1965 for football. He was conference champion for shotput in 1964 and was Western North Carolina High School Athletic Association Champion for shotput in 1965. Bost went on to East Carolina University to play football and came back to Iredell County to coach. He was football, tennis and golf coach for Statesville High School. He was named Coach of Year for the respective sports nine times. He was East/West All-Start Coach in 2004 for football.

Harold Johnson Community Partner Award

J.D. Harris graduated from Statesville High School and played football, baseball and basketball. He was awarded the Perdue Athletic Award for Outstanding Male Athlete in 1955. Harris, right out of high school, began his service to the community. He began to coach the Statesville Babe Ruth Baseball Team. He would then go to help build a football program at Oakwood Junior High and would continue to help while serving a firefighter for the City of Statesville. Harris then was enlisted to help the City of Statesville Parks and Recreation to develop and coach the midget football program. He had a coaching record of 102-24-4. He then went on to help at Statesville and North Iredell with football as a trainer and lay c oach. During all of this, Harris gave back to the sports he loved by being an official. He was doing it to help the youth learn the rules of the game.

Induction ceremony

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on May 2021. The Iredell County Sports Hall of Fame will release more details as the event gets closer.  

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