CLASS OF 2004
Alvin Copeland won 881 girls basketball games while coaching at Northeast High School which included 5 State Championships. Copeland also captured 6 girls State Championships in track and field and 2 State titles in boys track and field. Copeland was named National High School Coach of the Year by the Black Athletic Coaches Association in 2004. As an athletic administrator, Alvin was named GADA Athletic Director of the Year for his region and State Athletic Director of the Year in 2007. He was inducted into the Fort Valley State University Hall of Fame in 1981, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Macon Hall of Fame. The gymnasium at Northeast is named in his honor.
A twoAgnes Hatcher was one of Macon’s all-time great civic leaders who had had a genuine passion for local sports. She was one of the original founders of Teenage Baseball, Inc. Mrs. Hatcher assisted in the negotiations with Bibb Manufacturing Company for the Teenage Baseball league to use Morgan Field. She also was instrumental in promoting the idea of having summer programs using local schools, one of only a few to support the idea. She was a strong proponent of using Central City Park for a softball complex which came to fruition. Mrs. Hatcher was the second female to serve on Macon City Council and she served as City Treasurer. She is mother to fellow Hall Of Famer Edgar Hatcher and grandmother to another hall member, Chris Hatcher.
Larry Lawrence lettered in football and basketball at Mt. de Sales. He was an All-State basketball player in 1976 and received a scholarship to Dartmouth College. Larry ranks nineteenth on the Big Green's all-time scoring list with 1,122 points, and was twice named Dartmouth's most valuable player. He was the 1981 Ivy League player of the year, and earned Associated Press honorable mention All-America honors. He was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, but ended up playing 14 years professionally in France. Lawrence also played in the United States Basketball League and the Continental Basketball Association. He is a member of the New England Sports Hall of Fame.
Bryant Meeks was chosen as Lanier’s Best Athlete from the class of 1943 after playing football basketball and running track for the Poets. He went to the University of Georgia in 1943 and played football and basketball for the Bulldogs before returning home to Mercer where he lettered in both basketball and baseball. Then he transferred to the University of South Carolina where he was an All-Southern Conference Center in football in 1946 while making 2nd team All- American. He was selected as a member of the First One Hundred Years South Carolina football team. From 1947 to 1948, Meeks played pro ball for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After his playing days, Meeks coached at Sarasota High School in Florida from 1949 until 1954.
JAMES "PUD" MOSTELLER
James “Pud” Mosteller was an offensive lineman for the Georgia Bulldogs from 1953-1956. Hailing from Conover, N.C., young James Mosteller reportedly had a fondness for banana pudding; therefore, James became “Pud,” and that’s the name he carried forward to most who knew him. He was an All-SEC selection during his sophomore season. From Athens, Mosteller moved to Macon and was able to remain active in football by officiating high school games. Then he became a college referee and worked the next 25 years in the SEC. Mosteller worked 12 bowl games, but he said the most memorable game he worked was the Alabama-Auburn contest in 1981 when Paul “Bear” Bryant set the record for wins by a Division 1 coach. “Pud” served as President of the Macon Touchdown Club in 2017.
Richard Reid was a standout athlete at Lanier High School playing on State Championship teams in basketball and track and field. In 1951, he moved on to Mercer University where he played in 109 games and scored 1246 points during his hoops career. He began an illustrious coaching career at Jones County where he led the Greyhound’s girls team to State titles in 1958 and 1960. Reid moved to Stratford and took his boys team to the 1971 SEAIS State crown. He coached briefly at Beechwood, but the majority of his career was at Tattnall, where Reid spent 27 years as the head girls basketball coach winning 4 State Championships from 1989-1998. The Tattnall basketball court is named in his honor. He is a member of the Mercer Athletic Hall of Fame.
Larry Schafer worked diligently in the sport of bowling for well over 40 years as both a competitor and leader. He rose from bowler to President of the American Bowling Congress. He was the first Georgian to be elected to the American Bowling Congress Board of Directors and the only Georgian to serve as its president. Schafer won tournaments, conducted workshops, organized bowling tournament, spearheaded fundraising and served in numerous offices in local, state and national organizations. The annual Larry Schafer Memorial Senior All-Star Tournament, named in his memory, is certified by the United States Bowling Congress.
Grady Smith spent 44 years at Stratford Academy before retiring at the end of the 2014 school year. Smith coached nearly every sport at Stratford, but was best known for his work on the basketball court. He coached the boys team for 20 years winning 3 State Titles and for 10 years was the girls coach winning 4 state crowns. In 1978, he pulled a rare coaching double winning the girls and boys State Championships on the same night. In 34 seasons as the boys golf coach his teams won 10 state championships and he had three state championships as the girls slow pitch softball coach. He served as Stratford’s Athletic Director from 1977 until 2013. The “Grady” the gym at Stratford, was named in his honor in 2014.
Johnny Stallings played at Lanier High School in the early 1950’s and earned a football scholarship to South Carolina where he graduated in 1958. He embarked on a 40-year coaching career spent entirely at two schools, Willingham for 8 years and Woodward Academy for 32. He coached football, track, wrestling and golf. His wrestling teams at Woodward were phenomenal winning 150 dual meets, 3 state championships, 25 area/region crowns, four South Metro titles and a record setting 18 AAA/AA individual championships. Stallings was Woodward’s head football coach from 1988 to 1997. His teams were 83-32 and won region titles in 1996 and 1997. He is a member of the National Wrestling and Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Halls of Fame.