CLASS OF 2008
Edward Ahn came to Macon from his native North Korea and opened the first Martial Arts School in the Flag City in 1974. He has trained more than 4,000 black belts in Macon and Middle Georgia and became the first person to demonstrate the art of Tae Kwon Do. Ahn started training in the martial arts at age 12 by the modern founder of Tae Kwon Do, General Choi Hong Hi. Edward’s goal was to spread the once-lost art in the United States. After 40 years of training, he earned a ninth-degree black belt, the highest level achievable. He estimates that he has trained more than 50,000 students during his career.
Vince Dattilo was an All-State High School soccer player at Mt. de Sales, where he dominated the competition to the tune of 75 goals and 60 assists during his career. He moved right down the street to Mercer University where Vince was first team All-Conference in both 1991 and 1992. In ‘92, he was named Conference Soccer Player of the Year. That season, Dattilo scored 15 goals, had 11 assists and set the Mercer season record for points with 41. His 26 goals, 17 assists, and 69 points place him in the Top 5 All-Time at Mercer. Vince played professional soccer in the NPSL. He then became head coach at de Sales where the Cavaliers claimed 6 Region Titles as well as the 2003 GISA State Championship in which Dattilo was named Coach of the Year.
Steve Dennis was the State AAA Back of the Year while leading the Central Chargers to the 1972 State AAA championship game. Dennis went on to play collegiately at the University of Georgia and was the Bulldogs’ defensive captain in 1978 and an Academic All-Southeastern Conference selection that same season. He played in three bowl games for the Bulldogs before graduation and heading back to Macon. Steve started his professional career as a high school teacher, football and baseball coach at Windsor Academy. He moved to the college ranks, first with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 1981. Dennis has also spent time at Auburn and Georgia, before moving into Administration as the Athletic Director at Troy for seven years. During that span, the Trojans won five consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles and appeared in four bowl games.
Walt Fugate has been one of Georgia’s top amateur golfers for years. A native of Chickamauga, Walt graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before becoming a teacher at Gordon Lee High School. But in 1965, he moved to Macon and began putting together one of the state’s top amateur golf resumes. The Georgia State Golf Association has twice named him as the Georgia Senior Golfer of the Year, and four times he has qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur, making the round of 16 one time. Fugate twice claimed the Georgia Senior Amateur Championship. He has also been victorious in the Georgia Pro Championship (as an amateur), the Dixie Amateur Classic an incredible 10 times, and the Macon-Middle Georgia Golf Tournament twice.
Ed Grisamore is a former sports columnist for the Macon Telegraph who served as Sports Editor for three years. In addition to his duties for the paper, Ed has penned nine books over the course of his career. Among his offerings is “Once Upon A Whoopee”, the story of Macon’s minor league hockey team back in the early 1970’s, “It Can Be Done”, about legendary coach Billy Henderson, and “True Gris,” a collection of some of Ed’s favorite stories. In June 2012, Grisamore was named Georgia Author of the Year in the Essays category by the Georgia Writers Association. In May 2015, he retired from The Telegraph after a 36-year newspaper career in which he won more than 40 writing awards. Ed moved into the classroom where he has taught journalism and creative writing at Stratford Academy.
Jimmy Hammond played football for legend Billy Henderson at Willingham High School in the early 1960’s. He was a three-year starting defensive end at the University of Tennessee-Martin where he served as a team captain during his senior year in 1965. Early in his career, Jimmy was a football coach at both Willingham and Lanier High Schools. He has influenced many young men throughout his career with stops as head football coach at Southwest High School, Windsor Academy, as well as first coach at Southeast High School in 1988. In 2015, Jimmy was conferred the rank of honorary lieutenant colonel by Nathan Deal, the former Governor of Georgia, for his contributions in the field of education.
Craig “Sky” Hertwig was a Mark Smith graduate who played offensive tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs during the 1972, ’73 and ’74 seasons winning a letter every year. The nickname of “Sky” came for his massive size of being 6’8” tall. Hertwig was named offensive team captain as a senior, made first team All-SEC, and was a first-team All-America. Craig was selected in the fourth round (the 94th overall pick) of the 1975 NFL Draft by Detroit and played for the Lions from 1975-1977. He finishing his playing career with the Buffalo Bills in 1978. Hertwig returned to Athens and operated several bars and restaurants before passing away from heart failure in 2012.
TRELLE KITE McCOMBS
Central High School standout Trelle Kite McCombs became one of most dynamic and player-friendly head coaches in all of collegiate golf. McCombs led Texas A&M to six top 20 finishes nationally during her 12 years in College Station. She guided the Aggies to two conference titles, including the 2015 SEC Championship, where A&M shot a school and tournament 54-hole record 13-under par. The Aggies finished first or second at the conference championship five times and advanced to the NCAA Championships six times under her watch. Prior to move to Texas, Trelle spent three years as the head coach at Augusta State, coached the men's and women's teams at Mercer, and worked one season as head coach at Tulsa. A 1998 graduate of Georgia State with a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology, McCombs was a two-year team captain and won two collegiate tournaments. She earned Academic All-Conference honors in each of her four seasons.
Darrell Parker was a first team All-State Selection and Honorable mention All-Southern player at Willingham High School in 1965. He led the Rams in rushing as they finished the season with a 7-1-2 record. One of those wins was a 12-7 decision over eventual state champion Valdosta. Darrell is one of just seven Rams players ever named to the All-State team in school history. Parker played college football at Georgia Tech where he was moved to Defensive Back. Darrell had a key interception for the Yellow Jackets which led to a score in a 24-21 win over Clemson in the 1968 season. He was a teammate at Tech with fellow Hall-of-Famers Ken Bonifay and Al Gerhardt, Jr.
Antonio Pettigrew prepped at Southwest where he was an outstanding member of the track team. While attending St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina, Pettigrew was a four-time NCAA Division II champion in the 400 meter race. He came into prominence at the 1991 World Championships, where he won the 400 meter Gold Medal and a Silver Medal in the 4 x 400 meter relay. At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Pettigrew threw his Gold Medal-winning Adidas spikes into the crowd after winning the 4 × 400 meter final for the USA. Pettigrew then admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs and voluntarily returned the medals he won and subsequently the U.S. relay team was stripped of their medals. Pettigrew entered the coaching ranks at North Carolina before his tragic death in 2010.
Sonny Wilcher led Lanier High School to a state track championship while personally winning the 440 State Crown in back to back years. In 1953, Wilcher was off to South Carolina where he went unbeaten in the 440 his first two years with the Gamecocks. In fact, Wilcher became well known his freshman season in the State Intercollegiate Track & Field Meet when he took down Presbyterian’s Tommy Jordan in the final leg of the one mile relay. Earlier in the day, Jordan (the two-time defending State champ) had beaten Sonny in the meet’s marquee matchup, the 220 yard dash. It was Wilcher’s only loss in any event that season.
Chris Wilson was a two-time All-State selection, and he was named the 1992 Macon Telegraph All-City Tailback and Macon Touchdown Club’s “Back of the Year” at First Presbyterian. He also excelled in track, setting school records in 4 different events. In 1993, Wilson was chosen as FPD’s Outstanding Senior Male Athlete of the Year. He walked on at Georgia Southern and eventually earned a scholarship. He started a total of 23 games on special teams or at defensive back. His high school football jersey number 11 was retired in 1999. He still owns nine career Viking football records including 4442 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns.