CLASS OF 2012
Cam Bonifay played football, basketball and baseball at Mark Smith High School and was a starting guard for the 1969 State AAA Championship basketball team. Bonifay went to Georgia Tech where he starred in both baseball and football. He was an Honorable Mention All-American baseball player for the Yellow Jackets. He played one season of professional baseball with the Cardinal organization before entering baseball administration. After working as a scout for the Cardinals and Reds organizations, he was named scouting director for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990. He was promoted to General Manager in 1993 and was named Baseball Executive of the Year in 1997. After leaving Pirates, he spent five seasons as Director of Player Development for the Tampa Bay Rays. He later returned to the Cincinnati Reds as a special assistant to the GM. Cam joins brothers Ken and Brannon and father Bob as members of the Hall. He is also a member of the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame.
HOWARD GLOVER, SR.
Howard Glover, Sr. was a standout in football, basketball and baseball at Ballard Hudson High School. In 1953, he signed an Athletic Scholarship with Morris Brown College in Atlanta, where he was a four-year starter in both football and basketball. He also lettered one year in track. In football, Glover was an All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic conference (SIAC) selection for four consecutive years and was an All-American selection his senior season. He was a two time All-Conference performer in basketball for the Wolverines and was names to the District 29 NAIA Tournament team. After graduating at Morris Brown he was an assistant football coach, and head basketball and track coach at Ballard Hudson. He later coached in the Atlantic Public School System. He received a Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award for football in 1975-1976.
Chuck Heard played both football and basketball at Lanier High School. An injury his senior season allowed him to only play in three football games. Nonetheless, he was awarded a scholarship to the University of Georgia. Chuck was a three-year defensive starter for the Dogs, two years as an end and one season as tackle. Heard earned All-SEC honors as a junior and senior and was an Academic All-SEC selection in 1972. Heard shared the Coffee County "Hustle Award" with Lanier and Georgia teammate Mixon Robinson. That award is given annually to a Georgia Player showing most desire during spring practice. After college, Heard pursued a career in medicine and became an orthopedic surgeon in Orlando, Florida.
Rex Putnal was a two-sport standout at Lanier High School. As a senior, playing both quarterback and wide receiver, he led the Poets to a 7-3 record, but missed his final game due to a shoulder separation. Rex was a first team AAA All-State selection and chosen to play for the winning South team in the GACA All-Star game at Grant Field in Atlanta. Putnal led the Lanier basketball team to a 26-3 record averaging a team best 17.4 points a game. Putnal moved on to Athens where he was a three-year letter winner at the University of Georgia. In 1972 in the Gator Bowl, he caught the winning 44 yard touchdown in a 10-7 victory over the Florida Gators. Putnal averaged 26.4 yards per reception during that 1972 season. He and his bother Steve are both members of the Hall.
CHARLES "CHUCK" RICHARDSON
Chuck Richardson was a star lefthander pitcher for the 1961 Lanier High School Poets leading them to the AAA State Tournament where they finished as runner-ups to Benedictine of Savannah. He finished the season with a perfect 8-0 record which included a no-hitter and a pair of wins in the State Playoffs. Overall he was 17-1 helping Lanier to two State championship finals. Richardson earned a baseball scholarship to Vanderbilt University, where he was a three-year letter winner as a starting pitcher. After leaving Nashville, Chuck graduated from the Medical College of Georgia. He became an orthopedic surgeon who worked with local public and private school athletic programs for more than 25 years. Richardson was the head team Physician for minor league baseball teams in Macon, including the Pirates, Peaches, Cardinals, and Braves and also has served as one of team physicians for Mercer University Athletic Program.
Mixon Robinson was an Honorable Mention AAA All-State football player at Lanier in 1967, chosen to play for the winning South Team in the GACA All-Star game at Grant Field in Atlanta. Afterwards, Robinson went on to stellar career at the University of Georgia. He was named All- SEC by both the AP and UPI in 1971 after helping lead Bulldogs to an 11-1 season. He was team captain and named Georgia’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player that season. In addition, he was named an Academic All American and Academic All-SEC. Mixon is one of only 13 former Georgia players to win an NCAA post graduate scholarship. Following his Georgia career, Robinson became an orthopedic surgeon and served as a University of Georgia Athletic team Doctor for more than 20 years.
Bert Schwartz was one of the most versatile athletes ever in the city of Macon. He was an All-State high school basketball player at Lanier, leading them to the State 1950 AA Championship, before signing a scholarship to Auburn University. But Schwartz left after one quarter and transferred to Mercer University, becoming a three-year starter for the Bears. Mercer won three Dixie Conference Championships during that time. In addition to basketball, Schwartz was a four-year letter winner in tennis and team captain of the 1953-54 squad. Bert was 32-20 in singles action and posted a 16-12 mark in doubles. He was five times Runner-up in the Macon City Tennis Championship. After his Mercer career, Bert began playing golf and won the Macon City Championship at Bowden in 1960 (in one of only two appearances he made in that event). Schwartz is a member of the Mercer University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Elmore Smith was a powerhouse basketball player at Ballard Hudson High School before going on to Kentucky State where he was an All-American. Following his College career, he was drafted by the Buffalo Braves in the first round of the 1971 draft as the number three pick overall. In his first season he averaged 17.3 points and 15.2 rebounds a game and was named to the NBA All Rookie team. His shot-blocking ability earned him the nickname "Elmore the Rejector." He led the NBA in that category in both for 1974 and 1975 and posted 17 blocks in one game against Portland in 1973. Smith spent 8 years in the league playing for the Buffalo Braves, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged a double-double (13.4 points and 10.6 rebounds) over the course of his career.
Wilbur Whitfield was involved in the sports scene in Macon for more than 5 decades. The 1959 Ballard Hudson graduate received his college degree from Fort Valley State in 1972 and promptly assisted in organizing the Macon Track Running Club. He has competed in virtually every Road Race in the state including Macon's first Labor Day Event. He was a major contributor in the startup of the Macon Police Department's Police Athletic League and was the group's first director. Whitfield also organized and developed the first Southeastern Regional AAU Boys Basketball tournament. As a coach, his teams have won over 1,200 basketball games, including 6 National Championships. In his more than 50 years as a coach, mentor and counselor for youth in the Macon Community he has worked with more than 5,000 young people.