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Class of 2017 announced
                The Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the members of the Class of 2017. The six newest members are Stanley Bell, Mike Deerman, Billy Ferguson, Chip Howell, Jerry Ray and Ricky Weems.   
                The Class of 2017 will be honored at the thirteenth annual induction banquet on Saturday, June 17. The banquet will be held at the Oxford Civic Center. At that time, the group will formally join the current 76 members of the Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame. 
                "The Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame has earned the reputation of inducting high quality classes each year. This year's inductees will certainly continue that strong tradition. The 2017 class well represents the excellence of athletics that we have here in Calhoun County,” said Jon Holder, a member of the Hall of Fame’s board of directors and spokesman for the board.
                Bell was all-county for Wellborn High School in football at end for three years. As a senior in the fall of 1957, he was one of two players unanimously chosen first team and was Calhoun County lineman of the year. In his senior basketball season, Bell was all-tournament at the Calhoun County tournament for the second consecutive season. In June 1958, he played in the high school All-America basketball games in Hutchinson, Kansas. He received a football scholarship to Alabama and lettered as a sophomore.    
                Deerman was an all-district basketball player at Jacksonville High School in 1964 and 1965, where he was coached by his father, the late Van Deerman. After graduating from Jacksonville State, he taught and coached at Weaver High School for 30 years. He was varsity basketball coach for 25 years and was coach of the year four times. His teams made eight postseason appearances. Deerman also coached junior varsity and junior high basketball teams. Overall, his teams won more than 450 games.    
                Ferguson officiated football, basketball and baseball for 37 years and worked AHSAA football playoff games for 34 of those 37 years. He was an official in state championship games 12 times. Ferguson called Class 6A championship games in football, basketball and baseball and was referee in the 6A title game four times. Health concerns forced him to retire from officiating and in 1999 he received the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Distinguished Service Award.    
                Over four decades, Howell has been one of Calhoun County’s best amateur golfers. He was a four-year letterman at Anniston High School before graduating in 1973 and a three-year letterman at Alabama. Howell won Calhoun County championships at Anniston Municipal Golf Course in 1979, 1985 and 1998. He was club champion at Anniston Country Club 13 times between 1975 and 2009. Howell has been a part of three Calhoun County team championships and the 1989 Sunny King Charity Classic team title.      
                Ray starred in football at Oxford High School where he was a starter at running back on the varsity teams from his freshman year through his senior season. He was a second-team all-county pick as a sophomore. Ray was a unanimous selection on the all-county first team in his junior year. That same year, he was named by the Anniston Quarterback as the outstanding running back among county schools. In 1960, his senior season, Ray repeated as first-team all-county at running back.
                Weems was a four-year starter and four-year letterman in football at Wellborn High School. He was first-team all-county and second-team all-state in 1967 as a senior and the Anniston Quarterback Club named him the county’s defensive player of the year. He played in the AHSAA North-South all-star football game before beginning a football career at Jacksonville State. At JSU, he was a four-year starter and four-year letterman. He was all-conference as a junior and a senior and led the Gamecocks in tackles each year.      
                The Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit corporation, operated by an all-volunteer board of directors with fifteen members. The 2017 event continues the tradition of holding the induction banquet on the Saturday of Father's Day weekend. The annual banquets are possible only because of the generous financial support the Sports Hall of Fame receives from individuals, businesses and governmental entities throughout Calhoun County.
                "The Hall of Fame board is deeply appreciative of the many businesses, organizations, and individuals that support the work of the Hall of Fame on a yearly basis. We absolutely would not be able to have a first class ceremony without this support from our community,” Holder said.
                Individual tickets for the 2017 reception and banquet are $25 apiece. For information on purchasing tickets, please call board of directors president Joe Estep at 256-453-4151. For additional information on the Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame, visit the Hall of Fame’s website at 

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