Five area residents will be inducted into the Atmore Area Hall of Fame later this month.
Billy Conn Madison, chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee, released the names of this year’s inductees: William America, Earl Etheridge, Dr. William T. Hall, Howard Shell, and Eddie Staff.
The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, April 29, 6 p.m., at The Club. Tickets for the ceremony and the meal are $25 each. Tickets are available at Carl’s / The Tot Shop. Please note: Everyone attending must have a ticket.
Atmore News is featuring an inductee each week. (Information from the Hall of Fame Committee)
Earl LaGrande (Cannonball) Etheridge, Jr.
Earl Etheridge was born December 7, 1937 in Huxford. He was the first child of Eltra Mae Vickrey Etheridge and Earl L. Etheridge, Sr.
He attended elementary, junior high and high school in Atmore and graduated from Escambia County High School in 1955. A star athlete, Etheridge lettered in football and baseball in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.
He was awarded a football scholarship to Auburn University and played on the freshman team for the 1955-1956 school year, then attended the University of Southern Mississippi on a baseball scholarship beginning in 1958 and graduating in 1962. He was starting pitcher for the team for four years.
Etheridge began his coaching career in 1963 in Savannah, Ga., as assistant football and head baseball coach at Savannah High School with Arvel Holmes, former coach at Escambia County High School. His team won the region championship in baseball each of his four years there and placed second in the state the fourth year.
He was named Baseball Coach of the Year for the region for two of the four years.
Etheridge became head football coach, athletic director and head baseball coach at the new city school, Windsor Forest High School, in the fall of 1967 and continued in that capacity through the 1983-84 school year. While there his baseball teams won the region championship 14 of the 16 years and played in the state finals several years.
He received a number of Coach of the Year awards from the city of Savannah and region in both football and baseball.
He coached the nationally ranked Thompson’s Sporting Goods Softball Team from 1980 to 1991. Under his coaching, the team won the National Championship in 1985 to 1990.
Etheridge coached the nationally ranked Steel’s Softball Team from 1992-1994.
He was involved in numerous activities with the Georgia High School Association – the organization that runs public and private school extra-curricular activities for the state.
* Region Secretary for the city of Savannah and the surrounding areas from 1967 – present
* Board of Trustees, Chairman
* Reclassification Committee, Chairman
* Football Committee, Chairman
* Officials Committee, Chairman
* Tournament Director State semi-finals in football, played in the Georgia Dome
* Tournament Director for state semi-finals and finals in basketball
* Tournament Director for state finals in girls’ softball
* Liaison person for GHSA for debate, one-act plays, literary events and cheerleading.