By PATRICK CASEY
Former Tivoli High School football standout and DeFuniak Springs resident Willie “Boogie” Hall, former Cocoa High School and New York Giants football player Bob Anderson and former Madison High School athlete Carl Joseph front the list of eight individuals selected for induction this year into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Joining them in the Class of 2009 are longtime Ledger prep sports writer Durward Buck; Bartow High School softball coach Glenn Rutenbar; Royal Palm Beach High School girls track and field coach Jay Seider; Oak Ridge High School girls track & field coach Bill Stamper; and former Lincoln High School football coach David Wilson.
Hall, who passed away in September 1997 after a two-year bout with cancer, played football, basketball and baseball for Tivoli High School in DeFuniak Springs and was a member of the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Association from 1948-1952. He set a single-game scoring record in football with 13 touchdowns and 468 yards, and scored 22 touchdowns and four extra points in two consecutive games. He received the NWFOA Award for the Most Outstanding Athlete twice. He was a two-team MVP in all three sports for Tivoli, scoring double figures in points and steals in basketball and consistently hitting for the cycle in baseball. He was a three-sport athlete at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, before returning to Walton County to teach and coach for the next 36 years.
“Boogie” Hall was a mainstay in the community as he coached Pee Wee football teams, umpired for years at the DeFuniak Springs Little League baseball games and spent almost two decades as a high school basketball official.
The recreation fields beyond the DeFuniak Springs airport permanently carry the names of Willie “Boogie” Hall, Fred Hackett and Royce Phillips.
Hall earned his nickname “Boogie” during baseball season in his prime as he told teammates he was going to “boogie woogie” the baseball around the field when he got up to the plate.
This is the 18th group to be inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame, formerly the FHSAA Hall of Fame. Founded during the 1990-91 school year, the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame keeps alive the tradition and spirit of high school athletics, and honors each year those persons who, through distinguished achievement, have excelled in one or more high school programs sponsored by the Association and its member schools.
This year’s eight inductees bring the number of deserving individuals who have been enshrined in the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame to 127. They include student-athletes, coaches, administrators, contest officials and other contributors, such as sports writers, who have raised the level of awareness of high school activities through their efforts, achievements and dedication. The 2009 Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and Awards Banquet will be held April 26 at the Best Western Gateway Grand Hotel in Gainesville.