GUILFORD COUNTY — Answering questions during Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame ceremonies on Monday, Toney Baker was asked whether he or his father, Tony Baker, was the better football player.
“I’ve got to give it to my father,” Toney Baker said.
Both were accomplished enough that they became the first father-son combo in the Hall’s history, which dates to 2005, when they were among 10 in the Hall’s Class of 2021 and five with High Point connections inducted during the festivities at Greensboro Coliseum
The others with local ties honored were youth sports coach and advocate Ed Price, Southwest Guilford track coach and Greensboro Pacesetters founder Charlie Brown and late sportscaster Mike Hogewood.
“It means a lot, the first duo to do this,” Toney Baker said. “Father-son, you couldn’t draw it up any better. We’re very proud, very proud.”
Tony Baker starred in football and track T.W. Andrrews, rushing for 1,600 yards in his senior season.. He was four-year starter aa a tailback at East Carolina, earning honorable mention All-American honors as a senior, then played four years in the NFL and two with the Frankfort Galaxy of the World Football League.
“Father-son duo, I’m very proud,” said the older Baker, who still lives in High Point and has worked in a management role for over 27 at UPS. “Hard work pays off. It started early. Working hard at Andrews, then it carried over to East Carolina and then to the pros and to my job.
“Now that the moment is here, this is very special. A lot of great athletes came from this area, so you can’t beat this.”
As a standout at Ragsdale, Toney Baker rushed for 10.241 yards in his career, which was third in the country all-time then, and 131 touchdowns. His season-best 3,411 was fifth all-time in North Carolina history.
He went on to play at N.C. State where he missed two seasons because of a severe knee injury. He received the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award for courage. Toney currently works for a health-care facility in Virginia.
“To be recognized among the greats in this county is incredible,” Toney said.
Price is in his 49th year of involvement in youth and community sports that began with coaching baseball and swimming in 1972.
“I’m lucky,” Price said. “I get off work and go do what I enjoy.I’m not saying I’m good at it but I get to do what I enjoy. What more can you ask for?
“I started coaching at High Point Central and I migrated to baseball that summer. I loved it. I didn’t have any children and wasn’t married at the time. So I got off work and went down to Washington Terrace Park or Armstrong, and coached swimming or baseball or basketball or whatever I could coach. People would call me to coach teams. I coached paraplegics and special needs people swimming. I migrated to it. So It all worked out.”
In addition to coaching a variety of teams, including one AAU U-12 national champion, he raised funds for new facilities in High Point, including a YMCA.
He founded the High Point Youth Sports Council, organized numerous tournaments, served as president of both the High Point Central and T.W. Andrew booster clubs.
In addition to numerous civic awards, the city of High Point developed a sports complex which has a baseball field named for Price.
“I’m humbled by it, very much so,” Price said of the Hall of Fame recognition. “I don’t deserve it.. I’ve been to these and I see who is getting the awards. They’re all great athletes. They earned there’s on the field. I’m not sure how I earned mine.”
Brown ran track at Grimsley High in the mid-1970s and formed the Greensboro Pacesetters in 1983. He served a volunteer coach at Grimsley, where he helped guide one of Monday’s other inductees, Kim Jones, who won state championships in the long jump and indoor hurdle and then went on to become an All-ACC athlete at Florida State.
In 2001, Brown decided that becoming a paid high school coach would be more compatible with his work with the track club than working in private business. He sent resumes to every high school in the county and wound up at Southwest Guilford because it was the first school that responded
He won an 3A indoor boys championship in 2009 and his girls teams were state runners-up in 2002 and 2003. He is currently the head indoor boys and girls coach and the head girls outdoor coach at Southwest.
“It’s been a good 20 years at Southwest,” Brown said. “We’ve had a lot of good athletes and we have a lot of nice equipment so that makes it a big plus, also.”
Brown coached Team USA at the IAAF World Championships in 2005 and has served as meet director for multiple USA Track and Field national and world qualifying meets as well as director of a variety of college and high school meets.
“It’s a phenomenal award,” Brown said. “In addition to that, it gets your photo in the coliseum forever. It’s a fun thing to be inducted. It’s a great thing to be seen on the wall.
“I’m surprised and excited but I’m really excited that one of my former athletes, Kim Jones, was elected, too. When they were going over my resume, I told them about Kim and they said we have to get in too.”
Hogewood, a native of Greensboro, left North Carolina to take television jobs in Florida and Alabama but returned to become sports director at WGHP. He later moved to WFMY and worked on telecasts of ACC football and basketball and NASCAR races.
Hogewood was represented by his wife Nancy and their children.
“High Point was the reason we came back to North Carolina,” Nancy Hogwood said. “Our oldest child was five and it was nice to know we were coming back.
‘“It’s hard to articulate what a special honor it is to be recognized by this group of people. Mike would have been so honored.to be here, not only to hear the stories of other people but to share his stories. And to see the pictures on the wall of the people who have recognized. It’s such a high honor.”
Other inductees include Reidsville wrestling coach Rodney James, who was a standout wrestler at Grimsley and N.C. A&T; N.C. Soccer Hall of Fame member Megan Jeidy Crotts, who played at Northwest Guilford and N.C. State; Joyce Spurill, a multi-sport star at Dudley who was a basketball player and basketball and softball coach at A&T and Bennett College; and 19-time state amateur tennis champion Susan Black Wall.
email@example.com | 336-888-3519