Press Release- Bessemer City Sports Hall of Fame Makeup Date
Bessemer City Sports Hall of Fame to induct inaugural class on August 14th, 2021. Sponsored by the City of Bessemer City, the inaugural class will include Kevin Millwood, the 1959 Bessemer City High School state championship baseball team, Coach Jackson “Ace” Parker, Shameka Smith, and Coach Mike Mahaffey. The keynote speaker for the evening will be Woody Fish, former Bessemer City High School and Garner-Webb University head football coach.
Date: Saturday August 14th, 2021
Location: First Baptist Church of Bessemer City
107 E. Washington Ave., Bessemer City, NC 28016
Time: Social meet and greet- 5:00 pm
Dinner- 6:00 pm
Dress: Business Casual Attire
Tickets that were purchased last winter/spring are still honored.
For ticket availability- contact Jo D Franklin / Questions- Call 704-629-5111
Key Note Speaker
…Coach Fish served as head football coach of Bessemer City High School from 1980 to 1982 leading the 1982 team share of the Southern District 7 2a title and a 9-3 record with a trip to the second round of the state playoffs. He then served as head football coach of Gardner-Webb University from 1983 to 1996. While at Gardner-Webb, posted a 73-70-1 record and was NAIA national runner-up in 1992. Served as director of football operations and an assistant football coach at Duke University in the early 2000’s. Coach Fish now works for Gardner-Webb University as vice president for advancement and external affairs.
Class of 2020
…A 1993 Bessemer City High graduate, where he was a three-sport athlete, Millwood is Gaston County’s longest-tenured major league baseball player in history at 16 years. At Bessemer City, Millwood also played football and basketball and was team MVP in 1991 of the Yellow Jackets’ N.C. 2A runner-up team and finished his career with 1,394 points. In the major leagues, the 1993 11th-round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves went 169-152 with the Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners. A 1999 National League All-Star for the Braves, Millwood threw a no-hitter in 2003 for the Phillies against a San Franciso Giants lineup that included Barry Bonds, led the American League in ERA for the Indians in 2005 and started and went six innings of a 2012 no-hitter for the Mariners against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
1959 Bessemer City High School baseball team
…15-3 overall, 7-3 and co-Little Six conference champions.
Head Coach Terry Gates
Playoff results: Bethware W 7-1, Pleasant Garden W 8-4, Granite Quarry W 2-1, Valley Springs W 6-0, at Siler City W 10-2, Rock Ridge W 4-3 (9), W 6-2 (N.C. 1A champion)
First and only state championship team in school history.
Jackson “Ace” Parker
…A 1945 Bessemer City High graduate who played baseball and football, Parker attended Erskine College before returning his high school alma mater as a coach and teacher. He coached football, basketball and baseball at the school and the gymnasium is named in his honor. He guided his Yellow Jackets’ basketball teams to 223 victories, three conference regular season and six conference tournament titles highlighted by a 1972 N.C. 2A runner-up finish. He also led the school to five league titles in baseball and three more in football. The high school gymnasium is named in his honor. Coach Parker passed away in January of 2014 at the age of 86.
…A 2002 Bessemer City High graduate, Smith scored 1,774 career points for the Yellow Jackets and was 2002 Gazette player of the year and 2002 Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference player of the year when she scored 693 points including a 40-point game against Highland Tech. A runner-up for Ms. N.C. Basketball in 2002, Smith played collegiately at Gardner-Webb from 2002 to 2007 where she had 1,136 career points and 992 career rebounds and was team MVP as a junior.
…A 1972 Hunter Huss High graduate where he played baseball, Mahaffey played baseball at Gardner-Webb before becoming baseball coach at Bessemer City for 29 seasons with a 428-271 overall record with nine league titles that included six straight from 1984 to 1989 and two pro players (Kevin Millwood and Chris Mason). He had 18 playoff teams and went 20-20 in the postseason highlighted by the 1986 N.C. 2A runner-up finish. Also athletic director at Bessemer City from 1989 to 2009, Mahaffey was a football assistant coach for Bessemer City and later was an assistant softball coach at South Point. The field at the high school is named in his honor.
(Information of inductees courtesy of Richard Walker)