Local sports history will be made this coming week when five Bradwell Institute alumni and an entire women’s soccer team from First Presbyterian Christian Academy will be inducted into the 2018 Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame on Dec. 13. The ceremony will be held during a banquet at the Liberty County Community Complex in Midway.
Inductees include Kareem Bacon, former Hinesville Police Chief George Stagmeier, Hardy Cone, Pat Parris, Eddie Smith and the Lady Highlanders 2013 State Championship Soccer Team.
The inductees’ biographies follow:
Kareem Bacon – A 1990 BI graduate, Bacon lettered in football, baseball and track, with his most notable highlights coming on the gridiron in 1989 in which he was voted team captain and played quarterback and free-safety recording 147 tackles, 4 interceptions, and throwing 6 TD passes. He was 5 time player of the week, Defensive MVP, and received a full scholarship in football to Clark Atlanta University where he was a 4 year starter in football earning First Team All-SICA honors in multiple years as well as being a Division II All-American nominee. He graduated in 1995 with a BA in marketing from Clark Atlanta University. Bacon also played professional football for the Albany Firebirds of the Arena Football League and later the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League where he was a member of their 1995 CFL Grey Cup Championship Team. Kareem is currently a District Manager for a re-insurer of large automobile dealerships and lives in Atlanta.
George Stagmeier – A 1973 BI graduate, Stagmeier lettered 4 years in football and track, scoring 17 touchdowns and rushing for over 2,000 yards while playing both ways (running back and linebacker) on the gridiron in his junior and senior years. Stagmeier was named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution Prep Honor Roll and the All-State Checklist as a junior and was Class AA Prep All-State Honorable Mention as a senior. In track he excelled in the 880yd run (placing 1st in the region in 1971) and on the Mile Relay Team. Stagmeier also was BI’s player of the week numerous times during his 4 year career and was Team captain his senior year while also winning the Team MVP award. George received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Georgia Southern University in 1977 and shortly thereafter returned to his native Liberty County to pursue a career in law enforcement. George recently retired after more than 40 years of law enforcement service, the most notable being the last 18 years in which he served with distinction as the Chief of Police of Hinesville, Ga.
Hardy Cone – A 1966 graduate of BI, Cone lettered 4 years in football and 3 in track. Cone was best known for his prowess on the football field as a bone-crunching, hole opening, bull-dozing offensive lineman as evidenced by his numerous accolades: All-State Honorable Mention in Football in 1964 and 1965, participant in the North-South All-Star Football Game in 1966, BI’s Best Lineman award and Headhunter award in 1965, and vital member of three (3) Region Championship teams, two (2) South Georgia Championship teams, and the 1965 State Championship Team. After his playing days ended, Hardy became a member of the Georgia National Guard completing over 30 years of service as an aviation mechanic. He is currently retired and living in Statham, Georgia.
Pat Parris – A 1994 graduate of BI, Parris was a three (3) year letterman in soccer for the Tigers earning the 1994 Region Player of the Year Award while serving as Captain and also being named Coastal Empire Player of the Year. Parris later starred at Georgia Southern earning four (4) varsity letters with the Eagles while playing in 75 games with 15 goals and 10 assists leading Georgia Southern to a 14-4-2 record and its first ever national ranking. Parris has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sports management from Georgia Southern and has been the head coach of the University of North Georgia’s Men’s soccer team for the past eleven (11) years, leading them to the conference tournament on numerous occasions.
Eddie Smith – A 1970 graduate of BI, Smith was an extremely accomplished pole vaulter for the BI track team. Smith was the Region Champion in the pole vault in 1968, 1969, and 1970 as well as the State Champion in 1970. Smith received an athletic scholarship to West Georgia College where he had numerous honors and awards to include qualifying for the NAIA National Track Championships in 1973 and 1974, winning the GIAC pole vault championship in 1974 and being named an NAIA All-American in 1974. After his competitive days ended, Eddie had a successful career as a representative for a sports manufacturing company and as a volunteer pole vaulting coach/consultant at the high school, college, and international levels. He is retired and lives in Candler, North Carolina.
Lady Highlanders 2013 State Championship Soccer Team (See photo bottom left corner of page) – The 2013 FPCA Lady Highlanders Varsity Soccer team defeated Monsignor Donovan 3-0 for the state championship title. In a historic soccer year for the Lady Landers, the team was 11-1 for the season. They had a record breaking 11 shutouts, went undefeated( 6-0) in GISA region 2AA play, and were 4-0 in the playoffs. In the championship game, Summer Mehalko earned the shutout. Goals were scored by Myesha Robinson, Elaina Peterson and Auset Gibbs.The three team captains were Brooke Standard (Defensive MVP), Kelsey Higgason (Offensive MVP), and Hope Armstrong. The coaches were Tom Sukaratana (Head Coach), Holly Buckley (Assistant), and Kevin Brown (Assistant).