Eleven individuals and who have made outstanding contributions to high school athletics and activities have been selected to the 2017 class of the Virginia Interscholastic Association Heritage Association (VIAHA) Hall of Fame.
The second annual Hall of Fame induction dinner will be held on Friday, June 23, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Charlottesville, VA.
The class features five athletes (Mattie Parham Belle — Carver HS, Chesterfield County; Leroy Keyes – Carver HS, Newport News; Albert Arthur Megginson – Dunbar HS, Lynchburg; Marty Miller – Langston HS, Danville; and Charles Price – Parker-Gray HS, Alexandria); three coaches (Howard Allen – Langston HS, Danville; Walter Lovett – Carver HS, Newport News; and Harry Waters – Dunbar HS, Lynchburg); and three contributors (Garwin DeBerry – Burley and Charlottesville HS; Clarence Oliver – Petersburg HS; and Knox W. Tull, Jr. – Phenix HS, Hampton). Members of the Class of 2017 will bring total membership to 38.
The Hall is dedicated to preserving the rich heritage and legacy of African-American students and adults who participated in the Virginia Interscholastic Association from 1954-70 and its predecessor organization the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic League (VIAL).
Prior to public school desegregation, one of the most influential organizations in Virginia was the Virginia Interscholastic Association (VIA), which served young African-American students who attended segregated high schools in the state. The impact this association had on shaping the lives of these students went far beyond governing athletic events. The VIA brought together students, parents and mentors to develop a strong foundation of character and ethical responsibility in the students. The notable careers of many VIA graduates are testaments to the successful efforts of their teachers, principals and counselors.
Athletes and coaches considered for nomination are those who excelled on VIA athletic teams. Contributors are professionals who may have excelled in VIA non-athletic activities or in such areas as school administration, media, officiating, medical services and other professions. A fourth group is best described as the Legacy category. This includes such potential nominees as VIA athletic teams that gained extraordinary distinction or coaches, athletes, contributors and/or teams from VIAL or post-VIA era history.
The VIAL/VIA’s original home was at Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) from 1954–1970. After merging with the Virginia High School League (VHSL), all VIA records are now stored at Virginia State University.
The deadline for nominations in 2017 is September 30.