The first year that Stacy Martin became the boys and girls track and field head coach at Wilson Hall, there wasn't a lot of interest.
"We had less than 20 girls and boys girls combined," said Martin, who took over the program in 1999. "So we had …
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"We had less than 20 girls and boys girls combined," said Martin, who took over the program in 1999. "So we had to show the students it was fun and that you could have a great time, but that you've got to work hard."
Martin and her coaching staff did a pretty job of doing that and it led to outstanding years for both the boys and the girls. In her 14 years as head coach, Wilson Hall won six boys SCISA 3A state titles and six girls state titles as well.
Because of that, Martin has been selected for induction into the Sumter Sports Hall of Fame.
"With Sumter being my hometown, born and raised, it truly means a lot," said Martin, who is now living in Fort Mill and is working at Winthrop University. "It is an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame."
Martin will be inducted along with Lisa Ard, Connie Ballard, the late Buddy Hodge, Garon Jackson, Brooks Shumake and Travis Yates today beginning at 6 p.m. at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Sumter located at 630 South Sumter Street.
Tickets are $25 a person for the event and can be purchased at the Boys & Girls Club. Its offices are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call Jean Ford at (803) 775-5006.
Those numbers increased dramatically during Martin's tenure, and the main reason she felt she was able to build the numbers on both sides was because she was Wilson Hall's middle school principal.
"I got to know the kids in middle school," she said. "Not everyone was going to be able to cut in football or basketball, so I would talk to them about coming out for track. There are 16 events, there's something for everybody.
"We made it fun for the kids in middle school, but we made them work hard too. When they saw they could run, throw or jump, that they did have talents, then they were willing work even harder. We built it from the bottom up."
There was two times during Martin's tenure that the teams won titles in the same year -- 2004 and 2010. She had 16 athletes sign scholarships to compete at the collegiate level. Included in that group was Miller Moss, who won the NCAA Indoor Heptathlon national championship while at Clemson, and Robert Rohner, who won the Atlantic Coast Conference Decathlon championship at Duke.
While more than happy to have athletes who went on to compete at the next level, Martin said it was a team effort that led to Wilson Hall's excellence in track and field.
"We had a lot of really good, average athletes who worked their hardest to be able to perform at this level. I had a great coaching staff, including Linda Crabbe, who was with me the entire team."
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