earned his recognition as a girls and boys basketball coach at the old Hiddenite High School and later at Bandys High School where his teams won a remarkable 654 games and lost only 214, spanning over 25 years. A Catawba County native, he coached teams that won 34 conference tournament, district, regional and state titles. Twenty-six of those titles were won in his 18 years at Bandys. Born April 3, 1932, Bost is considered the architect of a Bandys basketball program that, since his arrival at the school in 1971, has won 1,222 games and lost 529. Bost died February 8, 1995 as one of the winningest high school basketball coaches in North Carolina history.
Norman “Pinkie” James
was born in Asheville, N.C. on February 21, 1910. He later became an accomplished athlete in five sports at Hickory High School from 1925-1929, where he excelled as an all-state quarterback. James later starred at Duke University where he played end for legendary football coach Wallace Wade. He later played football and basketball at Lenoir-Rhyne, followed by a three-year stint as a professional baseball player for Charlotte, Birmingham and Atlanta between 1934-937. After leaving pro baseball, James took up golf where he made himself into a low handicap golfer and later became a co-founder and president of the National Association of Left-handed Golfers. Aside from his playing exploits, James helped found the Hickory Rebels pro baseball team; installed the first lights at the Lenoir Rhyne College football field and selected the land that became the Hickory Foundation Center. He later became a successful businessman where he founded the James Wholesale Company and was an initial investor in International Food House (IFH). James died in November of 1981, but not before making his mark on the sports heritage of Catawba County.
was born in Hickory, N.C. on October 10, 1937 and established himself as a standout athlete and coach in football and basketball from 1954 until 1994. Rowe starred at Winston-Salem University in football and basketball, becoming an All-American quarterback. He set records in passing for the Rams and was later inducted in the WSSU Sports Hall of Fame. Rowe gained recognition as a coach, guiding Newton-Conover High School’s basketball program to success. He also was a successful football coach for the Red Devils assisting the legendary Don Patrick. Rowe finished his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Lenoir-Rhyne College women’s basketball team in the late 1990’s.
Don L. Stafford
was born in Alexander County on July 30, 1922, but gained recognition as a stellar three-sport athlete at Lenoir-Rhyne College where he graduated in 1948 as a three-sport letterman. Stafford gained notoriety as a minor league baseball player in North Carolina from 1948-1955. Stafford was chosen as the Minor League Rookie of the Year in 1948 and in 1952 led the minors in hitting with a .402 average. During his 7-year pro career, he averaged .347 with 16 homers and 90 RBI’s a season. He later served as a teacher-coach in the public school system in Catawba County and Hickory, before entering the world of business where he retired with Henley Paper Company in 1996.
2003 High School Student Athletes of the Year
Bandys High School – Darren Burns – Amber Benfield
Bunker Hill High School – Bradley Killian – Alysia Wilson
Fred T. Foard High School – Jeremy Ward – Karrie Lewis
Hickory High School – Brenton Johnson – Ashley Huffman
Maiden High School – Matt Isenhour – Jennifer Hendricks
Newton-Conover High School – Josh Schmidt – Sara Wilson
St. Stephens High School – Drew Forshey – Emily Long