Rowan Hall of Fame class features three
Woodrow Boler, Jim Dehart and Bob Rathbun were selected by a committee as this year’s class for the Salisbury Rowan Sports Hall of Fame.Induction ceremonies will take place May 16 at 4 p.m. in Seth Murdoch Auditorium.
Those selected for the Hall had to be named on at least nine of 12 ballots.
n Rathbun, a West Rowan and Catawba graduate, rose from assisting Marty Brennaman on American Legion baseball broadcasts at Newman Park in the 1960s to serving as sports director of WSTP radio in Salisbury.
That job was the springboard to his becoming the play-by-play voice for a number of pro baseball and basketball teams.
He’s broadcast games for the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Bullets, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Tidewater Tides and Richmond Braves, among others.
Rathbun has won five Emmys. He was named Virginia Sportscaster of the Year six times and also has earned that honor in Georgia. He’s already a member of the Virginia and Catawba halls.
n Dehart, a native of Wilmington, was born to coach baseball and thrived at every level from Little League to college.
The coach of the Rowan County American Legion team from 1990-2000, he averaged 33 victories per season while winning three Area III championships. He coached seven Area III runner-ups.
Dehart posted a Legion record of 368-120-1 that included the 1993 state championship.In 1996, Dehart guided Rowan County to the Southeast Regional championship at Newman Park, and his team went on to finish fourth at the World Series in Oregon.
Dehart accepted the challenge of following legend Joe Ferebee and did things his way. His greatest gift was his ability to manage pitching staffs. He is already a member of the American Legion Hall of Fame.
Dehart was head coach at Catawba from 1986-89 and had a record of 77-54 that included a 27-8 mark in 1988. That season brought Catawba its first league title in 40 years.
n Boler, who now lives in Virginia, starred in basketball for Salisbury before playing at James Madison and Catawba.
Boler was the last of the great players from Bob Pharr’s coaching era at Salisbury. The Hornets were 66-19 in his three seasons. Bolar was the leading scorer in 1978-79 and 1979-80 as Salisbury won 28 of 32 outings in the 3A North Piedmont Conference.
Boler was twice NPC Player of the Year. He was Rowan County Player of the Year in 1979 and a first-team all-county choice in 1980.
Boler, who played in the East-West All-Star Game, finished his career with 987 points. That total ranked third all-time at Salisbury when he graduated. It’s now ninth.
Boler lettered for three James Madison teams that won first-round NCAA tournament games from 1981-83 by knocking off Georgetown, Ohio State and West Virginia. The Dukes were eliminated in the second round by Notre Dame in 1981 and twice by North Carolina teams that included Michael Jordan.
Boler returned home to play the 1983-84 season at Catawba. He scored 252 points for the Indians and earned his business degree.