Sports Hall of Fame to welcome six new members

One of Jackie Laird’s best basketball players and a hard-hitting catcher with join four football legends as the 2018 inductees into the Biloxi Sport Hall of Fame.

The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department announced the Class of 2018 today.

Eric Fortenberry, who former Indians basketball coach Laird called “one of the best Biloxi players of all time,” will be inducted Sunday, Aug.26 at 5 p.m. in a ceremony at the Biloxi Civic Center, along with baseball standout Glenn Lamas and former football stars Johnny “Red” Wetzel, Art Bressler, Marvin “Bubba” Dickey and the late Mark Barhanovich.

Fortenberry lettered three years for Laird at Biloxi High School, scoring 512 points in 1985 while leading the team in rebounding and scoring. He was Freshman of the Year in the Gulf States Conference at then-Southeastern Louisiana University. He now lives in Houston, Texas.

Glen Lamas became a standout baseball player at an early age, throwing a no-hitter as an 8-year-old in 1961. He was a youth league all-star every year he played, and played as a freshman at Notre Dame High School before transferring to Biloxi High after 10th grade.  As a senior with the Indians, he led the team to a State Championship and was the leading hitter.

Lamas was a powerful hitter at Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College (now Community College) in 1971 and 1971, helping Ken Farris’s teams win back-to-back state championships. He also played on the football team in 1971 as the Bulldogs won a national championship. He signed a baseball scholarship with Southeastern Louisiana and was a second team All-American there. Lamas has been inducted into the Halls of Fame at Gulf Coast and Southeastern Louisiana.

Mark Barhanovich was one of Biloxi High’s top football players during his high school career, and later starred as a placekicker at the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a tireless supporter of Biloxi athletics and the City of Biloxi. His civic involvement included terms as President of the Biloxi Doll and Toy Fund and years of volunteer coaching. A city park is named in his honor. He tragically died in boating accident in 2012 at the age of 54.

Art Bressler was an exceptional athlete whose baseball and football talents boosted programs in high school, college and the pros. He excelled on the offensive line at Biloxi High School and Ole Miss, and was a 1974 draftee of the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.  He was a high school All-American at BHS, an Honorable Mention All-American at Ole Miss and an All-SEC performer.

Marvin “Bubba” Dickey was a powerful player at every level of football, and equally impressive with the shot put and discus in track. He regularly placed first in track meets throughout his high school career, but was best known for his physical play on the football field. He played as a true freshman at Ole Miss on both sides of the ball. His on-field performance has been remarkably outpaced by his citizenship, including board of directors positions with the Head Start Program, Boys & Girls Club, and Vision of Hope.

Johnny “Red” Wetzel of Long Beach was a legend at Biloxi High in the late 1950s. He was a three-year letterman and earned All-Big Eight honors as well. He also impressed as a discus and shot put specialist in track. He turned down scholarship offers from Tulane, LSU and Alabama to play for Mississippi State University. His college career was interrupted when family health issues forced him to withdraw from State after two years. He later finished school at USM, and played minor league professional football with the Mobile Buccaneers and the Mobile Tarpons. Afterward, he entered coaching and teaching. In his late 60s and 70s, he participated in the Mississippi Senior Olympics, earning more than 25 medals.
See images of the Class of 2018
See more about the Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame

 

News & notes: Pentagon visit, Weekly report, council, Shuckers

From Keesler to the White House: Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich was at the Pentagon this morning to see a former Keesler commander become a general and take on a new assignment at the White House. To learn more, click here.

The week that was: It was another busy week in key city departments last week. To see the details in the Weekly Report, click here.

Council meeting: The Biloxi City Council on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. has its first of several sessions to discuss the municipal budget for Fiscal Year 2019. The council also meets at 6 p.m. for its regularly scheduled first-of-the-month evening meeting. To see the agendas for both meetings, click here.

Play ball: Tonight the Biloxi Shuckers play their final game of a five-game series against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.  The first pitch is at 6:35 p.m. at MGM Park.  Fans can also take their pooch to the ballpark because its Doggone Monday night. For ticket and promotion information, click here