First Posted: 3/24/2009
Four people have been named as 2009 inductees in the Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame.
Jack R. Childress, who played four sports at Mount Airy High School before playing football at Duke University; Dick Belton, who was a three-sport athlete at Mount Airy High School and a two-sport athlete at Davidson College; Natalie A. Nester, a volleyball and basketball player at Mount Airy High School and a basketball player at N.C. State; and the late Donald Mack Haynes, who played football at Mount Airy and at Appalachian State Teachers College, will all be honored at the April 19 ceremony.
The late William H. Carter, a local athlete, sports writer, and coach, is being honored with The Granite City Award during the same ceremony.
Childress played football, basketball, baseball and wrestled at Mount Airy in the late 1960s, garnering numerous honors. He was selected to the all county, all state and the Sunkist All America teams, as well as the 1968 Shrine Bowl team, the 1969 East-West All Star team, and in 1968 he was co-captain of the Granite Bears 3A state title football squad.
In 1975 he began officiating high school games, and in 1993 moved to working college contests.
Dick Belton graduated from Mount Airy High School in 1953 after playing football, basketball and baseball for four years, lettering in all three sports.
In 1952 he was named to the all conference team and was named to the all state honorable mention team in football.
In 1952-1953 he received all state honorable mention recognition in basketball and was named the Granite Bears most valuable player in 1953.
At Davidson College he played football and baseball. On the gridiron he lettered four years, was named to the All Southern Conference team in 1955, when he was the conferences top passer and was fourth in the nation among small colleges. He was named to the Greensboro Daily News All State Team in 1955.
He is retired and he and his wife, Nancy, live in Mount Airy
Natalie A. Nester made her mark on the basketball and volleyball courts.
She received all conference honors in volleyball from 1986-1988, helped her team to 2A state titles in 1987 and 1988, earning state tournament MVP in 1987.
In basketball she was named to the All Northwest Conference team four years, was the 2A Player of the Year two times, All Northwest Conference three years, and was the first player to win the Mary Garber Award two years in a row.
She also took East-West All Star team honors, All State, and was selected to the AAU All State Team. At the time of her graduation, she was the all time leading scorer at Mount Airy.
Nester went on to play basketball at N.C. State, where the squad reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 1989, 1990, and 1991, in addition to winning the ACC championship in 1991.
Haynes played offense and defense for the Mount Airy Granite Bears football team, helping the squad win a state title in 1946 and make a return visit to the title game in 1947. He was named to the all conference team and played in the Shrine Bowl in 1947.
Carter, the Granite City Award winner, played football, basketball, and baseball at Franklin High School, excelling in basketball.