Honorees inducted into Stratford Hall of Fame

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Rodney Collins, a preschool and lower school p.e. teacher, led the Eagles to three state titles in his 21 years as head coach. (Photo by HAVEN THIBODEAUX, Gazebo Staff)
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The 1977-78 boys basketball team finished with a 30-3 record and won the state title. (Photo by HAVEN THIBODEAUX, Gazebo Staff)

Coach Rodney Collins, Bill Meeks and the 1977-78 state champion boys basketball team were inducted into the Stratford Academy Hall of Fame in a ceremony Friday morning in the gym. The late Mrs. Helen Walker and Mrs. Ruby Jo Arbo were inducted posthumously and represented by their families. The assembly was attended by the student body, faculty and staff.


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The late Helen Walker’s grandchildren represented her at the ceremony. Walker once served as the school librarian and was an avid supporter of Stratford athletics. (Photo by HAVEN THIBODEAUX, Gazebo Staff)

Coach Collins was the Eagles head football coach for 21 years, serving stints from 1988-2002 and 2007-11. He won three state championships with a career record of 158-95-2. He was three-time GISA Coach of the Year and was recognized by the association twice for his “distinguished service.”

Mr. Meeks played on three state baseball championship teams and still holds several school hitting and pitching records. He later signed a baseball scholarship at Georgia Tech. He also played football and basketball at Stratford.

Coached by Grady Smith, the 1977-78 boys basketball team won the SEAIS (now the GISA) state tournament and finished with a 30-3 record, the third-best in school history.  Included in those 30 victories was a 23-game winning streak. Members of the team were:

Tol Williams,  Brother Massenburg, Mark Majors, Rusty Hilburn, John Spivey, Hal Harper, Fred Otto, Jeff Battcher, Hank Clay, Mike Seekins, Clay Lisenby, Steve Solomon, Bob Turner, Brad Bibb, Billy Monfort, Riley Smith and Mark Barron.

Mrs. Argo was a teacher, coach and organized the school’s first cheerleader squad. She was known as the “Mother of Eagle Pride” and credited with the schools’ daffodil tradition during the state basketball tournaments.

Mrs. Walker was the head librarian and unofficial school historian. She was known as the “Flower Lady” and has a memorial garden named in her honor on the Stratford campus.

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Stratford students enjoyed the ceremony at The Grady as part of the homecoming festivities. (Photo by HAVEN THIBODEAUX, Gazebo Staff)