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Class of 2015

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Hall of Fame Class 2015

Mr. Fred Cook Jr. 1981-1985 ( Freddy)

Wheeler High School has only had two varsity football teams in its history to remain undefeated during the regular season, and Mr. Cook was a captain and strong driving force that led his team to be included as one. As a three year varsity letterman in football and track, Mr. Cook earned multiple accolades and awards as well as the nickname, “The Hammer.” Fred Cook has always had an amazing work ethic, and that served to elevate him to the headlines as the 1984 and 1985 track seasons approached. Running the 440 and 440 relay, setting WHS records, and earning a spot on the All County Team gave him the edge to win region and compete at the State meet both years. Mr. Cook was Player of the Week several times during the 1984 football season, receiving All Cobb County and State Honorable Mention honors, and he was a member of the 1984 sub-Region Champion team. He received a scholarship to The University of Georgia and became Special Teams Captain his senior year. Beyond football Mr. Cook has become a successful businessman, he is involved in his church, he is a valuable volunteer in the community, and he is a stage IV cancer survivor. Above any praise ever given him, Fred is most grateful for and proud of his wife Heather and three girls, Caroline, Ashley, and Betsy.

Christopher Mason Crawford 1991-1995 (Chris)

While a student at Wheeler, Chris distinguished himself in the classroom and on the field of play. He was chosen Mr. Freshman (WHS) and named a Senior Superlative (WHS). As an outstanding three sport athlete Chris was a major contributor to the success of both the football and baseball teams during his time at Wheeler. He was a Marietta Daily Journal Cobb County Scholar Athlete all four years in baseball, basketball, and football. As a two year letterman in football for the Wildcats, Chris was a wide receiver and quarterback for the 1993 Region Champions and staring quarterback his senior year. He received the Wheeler High School Robert Zelley Football Award. Although accomplished in both football and baseball, baseball is the sport where Chris excelled. During his junior year the Wildcats won the Region 6AAAA Championship. Chris was named to the All-County Baseball Team (The Atlanta Journal Constitution Cobb Extra and the Marietta Daily Journal) and Wheeler High School ‘s Outstanding Pitcher. As a senior Chris signed early to play collegiate baseball at the University of Georgia. During Chris’s senior year he received the Wheeler High School Outstanding Hitter Award and also the Most Valuable Player Award. His other awards include: Top 100 High School Seniors, High School Baseball USA (including 14th best in outfield), 6AAAA Homerun Leader; Team Georgia, GACA All-State, Georgia Dugout West All-State Team, Braves 400 Club Greater Atlanta High School All-Star Baseball Team, The Atlanta Journal Constitution All Metro Team (OF), All Cobb County Baseball Team (OF), Cobb Extra All-County Baseball Team (OF), Georgia Dugout club Player of the Week; Team One National Showcase. Chris was drafted out of high school by the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball, but he elected to attend college at the University of Georgia. While at the University of Georgia, he continued to excel and earned the following accolades: Baseball America top 15 2-position stars in college baseball, Most Valuable Player in 1997, Team Captain in 1999, Gridiron Secret Society. Chris injured his arm as a junior but returned for his senior year. He was again drafted by Major League Baseball; this time by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He played for the Devil Rays for five years. Along the way Chris has been blessed with many great coaches, great teammates, a supportive family, and many friends. Chris and his wife Mandy reside in Marietta with their three young children. He remains very active in the community where he continues to help guide his children who have all followed their parents in many athletic pursuits.

Tracy Moll Douglas 1987-1990

Tracy was a four year starter in both Soccer and Volleyball. Tracy was a member of the 1990 Wheeler Soccer Team that made it to the State Semi-Final game. In that same year, as a Senior, Tracy scored 19 goals and had 10 assists. In addition, she was honored with being named The Cobb County Player of the Year. This was a huge achievement based on the unbelievable talent for Girls’ Soccer in Cobb County that year. She was named Wheeler’s Most Valuable Forward in 1987, the Most Valuable Offensive Player in 1988, the Most Valuable Forward in 1989, and the Most Outstanding Player in 1990. Tracy was also named to the All County Team from 1998 through 1990. As a Dual Sport Athlete Tracy was also named as the Best Offensive Player for Wheeler Volleyball in 1989. Tracy attended Berry College and played Soccer from 1990 until 1995. After having ACL Surgery, she “red-shirted” her Freshman year. Tracy was a member of the 1990 and 1993 NAIA National Championship Team. She scored the winning goal in overtime to win the Championship in 1993. At Berry College Tracy received the following Accolades: 1994 NAIA 1st Team All-South and 1994 All American Honorable Mention. Tracy is now a College Graduate with 2 beautiful as well as athletic, children. She is married to Shawn Douglas.

Bill Holcomb 1965-1967

Bill was born in Tate, Georgia and grew up playing baseball, basketball, and track. He attended North Georgia College and played basketball and baseball there all four years. He was the first boys’ basketball coach and assistant principal at the new Wheeler High School that opened in the fall of 1965. It was his privilege to coach a group of great players who were also of outstanding character. In the first two years the players had a record of 37-13 against teams from larger schools. They made it to the State Tournament the second year and set the standard for future Wheeler teams. In 1963 Cobb County opened eight Jr. High Schools for grades 8-9. Bill was the first boys’ basketball coach, while also serving as assistant football coach at East Cobb Jr. High School. The basketball team had an undefeated 20-0 record their first year and won the Cobb County Junior High Basketball Tournament that year. The following year (1964), Bill served as head football coach, head basketball coach, and assistant principal at East Cobb. In 1965 Wheeler High School opened with only the tenth and eleventh grades. Bill was selected to serve as the assistant principal and head varsity boys’ basketball coach. In the inaugural year, this first year team won the Cobb County High School Basketball tournament with a 15-9 record. The next year Wheeler included 10th – 12th graders, and Bill continued to serve as assistant principal and head varsity boys’ basketball coach. This team had a record of 22-4, and in Wheeler’s second year the high school made its first trip to the State High School Boys’ Basketball tournament, setting a winning tradition for the school. Bill’s leadership abilities extended beyond the basketball court, as he was actively involved in establishing a new church, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, where he is a founding member. He and his wife, Elizabeth, presently reside in Cumming, Georgia.

Coach J.L. Jones

In 1965, Wheeler had only Sophomore and Junior Classes and didn’t have a football or baseball field. Football practices were held across the street at East Cobb Junior High School. There was very little grass, but plenty of weeds. Football games were played at Sprayberry High School (on Cobb Pkwy.) on Saturday nights. That same year, Pebblebrook and Wills were both opened. Because it can be difficult for new schools to schedule schools to play, Wheeler, Pebblebrook and Wills ended up playing each other twice. Wheeler’s first sports claim to fame was being the best first year school in the county, defeating both Pebblebrook and Wills twice and ending up with a first year winning record of 7-2-1, under Coach Jones’ leadership. Many winning seasons followed in both football and baseball. Coach Jones’ first hire was Coach Corky Kell, whom he had met at a football clinic. In football, Coach Jones coached the offensive and defensive backs and the special teams. Coach Kell coached the offensive and defensive lines. In one of the early seasons, Coach Jones scheduled a game with Anniston High School in Anniston, Alabama. There were no scouting reports to study or game films to trade. Neither Coach Jones nor Coach Kell had ever heard of Anniston. As they drove through the town on the way to the high school, both coaches began to notice the number of company houses and realized Anniston was a coal mining town. When they arrived at the school, they also noticed the Anniston players were “very big boys.” Coach Kell’s only remark was, “Oh Lord, Coach! You’ve sold us out!” Coach Jones recalls that what happened that night could only be described as “a disaster.” In addition to Coach Kell, Coach Jones hired Hall of Fame members Coach Jim Wood and Coach Verna Jones. During Coach Jones’ tenure as Athletic Director, the Track, Tennis, Golf, and Wrestling programs were established. It is also worth noting that Coach Jones was Wheeler’s first Swim Coach, although it was under unusual circumstances. A Wheeler student was ranked as one of the top swimmers in the state, specializing in the Butterfly. He had his own private coach, but in order to compete in the State Swim Meet, he had to have a coach from Wheeler who could verify that the student met the academic requirements necessary to compete in the State Meet. To make things simple, and with the blessing of the principal, Coach Jones named himself as the Swim Team Coach. The student, Ray Stang, finished 3rd in the State Meet. In addition to being the Swim Coach, Coach Jones also coached Football, Baseball and Track. Coach Jones’ legacy to Wheeler involves many things. To name a few, He established Wildcats as the school mascot, he selected blue and gold as the team colors, and he helped build the original football bleachers. Some consider Coach Jones the “Father of Wheeler Athletics” having established Wheeler’s original sports, but his biggest contribution may have been his continued expansion of sports during his tenure. The thing Coach Jones takes the most pride in, though, is that of all Wheeler’s current official sports, only Volleyball, Lacrosse, and Gymnastics were not established during his tenure.

Carrie Julka 1981-1985

While at Wheeler, Carrie was a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. She earned a varsity letter all 4 years in both sports. Her Wheeler accomplishments include: being a Cross Country state qualifier all 4 years, All-Cobb County Cross Country Team for 3 years, Regional Qualifier for Kinney All-American National Cross Country Championship in 1984, Bonnie Bell All-American Cross Country Team in 1984, Atlanta Track Club High School Cross Country Team of the year for 3 years. Track school records include the 800 meters, 1600 meters, and 4X400 meter relay team. She ran on the 800 meter and 4X400 meter relay Region Champion and state qualifying team for 2 years, as well as the Orlando Sentinel Golden South Classic Track meet qualifier in the 800 and 1600 meters. Carrie recently found out she still holds the school record in the 800 meters and 1600 meters. She received a scholarship to run indoor/outdoor track and cross country at the University of Georgia and earned a varsity letter all 4 years in both sports. At UGA she was the captain of the cross country team her senior year. Other accomplishments at UGA include 1500 meter finalist at the SEC Outdoor Track Championships, as well as a member of the 1600 meter relay, two mile relay, 3200 meter relay, and distance medley school record holding teams. Carrie lives in Wisconsin and enjoys spending time with her family and coaching Cross Country and Track. During her coaching career she has had the opportunity to help coach several athletes achieve school records, individual and team conference, regional and sectional titles and state qualifiers. Her two sons, Tyler and Brandon, were members of some of these champion and state qualifying teams. Carrie attributes her Dad’s love for sports and his own athletic achievements, as well as the support of her parents that inspired her to become the athlete she is.

2015 HOF video: https://youtu.be/kX5zIz6O0YM

2015 HOF Interviews: https://youtu.be/LUR5TWJCuGQ

Hall of Fame

Pictured:

Current AD, Chase Stroempl (left)

First AD, J.L. Jones (right)

 

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