The Executive Committee of the Moss Point Sports Hall of Fame, a donor-advised fund of the United Way for Jackson and George Counties, announced its 21-member inaugural class that will be honored at a banquet on September 21, 2023. Sixteen of the 21 honorees attended one of the two, pre-1970 high schools in Moss Point. Eight are Monarchs of Magnolia High School and eight are Tigers of Moss Point High School, sometimes referred to as Central. The remaining five honorees graduated from the combined Moss Point High School.
“We thought it would be important to dive as deep as we could into our sports history for this first class of honorees,” said committee co-chair, Houston Cunningham, who was a basketball star for Magnolia High in the late 1960s. “We would also like to emphasize how hard it was to choose. There are many former athletes who are as deserving as those we chose. I’m certain future classes will be just as impressive as the Class of 2023.”
Former Tiger athletic director and head football coach, Jerry Alexander, who also co-chairs the executive committee, said he’s looking for a great turnout at the September 21 banquet, presented by First Federal Savings & Loan. “I think folks will get excited when they see the names of the 21 honorees,” said Alexander. “Plus, I’ve seen the plans for the banquet. It’s going to be something special. Tickets and sponsorships will be available soon, and we really need the community’s support for us to sustain the Moss Point Sports Hall of Fame.”
2023 Class of the Moss Point Sports Hall of Fame
(* posthumous award)
*Verlon Biggs—1961 Magnolia High graduate—Biggs was a star football player for the Monarchs and for Jackson State University before being drafted into the NFL by the New York Jets. He was a defensive end for the Jets Super Bowl championship team that held Johnny Unitas’ Colts team to 7 points. Verlon was an AFL All-Star and AFL 1966 sacks leader.
*C. D. (Cooter) Faggard—1943 Moss Point High graduate—A track and field star, Faggard was a high school state champion in the high and low hurdles for three years: 1941, 1942 and 1943. Faggard went on to run hurdles for Ole Miss, where he also played baseball.
*Ken (Dynamite) Farragut—1947 Moss Point High graduate—An All-State football center, Farragut led the 1945 Tigers to an undefeated season. After graduating from Moss Point High, Farragut was a standout for Ole Miss, and he played in the College All-Star Game against the NFL champions. Dynamite was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles and played in the 1953 Pro-Bowl.
Sarah Green Faulk—1952 Magnolia High graduate—Faulk led the Monarchs basketball team
to the 1952 Gulf Coast Conference championship. She then played on the Alcorn State University team that won the 1953 South Central Athletic Conference championship in women’s basketball.
*Johnny Gilliam—1956 Magnolia High graduate—Gilliam was a star athlete for the Monarchs and, afterwards, an all-conference quarterback for Alcorn State University, where he also played baseball. Gilliam was also an assistant football coach at Magnolia and head coach for Nichols High in Biloxi.
Litterial Green—1988 Moss Point High graduate—A McDonald’s All-American in basketball, Green averaged 39.7 points per game as a high school senior to lead the nation in scoring. He led the University of Georgia to an SEC championship and was All-SEC. Green is the University of Georgia’s leading all-time scorer with 2,111 points. He was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the 39th pick of the 1992 NBA draft and played for four different NBA teams. He has also coached in the World Basketball Association and the American Basketball Association.
Vornita Kay Harris—1983 Moss Point High graduate—Harris was a track and field star for the Tigers, excelling in cross-country. She received a scholarship to Alcorn State University, where she continued to compete as a runner.
*Donald Peter (Duck) Hyde—1955 Magnolia High graduate—Hyde excelled in football and basketball for the Monarchs and then attended Stillman College on an athletic scholarship to play basketball and baseball. He pitched a no-hitter his junior year at Stillman.
Bruce James—1967 Moss Point High graduate—James was an all-star fullback and linebacker for the 1966 Tiger football team that won eight games. He played in the 1967 High School All-Star Football Game. Bruce then went on to the University of Arkansas where he lettered three years in football. A star defensive end, he was named to the Football Writers All-America Team in 1970.
*James Edward (Jimmy) Joseph Jr. —1955 Magnolia High graduate—Joseph excelled at football, basketball and baseball for the Monarchs and then received a scholarship to play baseball for Grambling State University.
Edward Michel Khayat—1952 Moss Point High graduate—A three-sport Tiger letterman, Khayat went on to be a standout at Tulane University before a 10-year NFL career with Washington, Philadelphia and Boston. He was a starting defensive tackle for the 1960 NFL Championship Eagles. He also coached professional football for 35-years and was the Eagles head coach in the early 1970s.
Robert C. Khayat—1957 Moss Point High graduate—Khayat excelled in football, basketball and baseball at Moss Point. He then starred in football and baseball at Ole Miss, playing in the baseball College World Series and the college football All-Star game against the NFL Champion Baltimore Colts. As a placekicker, Khayat was drafted in the NFL and represented Washington in the 1960 Pro-Bowl.
*Jimmy McArthur—1959 Moss Point High graduate—A Big 8 Conference basketball star, McArthur led the 1958 Tiger team to a 28-0 undefeated regular season before going on to be a standout in the Mississippi All-Star game. The 6’ 5” basketball center was recruited by major universities but chose to play for Perkinston Junior College (now part of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) and then Southeastern Louisiana University.
*Willie Frank Molden—1961 Magnolia High graduate—Molden was well known for his outstanding football skills as a defensive tackle for the Monarchs. He attended Jackson State University on a football scholarship, was drafted into the NFL by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and later played for the Eagles, Rams and Giants.
*Richard Earl (Richie) Perkins—1960 Moss Point High graduate—Perkins was the Tigers’ football quarterback and baseball infielder. After graduating, he went to Ole Miss where he lettered in baseball for the years 1962, 1963 and 1964. He played third base for the 1964 Ole Miss team that won the SEC Championship and played in the College World Series.
*Bessie Henry Polk—1952 Magnolia High graduate— Polk led the Monarchs basketball team to the 1952 Gulf Coast Conference championship. She then played on the Alcorn State University team that won the 1953 South Central Athletic Conference championship in women’s basketball.
*Carlton B. Reese—1956 Magnolia High graduate—Reese excelled in football for the Monarchs before receiving a full scholarship to play football at Alcorn State University, where he was team captain. He returned to Moss Point and served as Magnolia High School’s head football coach and Athletic Director.
Earl Sanders—1983 Moss Point High graduate—Sanders excelled as a pitcher for the Moss Point Tigers before playing 3 years for Jackson State University. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the 1986 MLB draft. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury ended his career. He is currently the head baseball coach for the Tougaloo College Bulldogs.
Tommy Seaman—1961 Moss Point High graduate—Seaman was a three-sport star, playing baseball, football and basketball for the Tigers. He also played basketball and baseball at Perkinston Junior College (now Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) and baseball for 14 years for the Pas-Point Merchants semi-pro team.
Gina Green Taylor—1985 Moss Point High graduate—Taylor received all district honors in softball for three years at Moss Point and played on teams that won state championships and were national runners-up. She was All-Conference at Panama City’s Gulf Coast Community College, and she was named to the All-Gulf South Conference Team while playing for Livingston University.
*Karen Taylor—1980 Moss Point High graduate—Taylor was an outstanding Tiger basketball player who then attended Jackson State University, where she was a member of teams that won two SWAC championships. She was selected to the All-SWAC Team and continues to hold the Jackson State record for the most rebounds in a game (25). She is the mother of NBA Raptors player, Stanley Johnson.