Smith, Pitcock slated for SP Hall of Fame

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Committee with induct 13 new members April 22

Eliot Smith of the South Panola Class of 1997 and Wayne Pitcock of the Class of 1966 are two of the honorees who will be inducted into the South Panola Athletic Hall of Fame on April 22, according to the Hall of Fame Committee.

Smith was listed as a 6-1 point guard named to the Clarion-Ledger’s Dandy Dozen (12 of the state’s top players),  All-Conference and All-District for the years 1995 through 1997,  conference MVP 1996,  All-State Honorable Mention 1995,1996, All-State 1996, 1997 and participated in the Mississippi All-Star game in 1997.

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That 1997 team recorded the most wins (28) and the longest win streak (20 games)  while winning the conference, district, then North Half State 5A District Championship.

Smith’s bio sheet indicates he scored over 1,300 career points with high school game high records including his 1,300 career points, game high of 46 points, 10 steals, 15 assists, six 3-pointers and six dunks.

Smith would take his talent further, playing for Northwest Community College, Troy State University and University of Texas El Paso after receiving recruitment letters from all over.

His Northwest team was runner-up for Mississippi Community College State Champions in 2000 when he also played in the Mississippi JUCO All-Star game.

A resident of Batesville, Smith is the son of  Alice Smith and Willie Flowers. He is married to Marisha Smith and has five children and two grandchildren.

Grady Wayne Pitcock

The late Wayne “Pudden” Pitcock, Class of 1966, was a three-sport athlete at South Panola, but his baseball skills would shape his life.

He grew up in the Eureka Community and according to a previous writing, “They couldn’t keep enough gravel on the roads from him hitting rocks with sticks.”

Pitcock pitched and played infield starting four years at South Panola, but it was his hitting abilities that would carry him further. Playing outfield for the Arkansas State Indians, Pitcock would be named 1st-Team All-American, All Southland Conference and All Midwest Region in 1968.

He batted clean-up for the Indians for three years, going to the NCAA playoffs in 1967 and 1968 where his team finished third in 1968. That same year his semi-pro team, the Liberal Bee Jays, won a national championship. He is a member of the ASU Hall of Honor.

He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the third round and later played for the Yankee organization before injuries ended his athletic career.

Pitcock is survived by his wife Barbara, his son, Ty; a daughter, Claire; sister, Debra Bolton; five grandchildren and a host of nephews.

Thirteen individuals will be recognized by the South Panola High School Sports Hall of Fame Committee this spring. The honorees will include eight athletes, two coaches and three individuals for community service.

Committee members will again induct classes for two years, 2021 and 2022 (a maximum of five per year) to catch up following two years of Covid cancellations.