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High School Notebook: Foxes’ hall set to induct next class
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
King George High School’s third athletic hall of fame class is highlighted by a former NBA official and a current NFL offensive lineman.
George Toliver worked 742 NBA games over a 15-year span. He’s now the NBA director of D-League officials.
The 1969 King George graduate is one of four individuals who will be honored at a banquet Oct. 6 at the high school. The 1972 undefeated girls basketball team also will be inducted.
Toliver will be joined by New Orleans Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod; former multi-sport standout Linda Morrissette–Failes; and ex-baseball, basketball, football and track and field coach Eugene Fields.
Before he became an NBA official, Toliver was a basketball star at King George and James Madison University. He was a co-captain and the leading scorer (18.1 points per game) on the Foxes’ 1968–69 team that finished 20–1 with its only loss coming in the state championship game.
He departed JMU in 1973 as its all-time leading scorer (1,287 points).
Bushrod (Class of 2002) was a football, baseball and basketball standout for the Foxes, earning honorable-mention all-state honors in football and baseball. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2007 draft by the Saints after a standout career at Towson University.
He was the Saints’ starting left tackle during their 2009 Super Bowl-winning season. He earned a bid to the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, and is entering his fourth year as a starter.
Morrissette–Failes, a 1973 King George grad, played basketball, softball and field hockey and performed gymnastics for the Foxes. She was a member of the 1972 basketball team that finished 14–0 and won a regional championship. She went on to JMU, where she played lacrosse for two seasons and participated in track and field one year.
She was the golf coach at Spotswood High School for 29 years, and has been the tennis coach the past 30 seasons. She earned 205 golf wins and five district championships, and was named the Virginia High School Coaches Association coach of the year in 2002.
Her 405 tennis victories are second-highest in Virginia High School League history. She has guided Spotswood to 17 district titles (13 straight), four regional championships and one state title. She was named Mid-Atlantic Region coach of the year this past season.
Fields coached the 1968 Ralph Bunche High School baseball team to the state championship game, where it suffered its only loss that season. He also guided Ralph Bunche’s 1967 track team to a district championship. Fields was instrumental in helping Ralph Bunche and King George transition when the schools integrated in 1968.
EX-AREA STARS AT FUMA
Former Courtland standout offensive lineman Jonathan Burton has transitioned well to his first semester at Fork Union Military Academy, veteran coach John Shuman said.
Shuman said Burton (6-foot-7, 301 pounds) doesn’t yet have a scholarship offer, but he’s receiving interest from Syracuse University, among other programs.
Shuman said he’s excited about Burton because he has never coached a player his size who hadn’t signed with or committed to a college.
“He has very good talent, good mobility, good feet,” Shuman said. “He’s stronger than what I thought he was going to be. We’ve already talked to Syracuse and a couple of other schools about him. that needs good tackles. He is looking like a good Division I-A prospect at this time.”
Former Louisa starting quarterback Kire Worley is also enrolled at FUMA, Shuman said. Worley started at Louisa as a sophomore and junior before he finished his career at Hermitage High in Richmond. Worley committed to the University of Richmond in 2011, but didn’t sign a national letter of intent with the Spiders.
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526