April 2015: Local runners tackle marathon; state honors longtime coaches, official

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There are a handful of achievements to recognize from April 2015 as we continue our 12 days of Port City Daily sports, with a look at some of the top moments from each month to ring in the New Year.

Nearly two dozen local runners participated in the country’s oldest 26.2 mile race–the 119th edition of The Boston Marathon–held annually on Patriot’s Day.

Members of the Wilmington Road Runners Club the day prior to running the Boston Marathon. Facebook photo courtesy- Lauren Truby Vollmin
Members of the Wilmington Road Runners Club the day prior to running the Boston Marathon. Facebook photo courtesy- Lauren Truby Vollmin

Ranging in age from 26 to 61, two local groups – Without Limits and Wilmington Road Runners Club – had a number of entrants tackle the legendary route and crossed the historic finish line on Bolyston Street.

After placing 90th overall and 72nd in his division in 2014, Tom Clifford, 31, of Wilmington, finished the course in 2:29:27 to close at 79th overall and 63rd in his division this year.

This was Clifford’s second time running in the Boston Marathon. He is the founder of the annual Quintiles Marathon in Wilmington, which serves as a Boston-qualifying event.

The annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremonies were held at the Friday Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill on April 12.

Two of the inductees were posthumous, with the late Jack Holley represented by his wife Judy and family, while the late Joe Miller was represented by his wife Phyllis and family.

Front row, from left-to-right:  Moyer Smith, Phyllis Miller, representing Joe Miller; Judy Holley, representing Jack Holley; and Dave Odom; back row: Chris Norman, Ralph Holloway; NCHSAA Commissioner Davis Whitfield, who introduced each inductee; Rick Strunk and Jerry Winterton. Photo courtesy- John Bell
Front row, from left-to-right:  Moyer Smith, Phyllis Miller, representing Joe Miller; Judy Holley, representing Jack Holley; and Dave Odom; back row: Chris Norman, Ralph Holloway; NCHSAA Commissioner Davis Whitfield, who introduced each inductee; Rick Strunk and Jerry Winterton. Photo courtesy- John Bell

Holley won more high school football games as a head coach than any other coach in North Carolina history.

Miller made his mark at New Hanover High School in Wilmington where he was head football coach for 20 years, compiling a 186-56-1 mark with nine conference titles.

Longtime Wilmington referee Larry Honeycutt was among four individuals from the world of high school officiating to be honored with an award for lifetime achievement.

Honeycutt began his officiating career while attending Wilmington College (now University of North Carolina at Wilmington) as a student, after quarterbacking Raleigh Broughton’s football team to a 1961 NCHSAA football title. He wound up returning to UNCW as a coach and faculty member in 1970.

During 47 years as a sports official, Honeycutt worked three NCHSAA state football championships, four soccer state championships and two more finals in basketball. He has also worked the state’s major all-star games in football and basketball, including the Shrine Bowl, and NCCA East-West all-star soccer game.

He also officiated those three sports on the NCAA level and serves as one of the most respected officials in the state due to his broad experience and instructional leadership in multiple sports