Five more from Laurens County
11/09/2008 12:01 AM
03/14/2015 10:39 AM
Laurens native starred at South Carolina from 1956-58. After graduation, he built a distinguished 22-year career in the Marines, retiring with rank of lieutenant colonel while earning the Bronze Star, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star. Returned to USC to serve as athletics director from 1988-92.
Football and baseball star at Laurens High. All-State and All-American honors in baseball in spring of 1993, the year he was selected as No. 22 in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Played six seasons in the Pirates organization.
The Clinton native played 10 seasons in baseball’s major leagues with the Philadelphia A’s (1919-1927) and Detroit Tigers (1928). The shortstop, who attended Presbyterian College, had his best season in 1922, when he batted .324 with 185 hits, 6 home runs and 69 RBIs. Later returned to Clinton and coached the Blue Hose. Died in 1969 at age 73.
The Laurens native starred at Minnesota under coach Lou Holtz. A four-year starter from 1984-87, he led the Golden Gophers to two bowl games. Had long careers in both the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League (where his career stats included 17,921 yards passing and 325 touchdowns) for a variety of teams before retiring at age 38 three years ago to coach in the AFL.
A high-scoring 6-foot-5 basketball star at Gray Court-Owings High, he piled up huge numbers. Scored 1,079 points in 1968-69 and 932 points in 1967-68. Those two seasons still rank second and fourth in state history for most points scored in a single season. Best game came against Ford High when he scored 74 points in a 151-65 win.
ABOUT LAURENS COUNTY
DATE FORMED: 1785
LAND AREA (SQUARE MILES): 715
COUNTY SEAT: Laurens
HISTORY: Laurens County and its county seat were named for Revolutionary War leader Henry Laurens (1724-1792). This part of the state was settled primarily by Scotch-Irish and English immigrants in the mid 1700’s. During the American Revolution, a number of its residents remained loyal to Great Britain. Several Revolutionary War battles were fought in the county, including the Battle of Musgrove's Mill (Aug. 18, 1780). President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) worked as a tailor in the town of Laurens for a brief time.
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