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Gainesville High Athletics Hall of Fame Class for 2023 announced
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Gainesville High Red Elephants

Gainesville High’s two most decorated basketball coaches headline its Athletics Hall of Fame induction class for 2023. 

On April 15, 39-year Red Elephants coaching veteran Manson Hill, who won four state championships as coach of its girls’ basketball program, and Jerry Davis, its boys basketball coach for 28 years who tallied 701 career victories, will be enshrined during the ceremony at the Civic Center in Gainesville. 

Tickets to the banquet are $125 per person, tables are $800. Tickets can be purchased on the Gainesville Athletic Club website:

From football, former Gainesville High quarterback Preston Ridlehuber, who started at the same position for two seasons in the 1960s at the University of Georgia, will also earn a spot among one of the school’s all-time greats. Ridlehuber was quarterback during the first two seasons that legendary coach Vince Dooley led the Bulldogs’ program in Athens. 

In addition, history-making kicker Shelly (Garner) Black is going to get her spot in the Athletics Hall of Fame. 

In 1985, Garner made history, with a successful extra-point attempt, becoming the first female player in the state to score in a football game. Later in the year, she became the first female player to score in a boys soccer match, prior to the school having a girls soccer program.

Hill’s reach as a Red Elephants coach extends far beyond girls basketball. He also guided teams to state championships as coach of the tennis and golf programs at Gainesville. 

In addition to the four state championships, he was four-time Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year and region coach of the year 30 times. 

In boys basketball, Davis led Gainesville during its magical run to back-to-back state championships in 1983-1984. Also during his time as coach, the Red Elephants won 24 subregion and region titles, 11 Lanierland championships and a school-best 35-straight games during their state championship run. 

In tennis, identical twins Lea Miller-Tooley and Mason (Miller) Nelson will be inducted into the Gainesville Hall of Fame. Members of the Class of 1998, their claim to fame was that neither lost a high school match and led the Lady Red Elephants to four-straight state finals appearances (one state championship). 

Both would play tennis in college at Georgia Tech. 

This year’s team being inducted is the state-championship boys soccer program from 1998, winner of the first state championship in program history. 

To be eligible for induction in the Gainesville Athletics Hall of Fame, athletes must have graduated from a Gainesville City School, no less than 10 years ago, which also includes EE Butler and Fair Street, prior to desegregation. Nominations are accepted year round on Gainesville’s athletic website.

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