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2017 PJC Athletic Hall of Fame to induct four

Published or Revised October 26, 2017

2017 PJC Hall of Fame Inductees

Those being inducted into the Paris Junior College Athletic Hall of Fame include, clockwise from top left: Robert “Bob” White, Archie Reynolds, Gerald Jack, and Larry Click.

Three former Dragon student-athletes and a former coach will be inducted into the Paris Junior College Athletic Hall of Fame during the 93rd Homecoming November 3-4. The Hall of Fame ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m. in the McLemore Student Center Ballroom and all friends and family of the honorees are welcomed to attend.

Those to be honored during the afternoon’s ceremony include Robert W. “Bob” White, PJC golf team member 1953-55; Gerald Jack, a member of the 1956-58 Dragon baseball and football teams; Archie Reynolds, pitcher for the 1966 PJC baseball team that advanced to the Junior College World Series; and former baseball coach Larry Click, who led the team from 1977-1997.

Jack, who passed away in 2009 and Click, who died in 2014, will posthumously be inducted into the Hall.

White developed an interest in golf at the age of nine, as he tagged along as caddie to older brother Bud at the old Springlake Golf Course in Paris. The game he has played now for over seventy-three years has brought him fame in Texas amateur golf circles. After playing golf and basketball at Paris High School, White attended PJC on a golf scholarship under coach George Branson. His passion for the game grew and he won the Spring Lake Invitational three times and finished runner-up three time as well.

While living and teaching in Paris, he captured titles in Commerce, Greenville and Sulphur Springs. After relocating to Friendswood in 1972, White continued to play competitive golf in the Greater Houston Area Senior Golf Tournament and later in the Super Senior Division after reaching 66 years of age. His name was frequently seen on the leader board and he was medalist in the qualifying tournament in 2001. In subsequent years he finished in the top 10 multiple times.

After retiring from public schools in 1994 he became aware of the Texas Senior Games and participated across the state in the 60 to 64-age bracket. In 44 games, White finished first 34 times, second eight times, and third twice. He participated in 21 Texas State Senior Games, earning 11 first place finishes, three third place and three other top-ten finishes in the 36 hole golfing event over two days. To top that, White competed in the Louisiana State games twice, finishing first both times. In the Arkansas State games, he earned eight first place finishes, a second, and one third place.

White also qualified for 10 National Senior Games, earning four first place finishes in Tucson, Ariz., Pittsburgh, Pa., Louisville, Ky., and Houston, Texas. He placed in the top 10 in four of the five other tournaments and qualified for the National Games in Birmingham, Ala. in 2017. He has recorded three holes-in-one in his playing career. White was inducted into the Texas State Games Hall of Fame in April 2013.

Both he and his wife Dorothy were inducted into the PJC Academic Hall of Honor in 2011. The Whites have two daughters, Lesa White Roecker and Kelley White Hawkins, two granddaughters, a grandson, a great granddaughter, and two great grandsons.
Jack enrolled at PJC in the fall of 1953, but his desire to serve his country led him to enlist in the United States Navy. There, he served from 1954-56 as an aviation ordnance man and was stationed in the Philippines at Subic Bay Naval Base aboard the aircraft carrier USS Boxer immediately after the Korean War.

When his military time was finished, he was offered a baseball scholarship to PJC and enrolled in the fall of 1956. He and fellow outfielders Larry Kemp and Sammy Player earned the title, “The Garden Patrol,” in recognition of the way they covered the outfield. He met Peggy Roland of Honey Grove, 1956 PJC Homecoming Queen, shortly after arriving on campus. By February 1957, the two were wed and Jack continued with the baseball team as well as playing football for the Dragons.

After his two years at PJC, Jack was invited to play baseball for the University of Alabama. After a division title and graduation in 1960, Jack took his first coaching job close to his hometown in Mount Vernon, Texas. He would spend 36 years coaching young men at the high school and college level in baseball and football, as well as teaching high school biology and physical education. Thirty of those years were in the public schools in Mt. Vernon, Huntsville, Ala., Haleyville, Ala., Paris, Sherman and Crowley high schools. Jack was inducted into the Crowley High School’s Tom McCone Hall of Fame.

Returning to his alma mater, he joined Gene Stallings’ staff at the University of Alabama where they won 70 games in seven seasons, including the 1992 National Championship in the Sugar Bowl. The highlight of game days for Jack was when he and Stallings’ son, Johnny, would lead the convoy of Bama players and fans in an Alabama State Trooper patrol car.

Jack and wife Peggy returned to Paris in 1997 and he served on the board of the Paris Golf and Country Club, was a member of the Red River Coin Club, and was a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club where he was inducted into the Wall of Honor in 2004. His parents, the late L.Z. and Alleen Jack, nurtured his genuine love for others. He was a member of Lamar Avenue Church of Christ, where he had been a member from his childhood.

After a long battle with heart disease, Jack passed away November 5, 2009. The Jacks have four children, Gary, Jeanne (Kraft), James and Ray and their spouses along with fourteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Inductee Archie Reynolds, a 1964 graduate of John Tyler High School in Tyler, was a member of the 1964-66 PJC baseball Dragons team that advanced to the NJCAA World Series in Colorado Springs, Colo., in June 1966. A hard throwing pitcher, Reynolds and his teammates defeated Panola in east zone tournament championship to earn the right to advance to Colorado.

In a matter of days after returning home from the NJCAA World Series, the Chicago Cubs drafted Reynolds in the 38th round of the 1966 Major League Baseball draft. He dominated rookie baseball, posting a record of 9-3. That included four shutouts with an earned run average (ERA) of 2.13 for the Pioneer League’s Treasure Valley Cubs earning his way to a promotion with the team’s AA affiliate, San Antonio Missions in 1967. However, on July 1 of that summer he was called to active duty by the United States Army and spent the remainder of the season undergoing military training.

In the 1968 season, Reynolds again had a tremendous showing, posting a 13-2 record and a 2.19 ERA, earning him his first call up to the major league in August 15, 1968 under Cubs manager, Leo Durocher, to face the St. Louis Cardinals. He saw action in seven games for the Cubs and spent time in both the minor and major leagues. In San Antonio, his four shutouts in a season are believed to still stand as a record for minor league pitchers.

Reynolds remained with the Cubs through 1970 and was traded to the California Angels where he would spend two seasons, primarily with their AAA affiliate in Hawaii. In 1972 he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers organization, where he would earn five appearances and conclude his career in 1973.

Despite being drafted in the 1966 38th round, Reynolds competed well against the first draft pick that season and was tabbed to pitch the season openers in 1966 and 1968 for his team.

“Some of the best years of my career as far as team camaraderie were spent at PJC,” said Reynolds when asked about his time at the college. “We all enjoyed baseball and learned a lot from each other. Some were outgoing, some were quiet, but we would do anything to play the sport we loved.”

Just days before the fall 1964 season he learned he had been awarded a baseball scholarship to PJC from former Houston Colt ‘45 scout, Frank Martin, who had connections to the Dragon baseball program. Reynolds had been courted by four-year colleges, but knew that in those programs a freshman would be required to spend the first season on the freshman team. At PJC he could play immediately and that is what he wanted to do. He also played basketball during his two years at PJC.

Reynolds still lives in Tyler and has three adult children, sons Ryan and wife, Melissa and granddaughter, Emma Jane from Shreveport, La.; Sean and wife, Becky, from Liberty-Eylau, Texas; and daughter Kimberley Hurd and her husband, Daniel, from Texarkana, Texas, who are expecting a new addition to the family soon. He is associated with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Real Estate and enjoys ranching with his cattle and horses.

Considered the greatest athlete to ever come out of Paris High School, Larry Click served as the head coach of the PJC Dragon Baseball team from 1977-97. His love for the game spurred many former players to enter the coaching ranks at the high school, college and professional ranks.

Born in Roxton, Click is the only athlete in the history of Paris High School to be named all-state in three sports: baseball, football and basketball. He attended Southern Methodist University on a football scholarship and also played baseball for the Mustangs. He was scheduled to be the starting quarterback for the Mustangs after spring training. But the lure of baseball, his favorite sport, called and Click answered, signing in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves just after they won the World Series.

Unexpected injuries ended Click’s big league career after five years. He returned home to complete his education at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce). After a year as head baseball coach at Paris High School, he traveled west to Midland where he worked for three years as head football coach. A short stint as a local businessman with a sporting goods and fitness center opened up the opportunity to take over as head baseball coach at PJC, where he would spend 20 years. His team advanced to the conference tournament in Austin in 1991.

One of Click’s greatest success didn’t happen on the baseball field, but set precedent for how college student-athletes were signed by major league baseball teams. In 1980 Click, along with several other Texas Junior College baseball coaches, formed the Texas / New Mexico Junior College Baseball Coaches Association (TNMJCBCA) where he served as an officer as well as President of the association.

During these formative years of college baseball, the major league draft had two separate draft selection periods: in February and June. The February draft became a major concern for college baseball as selected players were withdrawing from school and heading to Spring Training in March.  Larry and company petitioned MLB to remove the February draft and limit selections to the month of June, as well as requiring drafted players to complete their seasons prior to beginning their professional career.

Click and the TNMJCBCA worked diligently in a David vs. Goliath situation to change the MLB draft. Because of the effort led by Click, the organization was instrumental in changing the draft date, which now takes place each year in June. Student-athletes are required to finish their final games as a member of their respective college baseball team.

The pioneering efforts of Click and others were instrumental in bringing not only the game of baseball, but quality athletics nationally to the NJCAA.  The legacy of his leadership is still enjoyed today by all members of the association. 

Click’s passion for the game and seeing his players succeed were the driving force behind his long tenure. The Boys and Girls Club recognized him in 1997 when he was added to the Wall of Honor.

His wife, Mary Kathryn, survives him. They celebrated 57 years of marriage before his death on November 12, 2014. They have one son, Kelly, and wife, Camille, and two grandchildren, Justin and Shelby.

The Athletic Hall of Fame induction will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the PJC McLemore Student Center Ballroom. The ceremony is free and open to the public. For more information contact Derald Bulls at 903-782-0276 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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