Hall of Fame banquet set for May 2 - Camp Lejeune Globe: Sports

Hall of Fame banquet set for May 2

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Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 8:34 am

John Kopka, retired Marine colonel, to be among those honored at event

The Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Hall of Fame has scheduled its Induction Banquet for 5 p.m. May 2 at the Hilton-Garden Inn in Jacksonville.

Honorees include David Green and Jim Sheehan. John Kopka, a retired Marine Corps colonel, and Glenn Hargett are to receive Heroes Spirit Awards at the event.

“This is an event we are very proud of,” said Davidson Myers, chairman of the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission. “Getting to recognize those that have made such a difference is an honor.”

The Hall of Fame inductions are designed to recognize the area’s sports history while honoring those who have enhanced recreation through their commitment and performances.

“We look forward to celebrating the inductees’ contributions to their sports and our community as we induct the class of 2019,” said Richard Jefferson, CEO of Coastal Bank & Trust, which is the title sponsor of the event.

Included in the Hall of Fame induction is the Heroes Spirit Award, which honors an individual, organization, event, business or facility that elevates sports in the community.

Kopka was a collegiate athlete who earned Little All-American recognition at the University of Bridgeport in football. He joined the Marine Corps in 1963 and served in Vietnam. He was later assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he taught boxing and assisted the football program through scouting of future opponents.

Kopka retired from the Marine Corps in 1994, having served in various commands and having received numerous decorations, including Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.

Kopka remains involved in the community through such things as membership in the Jacksonville Rotary Club and the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee. Among his civic awards is the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Hargett, the other Heroes Spirit Award recipient, the assistant city manager of Jacksonville. He has spent 21 years working with the city, beginning in 1998. In the first year of his work, he assembled the ad hoc committee that was to investigate a group that would champion sports as an economic development activity and to improve the quality of life for residents. Subsequently the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission was created on Aug. 10, 1999. Hargett served as an officer of the nonprofit corporation until 2016.

Green, a 1971 Richlands High School graduate, was a standout in football, basketball and track, and is one of just three players at the school to have his jersey number retired. He later played at Chowan Junior College, where he is a member of its Hall of Fame. He then transferred to Edinboro University in Pennsylvania and was inducted into its Hall of Fame as well.

Green went on to play for the Montreal Alouettes from 1978-1980 in the Canadian Football League. He played in 35 games for Montreal and appeared in two Grey Cups. He was named the league’s top player in 1979 when he rushed for 1,678 yards.

Sheehan was hired at Swansboro High School in 1979 and coached football and baseball, retiring after 32 years. He also served as the school’s athletic director for 19 years, starting the boys and girls tennis teams. He was selected as the United States Tennis Association’s 2004 High School Tennis Coach of the Year.

“Mr. Green and Mr. Sheehan have outstanding credentials, and that is why they were selected for this year’s class,” said Scott Smith, executive director of the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission. “Mr. Hargett and Col. Kopka have done so much for the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission, sports in our community and our community in general, that they are truly deserving of the Heroes Spirit Award. I can’t wait to recognize these four men in May.”

The cost is $75, and tickets can be purchased online at https://bit.ly/2WsDNgi or by calling the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission at 347-3141, extension 225. Information is also available at www.playjosc.com.

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