Former basketball standout and long-time South Boston Recreation Department director Matthew McCargo, former South Boston Speedway General Manager Cathy Rice, high school and collegiate baseball standout the late Dr. Michael Bedford Priest and former high school and collegiate multi-sport athlete O.C. Hailey have been selected for induction into the Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame.
The Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for May 20.
McCargo, a South Boston native, played Midget League basketball for noted coach Hugh Moore before becoming an all-district and all-region basketball selection while playing for Halifax County Senior High School. He played collegiately at Lynchburg College where he was named to the All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference team in the 1980-1981 season, where he averaged 15.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
In his position as Town of South Boston recreation director, a position he has held since 1986, McCargo has played an instrumental role in helping the services provided by the recreation department grow in both in numbers and age groups from youth to senior citizens.
McCargo also has coached both jayvee and varsity girls’ basketball teams at Halifax County High School, including the varsity team which was 20-0 in the regular season and finished with the best overall record in school history at 21-2, an accomplishment which earned him district coach of the year honors.
He was recognized by his peers in 2014 as one of the most influential and respected African-American leaders in Halifax County.
Rice, general manager at South Boston Speedway for 21 years beginning in 2000, was only the second woman to become a general manager at a NASCAR-sanctioned speedway.
Rice served a total of 34 years at South Boston Speedway in various capacities ranging from secretary to scorer, promoter and finally to general manager and continues to be part of the speedway team as consultant and ambassador, and she has twice been named as recipient of the NASCAR Team Player Award.
She also has served her community in a number of ways, including as an EMT, school bus driver and as a member of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce, receiving the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chamber in 2021 for her contributions to her community.
Priest, a Vernon Hill, native, was an outstanding baseball player at every level of completion, including T-Ball, minor and major leagues, American Legion, middle and high school and collegiately at both the University of Virginia and Campbell University.
He was team MVP for the Halifax County High School varsity baseball team in both 2000 and 2001 and served as team captain both years, being named Western District Player of the Year, first team all-region and second team all-state in 2001, with a team-high .466 batting average.
At the University of Virginia from 2001-2002, Priest played in 15 games before transferring to Campbell University in 2003, where he started 165 games from 2004-2006, with batting averages of .302, .365 and .402, including a total of 36 home runs.
Priest was Team MVP in 2005 and 2006 and was first-team, Atlantic Sun Conference in 2005 being named to the ESPN Magazine Academic All-American Team in both 2005 and 2006 and the American Baseball Coaches Association All-Southern U.S. Region Team in 2006. His 20-game hitting streak in 2006 still stands today.
Priest later served as head coach for the Halifax County Middle School baseball team in 2007.
Hailey, a South Boston native, was a multi-sport standout as a youth, playing Dixie Youth baseball for the Rotary team, recording an undefeated regular season in 1968 while pitching for the Rotary and leading the league with a .627 batting average and home runs.
He helped his baseball all-star team reach the Dixie Youth World Series in 1968 and also played in the Babe Ruth and Senior Babe Ruth leagues.
Hailey played Pee Wee and Midget football for the Blue Devils, respectively, and Midget League basketball for the Paladins, being named MVP of the Midget Basketball League his final season.
Hailey played football, basketball and baseball each year from junior high school to senior high school, lettering in all three sports while in high school, playing for the varsity basketball team which was state runner-up in 1973 and made the final four his senior year in 1974.
A captain of his football, basketball and baseball teams his senior year, Hailey made several all-district, all-region and all-state teams, receiving the T.C. Watkins Award and Principal’s Award.
Hailey played football for two years at James Madison, starting as a cornerback his freshman year, and he started 17 of 20 games as a collegian while helping his team to its only undefeated season (9-0-1) in 1976.