Spring­dale Pub­lic Schools to honor 2017 Hall of Fame class

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SCOREBOARD - SCOT­TIE BORDELON Scot­tie Bordelon can be reached at sbor­de­lon@nwadg.com or on Twit­ter @NWAS­cot­tie.

Will McGin­nis never missed play­ing in a base­ball game grow­ing up.

But in 1998, as the Spring­dale High base­ball team, coached by his fa­ther, David, made the class 4A state cham­pi­onship game, he made an ex­cep­tion. The younger McGin­nis grew up around many of the play­ers on that team, and nearly 20 years later, he re­mem­bers each of them — and their po­si­tion.

“When peo­ple asked what I wanted to be when I got older that’s all I knew, being a Bull­dog,” said McGin­nis, the 1998 team bat boy. “Even when I was 8, 9, 10 years old, all I knew was Spring­dale Bull­dogs. It was a fun group that re­fused to lose.”

Once reach­ing high school, McGin­nis starred for the base­ball pro­gram he grew up cheer­ing for. He earned All-Con­fer­ence hon­ors his ju­nior and se­nior sea­sons and, with a sizzling .479 av­er­age, was named All-State his se­nior year. Over the course of his Bull­dogs ca­reer, McGin­nis set five school records.

It has been a whirlwind year al­ready for McGin­nis, who led Green­land’s base­ball pro­gram to the class 3A state cham­pi­onship game at Baum Sta­dium in only his sec­ond sea­son as coach of the Pi­rates. On Satur­day, McGin­nis will be one of 10 Spring­dale Pub­lic Schools Ath­let­ics Hall of Fame in­ductees.

“I was kind of sur­prised and hon­ored all at the same time to be hon­est,” he said. “It’s def­i­nitely an honor. A lot of great ath­letes that have come through Spring­dale, and I’m just hon­ored to be con­sid­ered.”

Michael Sanchez, a 2007 Spring­dale Har-Ber grad­u­ate, will be in­ducted along­side McGin­nis. Sanchez led the then-up­start Har-Ber bas­ket­ball pro­gram to its first con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship and state fi­nals ap­pear­ance his se­nior sea­son un­der cur­rent Fort Smith North­side bas­ket­ball coach Eric Bur­nett. The 6-foot-8 forward went on to play four sea­sons at Arkansas.

“I was very ex­cited and thank­ful for all the sup­port from the Spring­dale com­mu­nity,” he said. “I was hon­ored to be a part of such an awe­some tra­di­tion at Spring­dale. I have my fam­ily and the com­mu­nity to thank for that, and all my coaches and men­tors. I wouldn’t trade a thing.”

Sanchez be­gan his high school ca­reer at Spring­dale High, where he earned All-State hon­ors by av­er­ag­ing 18 points and 10 re­bounds per game as a sopho­more. He later moved to newly built Har-Ber and by his se­nior sea­son pushed the team to a 24-6 mark, earn­ing All-State hon­ors for a third con­sec­u­tive sea­son.

“Being part of that new be­gin­ning at a new school was re­ally cool,” Sanchez said. “We were there when it was bare-bones ba­sic. Watch­ing the school grow the last few years was great. We had a great sea­son and al­ways put on a show.”

Steve Price, who taught and coached in Spring­dale for 41 years, Tommy Golden and Zack Pianalto help round out the 2017 Hall of Fame class. The ban­quet be­gins at 5:30 p.m. Satur­day in the Cen­tral Ju­nior High School cafe­te­ria.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette file photo

Spring­dale stand­out Will McGin­nis reaches to make a play on a ball hit to the in­field June 19, 2006, dur­ing prac­tice.

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