Springdale Public Schools to honor 2017 Hall of Fame class
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.
Springdale standout Will McGinnis reaches to make a play on a ball hit to the infield June 19, 2006, during practice.