Some 250 people gathered at the Jeff Davis Fairgrounds Friday night for the Jeff Davis Football Legends Gala where six former Yellow Jacket football players were inducted into the Jeff Davis Football Hall of Fame.
Inductees were Calvin Harrison, Mike Stewart, Barry Jones, DeShay McKever, Nate Hybl and James Earl Cray. The finale of the night was the induction of former Yellow Jacket Coach Tom Hybl.
Another former Yellow Jacket, Matt Wise, served as the evening’s introductory speaker.
Calvin Harrison, a former Mississippi State Bulldog, was unable to attend Friday’s gala and was represented by his wife, Deborah Harrison, and his son, Garrett Harrison, who accepted the honor on behalf of his father and spoke on his behalf.
Stewart, Jones, McKever, Cray and the two Hybls were all present for the event and made remarks to the audience.
Harrison played fullback and linebacker under Coach Bill Bass in the early 1960s. In his senior year Jeff Davis had the best won-loss record in the history of the program up to that time.
Stewart played linebacker and offensive line in the early 1970s, earning a scholarship to Florida State where he played linebacker beginning in his freshman season. He played for Coach Phil Jones.
Barry Jones was a four-year starter for for Coach Tom Hybl and holds the record as the all-time leading career rusher for the Jackets (4,146 yards) He played fullback at Valdosta State College. His career was during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
McKever played defensive end and tight end, also under Coach Hybl, and was a year ahead of Jones. He also played defensive end for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Coached by his father, Tom Hybl, Nate Hybl’s career was in the 1990s. The all-time leading Yellow Jacket passer with 3,457 yards and 37 touchdowns, and kicker for the Jackets, he earned a scholarship to the University of Georgia. After one season with the Bulldogs, he transferred to the University of Oklahoma and started at quarterback for the Sooners. He led the Sooners to a Rose Bowl victory in 2003 and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Cray played quarterback for the Yellow Jackets under Coach Neil Graham. He went on to play collegiate football as a wide receiver with Troy State University in Alabama.
Tom Hybl is the winningest coach in Jeff Davis football history. He led the Jackets for 11 seasons, with his teams posting a record of 80-42-2.