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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas offensive lineman Shawn Andrews (73) makes a block during a game against Auburn on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2003, in Fayetteville. - Photo by Andy Shupe

Members of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame have received their ballots for the 2018 induction class, and it has some great names on it.

Almost every sport has someone nominated, as does nearly every college in Arkansas.

The wide range of names includes some who no doubt will be inducted some day, if not this year, and some who are really deserving but played so long ago a generation or two may not remember them.

Understand that one of the responsibilities of the Hall of Fame's board is to get the right people honored. On the regular list the top two vote-getters are automatically in, although attendance to the ceremony is required. The top vote-getter on the senior list also makes it.

A change was made this year to include seniors and posthumous candidates on one ballot, and that's why there are more names on that ballot than usual.

The entire voting list, as well as information on how to join and the benefits, can be found at arksportshalloffame.com. There also is a list of all inductees.

This is a secret, but a book is being published on the history of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and includes every person who has been inducted.

Looking through the names on this year's ballot brought back some great memories, and this is not an endorsement for anyone. Everyone should vote his feelings.

Yet, when the name Shawn Andrews comes up the first thing that comes to mind is the greatest athlete to every play offensive line for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. A Parade All-American at Camden Fairview, he was a two-time All-American as a Razorback. Despite back injuries, he played seven years in the NFL and was a two-time Pro Bowler. He and his family live a quiet life in Little Rock.

There is no shortage of names that jump off the pages. Guys like Anthony Lucas, Madre Hill, Peyton Hillis, Felix Jones, Clint Stoerner, Jason Peters, Nathan Brown, Matt Jones, Basil Shabazz and so many more.

Of course, those are all football players who played recently enough to be remembered.

Guys such as Ike Forte, Tim Lollar, Kevin Scanlon, Jerry Muckensturm, Lawson Pilgrim, Roland Sales, John Tate are remembered by many and deserving of being honored, but they played more than 25 years ago.

The senior list is full of historical names such as Bettye Wallace, a legend in the world of volleyball and one of the key figures in women's sports becoming part of the old Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference.

Brison Manor was a great player on two average Razorbacks teams (1973-1974) but blossomed in the NFL where he was part of the famed Denver Broncos defense nicknamed "The Orange Crush." He spent eight years in the NFL before going to work as an investment banker in Little Rock.

Only horse racing enthusiasts are familiar with Cecil Alexander, who served on the Arkansas Racing Commission for 24 years, 21 as the chairman. He was instrumental in getting legislation passed to allow Southland in West Memphis and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs to add gaming facilities, and both have become models in that industry.

There are people nominated who played their college sports out of state, such as pitcher Mike Beard (Texas) and swimmer John Hargis (Auburn).

And there is Sherry White, who is the second all-time leading scorer for the Arkansas Tech University women's basketball.

The list goes on and on, and it could make for numerous columns. Once again, this one is not intended to influence, but it shows just how great the list of candidates is and how this is a tough ballot to fill out.

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  • Maumellehog59
    October 18, 2017 at 7:31 a.m.

    Great article Wally and you are right, Shawn Andrews......well, he was the LeBron James of offensive linemen. A freakishly physically gifted SUPERMAN with power, strength, and excellent speed. He’s the best I’ve ever seen play - and I’m getting pretty old these days.

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