Eagles Dick Vermeil

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil has words with Eagles quarterback John Walton during a game, Saturday, July 31, 1976. — AP Photo.

Johnnie Walton to be

honored with induction

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback John Walton who starred for Elizabeth City State will be inducted into the John B. McLendon Hall of Fame. Walton was a four-year starter as the Vikings signal caller. He played from 1965-68.

Walton received All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association honors following is senior year in 1968. He completed 114 of 204 passes for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns while leading Elizabeth City State to a 8-1 record.

After graduating from Elizabeth City State in 1969, Walton started his playing career with the Los Angeles Rams ad making history in the process as the first African American quarterback from the state of North Carolina to play in the National Football League. In addition, he played in the Continental Football League with the Indianapolis Capitals, leading the team to a league title. Walton was named the Continental Football League’s Most Valuable Player.

Walton briefly left his pro football career in 1979 and returned to ECU to lead the football program as head coach. From 1980-82, Walton compiled a 20-10-1 overall record and finished 14-7 in the CIAA guiding the Vikings to the Division II playoffs in just his second year.

Walton played for the Eagles from 1976-79. He was the backup quarterback behind starter Ron Jaworski. He was a real trailblazer for Black quarterbacks with the Eagles. Walton paved the way for African American field generals such as Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Rodney Peete, Vince Young, Don McPherson, Jeff Blake and Jalen Hurts.

The CIAA recognizes inductees for their excellence in the conference, significant contributions in the community, leadership within CIAA athletics, and commitment to the conference mission. This year’s class includes Cassie King (North Carolina Central University, basketball), Kenny Phillips (Fayetteville State, football), Johnny Stoutamire, Jr. (Livingstone College, football), Celeste Trahan (Elizabeth City State, basketball) and Greg Toler (St. Paul’s, football). The inductees will be celebrated in a virtual presentation that will air on Friday, Feb. 26 via the CIAA Sports Network.

“It is a tremendous honor. It’s something to go through history. It’s even more honorable when a person recognizes what you go through and seize the moment when your peers come back and say what you did was important and significant.”

Johnnie is 73 years old. He’s the mayor pro tem of Elizabeth City, N.C.

St. Joe’s stars Taylor Funk, Jordan Hall earn honors Saint Joseph’s basketball standouts redshirt junior Taylor Funk has been named Big 5 Player of the Week while freshman Jordan was chosen as the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week.

Funk averaged 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in two games for the Hawks. He tied for the team lead in scoring with 13 points and grabbed five rebounds against St. Bonaventure. He scored 14 points and snared six rebounds to help Saint Joseph’s to a 67-64 victory over Albany last Saturday.

Hall, a former Neumann-Goretti star, averaged 11 points, 7.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds a game against the Bonnies and Great Danes. He had a season-high 10 rebounds along with nine points and five assists. he had 13 points, nine assists and four rebounds in the win over St. Bonaventure.

In Saint Joseph’s 80-66 loss to Davidson, Funk had a team-high 19 points and five rebounds. Hall had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Ex-Imhotep star Tykee Smith named 2nd team All-AmericanFormer Imhotep Charter standout Tykee Smith who plays defensive back for West Virginia University has been named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America second team. Smith, a 5-foot-10, 198-pound sophomore, tied for the team lead in interceptions with two. He was second in tackles for loss (8.0) and tied for second in tackles (61). The former Public League star had six or more tackles in his last eight games with a season-best nine tackles against TCU.

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