The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 18, 2013

Wilson, four others, inducted to Joplin Area Hall of Fame

By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor

— Terry Wilson’s favorite sport changed with the seasons.

“I really couldn’t pick one. I liked them all,” he said. “They were all great, and I enjoyed them all.

Wilson, the multi-sport standout, was one of four inductees Friday night into the Joplin Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Other members of the shrine’s 13th class, which was inducted during a banquet at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club, were Missouri Southern cross country and track and field coach Tom Rutledge, the 1992 Missouri Southern national championship softball team and the TAMKO Roofers basketball team, whose history includes a victory over the Harlem Globetrotters.

Presenters for the inductees were Patty Vavra for Rutledge, Warren Turner for Wilson, coach Pat Lipira for her Lions softball team and player Keith Adams for the Roofers.

Perhaps Wilson couldn’t decide on a favorite sport because he had so many options.

For starters, he played football, basketball, baseball and ran track and field at Joplin High School.

A running back, he received 46 college scholarship offers before playing at the University of Missouri.

But before graduating from Mizzou, he signed the maximum $4,000 bonus with the Philadelphia Phillies and played in their farm system.

Wilson’s athletic talent, however, extended well beyond his high school sports.

While in high school, he boxed in the Joplin Golden Gloves and won the light heavyweight (175 pound) division by knocking out all three of his opponents. The last KO was against the U.S. Army light heavyweight champion who was training at Camp Crowder for the Olympic team.

On the golf course, Wilson’s club selection included more than just 7-iron or 8-iron, driver or 3-wood. There also was right-handed or left-handed club. He has four holes-in-one — two right-handed, two left-handed.

He also was an excellent marksman with a rifle. In one year he won trap shooting contests in Kansas City and Oklahoma City, and the winning prize each time was a new car.

“Sports is sports, and it’s just great to play,” Wilson said. “And I was lucky enough to be able to play them. “I appreciate this very much. I never thought it would happen, something this nice.”