HIGH POINT, N.C. â€“ Ironic it is that former race driver Ken Rush and former football player Richard Kemp are chosen to enter the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame the same year.
Rush has a few years on Kemp, although they have known one another since before Kemp was a football star at High Point High School.
â€œI used to wash cars and work at Redâ€™s Shell station on North Main Street,â€ Kemp recalls, â€œand Rushâ€™s race shop was right around the corner on Eastchester. He traded at the station and hung around there when he wasnâ€™t working on his race cars.â€
â€œI remember Richard learned how to carry a football by running through the car wash with the brush in his hand when some of us would slip up, grab the water hose and turn it on him,â€ Rush said.
â€œI guess what I remember most is slipping in Tri-Cities Speedway to watch him race,â€ Kemp says. â€œI didnâ€™t have much money. Gary Bennett and I were friends, and we would get somebody to let us get in the trunk of their car and go through the gate. Once inside, they would open the trunk and let us out.â€
â€œWhen Kemp played at Lenoir Rhyne and made All-American two years, he became our football hero,â€ Rush said. â€œWe would load up in cars at the service station and go to Hickory to see him play.â€
Tri-Cities, just one of many speedways where Rush raced, was located near the corner of Johnson Street and Skeet Club Road.
Rush and Kemp are among the class of nine that will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Monday night. Others include Dr. Herbert Appenzeller of Guilford College; Lynn Agee, the UNCG womenâ€™s basketball coach; Jeff Lynn and Joe Earl Bostic of Greensboro, who played college football at Clemson and went on to play in the NFL for several years, Jeff as an offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins and Joe as an offensive lineman for the St. Louis Cardinals; Danny Manning of Greensboro Page, who became the all-time leading scorer for the Kansas Jayhawksâ€™ basketball team; Bodie McDowell, outdoor writer for the Greensboro News & Record; and the late Pep Young of Jamestown who had a 10-year career in major league baseball.
The banquet, sponsored by Stanford Group Company, will be held at the Greensboro Coliseum. Tickets are still available for $50 each, or a table of 10 tickets for $750. Call 336 378-4499.
â€œHaving the event at the Greensboro Coliseum allows us the opportunity to have the Hall of Fame ceremonies in one of the greatest sports venues not only in Guilford County but in the Southeast,â€ Richard Wood, chairman of the Hall of Fame, said.