Nov. 7—THOMASVILLE — On Thursday, November 9, the Thomasville/Thomas County Sports Hall of Fame will induct six new members, giving them a spot on the Wall of Fame and enshrining them forever in the history of Thomasville and Thomas County athletics.
Levale Speigner was a two-sport athlete at Thomasville High School, playing football and baseball. It was on the diamond that this Bulldog would truly shine. As a dominant pitcher, Speigner led the 1999 Bulldogs baseball team to the AA state title. In the state championship series against Harlem, he pitched back-to-back shutouts to clinch the title. In his senior season, Speigner showed off his ability at the plate hitting .449. He also went 13-1 on the mound with an impressive ERA of just 1.08. He was named Georgia Dugout Club's AA Player of the Year in 1999.
An All-Region and All-State performer for the Bulldogs, Speigner received the highest honor when his jersey number '16' was retired by THS in 2009.
Speigner went on to have a standout career at Auburn University, where he would become the number one pitcher in the Tiger's rotation in his sophomore season, a role he would continue until his senior year when he was asked to better serve the team by becoming a dominant force out of the bullpen. Speigner led his Auburn squad to a #4 national seed in the 2003 NCAA tournament. He finished his senior campaign at Auburn with a 10-0 record and 2.42 ERA.
After Auburn, Speigner would land with the Washington Nationals organization where he made his big-league debut in 2007. After retiring from pro ball, he would return back to Opelika, Alabama, where he works as a pitching coach for the Opelika High School Bulldogs. He also actively works with the youth of Opelika as a baseball coach.
Mike Posey was captain of the Thomasville Bulldog baseball team his Senior season and would go on to pitch for ABAC and Georgia College, compiling a 22-11 career record. However, he went on to have an even more impressive coaching career.
As head baseball coach at North Florida Christian in Tallahassee for 40 years, he led his squads to an impressive 765-322 record, making him one of the winningest active coaches in Florida. A 2023 Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee, he is a four-time Florida High School Coach of the Year and two-time Regional Coach of the Year.
Under Posey's direction, North Florida Christian has won 26 district and 14 region titles, with nine state championship appearances, of which they won four. Posey was named the 2014 Max Preps National Coach of the Year, as his team won their last 19 games in a row to win state and were named small school national champions.
Posey serves as a Deacon at North Florida Baptist Church, and is actively involved in the community through his summer camps that have served thousands of young players over the last four decades.
Tex Hamm was a two-sport athlete for the Thomasville Bulldogs in basketball and track. One of the pivotal players on the 1968-69 region championship basketball team, he would earn Most Valuable Player for the Bulldogs as they made it to the Final Four of the 1969 state playoffs. Hamm and fellow Hall of Famer Rick Massey were Bulldog co-captains and leaders of the team.
Some of the most celebrated sports films have been about the important role athletes played in our high schools during the difficult days of integration. Hamm served as a steadying force on and off the court, helping to smooth the transition of black and white players competing together for the first time. His positive influence combined with his impressive athletic ability provided an anchor for the respect he would earn from all of his teammates.
To this day, Hamm is respected by those he played with. In his official nomination to the Hall of Fame, Hamm was described as the "type of talented role model that you would want a young person watching."