Due to health concerns and the need for social distancing because of the coronavirus COVID-19, all events for the 2020 spring semester have been cancelled.
TIFTON—One of the favorite t-shirts at the Stallion Shop at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has always been the one that reads, “ABAC Football, Still Undefeated.” The implication was that ABAC doesn’t have a football team and has never had a gridiron squad. If Clayt Hurst was alive today, he would beg to differ.
Hurst, an Omega High School graduate, will be inducted posthumously into the ABAC Athletics Hall of Fame on April 3. He played on the ABAC football team in 1934 and 1935.
ABAC Athletics Director Alan Kramer said the 2020 class also includes the 2002 women’s state championship basketball team, tennis player German Dalmagro, softball player Lee Davis Watson, soccer standout Nikita Morris, tennis player, coach, and contributor Margaret Treadway, contributor and volunteer assistant softball coach James Winfred “Vic” Vickers, contributor and volunteer assistant softball coach Jimmy Spurlin, and Director of Public Relations Emeritus Mike Chason.
Tickets to the 6 p.m. dinner on April 3 in ABAC’s Gressette Gym are $40 per person. Tickets can be purchased from the ABAC Athletics Office at (229) 391-4930 or online at https://athletics.abac.edu/inside/hof/2020_Hall_of_Fame_Banquet . The deadline to purchase tickets is March 27. There will be no tickets sold at the event.
ABAC was a four-year college called the Georgia State College for Men from 1929-33. In 1933, the name was changed to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and the institution became a two-year college. Despite just 99 students in 1933, ABAC retained its intercollegiate athletics program, including football.
Hurst was a three-sport letterman at ABAC when he played basketball, football, and baseball for the Golden Stallions between 1934 and 1936. He played center on the 1936 ABAC basketball team which was the runner-up in the first Georgia Junior College state tournament in Milledgeville. Middle Georgia defeated the Golden Stallions in the title game, and ABAC wound up with a record of 14-5.
Named ABAC’s Best Athlete in the 1936 yearbook, Hurst played on the ABAC football team in 1934 and 1935 and the ABAC baseball team in 1935. He passed away in 1986.
The 1935 ABAC Golden Stallions’ football team recorded a 4-4 record, winning over Bowdon 20-0, the University of Tampa freshmen 26-13, Norman College 13-0, and Homerville Civilian Conservation Corps 40-13. The Golden Stallions lost to South Georgia Teachers 13-0, Georgia Military 14-12, South Georgia State 38-6, and Gordon 7-0.
Football might have continued at ABAC after 1936 but the football uniforms and equipment were destroyed when the gymnasium burned down after the season. ABAC never had football again.
Hurst was named to Who’s Who at ABAC in 1935 and 1936. He was also a member of the ABAC FFA. Hurst’s family donated his ABAC letter sweater to The History Room in Tift Hall. Four generations of the Hurst family have attended ABAC.
The Athletics Hall of Fame dinner is a part of the 2020 ABAC Homecoming celebration. For more information on Homecoming, interested persons can visit the ABAC web site at www.abac.edu/homecoming.