Four former athletes and one coach were inducted in the fourth class of Florence County School District Three’s Athletic Hall of Fame Friday, Oct. 6.
Three brothers — Franklin, Richard and Watch Brockington — Damonte McKenzie, and L.A. “Buddy” Wallace were inducted during a halftime ceremony of Lake City High School’s football game against Georgetown at Ward Memorial Stadium.
The Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding athletes, coaches and others who contribute to athletics from current and past high schools in the district.
[The Hall of Fame induction] “means a lot to me and my family,” said Rick Brockington after his induction. “I made lot of great memories with my wrestling teammates, Coach Tilly and Coach Graham. I thank everyone who supported and contributed to our success.”
“The Hall of fame is one of my most profound accomplishments,” said McKenzie. “It means a lot to see the people who raised me to share in this honor.”
“I’m honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Watch Brockington said. “I want to thank God first, my mother, the community for its support, Coach Tilly, Coach Graham, Coach Apicella and Coach Baker. I also want to congratulate the other four inductees.”
The Brockingtons were outstanding athletes in multiple sports during their careers at Lake City High School, but they made history on the wrestling mat as the only set of three brothers to win South Carolina individual state wrestling championships during the same season as they led the Panthers to the 2002 South Carolina Wrestling Coaches Association team championship.
During his Lake City High School career, Franklin Brockington exceled on the gridiron for Coach Mickey Moss and also on the wrestling mat for Coach Mark Tillotson.
The 2002 graduate was a three-time letterman on the football field where he was twice named All-Region. On the wrestling mat, Brockington lettered all four years while picking up four individual region championships and qualifying for the state individual tournament all four years. He twice earned All-State honors and captured the 2002 AAA 171 pound individual title. For his career, Brockington claimed over 100 wins and was selected to participate in the 2002 North-South Wrestling match.
After graduation, Brockington signed to wrestle at Spartanburg Methodist College
Franklin Brockington, a federal corrections officer with the Bureau of Prisons in Williamsburg County, currently resides in Olanta and has been married for seven years to his wife, Shakeyla (Kelly) Brockington. The couple have three children: Rebecca (8), Jeremiah (6), and Lacie (five months).
A 2003 Lake City High School graduate, Richard Brockington was also a standout on the football field and wrestling mat.
While earning three varsity letters and two all-region selections on the gridiron, Brockington holds the LCHS record for the longest rushing touchdown (99 yards vs. Central Pageland, 2002) and was named to the 2002 WPDE All-Zone team.
Brockington also picked up four varsity letters on the wrestling mat while recording over 100 wins and four individual region championships. He captured back-to-back South Carolina individual AAA state championships at 152 and 160 pounds in 2002 and 2003 and was named as a 2003 North-South Wrestling All-Star. Following his senior mat campaign, Brockington competed at the Senior Wrestling Nationals.
Upon graduating from LCHS, Brockington signed to wrestle with Spartanburg Methodist College.
Richard Brockington currently resides in Lake City.
Walter “Watch” Brockington
Before graduating from Lake City High School in 2002, Walter “Watch” Brockington lettered three years in varsity football and compiled one of the most impressive wrestling resumes in South Carolina High School League history.
During Brockington’s four-year career for the Panthers, he won nearly 200 individual matches, four straight individual region championships, four individual Lower State championships, and earned All-State honors each year. Along the way, he picked up two individual AAA state 3rd place finishes along with a runner-up finish before winning the 2002 AAA 135 pound championship.
Brockington was named the 2002 AAA Wrestler of the Year, was ranked in the Top 25 wrestlers in the nation for his weight class, was named to 2002 North-South All-Star squad, and participated in the 2002 Senior Wrestling Nationals.
Following graduation, Brockington signed to wrestle collegiately at William Penn University.
Watch Brockington currently resides in Olanta.
Damonte McKenzie was the backbone of the 1994 Lake City High School team that played for the South Carolina AAA Lower State championship. A standout two-way player, McKenzie rushed for 1,566 yards on 238 carries (6.6 yards per carry) and scored 15 touchdowns. Defensively, he led the team with 174 tackle points and recorded 12 sacks. He was twice named All-Region and was the 1994 WBTW Defensive Player of the Year. Also, he was named AAA All-State by The State and the High School Sports Report, was named to the Carolinas Top 50 by The Charlotte Observer, selected to the All-Southeast Region team by Bluechip Illustrated, and was named to the Max Emfinger Blue Chip All-America team. McKenzie participated in the 1994 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
After graduating from Lake City High School in 1995, McKenzie received a full athletic scholarship to continue his football career at Clemson University where he was a four-year letterman and started at defensive tackle for two years. He was named All-ACC Honorable Mention in 1999 and was also named to the 1999 Strength and Conditioning All-America team.
Following Clemson, McKenzie accepted free agent deals and had stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins. He also played two seasons with the NFL Europe’s Rhein Fire and Amsterdam Admirals. While playing with the Rhein Fire, he participated in World Bowl X.
After retiring from football, McKenzie returned to Clemson University where he was an assistant with the football program’s strength and conditioning staff and also worked as a defensive line assistant and defensive analyst. In 2007, he earned his Clemson bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and completed his Clemson master’s degree in 2010 in Youth Development and Leadership.
Damonte McKenzie currently teaches Physical Education and coaches football at Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is married to Tanya (Hughley) McKenzie, and the couple have one daughter, Micah (11), and son, Tyler, who passed away in 2007.
L.A. “Buddy” Wallace
With over 30 years coaching football, basketball, and baseball at Olanta High School, Johnsonville High School and Carolina Academy, Coach L.A. “Buddy” Wallace accumulated over 1,000 careers wins in his career.
During his stint as the head football, basketball, and baseball coach at Olanta High School from 1957-1968, Wallace posted 203 basketball victories (11 years), notched 190 baseball wins (11 years) and also picked up 21 football wins (three years). His basketball teams won seven conference titles and the 1966-67 South Carolina Class C state championship. On the diamond, Wallace led Olanta to an incredible 10 conference championships and four straight South Carolina Class C state championships from 1963-66.
L.A. “Buddy” Wallace passed away in 2007 and is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mrs. Louise Wallace, and children: Dr. Al Wallace; Chris Wallace, Orangeburg County Executive Director for Farm Service Agency; and Susan (Wallace) Dennis as well as five grandchildren.
“This project has been an enormous success in honoring the people that have been tremendous contributors to Florence Three athletics history and this is another class of very deserving individuals that represent the very best of what we strive to produce,” said Lake City High School Athletic Director Matt Apicella. “Each of this year’s inductees left their mark during their careers and we are honored to recognize them all.”
Any athletic alumnus, coach, or significant department advocate is eligible for nomination by an alumnus of a current or former high school in Florence County School District Three. A nominee must be at least five years removed from graduation or employment with the district. The selection committee is comprised of the FCSD3 Superintendent, Lake City High principal, athletic director, assistant athletic director and district communications director. Nominations must be submitted to the athletic director.