Former city schools superintendent inducted into JM sports hall of fame

by | Apr 25, 2024 | ALLFFP, Fredericksburg, High school sports, Schools & Education

A former Fredericksburg City Public Schools superintendent and James Monroe High School principal headlines the 2024 class of the JM Sports Hall of Fame. 

Richard Garnett, who graduated from JM in 1957, served as principal from 1970-75, assistant superintendent from 1975-83 and superintendent from 1983-97. 

He was recognized, however, for his contributions to the baseball and basketball programs and support for athletics as an administrator, having established a budget for all sports teams and petitioning for upgrades to JM facilities. 

Garnett advocated for funds to construct the current Maury Stadium fieldhouse, which serves the home and visiting teams and houses concessions and restrooms. 

A ceremony honoring Garnett, four other inductees and one team will be held May 13 at JM at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at gofan.com for $20. 

Kenneth Poates (1963), Joby Coakley (1991), Shaneekwa Christopher (2009), Lizzie Hamlett (2018) and the 2017 state champion field hockey team were also chosen for the honor. 

Poates was a four-sport standout for the Yellow Jackets, excelling in football, basketball, baseball and track and field. 

He was a member of the varsity baseball team as a freshman. As a sophomore, he helped the football team win the Battlefield District championship. He helped lead the basketball team to a district title as a junior. 

His senior year, he was named first-team all-state in football, awarded the Lions Club MVP for football excellence and received a full scholarship from the University of Virginia. He was co-captain on the 1963 state champion basketball team. He was a sprinter on the track team and earned a runner-up finish at the state meet. 

Coakley was a football, basketball and baseball standout for the Yellow Jackets. He was a recipient of the Lowery Memorial Award, which is presented to the underclassman who contributed the most to JM athletics. 

He was also a recipient of the Lloyd Gibson basketball award and the Michael Roadcap Memorial Scholarship. He was a first-team all-district and All-Area performer on the football team in 1990. He also earned all-district recognition in baseball and was a starter for the basketball team that won the 1991 district tournament title. 

Christopher played basketball, softball and participated in track and field for the Yellow Jackets. In 2008, she was a member of the first girls basketball team to win the Battlefield District championship. She led the Yellow Jackets in rebounding in 2008 and ‘09. 

For track and field, Christopher ranks third all-time in the girls discus with a toss of 116 feet, 3 inches. She was a district champion and earned all-state honors in the event. She was team captain for the softball team and earned the coach’s award. 

Hamlett starred in field hockey and lacrosse and participated in swimming and track and field. She was a four-year starter for the field hockey team and was named all-region each year. She was named all-state in three seasons. She was two-time Conference 19 player of the year and two-time 4A-East Region player of the year. She scored 110 goals in her career. She was named team MVP in lacrosse in 2017 and ‘18. She recorded 37 goals, 117 groundballs and 62 draw controls in ‘17, the first year JM girls competed in the sport. 

Hamlett received a field hockey scholarship from Liberty University where she became an all-Big East performer and was a member of the 2021 NCAA Division I national runner-up. 

She was an integral part of the ‘17 JM field hockey squad team that is being inducted, as well.  

That was the first girls team to win a championship in school history and began a three-year run of state titles for the Yellow Jackets. The ‘17 team finished 22-2 and won district and region titles in addition to the state crown. 















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