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Fredrick, Bailey inducted in S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame
5/21/2014 3:16:20 PM

The 2014 South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees are seen at the Columbia Convention Center in Columbia, S.C. on Monday, May 12, 2014. From left are: Happ Lathrop, Monique Hennagan, Brian Dawkins, Zam Fredrick Sr., Carl Short, Rodney Williams, Randy Martz and Edwin Bailey.
By Thomas Grant

As sports contemporaries at colleges separated by over 40 miles, Edwin Bailey and Zam Fredrick made lasting impressions on the gridiron and hardwood.

As an All-American offensive lineman at South Carolina State, Bailey helped the Bulldogs win three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles. The same year he was drafted in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks in 1981, Fredrick earned national prestige for himself and the University of South Carolina when he led all Division I teams in scoring.

Adding the duo’s post-collegiate accomplishments earned them enshrinement in the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame. Bailey and Fredrick joined six other Palmetto State greats in making up the 2014 induction class honored Monday night at the Columbia Convention Center.

“It’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment,” Fredrick said. “It signifies the work that you put in did not go unnoticed and I feel as if the things that we’ve done at Calhoun, I as a player and a coach, I’m very happy about it. I feel great by the fact that I’m going in with such a great group of people and also by the folks who are already in the hall. So for me, I’m ecstatic and very happy about it.”

“I’m representing South Carolina State and the state of South Carolina both,” Bailey said. “We’ve had some great football played in this state.”

In 11 seasons with the Seahawks, Bailey started in 121 of 139 games at left guard and finished his career ranked first all-time in games played for Seattle. Nicknamed “Pearl” by teammates, he was also a member of the 1988 Seahawks’ team which won the AFC West title.

“While I was in the NFL, we made sure that everybody knew that we were from South Carolina, that we played football in the state of South Carolina and our football was outstanding,” Bailey said. After Bailey retired from football, he spent several years as an assistant coach. This included a stint at S.C. State with his college coach and the banquet’s master of ceremonies Willie Jeffries as an offensive and defensive line coach. He’s currently the assistant head coach and offensive line coach at first-year Division II program Paine College in Georgia.

For Fredrick, the Hall of Fame induction marks a milestone in a career which has spanned four decades dating back to his high school basketball days at St. Matthews High School. Following a professional career in Europe, Fredrick returned to his hometown looking to revive his alma mater’s (now known as Calhoun County High School) basketball program.

Over the past 24 seasons, Fredrick has led one of the Palmetto State’s most successful programs. The first South Carolina High School League coach to win eight state championships, Fredrick has posted 615 victories and guided the Saints to a state-record 81 straight victories.

“Playing, to me, was the easy part,” Fredrick said. “You’re just a young kid out there just trying to do some good things for yourself. It speaks more of what the game actually has done for you in terms of opening doors and a lot of the opportunities in your life. Coaching to me is more of me trying to give back and it’s me giving more of myself than I did as a player. That’s why (coaching achievements) are just as significant to me.”

Fredrick was not shy about casting as much light to those accomplishments as his playing success in high school and college. He also credited players like Alshon Jeffrey and his son Zambolist “Buck” Fredrick for their role in the program’s success.

In addition to the Hall of Fame Inductees, the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame presented awards to Charleston RiverDogs’ co-owner Mike Veeck (Willie Jeffries Ambassador for Sports), WIS sports anchor Rick Henry (Herman Helms Media Excellence), SCAHOF board member Dennis Powell (Dom Fusci Leadership in Action), longtime Clemson athletics department employee Bill D’Andrea (Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award) and University of South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley (Special Achievement).

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