Three new members inducted into Walk of Fame|Mitchell, Phelps, Gore are honored

Published 8:07 pm Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sports Editor

Washington High School welcomed three new members into its Walk of Fame family. Bing Mitchell, a former coaching great, Al Phelps, a three-sport star with the Pam Pack, and Bill Gore, the “Voice of the Pam Pack” for the past 17 years, were all honored during Friday night’s football game against Jacksonville.
Mitchell is a coaching legend, earning over 120 wins and a trip to the state championship game. He became the head football coach and athletic director at Washington High School in 1980.
Mitchell spent seven years with the Pam Pack. His most successful season came in 1982, where he led the Pack to a 9-1 record and the Northeastern Conference championship.
Mitchell returned to Washington in 2006 as the athletic director.
With Mitchell unable to attend the event, as he continues to battle a brain tumor, his sons, Kevin and Keith Mitchell, and their families accepted the award on his behalf.
“It was a great honor,” Kevin Mitchell said. “I wish he could have been here tonight, but this is something he’s worked for his whole career. He’s done a great job and he’s deserving of it.
“I know he’s honored. He took pride in doing things the right way, not just being a coach, but being a father-figure to a lot of players. Being recognized like this really means a lot to him.”
Phelps excelled in football, baseball and basketball for the Pam Pack. He was a co-captain on each of those squads.
Phelps was the quarterback for the Pack football team. He was a guard on the basketball team, and in baseball, his true love, Phelps was a standout pitcher and shortstop.
Phelps was thrilled to be included into the Walk of Fame.
“This is the nicest thing that’s happened to me in 50 years,” Phelps said. “I’ve enjoyed this very much. I appreciate what everybody has done for me. It’s been the highest honor I’ve had in a long time.”
Gore has spent the past 18 years at Washington, with 17 of them coming at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium. Gore, the “Voice of the Pam Pack,” has been announcing football games for 17 seasons. In all that time, Gore has missed just one home football game.
Gore, a French teacher who has been named Washington’s Teacher of the Year in 1997-98 and 2007-08, has also lent his voice and talents to Pam Pack baseball, basketball and soccer games.
“It was touching,” Gore said of the induction ceremony. “It was emotional. This is something you put a lot of time into, and commit to, and to be honored was very rewarding and, at the same time, very humbling.
“I love this place. I’ve spent a lot of time here. It was very meaningful to have my family here, and it was just wonderful.”