LAKELAND — It was an inspiring night at the RP Funding Center on Tuesday as the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame inducted five new members into its class of 2017.
Inducted into the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame for the class of 2017 were: Frank Decker, Robbie Davis, Charlie Manuel, Andy McGaffigan and Desmond Clark.
Decker graduated from Florida Southern in 1950, after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. Frank C Decker Construction grew to be a major builder in locally, building the James Wellman Cancer Treatment Center and the original Joker Marchant Stadium in 1966. Site of the Detroit Tigers spring training and the Lakeland Tigers, it became known as “The House that Frank Built.”
Decker was heard to often say “the quality will long be remembered long after the price is forgotten.”
Decker passed away Nov. 14, 2011, at his Orlando home. He was 87.
Davis moved to Lakeland in 1979, played golf well enough for Lakeland High School that he received a scholarship to the University of Kentucky. After playing a few years on the mini tour, Davis got a phone call in 1996 asking if he might consider taking on the coaching job of the Florida Southern girls golf team.
Davis has led Florida Southern to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2007.
“You don’t get here alone,” said Davis. “There are a mountain full of people that helped me accomplish everything I’ve done.
“To all of you, thank you. You have been a blessing to me.”
Manuel, a Winter Haven resident since 1993, played for the Minnesota…
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