MOULTRIE -- Josh Wilkes had noteworthy football accomplishments at both Adel High and Moultrie High back when the sport was young.

Wilkes is credited with having scored the first touchdown ever for Adel High. Then, after moving to Colquitt County to attend Moultrie High, he was a member of the Packers' 9-0-1 South Georgia championship team of 1928.

After playing at Moultrie High, Wilkes went to Norman College, where he was considered among the best to have played football there as well.

And Wilkes, who died here on Nov. 6, 2000, at age 91, will be honored for his sports accomplishments and for his years as a successful businessman in Moultrie when he is inducted into the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 7.

Wilkes will be third player from that undefeated team to enter the Hall of Fame, joining Huey Murphy, the team's center and captain, and halfback Clyde "Piggie" Isom.

Joining Wilkes in being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year will be the team's coach, Dode Phillips.

The 1928 team is one of the most storied in the Packer history.

The only blemish on the team's record was a 0-0 tie with the powerful Boys High of Atlanta.

Boys High was one of eight teams Moultrie shut out that season and Wilkes, a big defensive end, was one of the stalwarts. Moultrie gave up just 12 points all season.

Vernon "Josh" Wilkes was born Feb. 23, 1909, in Cook County and was an excellent athlete in Adel, where he played basketball and football.

Albert Murphy, Huey Murphy's brother and another member of the 1928 championship football team, helped convince Wilkes to transfer to Moultrie High. Following his one year at Moultrie High, Wilkes went to Norman College, where he played football and baseball in 1929 and 1930.

Wilkes and Huey Murphy sat side-by-side for the 1929 Norman College football team photograph.

Huey Murphy, who was the Norman College team captain for two seasons and later was the Bears' assistant coach, compiled an All-Norman College team years later.

He listed Wilkes as an honorable mention selection.

During World War II, Wilkes served in the U.S. Army's 36th Division and received the Purple Heart after being wounded in Italy. He later served in the invasion of Europe and was overseas for 44 months.

After the war, he returned to south Georgia and he and his wife Nell operated a successful nursery business for more than 40 years in Moultrie.



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