Chesson named to NC Sports Hall of Fame
Former Aces football standout to be inducted later this year
By Craig Moyer
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
EDENTON — From two state championships at John A. Holmes, to a record-setting career at Duke, four seasons in the National Football League and 36 years as a radio analyst for Duke football, Wes Chesson has had an illustrious sports career.
The former Aces standout can now add North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame member to the list, as Chesson was announced as one of 15 inductees in the 55th Hall of Fame class Tuesday.
The class is made up of coaches and players who have made their impact on North Carolina athletics and sports across the country including Major League Baseball umpire Joe West, former HBCU football coach Bill Hayes and Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin.
The 15 inductees will join 336 members of the Hall of Fame when they are inducted at a banquet on the evening of Friday, May 4 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The president of the Hall of Fame, Nora Lynn Finch said she is looking forward to celebrating this special time in the state’s sports history.
“The achievements of this year’s class of inductees enrich North Carolina’s remarkable sports heritage, and the individuals have certainly earned the honor of joining the 336 men and women who have been previously enshrined,” Finch said.
Chesson said it was an honor to be selected as one of 15 members of a very talented group of sports figures and he was thrilled to be chosen.
“I am proud to be selected and I am happy for my family and everyone who helped contribute to my success,” Chesson said.
One of those people Chesson referenced was his head coach at John A. Holmes, Jerry McGee, a 2015 NC Hall of Fame inductee.
With McGee at the helm and Chesson at quarterback, Aces fans were treated to back-to-back undefeated seasons and a pair of state titles in the 1964-65 seasons.
Chesson said he was thankful for everything McGee taught him and also praised the support he and his team continuously received from the town.
“I was fortunate to be born into a family where I had the opportunity to be the best I could be and to have so much support from the entire town for the athletics,” Chesson said.
After graduating from John A. Holmes, Chesson went on to play at Duke from 1968-70 where he was a standout wide receiver and even handled the punting duties for the Blue Devils.
He played 30 games over three seasons, catching 164 passes for a total of 2,399 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.
As a punter, Chesson averaged just over 36 yards per kick, as he punted 153 times for a total of 5,553 yards.
In his senior season in 1970, Chesson put his name in the record books at Duke and in the entire Atlantic Cost Conference, finishing the season with conference records of 74 catches and 1,080 receiving yards.
The record for 74 catches in a single season remained an ACC record for 42 years and Chesson finished his career at Duke with 24 school records.
He then went on to the National Football League, where he was drafted in the seventh round of the 1971 draft by Atlanta and went on 40 passes for 598 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons with the Falcons.
After concluding his NFL career, Chesson spent 36 years as a radio analyst for Duke football along another NC Hall of Fame member Bob Harris before both retired in 2016.
Chesson said those were 36 fantastic years and was glad to watch the program turn things around in recent years.
The John A. Holmes alumnus said he has been thrilled to see the Aces football team succeed over the last several seasons and even attended their state championship game in 2016.
“It is great what they have accomplished and I think it is reflective of the support from the town, the school and from former athletes,” Chesson said.
Prior to the induction ceremony May 4, an afternoon news conference will be held on Thursday, May 3, at 4 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of History, located at 5 East Edenton Street.
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963 and has a permanent exhibit with significant objects and memorabilia donated by inductees on the third floor of the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.
Ticket information for the induction banquet is available online at ncsportshalloffame.org or by calling 919-845-3455.