A former coach, a prolific receiver and a longtime official are headed for the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
Bolles’ Elise Bush, Suwannee football product Matt Frier and veteran referee Chuck Fessler Jr. will be a part of the 29th FHSAA hall of fame class when it is inducted Sept. 29.
Bush, who died Feb. 5, 2018 after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer, is the biggest name locally.
The longtime Bulldogs volleyball coach took her teams to 20 state semifinals and winning a state championship in 1989. She passed her mentor, Fletcher’s Karen Caron, on the career victories list in 2016, and retired with a 696-291 record before the 2017 season.
Bush coached 31 seasons at Bolles, and was a key figure in launching the Jacksonville Juniors Volleyball Association in 1989. Bush, former FSCJ coach Mary Andrew and former Mayport Middle coach Brandy King, put the framework in place for JJVA, the most prominent juniors organization on the First Coast.
Frier, who was a part of the Suwannee football dynasty of the mid and late 1980s, won state titles in 1988 and ’89. He had 220 catches for 3,688 yards and 41 touchdowns. He was a member of the FHSAA’s 100 greatest players list in 2007.
Fessler is a bedrock in the high school community. In addition to teaching in the Duval County Public School system for 37 years, his contributions to officiating are why he’s heading for the state hall.
Fessler has logged 46 years on the baseball and softball diamonds, 44 years on the basketball court and 15 seasons as a flag football official. He played two sports in high school at Forrest, not Westside High School, and has been assistant commissioner of the North Florida Officials Association for 25 years.