PERKINSTON — Two 2018 inductees into the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Athletics Hall of Fame have passed away. Robert Earl Elam died in May and Carroll "Butch" Raley died earlier this month.
Elam earned letters at Perkinston Junior College in football, basketball and baseball. As a freshman in 1953, he played on a team that went 7-3-1, with the tie coming in the Laurel Lions Bowl. The next season, given more playing time, he teamed with future NFL player Eddie Khayat to become a formidable duo. Elam was named to the All-State Second Team and earned PJC's Best All-Around Athlete award from Coach Harold "War Daddy" White.
Elam went on to play at Memphis State, then was drafted into the Army, where he was a paratrooper. He also played semipro football and baseball. He went on to work for Morton Thiokol until his retirement.
Elam died May 27, and a memorial service will be held July 20 at 4 p.m. at the Pascagoula Country Club.
Raley batted .300 on the Bulldogs baseball team that won its third straight state championship in 1968 by beating Northwest. The club set a new record with a 16-3 record. The team won its seventh straight South Division title in his sophomore season, and the team became the first Mississippi junior college team to play in the NJCAA Eastern District Tournament. Raley was named to the All-Tournament team.
He went on to earn an athletic scholarship at Tulane and coached in the city of Biloxi. He was inducted into the Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
Raley died July 3, and services were held July 9. He was buried at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens in Gulfport.
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