PELION, S.C. —
Ben Freeman was the head football coach and athletic director at Pelion High School for 25 years. He served as the president of the South Carolina Football Coaches Association, president of the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association, and president of the South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association. As the head football coach at Pelion High School, Coach Freeman won 120 games and 2 region championships, in 2000 and 2006. His 2013 team reached the upper state finals, which was a Pelion High School record best. His 2000 region championship team had a perfect 10-0 regular season record. Coach Freeman was the region coach of the year six times, and approximately 15 of his players have played at the collegiate level. He also coached the only Division I college football players in PHS history. In 2006 Freeman was the head coach of the victorious North team in the North-South All-Star game. In 2014 he was the head coach of the victorious South team in the Shrine Bowl All-Star Game. During his tenure as athletic director, various PHS teams and coaches won six state championships. He was the Region Athletic Director of the Year 11 times, the State Athletic Director of the Year in 2002, and the 2A Athletic Director of the Year in 2006. Coach Freeman is the only two-time recipient of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association State Award of Merit. Coach Ben Freeman has been inducted into his High School Hall of Fame. In 2015 he was inducted into the Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and in 2016 he was inducted into the South Carolina Administrators Association Hall of Fame. As a coach, mentor, and administrator Ben Freeman has had a profound impact on thousands of Pelion High School athletes and on high school athletics all over the state.
While at Pelion, Dalton Freeman was an All-Conference athlete in Football, Golf, and Track, the 1st football player from Pelion to receive a full division 1A football scholarship, High school All-American and High School All-American game MVP. He also played in the Shrine Bowl all-star game and was named the statewide lineman of the year. Dalton was named to the All-State football team several times as both an offensive and defensive lineman. Dalton graduated in 2008 with honors as a top 10 graduate.
- 4-year starter and permanent Team Captain
- 1st Team All-American as an Offensive Lineman
- 1st Team Strength and Conditioning All-American
- 2nd Team Academic All-American
- Only the 4th Tiger in history to be named an All-American on the field and in the classroom in the same academic year
- 2-time All-ACC member – The First Clemson Center ever to achieve this.
- 2 time Remington Trophy finalist (One of Three finalists for the best Center in the country)
- Holds the record for the most snaps ever played in a career at Clemson University
- Held the record for the most snaps ever played in a single game at Clemson University
- Held the record for most consecutive starts in a career at Clemson University
- Graduated with honors in 3 & ½ years with a degree in Communications
- Graduated with honors less than a year later with a second degree (in Sociology)
- 4-time member of the Academic Honor Roll for the entire ACC
- Selected and wrote a blog for FOX Sports and the ACC as a Junior
- National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award Winner
In the NFL Dalton was a 4 year Veteran and played two years with the NY Jets where he started in over 20 NFL games.
He also played for the Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills, receiving 3 game balls for outstanding performances.
In honor of his achievements at Pelion High School, Clemson University, and the NFL, Pelion High is proud to induct Dalton Freeman into the Pelion High School Hall of Fame.
From left: Dalton Freeman, Ben Freeman
From left: Sarah Freeman, Dalton Freeman, Ben Freeman, Gwen Freeman