Larry Bales is a native of Marion, Virginia, where he was an all-state quarterback during high school. The 1974 Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame inductee, who also played collegiate baseball, was selected in recognition of his achievements as a wide receiver for the Wasps.
As a freshman, Bales became the starting quarterback after only three games with the Wasps. His sophomore year he moved to halfback, but his year was cut short six games later due to an injury. During his junior and senior years, Bales proved to be a versatile talent as a receiver and runner. In 1967, Bales was named to the Knoxville New-Sentinel All-Area Small College Team, Virginia Small College All-State Team, and he averaged 70.7 yards per game with a total of 48 receptions. During the 1968 season, Bales ran for 684 on only 96 carries. He also caught 61 passes for 1,202 yards and 12 touchdowns. That year, he scored a total of 16 touchdowns and 1 conversion, bringing in a cumulative 98 points.
Bales’ athletic recognitions include a 1968 Associated Press honorable mention choice for the Little All-America team, a similar honor from the NAIA, participation in the North-South All-Stars game, and selection to nearly every all-district and all-state team for small colleges during the 1967 and 1968 seasons.
Bales was a member of Phi Gamma Phi social fraternity and graduated from Emory & Henry College with a history degree and a minor in Latin. At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Bales was selected in the seventh round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He later went on to become a football coach in Southwest Virginia.
At the 1988 Football Banquet, E&H honored the former All-America receiver with a medallion for setting several school records, including career yards (2,037), yards in a season (1,202), yards in a game (195) and touchdowns in a season (12). The records set by Bales stood for nearly 20 years.