Fifteen make up new Walker County Sports Hall of Fame class

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 7/29/18

Great athletes from Claude “Cupe” Perry to Kellye Jordan-Bowen will join the best of the best in the Walker County Sports of Hall Fame this Saturday.The 2018 class includes 15 inductees.Perry, …

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Fifteen make up new Walker County Sports Hall of Fame class

Posted

Great athletes from Claude “Cupe” Perry to Kellye Jordan-Bowen will join the best of the best in the Walker County Sports of Hall Fame this Saturday.

The 2018 class includes 15 inductees.

Perry, born in 1901, who played for Walker County High School’s first ever football team before playing at the University of Alabama and  for the Green Bay Packers, is in this year’s class. 

So is the youngest member, Jordan-Bowen, a three-sport star at Curry High school, who continued her volleyball career at Mississippi State and is now the head coach at Spain Park High School. She joins her husband, Ricky Bowen, who was part of the 2017 Hall of Fame class.

The fourth class of the Walker County Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the New Prospect Baptist Church’s Family Life Center.

Other members in the class include: Glen Clem Jr., Tommy Cole, Landon Darty, Bryne Diehl, Ronnie Shaw, Andrew Pete Howell, James Hubbert, Pat Morrison, Andrew Rice, James Horace Roberts, Adam Russell, Allen Stephenson and Buddy Thorne.

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Here is a closer look at this year’s Class.

Glen Clem Jr., Walker High School

The son of legendary Walker College basketball coach, Glen Clem Jr. starred on the basketball court at both Walker High School and Vanderbilt University. The 6-foot-6 guard was named the MVP of the State All-Star Game, regional tournament and the county tournament. At Vanderbilt, Clem was a four-year letterman and three-year starter. He was drafted by the New York Knicks in the fifth round of the 1987 NBA draft. 

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Tommy Cole, Walker High School

As a member of the Walker Vikings’ football team, Cole lettered four years and was the leading tackler for the team both his junior and senior seasons, earning MVP honors of the AHSAA All-Star Game. Cole lettered four years for the Crimson Tide and was part of the first Alabama team to ever defeat Notre Dame. During his four years (1985-88), Alabama was 35-13-1.

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Landon Darty, Carbon Hill High School

Darty played multiple sports at Carbon Hill High School and was part of the school’s undefeated 1953 football team that finished the season 10-0, allowing just three touchdowns on the season. Darty continued his football career at the University of Tennessee where he lettered three years. He played on Tennessee’s 1956 SEC championship team and was a two-way starter on the 1957 team that won the Gator Bowl. 

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Bryne Diehl, Oakman High School

Diehl was a multi-sport athlete at Oakman High School before making his mark on the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. Diehl was a four-year letterman in both football and basketball for the Wildcats and a five-year letterman on the Oakman baseball team. The 1989 football team finished with the first 10-0 regular season in school history. Diehl walked on to the Alabama football team as a punter in 1991 and was part of the 1992 National Championship team. 

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Andrew Pete Howell, Walker Training School

Howell taught and coached in the Walker County School system for more than 30 years, leading the Walker Country Training School football team from 1943-68. His best season came in 1967 when the Tigers finished 8-0-1, allowing just 13 points on the season. Howell also led the way for the school getting football and baseball fields. The park is now named in his honor.

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James Hubbert, Curry High School

A star player at Fayette County High School, where he played football, baseball and basketball, Hubbert found success as a coach at Curry High School. Hubbert was named the Jackets’ head football coach in 1965 and had just two losing seasons in 10 years. He is the winningest football coach in school history with a 55-38-7 mark. His 1968 team was 9-1 and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the state. Hubbert is also a member of the Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame.

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Kellye Jordan-Bowen, Curry High School

A three-sport standout at Curry High School, Jordan-Bowen makes the Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. She was an All-State player in volleyball, basketball and softball, and was voted the Walker County Volleyball Tournament MVP three times. She ranks second in AHSAA history with 2,697 career kills. Jordan-Bowen continued her career at Mississippi State where she lettered three years. She is currently the head volleyball coach at Spain Park High School.

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Pat Morrison, Walker High School

Morrison, from Jasper, Tenn., was a fixture at Walker High School for decades, serving as an assistant football coach from 1968 to 2000. During his tenure, he served as head track coach, started a boys cross country team and was the athletic director his last five years. As the athletic director, Morrison started the Walker High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Marion County (Tenn.) Hall of Fame and the Walker High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

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Claude “Cupe” Perry, Walker High School

Perry, born in 1901, was a championship football player at every level. Perry started his athletic career at Walker County and was on the school’s first ever football team in 1920. The following season, the team finished with a perfect 9-0 record. Perry continued his career at Alabama for coach Wallace Wade. He played on Alabama’s first two championship teams in 1925 and 1926. After his days in Tuscaloosa, Perry was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and played nine years (1927-35) under legendary coach Curley Lambeau.

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Andrew Rice, Sumiton Christian School

Rice was a three-sport athlete at Sumiton Christian, playing basketball, football and baseball for the Eagles. On the court, Rice led the Eagles to the school’s first ever state championship in the 1995-96 season. Rice sank two free throws to seal the AISA championship under coach Tab Jefferson. Sumiton Christian again made the Final Four in his junior and senior seasons. Rice averaged 24.2 points in his senior season. 

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James Horace Roberts, Dora High School

Roberts excelled at both baseball and football at Dora High School. Roberts graduated in 1964 and turned down a scholarship to Alabama to sign with the L.A. Dodgers. He pitched in the minor leagues in both Jamestown and Albuquerque. Roberts struck out 13 batters in a 12-inning, 1-0 win for Albuquerque. He suffered a career-ending shoulder injury in 1967. He was 11-9 in the minor leagues with 153 strikeouts in 165 innings. The Dora football field is named in his father's honor.

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Adam Russell, Dora High School

Russell starred at quarterback for Dora High School and coach Joey Jones, playing for the Bulldogs from 1990-93. He led Dora to an undefeated regular season and an area title in 1992. Russell threw for more than 6,000 yards and 62 touchdowns at Dora. Following his high school career, Russell signed with Mississippi State and played for the Bulldogs two years before transfering to Troy State for his final two years. 

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Ronnie Shaw, Walker High School

Shaw was an All-County and All-District basketball player at Walker High School, where he played on the 1972-73 team under coach Herbert Greene, considered one of the best in school history. At the next level,  Shaw played for coach Glen Clem at Walker College. The team won the North Division in his freshman season and Shaw led the team in rebounding both years with the Rebels, averaging 12 points a game over his career. 

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Allen Stephenson, T.W. Martin High School

A standout athlete at T.W. Martin, Stephenson played basketball, football and baseball, intercepting 17 passes during his senior season on the gridiron. He played basketball two years at Walker College and baseball the following two years at Jacksonville State. He started his head football coaching career in 1975 at Addison, leading the team to the 1976 1A championship. He had a 131-62 record in 17 years with the Bulldogs. 

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Dr. Buddy Thorne, Cordova High School

At Cordova, Thorne was a three-year letterman in football, basketball and baseball, serving as the starting quarterback, punter and linebacker on the football team. Along with Terrell Guthrie, Thorne organized the very first Jasper swim team, and developed the American Red Cross water safety program, which he directed for 25 years. As a long-time dentist, Thorne provided free service for many of the county athletes who could not afford dental service.