Twenty new members inducted into Walker County Sports Hall of Fame

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 8/6/17

A.J. McDanal may have starred on the football field more than 80 years ago, but his athletic abilities haven't been forgotten.

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Twenty new members inducted into Walker County Sports Hall of Fame

Posted

A.J. McDanal may have starred on the football field more than 80 years ago, but his athletic abilities haven't been forgotten.

On Saturday McDanal joined an elite group, as one of the 20 inductees into the 2017 Walker County Sports Hall of Fame.

McDanal played on Walker County's undefeated, state championship football team in 1930 before rooming with future coach Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. As a member of the Crimson Tide, McDanal was part of the 1934 national championship team.

"I'm sure he's looking down," McDanal's son John said speaking of his father at Saturday's hall of fame induction ceremony held at New Prospect Baptist Church's Family Life Center. "I think he would be surprised that some 87 years later anyone would remember his athletic career."

That was just one of the stories told in Saturday's ceremony. In three years, the Walker County Sports Hall of Fame now has 70 members.

April McDonald Lazenby was the lone female represented in this year's class.

"I'm honored and privileged to be part of this class. I'm most honored to be representing the Carbon Hill Bulldogs," said Lazenby, who racked up All-State honors in both volleyball and softball and was part of two state volleyball championships. "To practice one more time, to play one more game, what a wonderful moment that would be."

One of the younger inductees, Sumiton Christian's Josh Russell, who went on to play quarterback at Troy State University, credited his high school coach David Campbell, also his uncle, for molding him for the football field and life.

"He taught us how to win. He taught us how to train. He taught us how to be good men," Russell added.

Dora's Randy Morrow, who went on to star in baseball at Montevallo was humbled to be part of this year's class.

"This is a great honor. It's really something I will cherish," Morrow said.

This year's class includes: Murry Argo, Dwight Bennett, Ricky Bowen, Robert Clements, Hosea Collins, Gary Dorsey, Milton "Booster" Franklin, Stephen Harris, William "Blow" Hubbard, Freeman "Bulldog" Johnson, April McDonald Lazenby, Todd Lee, A.J. "Jelly" McDanal, Randy Morrow, Alan Pate, Josh Russell, Ben Sankey, Morris Savage, Ray Tidwell and Wayne Wilson.