By AARON SNYDER
RACELAND Tying up the laces for Raceland forms strings that tug at the heart.
The small school with proud football tradition introduced the inaugural inductees into the Raceland Football Legends Hall of Fame on Saturday prior to the Rams’ season-opening victory over East Carter.
A full day’s events consisted of the third annual Ram Reunion, a formal induction ceremony and a pregame celebration of the 22 former players and the program’s winningest coach, Bill Tom Ross.
Mike Mills and his wife traveled more than 2,300 miles from San Diego to take part. They made a trip out of it, including stops in Louisville — where they flew into — and Lexington.
“Although I moved away, I follow the program very closely through the Internet, through articles,” said Mills, a 1976 graduate. Mills hadn’t been at a game since a Russell-Raceland meeting in 2007 when his nephew’s son, Tyler Boyles, was a standout player.
Aaron Pettrey came in from Columbus. The 2003 first-team All-Stater went on to star for the Ohio State Buckeyes and played in two games as a Cincinnati Bengal.
“If I could go back and play one more game with any of the teams I was on, it’d be here (at Raceland),” said Pettrey, who holds the Kentucky high school record for completion percentage in a season as a quarterback. “I was playing with my best friends. It wasn’t about anything else, you just went out and played.”
Marty Johnson, the president of the Raceland-Worthington Touchdown Club, and Rocky Crouch, the Hall of Fame chairman, coordinated the event. Johnson said he was elated to see his two main goals as club president come to fruition — the Ram Reunion and football Hall of Fame.
Johnson said a committee comprised of former players from just about every decade and former coaches is in charge of selecting inductees. The first class included 22 players and a coach to signify a complete football team.
Each honoree was presented with a shadowbox containing a Rams jersey with his number on it.
“It was a very first-class, really nice ceremony,” said Michael Salmons, a 1999 graduate and current assistant coach.
From now on, there will be three to five new inductees each fall, Johnson said.
Ross, whose record was 112-48 from 1983 to 1996, received a standing ovation during Saturday afternoon’s induction ceremony. He wasn’t able to return to campus for the game.
Health issues have limited Ross’ activity lately, but Johnson said he’s been more upbeat the last few times he’s spoken with the coach. Ross also won 31 games at Boyd County and was an assistant coach at Ashland.
James Boggs, a 1989 Raceland graduate, played his entire career under Ross.
“He brought Raceland to another level of winning,” said Boggs, who suffered a career-ending ACL injury as a senior. “He was a hoot. He loved us, respected us, but you never knew what to expect.”
Joining Boggs from the 1989 class was Scott Speaks. Speaks and Boggs were on teams that combined for 30 wins over their last three seasons.
“Most of the guys I played with, we played together all the way from grade school up, all our lives together,” Boggs said. “At Raceland, it’s a bond that can’t be cut, can’t be broken until the grave.”
Boggs said it was special to be honored alongside many of the older Raceland players who “set the tone” for the program.
Randy Heaberlin, a lineman and 1973 graduate, echoed those thoughts.
“It was amazing to see these older gentlemen who started the great tradition that Raceland has,” Heaberlin said.
Fred Brumfield (1950 graduate) and Ray McCulley (1966) were among the several others in attendance. All but one inductee (Carl Adkins, 1934) was represented by either himself or a family member.
The complete list of inaugural members (with senior year): Carl “Punk” Adkins (1934); Eddie Colvin (1941); Glennard French (1946); Ronnie Potter (1949); Ronnie Cox (1949); Clyde “Jigsaw” Adams (1949); Fred Brumfield (1950); Gaylord Thompson (1950); Tom Sammons (1951); Virgil “Buckshot” Adkins (1954); Paul Rose (1957); Scott Davidson (1959); Ray McCulley (1966); Joe Nicely (1968); Randy Heaberlin (1973); Terry Howell (1976); Mike Mills (1976); James Boggs (1989); Scott Speaks (1989); Michael Salmons (1999); Aaron Pettrey (2003); Robby Logan (2009); and Coach Bill Tom Ross (1983-1996).
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.
School honors inaugural class of 22 former players, coach
By AARON SNYDER
- Local Sports
- Fleming goes for two: Panthers beat Ashland for 16th Region repeat Fleming County pulled away early and never looked back as the Panthers pounced on Ashland, winning 82-59 in the 16th Region championship game on Tuesday in Morehead. Fleming County will face Scott County in the Sweet Sixteen next Wednesday at Rupp Arena.
VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights
Fleming County defeated Lewis County, 66-58, and Ashland beat Greenup County, 81-61, on Monday night at Morehead State University to set up tonight's championship matchup. Tipoff is set for 7.
Ashland cruises past Greenup to 16th Region championship game
Tyler Stewart is known for his unrelenting hustle as one of Ashland’s glue guys.
When the senior guard can pitch in some offense too, as he did Monday in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals, that’s just one more problem for Tomcats opponents.
Stewart scored 20 points, senior Steven Friley posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ashland outscored Greenup County 21-9 in the third quarter to break open what was a seven-point game at halftime and cruise past the Musketeers, 81-61.
Fleming battles back to 16th Region final
A healthy Wilder Williams this season has given Fleming County a whole new dimension.
Prior to his sophomore year, Williams sustained a football injury that resulted in three ankle surgeries and limited him to bench duty last season while the Panthers made their run to the 16th Region championship.
A physical 6-foot-3 player, Williams is making his presence felt around the basket as Fleming County looks to return to the Sweet Sixteen.
AARON SNYDER: Will the next hero be unmasked?
Who will the bat signal shine for tonight?
Or, should I say, the Cat signal?
In the third installment of a trilogy that might rival the Batman three-pack of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Fleming County and Ashland will battle in a matchup that has produced a classic clash in each of the last two 16th Region Tournaments.
If the first two collectively served as a gradual progressions to tonight’s scene, the climax could be off the charts.
Corey Gregg was Ashland’s superhero in 2012, when the senior confidently fired a perfect 3-point shot from the right corner. The triple thrust the Tomcats and Panthers into overtime, from which Ashland emerged 79-73 in a first-round game.
Central wins, Lawrence falls in 15th
The biggest concern for Lawrence County coach Josh Cook was staying out of foul trouble.
His team stayed in it all night, and it cost them a spot in the 15th Region title game.
Shelby Valley senior Tyler Carr led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Wildcats knocked off Lawrence County, 72-60, in the semifinals of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
“This one hurts,” said Cook. “We’ll learn from this, and I have no doubt that our kids will get back here and finish the job.”
- Fleming hangs tough to beat Lewis Fleming County locked into another fight against Lewis County, which beat the Panthers earlier this season, before winning 66-58 on Monday in Morehead. Wilder Williams posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Panthers, who face Ashland on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
- GALLERY: Ashland gets by Greenup County, will meet Fleming in region final Ashland's Steven Friley scored 21 points Monday to lead the Tomcats to an 81-61 win over Greenup County in the 16th Region semifinal in Morehead.
Kittens clamoring for more at state
Ashland girls basketball coaches went the extra mile, and a whole bunch more, to get a first-hand scouting report on the Kittens’ opponent for the State Tournament.
Head coach Bill Bradley and assistant Phil Wittich drove all the way to Henderson — 5 hours, 20 minutes one way Bradley said on the way home — to take in Sunday’s Second Region championship game.
Henderson County, playing on its home floor, defeated University Heights 67-54. The Lady Colonels went unbeaten in their region this season and are 24-5 overall.
EKC hands out hardware
The Eastern Kentucky Conference handed out its 2014 awards on Monday afternoon at a luncheon at Carter Caves.
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