RHSSHOF Inducts Class of 2016
While accepting her induction into the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame, Jessica Hill Graham talked of continuing the strong sports tradition of her alma mater.
"I remember watching several of you growing up," she told a room of now-fellow hall of famers. "I have a little one on the way. If she's not competitive, I don't know what I'm going to do."
Hill Graham was one of four individuals enshrined Saturday during the RHSSHOF induction ceremony at Rector High School.
An all-state softball player at RHS, Hill Graham was joined in the 2016 hall of fame class by Dana Adams-Wilson, Jimmy W. McKeel and Wendell H. Crow.
Adams-Wilson, a district basketball most valuable player while at RHS, shared a quote from late University of Tennessee hall of fame coach Pat Summitt while being inducted.
"Here's how I'm going to beat you," she said. "I'm going to outwork you. That's it. That's all there is to it."
Sunnye McKeel accepted the induction on behalf of her late husband Jimmy W. McKeel and offered inspiration from his life to those in attendance. She said her husband "used perseverance and the lessons in sports in all aspects of his life" and that he kept fighting cancer "until that last buzzer on March 15, 2006."
Jimmy McKeel was the first Rector basketball player to be named to the all-state basketball team in both junior and senior high. He graduated having finished third in career points with 1,222.
Sunnye McKeel told her husband's former teammates in attendance, "you were not just basketball players to Jimmy. You were like brothers. It meant so much to us when you visited him in his final days."
Longtime Clay County Democrat editor and co-publisher Wendell H. Crow was represented at the induction by his son and daughter, Charlie Crow and Cathy (Crow) Henderson. Jess Bucy, the first member inducted into the hall of fame in 2008, introduced the late Crow to the attendees, leading to a heartfelt moment.
"He didn't score a lot of points," Bucy said, "but I give him credit for an assist."
A tearful Charlie Crow, in turn replied, "Coach, thank you so much; dad had the utmost respect for you, too."
In addition to the four inductees into the hall of fame, the RHSHOF, Inc. awarded 10 scholarships to eight individuals. Tori Hill, Brian Huffy and Lawson Ford all received $1,000 scholarships by the group, while Kade Scott, Huston Highfill, Danny Hager, Lynch and Garrett Buck all were awarded $200 book scholarships. Lynch and Buck will share the Robertson Family Scholarship, with each being awarded $375.
Ted Glaub, president of RHSHOF, Inc., told about the many items purchased by the hall of fame for Rector High School, including a shootaway machine in the gymnasium, basketball classics, weights, batting cages, mats and shirts for the school's teams as well as investing in hall of fame display cases in both the gymnasium and the library.
Since formation, the RHSSHOF has raised and distributed $30,200 for Rector High School and its athletes.