HOF

A limited number of tickets are available for purchase for those wishing to attend the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame’s induction banquet for the Class of 2020 in June.

Eight DeKalb County sports figures are set to be enshrined in the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 12 at DeKalb County Schools Coliseum in Rainsville. The ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Those interested in purchasing tickets to the event can contact C.M. Sanford (256-996-0513), Harold Bouldin (256-638-5582), Sharon Jones (256-630-0371), Chuck Ables (256-996-3388) or any HOF board member.

Here’s a look at the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020:

Butch Cassidy

Cassidy rose to prominence as a basketball coach at Pisgah High School, where he coached the school’s first girls team.

His varsity girls teams won back-to-back state championships from 1981-82. The Pisgah girls constructed a 107-11 record in four years, including three area tournament titles and three regional tournament titles. 

Cassidy’s success is a reason why his name is shared with current Pisgah girls coach Carey Ellison on the Jackson County girls trophy.

A 1964 graduate of Fort Payne High School, Cassidy began his coaching career at Henagar Junior High School in 1968, where his team went 125-24 across five years. 

He coached five years at Pisgah, first leading the boys basketball program before the school created a girls program. 

The Pisgah girls varsity program thrived with a 21-8 record in 1979, followed by a 25-2 record the next year. Between 1981-82, Cassidy’s Lady Eagles amassed a 48-game winning streak.

Cassidy was named Class 2A’s Coach of the Year in 1981, and Jackson County’s Coach of the Year in 1979 and 1981.

 

Michael Dryer

Dryer made it his mission to become the fastest runner in the state, and he was on several occasions while at Fort Payne High School.

In 1991, Dryer’s junior year, he became a cross country state champion, and added to it with state titles in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter races during the indoor track and field season. 

He placed second in the 800-meter race at the indoor track and field state event in 1991. He won state titles in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter races during the outdoor track and field season.

Dryer repeated as a cross country state champion as a senior, also repeating as a state champion in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter races during the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons, while adding consecutive state runner-up finishes in the 800-meter event.

On the sectional level, Dryer held championships in the 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter events from 1991-92.

Dryer’s greatness still carries weight at Fort Payne. He maintains school records in the 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter races.

Throughout his high school career, Dryer finished first place in 40 of 72 races.

After graduating from high school, Dryer became a student-athlete at the University of Alabama and ran for the school for nearly three years before turning his focus to academics.

 

Mick Hedgepeth

Hedgepeth’s efficiency allowed him to average a double-double during the last three years of his basketball career at Crossville High School. 

He became Crossville’s all-time leader in rebounds (1,110) and blocked shots (298). He graduated as the school’s fourth-leading scorer (1,915 points).

A 2008 graduate, Hedgepeth averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks per game as a senior, recording 28 double-doubles in 34 games.

As a junior, Hedgepeth had 17 double-doubles, while averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds per game, earning the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s 2007 Player of the Year, along with The Gadsden Times Player of the Year.

In his sophomore season, he was an all-state honorable mention, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds, while collecting 17 double-doubles.

Hedgepeth helped the Crossville boys achieve a 77-15 record across three varsity seasons and earned Bryant-Jordan scholar-athlete honors.

While playing college basketball at Belmont University, he was a two-time second-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honoree and the 2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP. 

Hedgepeth was named Belmont’s Male Student Athlete of the Year in 2012, achieving a 3.71 GPA.

 

Mike Holtzclaw

A four-year starter for Fort Payne High School’s varsity football team in the 1960s, Holtzclaw played defensive back as a freshman and helped the Wildcats go undefeated.

As a sophomore, he intercepted a pass and returned it for a 103-yard touchdown during a game against Guntersville.

In his junior year, Holtzclaw became a two-way starter at fullback and linebacker on the 1964 team that finished with a 9-1 record.

He was awarded first-team Northeast Alabama Conference honors, along with being selected to the tri-state, Birmingham News, Birmingham Post-Herald and Associated Press all-state teams.

Holtzclaw’s success helped earn him a spot as a starting linebacker in the Alabama North-South All-Star game.

He contributed to Fort Payne’s 4x400-meter relay team that set a school record of 43.9 seconds at the 1965 state track and field meet.

Holtzclaw joined the collegiate ranks after graduating from Fort Payne. He lettered as a linebacker at Auburn University from 1967-69.

 

Brent Tinker

As a 1997 graduate of Ider High School, Tinker helped the football team win three straight region championships.

He ran for 4,663 yards on 595 attempts with 58 touchdowns in 31 games. He rushed for 200-plus yards in six games and 100-plus yards in 27 games from 1994-96.

Tinker made 175 tackles during his junior and senior seasons, was voted all-county and selected to The Times-Journal’s all-century team.

He earned all-state recognition by The Birmingham News from 1995-96, garnering all-state acclaim by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 1995 and honorable mention status in 1996.

Tinker moved on to play four years at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, starting in 43 of 44 games and being named a team captain in 2000.

 

Bobby Jones

Jones coached the Fort Payne High School girls soccer program to eight state championships (1991-96; 2001; 2003).

His Fort Payne girls teams made four additional trips to the second round of the state playoffs, finishing runner-up six times.

Jones helped form a travel soccer program in Fort Payne, competing in a Birmingham league. He coached the girls travel program from 1986-91, a span that included a state championship in 1990.

Jones graduated from Valley Head High School in 1968, lettering in football from 1965-67.

He played on the 1967 Valley Head football team that accomplished an 11-win season and a playoff appearance for the first time in program history.

Jones was one of five Valley Head senior players from 1968’s class to earn college scholarships. He signed to play fullback for Tennessee Tech, before transferring to Jacksonville State to play linebacker.

 

Mike Shirey

Shirey joined the Southeastern Conference as a football official in 1999. In 2018, he was recognized by his peers with the Gaston-Dudley Spirit of Officiating Award, the highest award offered to an SEC official.

He graduated from Fort Payne High School in 1977, spending three years as a starter for the football team and two years as a starter for the boys basketball team.

Shirey walked on for Auburn University’s football team and won the starting center position. He later became a captain for coach Pat Dye’s first team.

Shirey was given 17 postseason assignments, including two SEC championships and eight BCS/New Year’s Six Bowls. He also officiated in two Rose Bowls, three Fiesta Bowls and three Orange Bowls.

In 2019, Shirey became president of the SEC Football Officials Association.

 

Donny Jones

Jones spread his coaching acumen around from baseball to volleyball to basketball, finding success in all of them.

In boys basketball, Jones coached eight years, compiling a 119-95 record with two state tournament appearances and two area championship wins.

He led the Crossville boys to a 22-8 record with an area title win, a regional title win and a state tournament appearance, leading to a coach of the year honor.

Jones spent seven years coaching girls basketball, taking teams to the state semifinal round twice and compiling a 134-78 record.

A 1975 graduate of Collinsville High School, Jones played quarterback and kicker during the Panthers’ 1973 season where they finished with a 9-1 record. In 1975, Jones helped Collinsville’s football team make its first state semifinal appearance in more than a decade.

In his senior year in 1975, Jones helped the Collinsville boys basketball team capture its first and only state championship.

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