muhl co athletic hall of fameGREENVILLE, Ky. (7/16/18) — Nine individuals and two distinguished teams make up the 2018 class to be inducted into the Muhlenberg County Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Hall was established in 2016 to recognize deserving figures of Muhlenberg County’s rich history in athletics across multiple sports. The Class of 2018 represents the third group to be inducted. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner will take place on Saturday, August 25, beginning at 5 p.m. at Second Baptist Church in Greenville. Tickets will be available to the public beginning August 1 at a cost of $20 each, which includes the meal and admission to the ceremony.

This year’s Hall of Fame festivities are being held in conjunction with the opening of the Smithsonian’s “Hometown Teams” traveling exhibition to be featured by Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at Thistle College in Greenville from August 25-September 29. The exhibition examines the many roles that sports play in American society with Muhlenberg County chosen as one of the few communities to host the display. A ribbon-cutting will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 25 at Thistle College to commemorate the opening.

The Hall’s Class of 2018 will be recognized with a banner in the West Campus Gymnasium and with induction plaques on the “Wall of Honor” located prominently at the West Campus of Muhlenberg County High School in the hallway adjacent to the commons area.
“We are so proud that the Hall of Fame has been so well received and we are again thrilled to honor this latest class of some of the all-time greats in Muhlenberg County’s rich sports history,” said organizing committee member Dean Rowe. “The Class of 2018 is an amazing group and we’re looking forward to honoring their accomplishments.”

The Muhlenberg County Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2018 includes:

William A. Alexander – A native of Gus, in the Mud River area of southeastern Muhlenberg County, William Anderson Alexander walked into the registrar’s office at Georgia Tech in Atlanta in 1906 at the age of 16 saying he wanted to study engineering. He was admitted as an apprentice student, became Valedictorian of his class, and spent the next five decades making his mark on college athletics at the school. He played for and succeeded John Heisman as football coach at Georgia Tech and guided the Yellowjackets to a share of the 1928 National Championship with a victory in the Rose Bowl. Alexander also coached basketball at Georgia Tech and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.

Renea Cates Boggess – Muhlenberg County’s most decorated tennis player, Renea Cates was dominant force on the court at both Central City and Muhlenberg North – winning three regional championships from 1990-92 to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes in 1988 and 1993. Cates also won numerous junior championships in her remarkable career, earned a berth in the National Invitational Tournament at age 12, and would go on to play collegiately at Murray State University.

Steve Casey – A 1989 graduate of Muhlenberg Central, Steve Casey was one of the all-time great baseball players in Muhlenberg County history – earning All-State honors in his senior season. He would play for two seasons at the University of Kentucky as a starting second-baseman before transferring to Kentucky Wesleyan College to complete his collegiate career. Casey was also a stalwart in basketball, where he earned honorable mention All-State and helped lead the Spartans to the 10th District championship in 1988-89.

Tommy Eades – A 1973 graduate of Central City, Tommy Eades scored 2,238 points in his stellar playing career – which still ranks sixth on Muhlenberg County’s boys’ all-time scoring list. He went on to distinguish himself as a three-year letter-winner at Belmont College in Nashville. After his playing career ended, Eades began officiating basketball games and has since become one of college basketball’s most respected referees. Known primarily for his work in the SEC, Big XII and Missouri Valley, Eades has officiated in numerous NCAA Tournaments and called the memorable 2010 National Championship game between Duke and Butler.

Jacob Fortney – A cross country star at Muhlenberg North, Jacob Fortney earned a top 10 state finish as a sophomore, which only signaled the great things to come. Fortney would earn the KHSAA Class AA State Cross Country Championship in both 2002 and 2003 to go along with back-to-back regional titles. With Muhlenberg County’s rich distance running tradition, Fortney remains the only countian to win two KHSAA state cross country championships.

Sherry Gish  A 1984 graduate of Muhlenberg Central, Sherry Gish was a 6-ft. force in the paint with a perimeter shooting touch that was before her time. A five-time All-District and four-time All-Region selection, Gish remains the All-Time leading rebounder in Kentucky high school girls’ basketball history with 1,978 boards in her remarkable career. Her 2,940 points is second all-time among Muhlenberg County girls and remains 27th in state history. Gish led the Lady Spartans to back-to-back 3rd Region championships in 1983 and 1984.

Doug Jernigan A 1976 graduate of Drakesboro High School, Doug Jernigan was one of the most prolific scorers in Muhlenberg County basketball history. He averaged 24 points per game in his senior season, pouring in a career-high 47 against Graham, and earned the Coal Conference Player of the Year award. Jernigan amassed 2,358 points in an exceptional career that saw him letter all four years for the Cardinals’ varsity. His point total remains fourth all-time on Muhlenberg County’s all-time scoring list.

Doug Thompson – A 1985 graduate of Greenville High School, Doug Thompson was a three-sport star for the Blackhawks and a key figure in the revival of football in Muhlenberg County. At a powerful 6-4, Thompson was an imposing figure as a standout quarterback and defensive player for the ‘Hawks football program, which was revived in 1980 after a 50-year absence. Thompson would walk-on in football at the University of Kentucky, where he played for two seasons. He was also a 1,000-point scoring and rebounding force as a forward/center in basketball, becoming the first local to earn All-District honors in all four of his high school seasons. He was also a member of three District baseball championship teams.

Scott Ray – One of Kentucky’s most decorated amateur golfers, Scott Ray is a 1978 graduate of Central City and helped lead the Golden Tide to the regional championship in his senior season with a record team score of 303. Ray was also the 1971 Kentucky Junior Champion. He went on to play two seasons at the University of Alabama (1978-80) before wrapping up his collegiate career at Western Kentucky (1980-82), where he earned all-OVC honors in 1981. Ray has won over 30 amateur tournaments in his career and remains one of state’s best – recently claiming the 2018 Kentucky Senior PGA Match Play championship.

Muhlenberg County Babe Ruth Baseball Team 1971 – In the summer of 1971, the Muhlenberg County Babe Ruth All-Stars, coached by Lilburn Harper, won the Kentucky Babe Ruth State Championship with a group of 14-and-15-year-olds from all corners of our community. This was a remarkable feat in an era before the on-set of travel baseball when nearly every Kentucky community participated in Babe Ruth baseball in pursuit of the state title.

Muhlenberg North Lady Stars 2001-02 – Perhaps the greatest girls’ basketball team in 3rd Region history, the 2001-02 went undefeated in district and region play with an average margin of victory of 30.8 ppg, won their third straight 3rd Region title and advanced to the Final Four for the second straight season – falling in a double-overtime thriller to eventual state champion Sacred Heart by a single point, 65-64. Led by first-team All-State sophomore center Jade Perry, second-team All-State senior guard Holly Mills, and honorable mention All-State senior guard Lindsey Sparks, the Lady Stars were ranked number two in the preseason and lived up to the hype.

 

 

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