News from the Tennessee Valley Sports


The career highlights of the seven inductees to the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Decatur Holiday Inn.

Roger Ferrell

  • Played varsity football during 1968-70 at Decatur High. Quarterbacked the Red Raiders to a 9-1 record as a junior and a 9-2 record and the Class 4A state quarterfinals as a senior. Also started at safety.

  • Made all-Morgan County as a junior and senior and made third-team all-state as a senior. Was Morgan County’s most valuable player, Decatur High’s most valuable player and all-Tennessee Valley Conference in 1970.

  • Played varsity basketball at Decatur High during 1969-71 and as a junior was a member of the Class 4A state championship squad.

  • Played varsity baseball during 1968-71 and made the all-regional team as a junior and senior.

  • Lettered for North Alabama’s varsity football team in 1972, ’73 and ’74. Played tight end as a freshman and sophomore and quarterback as a junior and senior. Led the Lions in passing as a junior with 951 yards and total offense with 1,010 yards.

    Larry Keenum

  • Played varsity baseball at West Morgan High during 1969-72. Was voted the team most valuable player and selected for the East-West All-Star Game.

  • Played baseball at Calhoun Community College during 1973-74 and was junior college all-American in 1974. Also was voted the team’s most valuable player as he set a school record with a .463 batting average.

  • Played shortstop at Alabama during 1975-76 and was named All-Southeastern Conference as a senior and All-SEC Western Division as a junior and senior.

  • Led Alabama in batting average and runs as a junior and senior. Also led in hits and RBIs as a junior and home runs as a senior.

  • Began Athens State’s softball program in 1990 and coached it through 2004. Led his team to the NAIA softball championships 10 times, finishing second in 1994 and ’97 and fourth in 1996 and 2000.

    Johnny Newman

  • Played varsity football at Morgan County High and was a two-year starter as a lineman during 1964-65. Helped Hartselle to an 8-1-1 record in 1964 and 7-3 in 1965.

  • Named all-Morgan County and honorable mention all-state in 1965.

  • Started as a freshman, sophomore and junior at Jacksonville State during the 1966-68 varsity football seasons.

  • Died during spring training April 5, 1969. Jacksonville State dedicated its 1969 media guide and season to his memory, and the school retired his jersey No. 66.

    Preston Newman

  • Played varsity football at Morgan County High and was a starter during 1963 and ’64. As a senior, he helped Morgan County to an 8-1-1 record, which was the school’s best since going unbeaten in 1939.

  • Played baseball at Morgan County High and was a three-year letterman during 1963-65. Was voted the team’s most valuable player in 1965.

  • Was the freshman team punter for Alabama in 1965.

  • Was a three-year varsity letterman at Jacksonville State in 1968-70 and set JSU and Mid-South Conference punting records. Helped the Gamecocks go 10-0 in 1970 and win the Mid-South Conference championship.

  • Voted the all-Mid-South Conference punter in 1970.

    Donald Poole

  • Played varsity basketball at Priceville High alongside his brother, Alfred Poole, during 1949-52 and varsity baseball during 1950-52.

  • Helped lead Priceville to the Class A state basketball title in 1951. Also paced Priceville to runner-up in 1952 despite playing the state tournament on a severely sprained ankle.

  • Scored a team-high 16 points in the 1951 state championship win over Curry 49-45.

  • Made all-Morgan County and all-district in 1951 and ’52. Made second-team all-state in 1952.

  • Played basketball in the Decatur city leagues, including helping Chemstrand to an undefeated 12-0 record in 1963.

    Alfred Poole

  • Played varsity basketball at Priceville High alongside his brother, Donald Poole, during 1949-52 and varsity baseball during 1950-52.

  • Served as a team captain as Priceville won the Class A basketball championship in 1951 and finished runner-up in 1952.

  • Made perhaps the most significant play of the 1951 championship season when Priceville beat New Hope 57-55 in the Eighth District playoff. Sank a 40-foot shot at the buzzer to win the game and send Priceville to the state tournament.

  • In the 1951 state championship win over Curry 49-45, he scored six points in the all-important fourth quarter.

    Rick Stukes

  • Played varsity basketball at Austin High during 1971-73 and varsity golf during 1969-73.

  • Made all-Morgan County and all-Tennessee Valley Conference as a junior and senior and made all-state as a senior. Helped Austin win the 1973 Class 4A state championship.

  • Played in the state’s high school all-star game in 1973.

  • Played at Alabama Christian Junior College during 1973-75 and Auburn-Montgomery during 1975-77.

  • Coached Central Academy Montgomery to a state basketball championship in 1979.

  • Served as a collegiate men’s assistant basketball coach at North Alabama (1979-80), Columbus State (1981-82), Auburn (1984-85) and Valdosta State (1985-92).

  • Served as a collegiate women’s assistant basketball coach at UAB (1993-94) and Auburn (1995-96) and in the WNBA with the Orlando Miracle (1997-2000).

  • Was the head advance scout of the NBA’s Orlando Magic during 2000-04 and was an advance scout for the Washington Wizards during 2004.

    - Mark Edwards

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