(Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a two-part series listing the honors and achievements of the members of the 2020 and 2021 Marion County Sports Hall of Fame classes. New inductees have been listed three schools at a time, alphabetically by last name.
The 2020 class was delayed until this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s listing includes inductees from Brilliant, Phillips (Bear Creek) and Winfield. Inductees from Hackleburg, Hamilton and Marion County High School (Guin) will be listed in the Wednesday, Aug. 4, edition. Each list of awards and achievements is compiled from information submitted by the inductees. If a photo is not shown, one was not provided.)
HAMILTON - The Marion County Sports Hall of Fame will induct its 27th and 28th classes during a ceremony at the Bevill Center in Hamilton on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 6 p.m. The 2020 and 2021 classes will be made up of 53 members.
Tickets for the event are $10 each and can be purchased at the door. A ticket will be required for admission. There will not be a meal.
Board members for each school are Jack Hayes (Brilliant), Ronnie Anglin (Hackleburg), Mark Dearen (Hamilton), Larry Akers (Marion County), Scott Veal (Phillips), Kim Hubbert Lee (Winfield) and Susan Seals (secretary).
Brilliant Class of 2020
• Jennifer Spear Anderson is a 1996 graduate of Brilliant High School. She was coached by Cris Nelson in basketball, track and softball; Darren Cotton in softball; and by cheer sponsors Deborah Hayes and Ann Dykes.
Anderson played basketball from 1990 to 1996, earning the Most Improved, Defensive and all-area awards, and was also named team captain in 1996. Anderson ran track those same years, competing in distance events and relays. Anderson also played softball from 1990-96, winning the Hustle Award. She was also a cheerleader from 1995-96.
Off the courts and fields, Anderson won several awards for her achievements in the classroom. She was the 1A Bryant Jordan Achievement Winner in 1996. That same year, she was named valedictorian, Miss BHS and homecoming queen. She was also the co-editor on the annual staff and class president. She was awarded the James P. Homer Alumni Scholarship and the Lions Club Scholarship. After graduation, she attended Northwest-Shoals Community College and earned an associate’s degree in business administration. After that, she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of North Alabama, before getting her master’s in education from the University of West Alabama. She also earned therapist level certificate for teaching students with dyslexia from the June Shelton School and Evaluation Center with Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. During her college career, Anderson ran cross country, winning the Most Outstanding Runner Award in 2000 while at Northwest-Shoals and finishing first in numerous meets from 1998-2000 while at North Alabama, where she had earned a full scholarship for cross country.
Anderson made the Dean’s List and President’s List at North Alabama and Northwest Shoals. She was inducted into both the Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Chi Theta Honor Societies, and made the Who’s Who Among American Junior Colleges and the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
Anderson taught and coached softball, basketball and track. She currently teaches first grade at Woodmeade Elementary School in Decatur, and works with dyslexic learners. She enjoys loving on her babies, spending time with family, gardening, camping, boating, being active and enjoying God’s creations.
• Joan Canterberry is a graduate of Brilliant High School. She has been a volunteer at the school for all activities in her sons’ and grandsons’ lives. She has been active in fundraising for all aspects of the school’s programs. She uses her resources and talents for the good of the school and community. She serves on the Brilliant School Advisory Board and is a founding member of the Brilliant Chamber of Commerce and serves as secretary. Canterberry is the founder and coordinator of the Brilliant Food Bank. Canterberry is the executive director of the Brilliant Housing Authority, where she has been employed for 36 years. She is married to Edward Canterbury and they have two grandsons who attend Brilliant High School.
• Gary Eads played football, basketball and baseball at Brilliant High School from 1965-1967 under coach Glendon Gibbs. He earned three letters in football, three in basketball and three in baseball. He retired from the coal industry and has been married to his wife, Glenda, for 55 years. They have two children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Eads’ hobbies include hunting, fishing and playing with his great-grandkids.
• Jerry Eads played football, basketball and baseball at Brilliant High School from 1965-1967 under coach Glendon Gibbs. He earned three letters in football, three in basketball and three in baseball. He retired from the coal industry, and has been married to his wife, Judy, for 55 years. They have two children and two grandchildren.
• Don Flippo attended Brilliant High School from 1966-1970. He played football, basketball and baseball. He was coached by Glendon Gibbs. He lettered all four years in each sport, and was named all county in each of them.
He was named to the Marion County All-Tournament Basketball Team in 1970. That same year, he was selected to the East-West All-Star Team in baseball. He was also senior class president and was selected as Outstanding American High School Student in 1970. After graduation, he attended Florence State University and played football for one year.
After that, he was the head football coach at Dora High School from 1980-1985, where he was coach for three regional championships and a state runner-up season. He was named Walker County Coach of the Year in 1985 and the Modern Woodmen Man of the Year that same year.
He was also athletic director and head football coach at Sylacauga High School from 1986-1993, where he was at the helm for two regional championships and two state semi-finals teams. He ranks fifth for most victories at Sylacauga as head football coach, and currently holds the record for most playoff victories of any coach there.
Don Flippo passed away in September of 2015.
• Burt Berryhill Pollard is a Brilliant High School graduate and athlete, playing for coaches Mark Franks and Scott Goodwin.
Pollard was named all-state both on offense and defense, and was also named all-county and all-WAC. He was team captain, and he and his team were regional champions.
Pollard works at Warrior Met Coal, where he has been for five years. He is married to Angey Pollard, his wife of seven years, and the two of them have one daughter, Elizabeth. They also have two grandchildren, Adisyn and Coastyn.
Brilliant Class of 2021
• Brent Canterberry graduated from Brilliant High School in 1993. He was coached by Mark Franks, Scott Goodwin and Jack Hayes.
Canterberry played football, baseball and track for five years. He was the winner of the Walker Offensive Award and the Gibbs Defensive Award. He was named all-county and all-conference.
After high school, he attended the University of West Alabama for three years on a football scholarship. Canterberry passed away on January 22, 2008, and his award will be accepted by his son, Braden Canterberry.
• Edward Canterberry has always been a behind-the-scenes person who, when he sees something that needs to be done, he just does it. He has always been active in his children’s and grandchildren’s sports activities. His after-retirement passion is creating and painting the midfield and end zone areas of Tiger Stadium. His designs enhance the enjoyment of the game for spectators.
He is retired from Walmart Transportation and is presently a jack-of-all-trades. He is always there when someone needs help. He is married to Joan Canterberry. They have two grandsons who attend Brilliant High School.
• Trent Canterberry graduated from Brilliant High School in 1993. He played baseball and ran track for six years, and played varsity football for five years.
In football, he was all-conference, all-county, and he won the Best Defensive Lineman Award.
After graduation, he went on to play football on scholarship at the University of West Alabama.
He passed away on July 4, 2020, and his award will be accepted by his nephew, Braxton Canterberry.
• Meredith “Murdoc” Green is a 1998 graduate of Brilliant High school. During his time as a Tiger, Green played football, basketball and baseball. He was selected as Best Defensive Back in 1986, 1987 and 1988. Green made the all-county and all-conference football teams in 1986 and 1987, all-conference and all-area baseball teams in 1987, and all-county basketball team in 1985. In 1988, Green received the Glendon Gibbs Excellence in Academics Award.
After graduation, Green attended Brewer State Junior College, receiving a degree as an EMT, and later earning a degree as a MSHA Instructor from the Alabama Mining Academy at Bevill State. Green also attended the Alabama Fire College, taking the firemanship I and II course, and received certified training as a HAZMAT technician and vehicle extradition technician.
Green was employed with the ambulance service at Northwest Medical Center in Winfield as a part-time EMT from 1989 to 2008. He started with the Brilliant Fire and Rescue in 1987, where he held the chief position from 2006 to 2019 before stepping down while remaining an active member of the department. Most of Green’s career was spent surface mining as an operator, supervisor and instructor. Green is currently employed with Eutaw Construction and lives in Winfield.
• Gary Rae Vintson attended Brilliant High School from 1966-1971, playing under Glendon Gibbs, Gene Dickinson, Carl Dunn, David Sexton and Douglas Walker. He lettered as manager for football and basketball in seventh and eighth grades. He was the bookeeper for B-team and varsity basketball in 10th and 11th grades.
He also lettered as an offensive and defensive end on the varsity football team in 10th, 11th and 12th grades.
He was on Brilliant’s first track team in 1970, where he qualified for state in 1970 and 1971, running the half-mile and one-mile relay.
Vintson retired from coal mining after 32 years. He enjoys traveling, boating and spending time with his two grandchildren. Vintson and his wife, Debbie, currently live in Orange Beach.
• Ginger Mayfield - No information available.
Phillips Class of 2021
• Kent Douglas Hallman is a 2009 graduate of Phillips High School. He played football and basketball, making the Elite 8 in basketball during the 2007/2008 school year and being named all-county and all-conference two years in a row in football.
In 2008, he was the AHSAA PrepSpotlight Player of the Week vs. Marion County High School. He was also named as a Times Daily 1A-3A all-area Honorable Mention, and was also an Honorable Mention for the 2008 ASWA All State Athletes. He was also on a final four basketball team.
At Phillips, Hallman won the Most Spirited Award five years in a row. After graduation, he attended Northwest Shoals Community College, where he was an Ambassador.
Hallman is a single father of two boys, Sawyer and Scout. His hobbies include anything outdoors with his boys. He is the owner and operator of a self-loader for natural disaster clean-ups.
• Michelle Richardson Hutchens is a 1996 graduate of Phillips High School. She played volleyball under coach Debbie Grubbs.
Hutchens was the Best Offensive Player three years, as well as all-conference and Northwest All Tournament. She was all-area two years. She made the 1994-1995 All State second Team. In 1995, she made the Northwest All-Star Team. She was named all-tournament twice at the Madison Academy Annual Invitation, and once at the NW-SCC Invitational.
After graduation, she attended Bevill State and earned her nursing degree. She is currently a nurse for Kindred Home Health. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is married to Bo Hutchens and they have three children. They currently live in Phil Campbell.
• Adam McCarley is a 2009 graduate of Phillips High School. He played football and baseball, and ran track.
In all three sports, he won multiple all-county and all-conference awards. He was the 2009 baseball co-MVP, and was also the co-MVP in basketball on top of being team captain. He was also an ASWA All-State Honorable Mention and was on the AHSAA All-Tournament Team and the all-area Team.
In football, he had 29 career interceptions as defensive back and threw 35 touchdown passes during the 2008 season as quarterback. He was the 2008 ASWA First Team All-State QB and the Mizeman Trophy Winner. He was the 2008 Times Daily Silver Player of the Week vs. Mt. Hope and the Scout.com Player of the Week vs. Tharptown. He was a 2007 ASWA Honorable Mention All-State Defensive Back, and was on the 2007 Times Daily 1A-3A All-Area Football Team. He was also named to the Northwest Alabamian’s 2006-2008 All-Star Football Team.
He was the football team captain and MVP.
After graduation, he received a bachelor’s degree in education from Athens State after completing his basics at Northwest Shoals Community College. He coached Hackleburg High School’s track team in 2021, taking them all the way to state.
He is married to Morgan McCarley, and they are expecting their first child in September. He teaches history and coaches track and basketball at Hackleburg High School. He is also an assistant football coach.
• Randy McGough is a 1991 graduate of Phillips High School. He payed football, basketball and baseball, lettering three years in each sport. McGough played quarterback and defensive back in football. He was the team’s MVP and Best Defensive Back, and was named all-county, area and conference.
In basketball, he played point guard, and won the Team Free Throw Shooting and 3-point Shooting Awards. He was named all-county, conference and area.
He graduated and attended the University of Alabama, where he earned a degree in civil engineering.
McGough is currently the owner of R.E. McGough, Inc, an environmental engineering firm based in Tuscaloosa. He is also a licensed commercial pilot.
He is married to Lori Adkins McGough, and they have two daughters, Reagan and Madison.
• Orbie Lee Shirley III is a 1990 graduate of Phillips High School. He played football, making all-county in 10th and 11th grade. He won the Header Hunter Award his 10th and 12th grade year, and was named Bear of the Week several times.
Shirley is currently a contractor. He loves hunting, helping people, going on mission trips and spending time with his family.
• Matt Wilson is a 2009 graduate of Phillips High School. He played football, baseball and basketball. In football, he made the list of Northwest Alabama All-Stars three years in a row. He also made all-conference those same years, beginning in 2007. He earned the same accolade the same years in baseball. In basketball, he was all-area in 2009 and a member of the 2009 final four team. The year before, he was part of the elite eight team. He is currently employed by Hyster-Yale. His hobbies include golf, hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.
Winfield Class of 2021
• Cassie Clark is a Winfield City High School graduate. She played basketball, softball and volleyball, as well as track, receiving several awards and recognitions. She was named Best Offensive Player, Best Defensive Play, Senior Superlative and Miss Hustle, and was named all-county, all-conference and all-area.
She was named Most Athletic, Best Offensive Player, and she hit the most home runs in softball.
She went on to compete at Bevill State Community College.
• Caleb Thomas Hynds graduated from Winfield in 2007. While at Winfield he played football, basketball and baseball.
In football, he was named to the all-county and all-WAC teams, and was a finalist for the Mizeman Trophy.
He earned the Courage Award and the Tradition Award. He carried the ball 90 times for a total of 1,075 yards and scored a total of 52 touchdowns. He scored the most two-point conversions of anyone in the state, with 18 in total. Hynds ended his football career with a total of 405 points.
In basketball, he was named both B-team and varsity all-county. He held the best three-point percentage on the team, 38.9%. He also broke the school record for most three-point shots in a single game, scoring 10.
In baseball, he was an all-state honorable mention, and hit a batting average of .409.
He went to Bevill and played basketball for a year.
After that, he spent some time coaching. At Berry High School, he coached volleyball for four seasons, earning the most wins in school history with a record of 59-43.
He coached girls basketball for seven seasons, also earning the most wins with a record of 130-62. He was named NAC coach of the year five times.
He also coached football, and was named NAC coach of the year again.
He was also an assistant coach for baseball for nine seasons.
He was recently hired as the football coach at Hubbertville School.
• Taylor Leathers is a graduate of Winfield City High School who played football from 1999-2002. He played offensive line, defensive line and linebacker. He was on the line during Winfield’s first ever 11-win quarterfinal team under coach Joe Nettles in 2001.
He led the team with tackles and interceptions in 2002. That same year, he won the Golden Helmet Award, was named all-county and all-conference, and won the best Offensive Line Award and Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was the senior team captain, and lettered four years in football, track and power-lifting. He also lettered one year in basketball and one in baseball.
He went on to play football at the University of North Alabama from 2003-2005. After that, he was the head football coach at Colbert Heights High School. He was named Alabama Sports Writers Association 2017 3A Coach of the Year, Times-Daily 1A-3A Coach of the Year in 2017, Fox Sports Shoals Area 2017 Coach of the Year and 2017 Franklin Free Press Coach of the Year. In 2017, he earned the most wins in school history (11) in 52 seasons.
• David Lundberg is a 2010 graduate of Winfield City High School where he was a four-year member of the varsity football and track and field teams. As a member of these teams, Lundberg received numerous accolades such as:
- All-county (track) four times;
- All-WAC (track) four times;
- All-state (track) three times;
- 2009 Class 3A Discus State Champion;
- All-county (football) three times;
- All-WAC (football) twice; and
- 2009 Powerlifting State Champion (individual).
After graduation, Lundberg went to the University of North Alabama and played football for four years, starting for two of them. Lundberg was named all-district, All-GSC Football and all-NCAA Region numerous times for his achievements on the field and in the classroom. He was also named to the UNA All-Decade Team (2008-2019).
Lundberg started coaching at UNA, and has since coached at Vestevia Hills, Hueytown High School, Lakeland Fla. High School and Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev., who won the NIAA 4A state championship in 2018).
Lundberg is married to the former Jessica Tucker of Winfield, and they currently reside in McCalla.
• Kayla Nizamis is a 2010 graduate of Winfield City High School. She attended the University of North Alabama from 2010-2012. She played basketball at Stillman College from 2012-2014. She graduated from Shelton State Community College in December of 2016 with a nursing degree. She has since worked for the cardiac unit at Huntsville Hospital and Keller Home Health, and currently works as an infection preventionist for Helen Keller Hospital/Red Bay Hospital.
While at Winfield, she played basketball and ran track. In 2005, she was named all-state in track. In 2006, she was named all-county and all-WAC in basketball. In 2006/2007, she was all-county in basketball and track and WAC most valuable player with 22 points and the first WAC win in over eight years.
In 2007/2008, she was all-county in basketball and track again, and was also named MVP at the Icebreaker track meet and the WAC meet. She repeated these accolades in 2009/2010, but added all-state to the list.
• Steve Reaves. The Winfield City Board of Education officially renamed the track at Winfield City School Track Complex to the Coach Steve Reaves Track on September 15, 2020.
Reaves was named the Marion county County Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019; and Girls Coach of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and each year 2013-2020.
He was also named the West Alabama Conference Boys and Girls Coach of the Year several times from 2001-2020.
While coach, the boys track team won the indoor and outdoor state championships in 2015 and 2016. They won the outdoor state championship in 2018 and 2019.
In 2015 and 2020, Reaves won the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Coach of the Year for the State of Alabama Award. The National Federation of State High Schools Coaches Association recognized him as Boys Outdoor Coach of the Year, both for the South Section of the U.S. and the State of Alabama in 2016 and 2020.
He coached eight total state championship teams; four in boys’ 1A-3A indoor, three in boys’ 3A outdoor and one in boys’ 4A outdoor. Boys’ indoor and outdoor were runner-ups in 2017.
Reaves has also worked as an assistant football coach as a defensive coach. He has also served as defensive coordinator.
• Zac Wakefield is a graduate of Winfield City High School who played football, basketball and baseball.
In football he was named all-county and all-WAC three times, Tuscaloosa News All-Northwest Alabama twice, super all-state and all-state once and Tuscaloosa News Super 11 once. He played in the North/South All-Star game and was a finalist for 4A Player of the Year.
Wakefield recorded 23 career interceptions and led the state his junior year. He threw 33 career touchdown passes, and scored 81 total touchdowns. He rushed for a career total of 3,100 yards and amassed 3,200 passing yards. He was on the first team to win 11 games in one season at Winfield. He coached two undefeated middle school teams, winning 23 games in a row.
In basketball, Wakefield was all-county, all-WAC and Tuscaloosa News All Northwest Alabama twice. He scored 1,000 career points. He later coached three area championships, two county championships, two WAC championships, two regional tournaments, one regional championship and one final four appearance team with a total record of 78-23 over three seasons.
In baseball, Wakefield ended his career with a .440 average and more than 100 stolen bases. He was a Gold Glove Infielder twice, and had the most home runs his senior year. During his junior year, he once recorded 10 RBI’s in a single game. He was part of Winfield’s first team to make it to the final four. He was a Birmingham News Honorable Mention for All-State his junior year. He was AWSA second team all-state his senior year, and was Birmingham News First Team All-State his senior year. He played in junior college and ended with a career batting average of .360.
He coached varsity softball at Winfield for three seasons resulting in 102 career wins. Winfield won two regional tournaments, two county championships and one WAC championship.
Wakefield is married to Katie Wakefield, and they have three children: Lyla, Kensie and Karley. Wakefield currently works for the Winfield City Board of Education, and Zac and Katie own Wakefield’s Pharmacy and Fayette Downtown Pharmacy and Gift Boutique.
See complete story in the Journal Record.