Two former athletes and the 1942 football team will be enshrined in the Farmers Bank Marion-Crittenden County Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony at halftime of the boys’ basketball game Friday night at Rocket Arena. There will be a reception for the new inductees of the Hall of Fame their families, friends and former coaches and teammates. The reception will be a come-and-go event in the Rocket Arena meeting room. It will be open from 6 p.m., until the end of the final game. There will be other activities as part of Friday night’s ballgames, including crowning of a homecoming queen and the elmentary school PTO’s royal court. Homecoming coronation begins at 5:30 p.m., and royal court will be between the girls’ and boys’ games.
Athletics just seemed very natural for Tim Hill. The 2005 graduate of Crittenden County High School was a state champion in track and field and remains the school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball.
Through it all, he remained very humble as a performer, and now as a soon-to-be inductee into the Farmers Bank Marion-Crittenden County Athletics Hall of Fame.
Hill resides in Missouri in the shadows of state’s beloved Mizzo sports programs, but he remains true to his roots.
“I take a lot of flack, but I stick with my boys in blue,” he said, referring to the University of Kentucky.
|Tim Hill on the night he set school scoring record|
He also holds four school records in track, including the 100 and 200 meters and as part of two relay teams.
Being selected for the hall of fame on his first ballot, Hill says he doesn’t really no what to say.
“I was totally surprised. This is awesome to be put into such a prestigious class of people who have come before me,” he said. “I am truly blessed. I can’t be thankful enough and really I am at a loss for words to describe how it feels.”
Looking back on his high school sports career with almost 11 full years in the rearview mirror, Hill says he is just now starting to fully understand how wonderful those days were to him.
“I just remember how much fun it was. Looking back, it was a different time in my life and I didn’t realize how much fun I was having. You don’t, though, until you get older. I was blessed to be healthy so I could do those things and accomplish some things.”
Hill joined the varsity basketball team while he was in eighth grade. After just five games off the bench, he became a starter. During his five letterman seasons, Crittenden County averaged 15 wins a year. Hill was the team MVP as a senior, scoring 540 points and shooting nearly 50 percent for the season.
He and Payton Croft ascended the ranks together. Croft, perhaps the school’s all-time assists leader, is now a successful coach at Trigg County. Croft’s father, Jimmy, was Hill’s coach. He says his own family and the Crofts were very important to his development as an athlete and a person.
“The Crofts were like a second family to me,” he said. “Coach Croft displayed that trust in me when I was in middle school to bring me up and he helped build what I finally became.”
After high scool, Hill briefly played at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah. He earned an associate’s degree there then a bachelor’s degree from Murray State, where he met his wife. Together they have made a home in central Missouri. They have two boys, ages 4 and 1, and the couple recently moved from Columbia, Mo., where Hill works for IBM to nearby Jefferson City, Mo., which is his wife’s hometown.
It’s been more than a decade since Hill played ball in Crittenden County, but he vividly recalls rivalry games against teams like Livingston Central in front a packed house at Rocket Arena. Hill’s junior year was the first in the new gymnasium.
MORGAN DOOMS MORRIS
Morgan (Dooms) Morris says her father was her biggest fan and her toughest critic when she was playing basketball at Crittenden County High School from 2000 to 2004.
|Morgan Dooms Morris in a scrimmage game.|
“If it was raining, never mind, we just went into the living room,” she said with a laugh.
Morris holds the girls’ record for most points in a single game, 43, and she is fourth on the all-time women’s scoring list with 1,333 points. She will be among those inducted Friday night into the Farmers Bank Marion-Crittenden County Athletics Hall of Fame.
Now an assistant principal at Lone Oak Middle School, Morris says she is honored to be named with those great players and coaches that have gone before her.
“It’s really awesome because my two coaches are in the Hall of Fame,” Morris said. “To be included with them and the other talented players is very humbling. I always looked up to them and now I need to live up to their example. It is a great honor and a responsibility that I do not take lightly.”
Morris played basketball for current girls’ coach Shannon Hodge and golf for former coach Melissa Tabor. Hodge was inducted in 2008 and Tabor in 2009.
Known as a great shooter, tenacious defender and a feisty competitor, Morris played on teams that had limited success. In four years, her teams went 34-67 and only once, her freshman season, earned a trip to the Second Region Tournament.
Perhaps that is why among her fondest memories was the Lady Rockets’ All A Classic regional championship and state tournament berth in 2001.
“I remember running out onto the floor in that big gym in front of a huge audience. I was grinning ear to ear. I thought I was famous. It was an awesome feeling and I can remember exactly how it felt even now,” said Morris, pointing to the state tournament opener at Eastern Kentucky University against defending All A champion Bishop Brossart.
Morris, just a freshman at the time, said she played only a few seconds in the regional championship game against Dawson Springs when the Lady Rockets won by a point. But in the state tournament game, she said somebody got hurt and she played a good portion of the game, guarding Miss Kentucky Basketball that season, Katie Schwegmann.
“That is something I will never forget. It was really neat,” she said.
A flood of memories pour in when Morris starts talking about her high school playing days.
“It’s been a while since I played, but reminiscing about it brings it all back and makes me really miss it.”
She was a two-sport state qualifier. As a junior and senior, Morris earned spots in the Girls State Golf Championship Tournament. There wasn’t enough girls to make a team at Crittenden, so she played most regular-season matches with the boys. She said it was particularly satisfying to outscore some of her male counterparts.
“I’m really competitive and I remember seeing their faces when they saw that they had to play against a girl,” says Morris, who married her high school sweetheart, Nick, from Livingston County. Together, they have a three-year-old son and a daughter due in May.
Dooms has spent eight years teaching in the McCracken County School System since graduating from Murray State. She says opportunities have opened up for her to coach, but she’s afraid she might enjoy it too much, and right now her family occupies most of her time.
MARION TERRORS FOOTBALL 1942
Physical toughness, great communication and a good coaching were among the assets that helped the 1942 Marion High School football team go undefeated in eight games and win the conference championship.
While the storied teams of 1985, 1963 and 1945 are perhaps best known, the boys who played football in 1942 – during the difficult times of World War II – are the only to play an entire season without a single loss.
Willard Easley, 92, is the only man still around who can talk first-hand about what it felt like to be part of the community’s only undefeated football team.
“We had great team work. There were no jealousies; everyone deserved the same praise that the other one got, I don’t care what position he was in,” Easley said.
Easley and Roy Conyer were all-state candidates on the team. Conyer, a halfback and quarterback, led the conference in scoring as a senior, averaging 21 points a game. Easley and quarterback Joe Hopson were co-captains of the team.
Conyer was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Easley was a good defender and blocking back that averaged five yards a carry. A newspaper article of the day described him as “one of the surest tacklers in the western Kentucky portion of the state.”
Murray was billed as one of the best teams the Terrors would face that season, but Marion beat them 19-7 on Oct. 30 to run its record to 4-0. Other teams in the conference at the time were Paducah, Madisonville, Hopkinsville, Henderson, Clay, Russellville, Princeton, Providence, Morganfield, Fulton, Bowling Green, Sturgis and Trigg County.
Marion and Mayfield finished the season with identical 8-0 records, but they never faced one another on the field. There was no post-season playoff system at the time. Marion was crowned league champion based on a strength-of-schedule formula.
Seniors on the squad were Easley, Conyer, Hopson, William Mayes, Guthrie Croft and Lowell Hatcher. Other regulars in the lineup were L.E. Dunning, James Mayes, Tooey Dyer, Jerry Jones, John Vaughn and Jesse Hansen.
Paul Woodall was the first-year coach and Easley said he was beloved by the team.
“He deserves a lot of credit,” Easley said. “He was the type fellow the boys loved. He joked with them, wrestled with them did what ever it took.”
Although he befriended the players, Woodall was also a typical coach for that era – strong on discipline and demanding of his players.
The team ran the single wing offense, which was a staple at the time. Easley was the wingback and recalls Play No. 6 was the team’s best gainer. He was the lead blocker for Conyer who took the handoff and stayed right on Easley’s back through the defense.
“He would have his hand on my hip and we’d run around the right end most of the time,” Easley said.
In those days, players wore leather helmets with no face guards.
“I lead blocked with my head. I wasn’t coached to do it that way, that’s just what I did,” said Easley. “I busted the stitches out of two helmets that season.”
He also ended up with a broken nose and a bunch of other injuries, as did many of the other players.
ROLL CALL - HALL OF FAMERS
Inductee, Year Inducted, Primary Sport
Andrews, Josh - 2005 - Football
Belt, Bruce - 2001 - Basketball
Beverly, David - 2007 - Football
Brasher, Don "Sucky" - 2002 - Basketball
Bridwell, Lynn "Lefty" - 2009 - Baseball
Brown, Nicky - 2009 - Basketball
Champion, Jamie - 2006 - Football
Conyer, Roy - 2001 - Football
Cozart, Spencer - 2004 - Basketball
Croft, Jimmy - 2013 - Basketball
Daniels, Markeata Brown - 2009 - Basketball
Davidson, Glen "Ace" - 2003 - Basketball
Morgan Dooms - 2015 - Basketball
Easley, Clinton - 2005 - Football
Elder, Houston "Hound" - 2001 - Football
Faith, Leonard - 2008 - Basketball
Franklin, W.A. - 2006 - Basketball
Gates, Pat - 2002 - Football
Grady, Orville "Soupy" - 1998 - Football
Gray, Vanessa - 2011 - Basketball
Green, Don - 2001 - Basketball
Hart, George - 1998 - Basketball
Head, Frank - 1998 - Football
Hicklin, Robert "Hickie" - 2002 - Football
Highfil, Hugh - 2002 - Basketball
Tim Hill - 2016 - Basketball, Track
Hinchee, Jeanee - 2007 - Basketball
Hodge, Denis - 2006 - Football
Hodge, Shannon Collins - 2008 - Basketball
Hopper, Jimmy - 2005 - Football
Hughes, Charles "Turkey" - 1999 - Football
Johnson, Tom - 2001 - Football
Knoth, Curtis "Gig" - 1998 - Football
Litchfield, Louis - 2007 - Basketball
Little, Dwight - 1998 - Football
Little, Ercel - 2003 - Basketball
Martin, Turner - 2012 - Basketball
McChesney, James "Burlap" - 2003 - Football
Mills, Jim Fred - 1999 - Football
Moss, Ronnie - 2003 - Football
Moss, Ronnie - 2005 - Basketball
Mott, Chad - 2006 - Football
Mott, Dennis - 2010 - Football
Ordway, Bruce - 2008 - Basketball
Perryman, Chad - 2011 - Baseball
Phillips, James - 2000 - Basketball
Rich, Joey - 2014 - Football
Rushing, Woodson "Chuck" - 1999 - Football
Shadowen, Lige - 2003 - Basketball
Shewcraft, Jeff - 2004 - Basketball
Simmons, Ellis - 2005 - Basketball
Smith, Bennett - 1999 - Basketball
Starnes, Al - 2004 - Football
Stewart, Wompie - 2007 - Football
Summers, Von - 2014 - Football
Swisher, Bob - 2000 - Football
Tabor, Charles "Bill" - 2003 - Football
Tabor, Gerald "Hoopy" - 2000 - Basketball
Tabor, Melissa Jones - 2009 - Golf
Terry, William "Gander" - 1999 - Football
Thurman, Greg - 2002 - Basketball
Towery, Carlisle - 1998 - Basketball
Turley, Curtis - 1999 - Basketball
Van Hooser, Carroll - 1998 - Football
Wheeler, Floyd "Rip" - 2010 - Baseball
Willoughby, James - 2012 - Track
Woodall, Deller E. - 1998 - Football
Woodall, Jerry - 2004 - Football
Wring, Tommy - 2002 - Basketball
1945 Marion High Football Team - 2008
1963 CC High Football Team - 2008
1985 CC High Football Team - 2000
1942 Marion High Football Team - 2015