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Several gridiron greats, multiple sport athletes, and coaches will be inducted Saturday night into the Grundy County High School Sports Hall of Fame. At Saturday’s banquet the 1963 Yellow Jacket football team, standout player Kenneth Fults as well as the late Coach and Principal John A. Anderson and the late Coach Chris Pickett will all be a part of the 2014 Hall of Fame Class.
The 1963 Yellow Jackets are arguably the best team in school history going 10-1 on the season. In order on the season, they defeated Manchester 20-18, Jasper 19-13, Whitwell 34-6, McMinnville City 28-12, McMinnville Central 34-7, lost to South Pittsburg 33-7, defeated Pikeville 14-6, Stevenson 24-8, Dunlap 38-12, and Bridgeport 42-14. They defeated Lafayette 14-7 in the Industrial Bowl to end the season.
The team consisted of Greg Fults, Lanny Gilliam, Dwight Hargis, Mike Jordan, Charles Putman, Gary Ross, Donnie Ladd, James Orange, Louie Ladd, Larry James, Ronald Givens, Tom Melton, Jim Maynard, Ray Tipton, Ken Colquette, Jimmy Gipson, Bransford Fults, Ken Maynard, Jody Nunley, George Thomas, Joel Shrum, Freddy Burnett, Harold Woodlee, Kerry B. Sanders, Gary Meeks, Arthur Huling, Bruce Coffelt, Richard Gipson, Bobby J. King, Floyd Gibbs, Bobby Layne, Denver Yarworth, Johnny Hargis, Richard Laxson, Butch Goodman, David Lockhart and Ricky Richards. The team was coached by Head Coach Ed Cantrell and Hollie Brown and managed by Buddy Wiggins, James L. “Big Daddy” Meeks, and Joe Cunningham.
Kenneth Fults played football and basketball for the Yellow Jackets from 1954 through 1957. He was honorable mention all-state in 1957 and all conference that same year for football. He was captain of the football and basketball teams at GCHS and ran track his senior year.
Fults played college ball for Tennessee Tech from 1958 through 1961 and was a part of teams that won four straight OVC titles. During his junior and senior seasons combined, he totaled over 1000 yards of rushing and scored eight touchdowns. He was all-OVC twice and a third team All-American once. He was inducted into the TTU Hall of Fame in 2012.
Coach John A. Anderson is probably more famous for all the years he spent as principal at the old high school. The field at the old school still bears his name. During two different tenures from 1926 through 1935 and 1942 through 1946 Anderson was the head coach for the football Jackets for a total of 15 years. That is the most for any coach in Grundy history. As it was normal back then, Anderson also coached other sports including girls’ basketball. However, it was his years as principal of GCHS that he’s most known for. He served in that role from 1940 until 1965 .
Coach Chris Pickett is the winningest coach in Grundy football history with an overall record of 55 wins against 46 losses. He was 53-38 in his first tenure from the 1989 season through 1996. During that time, he was 3-0 in bowl games and 2-5 in the playoffs. Pickett’s 1993 team made it to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs for the deepest run of any team and finished 10-3 on the year. His nine total years as coach give him the second longest tenure at the helm of Grundy football.
Coach Pickett was an assistant baseball coach for Grundy during some of their best years including a 1994 appearance at the state tourney. As an athlete at GCHS from 1974 to 1978, Pickett was a standout in both football and baseball. He advanced to play college baseball before becoming a teacher and a coach.
Please join the GCHS Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night at 6:00 pm in the high school cafeteria as the Class of 2014 is welcomed into the Hall. Tickets for the meal are $15 and limited to the first 250 people.