George Myers Clay and Ray Tipton have been selected, along with 11 other athletes, to join the Grundy County High School Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Their induction will be on August 5, at 4:30 p.m., at Grundy County High School.
Clay, born on January 4, 1937, to Emmett and Georgia Clay, attended Pelham Elementary School and Grundy County High School. He was interested in agriculture and a member of the Future Farmers of America. In addition, he was an outstanding athlete. In 1953, Clay was the co-captain of the football team and the highest scorer on the basketball team.
In 1954, Clay married Edwene McFarland. They have three sons – Eddie, Keith, and Eric. The Clays operate a farm in Pelham, and are involved in many community and agricultural activities.
Clay says he has many great memories, but his fondest involve playing football at GCHS and the friends and players he had the privilege of knowing during that time.
Tipton, a native of Tracy City, has been a true GCHS Yellow Jacket team member and fan.
From 1963-1966, Winton proudly wore his purple and gold football jersey, serving as the halfback, punt specialist, and kickoff specialist. As a sophomore, he was on the starting lineup for the 1963 Hall of Fame Championship team. He played with the Jackets in the Industrial Bowl in 1963, in the Civitan Bowl in 1964, and was named Century Millennium Player in 2000.
Tipton was known to Grundy fans for his incredible speed and was said to be one of the fastest players in GCHS history.
He has fond memories of his football coaches at Shook Elementary School (Ronnie Geary, RB Sanders, and Freddie Hale) and his GCHS coaches (Lee Doug Ross, Hollie Brown, Ed Cantrell, and James Parker). And, he holds teammate Denver Yarworth close to his heart. Tipton recalls Yarworth as a hard-running fullback with whom he sat on the school bus during rides to the games.
Not only a star on the football field, Tipton played on the Big League Community Softball Team. He had the highest batting average (664) and was noted to hit the ball to the shortstop and beat out the throw to first base due to his speed.