Nancy McGovern, the daughter of Clarence and Wavie McGovern, attended Palmer Elementary School where she played basketball and softball. She says this was her first encounter with sports.
At Grundy County High School, McGovern was the starting guard on the basketball team for four years and played on several tournament teams. Her 1955 team held their opponents to 893 points while scoring 1377 points. That team won every game in the T.V.C. conference (with a total season record of 17-2) and went to three post-season tournaments. McGovern was named to the Tournament Team in the 16th District. At games, both fans and coaches chanted, “Get the ball to Nancy.”
McGovern was a sports cheerleader for three years. She was the 1957 homecoming queen, and received Most School Spirit and Best Sportsmanship awards. In addition, she was a member of the G-Club, Student Council, and other school clubs.
Marcia Walker Bess
Marcia Bess, is the daughter of Morris and Alma Jean (Bohr) Walker. Raised alongside two brothers, she quickly learned that you have to be as tough as the boys to survive.
When Bess was six months old, her family moved from Beersheba Springs to Cleveland, Ohio. She finished fourth grade in Ohio, before moving back to Beersheba Springs for two years. The family then lived in Tullahoma for two years where she played basketball in the eighth grade. The next year, they moved back home to the mountain, where she has remained.
Bess played basketball for four years at Grundy County High School. She was named M.V.P. her freshman, junior, and senior years, and received numerous awards and trophies.
One of Bess’ most memorable games was the year GCHS played Sequatchie County in the S.V.C. tournament finals. There was a big snow, and GCHS tried to call the game off, but SCHS refused.
“They really didn’t think we would make it to the game,” explained Bess. “Well, they were wrong. Not only did we show up, but we won the game and went home with the trophies.”
Bess received M.V.P. at the game and the Dunlap papers referred to the GCHS team as the “Cinderella Team.”
In addition to playing basketball, Bess was a member of the GCHS Marching Band, Drama Club, Chorus, Beta Club, and graduated in the top ten.
Bess worked at the Grundy County Courthouse for 25 years, and as the Circuit Court Clerk for 16 of those years. She and her husband Ralph share four children and eight grandchildren.