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Martin, Brown, and Davis to enter Hall of Fame

Posted on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 11:56 am

SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Jody Hargis
Martin a 6-on-6 standout
Dianne Patton Martin, a 2019 member of the GCHS Sports Hall of Fame, is a 1966 graduate of Grundy County High School. She was a member of the Lady Yellow Jacket basketball team during her high school career, where she lettered for three years. Dianne grew up in Pelham, when there was no elementary basketball team.
Dianne worked hard and got to see playing time as a freshman toward the end of the year, and during the tournament. She played forward during the six – on – six era. She started as a sophomore, junior, and senior and led the team in scoring in many games. She scored 478 points during her senior year.
Dianne was named team MVP for two years. She made the Sequachee Valley Conference (SVC) all-tournament team during her sophomore, junior and senior years. She made the SVC all-conference team her senior year. In addition, during her senior year, she was chosen as co – Captain of the team and selected “Most Athletic” in her graduating class.
Dianne stated, “Two of the best things I had going for me was my will to win and a left court side under handed layup which would draw a foul for extra points.” She added, “I could not have made my accomplishments without the extraordinary coaching, teammates, and managers.
“We worked hard, played hard, and made lasting memories and friendships making my high school days much more rewarding,” she concluded.
Dianne is married to Murphy Martin and lives in McMinnville. Together they have a blended family of four children (Lee Don, Lori, Mary Beth, and Marcy) and six grandchildren (Colt, Case, Landry, Hudson, Amelia, and Turner).
After high school, Dianne went to beauty school and owned and operated her on beauty shop full time until 1973. She then embarked on a teaching career at Grundy County High School, teaching Cosmetology until 2002. In retirement, she has spent the last 17 years managing the office at Murphy’s Mental Health Counseling. She is a member and still attends Pelham United Methodist Church. When she has time, she enjoys water color, acrylic, and mixed media art. She loves working in their yard, her birds, flowers, gardening, reading, traveling, hanging with her family, and any adventuresome game or activity. She took karate classes and is now a second degree Black Belt in Wado – Ryu Karate.
“Big Al” a star on turf and dirt
Allan “Big Al” Brown is a 1979 graduate of Grundy County High School. While in high school, he played on the Yellow Jacket football team for three years and the Yellow Jacket baseball team for three years.
“Big Al” came to Grundy County High School in the fall of 1975. Expectations were high for “Big Al” in football. He and fellow freshman, the late Terry Thomas, were billed as the next great tackles for GCHS. Although, “Big Al” had a great football career, playing in the Butter Bowl in 1977, as a junior, and the Walking Horse Bowl in 1978, as a senior, his noted fame to high school sports was a big sweeping curveball when he would take the mound for Coach Frank Emmet Clay’s Yellow Jacket baseball team.
“Big Al” made his presence known in his very first start as a sophomore. He took the mound at Pelham early in the 1977 season and shut out a very powerful Cleveland Blue Raider team 4 – 0 and everyone knew that he was going to be something special.
“Big Al” was named to the All – SVC team during his junior and senior years (1978 – 1979) in baseball. He was also named to the All – SVC team in football during the fall of 1978, which was his senior season.
“Big Al” has one daughter, Jodi Brown Green and one granddaughter, Laiken Green, who he refers to as “his pride and joy.”
No one loves the University of Tennessee sports better than “Big Al.” He lives and waits for the “Big Orange” to kick off in September, hoping this will be another year like 1998, when his beloved Vols won the National Championship.
“Big Al” wanted to share these comments:
“I am very excited and grateful to be nominated and honored into the GCHS Sports Hall of Fame.
“Thanks to everyone for your support and Go Grundy and Go Big Orange!”
Congratulations to Allan “Big Al” Brown for his selection to the GCHS Sports Hall of
Fame for 2019!
Congratulations to Dianne Patton Martin and Allan “Big Al” Brown on their induction into the 2019 GCHS Sports Hall of Fame.
Julie Davis on state championship team
GUEST COLUMNIST
Tyler Brown
Julie Miller Davis often uses the word “family” when she refers to her fans, former teams and coaches. Davis’ family grew by more than 65 members on May 1, when she was announced as one of the newest inductees into the Grundy County High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Between 1994 and 1998, she became one of the most decorated Lady Yellow Jackets in program history. She helped bring home the school’s first state championship, was named MVP of numerous tournaments and all-star teams, and signed a full scholarship to play Division I basketball at South Alabama following her high school career.
But, her stellar career with her Grundy family began by sitting on the bench. The then 5-foot-8 fresh-man, who had just wrapped up a five-year elementary school career at North, spent nearly half of her first year sitting in a chair beside head coach Ricky Richards and assistant coach James “Duper” Ladd.
“I’ve probably heard Coach Richards tell this story a hundred times,” Davis said with a laugh. Almost to the midway point of the 1994-1995 season, Grundy County led by only a couple of points in a road game at Whitwell High School. With things not going the Jackets’ way with about four minutes to play in the half, Duper turned to Richards and suggested sending Davis into the game.
“She is only a freshman,” Richards said. “I don’t think she is ready.”
“Well, she can’t do any worse than how we’re playing now,” Ladd replied, and Davis checked into her first game. Before the end of the half, the freshman had scored six quick points and given the Lady Jackets a hefty lead going into the break. By the end of the night, GCHS had rallied to down to the Tigers by more than 15 points.
After the game, Davis saw playing time in every contest following and eventually earned a spot in Richards’ starting five. Davis was named to the Region All-Tournament Team at the end of the year and tacked on three more honors following her sophomore season. She was named All-District, District Tournament MVP and Region Tournament MVP during the 1995-1996 post-season. As a junior in 1996-1997, Davis reached one of her biggest career milestones when she scored her 1,000th point at Bledsoe County with a men’s basketball, nonetheless. And for a second consecutive season, she was named All-District, earned District and Region All-Tournament nods and received an All-State mention.
But, every accomplishment of the past three years became secondary with the start of the historic 1997-1998 season. The awards rolled in throughout the year for the Miss Basketball finalist. She was the Kissimmee Shootout MVP, LaVergne Christmas Invitational All-Tournament and District MVP during the regular season. Post-season, Davis was named District All-Tournament and Region All-Tournament en route to leading the Lady Jackets back to the state tournament for the first time since 1986. On March 14, 1998, at Middle Tennessee’s Murphy Center, the Lady Jackets outlasted the Wildcats 43-38 to claim the Class AA crown.
Following the championship, Davis was named to the Tennessee vs. Georgia All-Star Game, and was recognized by the Chattanooga Times Free Press as the “Best of Preps” Player of the Year and Tri-Area Super Team MVP. She went on to spend four seasons at South Alabama, competing in the Sun Belt Conference. She graduated from USA in 2002 with a B.S. in Elementary Education.
Banquet information
Martin, Brown, and Davis will be inducted into the Grundy County High School Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 3, at 4 p.m., at the Grundy County High School cafeteria as the Class of 2019 is celebrated and enshrined. More information on the Grundy County High School Sports Hall of Fame, to view current members or to RSVP for the banquet, visit Facebook.com/GCHSSportsHOF or search @GCHSSportsHOF.