Hall of Famers express appreciation of honor


fame6_06.jpg (32519 bytes)



elediv.gif (808 bytes)

P-I Sports Editor

   Expressing deep humility and great appreciation, the five-member 2006 class of inductees was accepted into the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night at the Paris
Convention Center.
   The new members of the Hall of Fame are Shirley Braden, Jerald Hill, John Hudson, Dock McDonald and Jerry Mustain. They shared the stage with Distinguished Service Award win-ner William Atchison and with a dozen Henry County students who were honored with their selection to the Students Hall of Fame.
   Students receiving honors were Henry County High School seniors Lindsay Peale and Chris Klopfenstein; Grove School freshmen Jasmine Porter and Nick Smith; Har-
relson School eighth-graders Katie VanDyke and Austin Thompson; Henry School eighth-graders Shelby Priddy and Marcus Etheridge; Inman
Middle School eighth-graders
Diamond Hamilton and Shonte Sims; and Lakewood School eighth-graders Danielle Wood and Ethan Evans.
   The Hall of Fame honors the students for not only being outstanding athletes but for having displayed the qualities of leadership, good citizenship and dedication to their schools. They are selected by secret committees at their schools.
   A central theme in the speeches of the Hall of Fame inductees was they would not have been honored without the contributions of many others.
   Braden praised her childhood
family for helping her grow up the right way and encouraging her to aim high. She talked about how her adult family gave her life direction and fulfillment.She finished with how having grandchildren has made her life complete and helps keep her
   "I'm going to paraphrase Althea Gibson who was the first black lady to win at "Wimbledon," Braden said. "She said that no one accomplishes anything in life without someone helping them along the way. I have had a great deal of help from my fam-
ily, my teammates and friends,
colleagues. I'm just so excited!"
   Braden was a high-scoring forward for Henry High School's basketball teams in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She is a teacher and former tennis coach at HCHS. She has also been a cheerleader sponsor and has
kept the scorebook for HCHS home basketball games since the  school's inception in 1969.
   Another high scorer in basketball was Hill, who kept the crowd rolling with laughter with some homespun humor about his life. He said there was a good explanation for why he was such a high scorer in high school.
   "Basketball was my sport. I just wanted them to get me the ball
and let me shoot. I wanted to hear the
ball make the net go swish," said Hill. "I would shoot from anywhere - from half-court, from anywhere. I scored; all those points because I never passed the ball off. I did all the
shooting. I doubt that I had any of those assists that I hear them talking about on television. I just wanted to always hear that net go swish."
   Hill passed on the biggest lesson he learned as a basketball player in the mid-1950s. He said his coach, P-HC Hall of Famer Charles "Homer"
Spain, told him to never be a quitter. He challenged Hill to, work hard and that it was out there for him if he always tried to do his best.
   Spain has called Hill one of the five best players he ever coached at Grove. Hill averaged 21 points a game as a senior at Grove and went on to start in basketball at Union University.
   Hudson agreed that it takes help to build the confidence that one can succeed in their life. He talked about how fortunate he had been to be around some of the most .. unreasonable men in the world.
   He listed his junior high  coaches Rick Kriesky and Bob Markum along with the high school coaching staff led by James Counce as unreasonable men he has played for. He talked about how it got tougher in college at Auburn University where
Hudson eventually became an All-Southeastern Conference
performer as a senior.
   But, the most unreasonable man that influenced his life was his father, P-HC Hall of Famer Richard S. "Bill" Hudson.
   "My father was always there pushing me. He pushed me in the weight room and to always play my best. He was extremely unreasonable in his expectations.
All these men were. They would not accept anything less than my best and that is why when I got to the NFL, I was able to trick them into keeping me for ten years. I was prepared and I had the confidence to go out and do what they wanted done,"said  Hudson.
   Hudson is a 10-year veteran of
the National Football League where he played center, guard and
long-snapper for the Philadelphia
Eagles, New York Jets and Baltimore
He retired after playing for the Super Bowl champion Ravens after the 2000 season and is now a member of the HCHS football coaching staff.
   The quiet, unassuming McDonald remembered to thank a long list of local coaches for molding him into a baseball and football star in high school. He said they were all more than coaches, they were his friends.
   McDonald played baseball at  Columbia State Community College
for two years before being drafted by
major league baseball's Oakland
Athletics' organization.His pro career
  was cut short by an injury a year later, in 1995.
   "I want to thank God for giving me the talent to play baseball and football. I want to thank my family. They are really proud to see me here,"
McDonald said.
   Mustain was noted for his competitiveness as a baseball and basketball player while growing up in Paris in the 1950s.
He conveyed that he learned from great role models around the community, especially P-HC Hall of Famers Frank Cate and Jack Nichols, who remain good friends.
   He relayed a story about playing basketball for Spain at Grove. Mustain was the teams point guard
and was having a great deal of success
one night in beating an opponent's press before passing to a teammate for
easy goals.
   "Then old Jerry decided to do
something on his own," Mustain said. "I broke that press but instead of passing off, I pulled up and took a shot. I shot a brick. If you don't know what a brick is, it is when you don't hit anything. We got the ball back and I broke the press and shot another brick. Man, my butt was on the bench."
   What happened next surprised Mustain. He said Spain was known to be animated on the bench and players tried to avoid sitting next to him but
Spain called him over. He didn't speak to him until the next quar-
er began.
   "I was expecting to get chewed out but he told me you will never gain strength and comfort without trying to do things that you can't do.' I couldn't believe he said that and I've always remembered that but I didn't pull up and shoot anymore when I broke the press," said Mustain while laughing.
   Atchison said the best he could figure was that he was getting the Distinguished Service Award because of his association with people already in the P-HC Hall of Fame. He detailed a life as a player, coach and school
administrator that put him in contact with more than half the current members of the local Hall of Fame.
   He used Gordon Taylor as an example.
   "You might remember that
Gordon Taylor was a good player at Trezevant. Back in 1954, Puryear played at Trezevant on the night Gordon broke the state's scoring record by scoring eighty points. Guess who was guarding him?" Atchison said
with a laugh.
   Atchison both played and
coached at Puryear. He also has
been a tennis coach at HCHS.
He is probably best known for
serving as superintendent of the
Henry County School System
and for being an interim super-
intendent for Henry County
schools and the Paris Special
School District.


Paris, Tennessee
April 14, 2006 Edition ~ Used by Permission


elediv.gif (808 bytes)