The Jackson County Sports Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2021.
The JCSHOF elected a 15-member class and released the class on social media Wednesday night.
Members of the JCSHOF Class of 2021 are Roy Anderson, Dr. Clyde Butler, Dr. David Campbell, Claude “Butch” Cassidy, Dr. Bill Elder, Tom Esslinger, Holland Floyd, Ben Hunt, Tom McCrary, Ricky Ragsdale, Dr. Morris Seymour, Bobby Talley, Ronnie Thompson, William “Bill” Commodore Wood Jr., Rupert Wright, Heath Zapf and Contributor Inductee Delmus “Pat” Patterson.
We have a great list of deserving individuals in the Class of 2021 and look forward to celebrating with them, their families and friends,” said Jackson County Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors President Greg Bell. “The hall of fame board is excited and looking forward to beginning the work of recognizing outstanding individuals.”
The JCSHOF, which began in 2014, did not induct a Class of 2020 because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Because of that, the Class of 2021 was expanded.
The JCSHOF Class of 2021 Induction Banquet will be held on Jan. 8, 2022 at the Scottsboro-Goose Pond Colony Civic Center. Ticket information will be released soon.
“We are very excited to be holding an induction banquet in January after COVID canceled our plans for the Class of 2020 induction,” Bell said. ”(The banquet) is going to be a very special night as the Hall of Fame welcomes 17 new members.”
Here are the bios for the Class of 2021 inductees:
Roy Anderson — The 1945 Jackson County High School graduate played basketball for Hall of Fame coach Mickey “Guy” O’Brien during the 1944 season and is the last remaining living member of Scottsboro’s 1944 state championship team. Scottsboro went 49-6 during his junior seasons with one state title and one state runner-up finish and Anderson was an all-state and all-district selection as a senior. He was drafted out of high school into the Army for World War II. After the war ended, Anderson played one season at Jacksonville State University before playing his final three seasons at Howard College (now Samford University) where he was a three-year starter. He also played baseball for Howard and a was starting pitcher and first baseman for two of them. Anderson now lives in Birmingham.
Clyde Butler — A graduate of Scottsboro High School in 1966 and a graduate of University of Alabama in 1971, Butler played football and basketball at Scottsboro for Hall of Fame coaches John Meadows and Q.K. Carter and also ran track at Scottsboro from 1964-1966. He was selected all-state in football in 1965 and was a member of Scottsboro’s Class 3A State Champion football team. He then played linebacker and offensive line for University of Alabama 1966-70. After college he became a dentist and is an active member in many community and civic organizations including Scottsboro Library Board, Rural Health Board, Scottsboro City Board of Education, President of Jackson County Chapter of Alabama Alumni, Chairman of Stevenson Chapter of Chamber of Commerce, Alabama State Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Chairman, Goose Pond Board, Member of Rotary International, Member of American Dental Association, Member of Alabama Dental Association and Member of 8th District Dental Society.
Dr. David Campbell — The 1963 graduate of Scottsboro High School and a 1967 graduate of Auburn University played football and basketball at Scottsboro High for hall of fame coaches John Meadows and Q.K. Carter. His football career spanned seasons of 1960, 1961 and 1962 with teams posting combined records of 25-2-3. He has one rushing touchdown in 1961 season and five in the 1962 season. His basketball career included seasons right after and right before teams that had great success. The highlight of his 1963 basketball season was scoring 27 points in a 100-50 win over Geraldine. He currently is the President of Northeast Alabama Community College.
Claude “Butch” Cassidy — A 1964 graduate of Fort Payne High School and a 1968 graduate of Jacksonville State University, he began coaching basketball at Henagar Junior High School from 1968-1973 season and his teams posted a 125-24 record. After coaching Fort Payne’s boys basketball team from 1974-76, Cassidy became the head girls basketball coach at Pisgah with the 1978 season and led the Eagles through 1985. During a four-year span at Pisgah from 1979-1982, teams were 107-11 including a 48-game winning streak from 1981-82. Cassidy’s Eagles won Jackson County Tournament Championships in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982; Sand Mountain Tournament Championships in 1980, 1981 and 1982; Area Tournament Champions in 1980, 1981, 1982; Region Tournament Champions in 1980, 1981 and 1982; Sub-State Champions in 1980, 1981, 1982; State Champions in 1981 and 1982. He was the Jackson County Coach of the Year in 1979 and 1981 and was The Associated Press Class 2A Coach of the Year for 1981. Cassidy was elected also recently elected to the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame.
Dr. Bill Elder — In 1965 Elder was hired by Northeast State Junior College to begin a men’s basketball program. The Mustangs began their history under Elder with the 1966-67 season, winning 15 games and finishing as Alabama Junior College State Champions. Elder’s Northeast teams enjoyed great success over the next six seasons despite racial tensions as he integrated the program with the 1968-69 team. His teams won 119 games over seven seasons and the Mustangs never suffered a losing season during Elder’s tenure. His 1967-68 team was the No. 1-ranked defensive team in the nation, state and region. His 1971-72 team was Alabama Junior College State Tournament Final Four and his 1968-69 team finished as the Alabama Junior College State Champion Runners-up. After retiring Elder wrote a book about his journey at Northeast titled “All Guts and No Glory” which was published in 2007. After leaving Northeast, Elder served as head basketball coach at University of Montevallo from 1974-85 and at University of Mobile from 1985-96. He also served as Athletic Director at Letourneau University in Texas, Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky and Auburn University-Montgomery.
Tom Esslinger — A 1998 graduate of Scottsboro High School, Esslinger participated in track and field for his father, Hall of Fame coach John Esslinger and the Wildcats were sectional champions during the 1994, 1997 and 1998 seasons. He was an all-state decathlete and set the Scottsboro long-jump record. He was an AAU All-American in the decathlon and was all-state multiple times. He also played basketball at Scottsboro for Jerry Kirkland and Randy Brown for varsity seasons of 1995-98 and scored 577 points and grabbed more than 200 rebounds during his four-year career. After high school, he received a track and field scholarship to the University of South Alabama and was a decathlete from 1998-2003, garnering All-Sun Belt Conference honors in 2001 and 2003. He became the track and field and cross country coach at Homewood High School in 2005 and served in that capacity through 2020. His teams at Homewood won 31 state championships in cross country and track and field before being hired as the head varsity track and field coach at Hewitt-Trussville in May 2020, where he led the Huskies to indoor and outdoor state titles in during the 2021 season. He was named the 2017 Girls’ Track and Field National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High Schools. He has also been named Alabama track and field coach of the year four times. He was a coach for the U.S. Navy Team for the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs in 2014.
Holland Floyd — The late 1960 graduate of Scottsboro High School and a 1964 graduate of the University of Alabama was a star basketball player for the Wildcats from 1957-1960. The all-district and all-state selection was a three-year varsity starter. Scottsboro reached the state tournament during his junior and senior seasons and finished with a team record of 61-7. Following his senior season, Floyd accepted a scholarship to play for the University of Alabama and lettered in 1962, 1963 and 1964 under coach Hayden Riley. After graduating from Alabama, he served one year as a teacher/coach at Miami Military Academy before returning to Alabama. For ten years, until his death in 1984 at the age of 42, he served as Director of the Physical Plant at the University of Montevallo. During a Founder’s Day ceremony in October of 1984, that plant/complex was named in his honor.
Ben Hunt — The late 1917 graduate of Jackson County High School and 1923 graduate of the University of Alabama, Hunt was a member of the first varsity football team at Jackson County High School. He then played at Alabama under coach Xen Scott and was part of the “Thin Red Line” that helped Alabama first gain national recognition in 1922 when the Tide defeated the University of Pennsylvania, coached by John Heisman. He was captain of the sophomore and junior class football teams at Alabama from 1918-1920 and also captain of the sophomore class basketball team for the same period. He played on the Alabama varsity football teams for from 1919-22, lettered for the seasons of 1920, 1921 and 1922 and was a member of the A-Club for those same years. According to the NFL Encyclopedia, Hunt played in three games for the Toledo Maroons in the league’s second official season in 1923, however his family members reported that he denied it was him. A 1966 Huntsville Times article stated that Hunt worked for a firm in Nashville following graduation from college and played “local” pro football, earning $15 per game. He worked as an assistant football coach at Huntsville College from 1924-26. Hunt Field, an early football home of the Jackson County High School Wildcats was named after his family, who owned a dairy farm in the area of where Unclaimed Baggage is now.
Tom McCrary — A 1980 graduate of Scottsboro High School and a 1985 graduate of the University of Alabama, McCrary played football and wrestled. He was a three-year football starter in football for coach Larry Keys from 1977-1979, playing offensive tackle his sophomore and junior seasons and starting on the offensive and defensive line in 1979, earning all-state honors from The Montgomery Adversity all-state honorable mention honors from The Birmingham News. He was selected to play in the Alabama North-South All-Star Game. On the wrestling mat, he finished fifth, fourth and third in his weight class during the 1977, 1978 and 1979 AHSAA State Wrestling Tournament. After high school, he signed to play football at the University of Alabama. He started all six games for Alabama’s freshman team in 1980, recording 20 tackles. After redshirting in 1981, he appeared in 351 defensive plays during the 1982 season, recording 16 tackles, including a sack of Illinois quarterback Tony Eason in the Liberty Bowl win, which turned out to be legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s final game. McCrary started against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt during the 1983 season, earning a letter for that year and playing in Alabama’s appearance in the Sun Bowl. His playing career ended during the 1984 season due to a knee injury. For his career, he posted 25 tackles and two sacks.
Ricky Ragsdale — The 1968 graduate of Pisgah High School and a 1972 graduate of Jacksonville State served as a teacher/coach/principal at Rosalie from 1972-2010. Ragsdale coached for a total of 36 years winning 740 games with 16 Jackson County Middle School championships while posting eight undefeated seasons. Rosalie girls won five straight county championships (1997-2001) with a 104-2 record and won boys and girls county titles in the same season three different times. He came out of retirement and coached the Rosalie girls to another county championship in 2016. The gymnasium at Rosalie School is named in his honor.
Morris Seymour — A 1977 graduate of Scottsboro High School, he played football, basketball and baseball for the Wildcats and was selected all-area in football for the 1975 and 1976 seasons and second-team all-state for football in 1976. He received a football scholarship to Jacksonville State and played for the Gamecocks in 1977 and 1978. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1982 and received his degree as an MD from the University of Alabama in 1986. He is employed with TOC and has served as a team physician for the Scottsboro football program since 1998.
Bobby Talley — The 1967 graduate of Scottsboro High School played on the Wildcats’ 1967 Class 3A state championship basketball team. He was an all-state selection, scoring 382 points, averaging 11.6 points per game and had 21 double-digit scoring games. He was also selected all-tri-state, all-district and all-county and was the MVP of the 1966 Scottsboro Christmas Invitational. Talley signed to play at Athens State, where he played four seasons and became a three-year starter. He was a member of the 1969 Alabama College Conference Tournament Champions. He received a letter of interest from the Cleveland Cavaliers. After playing at Athens State, he coached basketball and other sports for ten years, including junior high boys basketball, varsity girls basketball, tennis, baseball, cross country/track and junior high football. He retired after 26 years as an educator and officiated high school basketball for 25 years.
Ronnie Thompson — The late 1971 graduate of Scottsboro High School was a three-year football starter for seasons of 1968-70 on both offense and defense. Scottsboro went 10-2 his senior season, advancing to the second round of the state playoffs and losing to No. 1-ranked Lee Montgomery. He received a scholarship to Livingston (now West Alabama) and was a three-year letterman for the Tigers.. He played in all but four games his freshman season as the team won the NAIA Championship. He was a starter for the next three seasons and was voted permanent team captain and was a member of the All-Alabama Small College team. He was voted as a member of the Livingston Team of the Decade for the 1970’s. In 1975, he served as a student assistant coach with the team. He served as president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Livingston from 1974-1974 and was President of the Athlete’s Letterman Club in 1974.
William “Bill” Commodore Wood Jr. — The late 1960 graduate of Scottsboro High School and 1965 graduate of Auburn University played basketball and football for the Wildcats from 1955-1960 (junior high and varsity). Wood was named outstanding lineman of the year in 1959 and 1960 and served as either co-captain or captain of the football teams during his career. He was also President of the SHS Senior Class 1959-60. He then played center for the Auburn Tiger football team 1960-65. After college, Wood began a career in the military and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. United States Air Force in June of 1965. He served in the Vietnam War campaign and was declared MIA (missing in action) in September of 1972 and KIA (killed in action) in October of 1979.
Rupert Wright — The 1976 graduate of Scottsboro High School and a 1980 graduate of Liberty University was a three-year varsity player for Scottsboro. He played tight end, defensive end and offensive guard from 1973 through 1975. He also played basketball and baseball for Scottsboro. He was a forward and center on Scottsboro’s 1975 basketball team and received the Wildcat Award for his play. As a member of the Scottsboro baseball teams, he played outfield, catcher and pitcher. He played in the East-West All-Star game and North-South All-Star game for 1976. Wright signed a football scholarship with Liberty University and was a four-year starter for the Flames at offensive guard and tackle. He was voted Best Offensive Lineman all four years and Most Valuable Offensive Player for 1978 and 1979 seasons. He was selected first-team Churchman’s All-American in 1978 and was selected to the All-Liberty Team as part of a publication coming out on the history of the Liberty football program. Wright served as teacher/coach at Scottsboro High for a time and was the head varsity girls basketball coach for the 1982-83 season in which the Lady Wildcats finished 15-6.
Heath Zapf — The 1995 graduate of Scottsboro High School and a 1999 graduate of Auburn-Montgomery played football from 1992-94 and baseball from 1994-95 for the Wildcats. As a junior, he batted .417 in 37 games. As a senior, he batted .473 in 28 games with a team high six home runs and 44 RBIs. His .473 batting average is third-best single-season in Scottsboro baseball history. His 53 hits in 1994 is third-best single-season and his 44 RBIs in 1995 are Scottsboro single-season record and his .441 average is the highest career average in program history. Zapf played at Northwest Shoals Community College in 1996-97 and was a first-team JUCO All-American in 1997. He then played two seasons at Auburn-Montgomery, tallying 126 runs, 167 hits, 22 doubles, 3 triples, 35 home runs, 166 RBI and a batting average of .413 (tied for third in AUM baseball history) for his AUM career. He was a second-team all-conference selection as a senior.
Delmus “Pat” Patterson — A longtime supporter of high school and youth sports in the Section community, Patterson was the driving force between getting a football program started at Section High School in the late 1960s. He serves as president of the Section Quarterback Club from 1965-69, securing funds and land for the building of Section’s stadium, finding a head coach, securing equipment and leading community support for the sport. Patterson called his plans to begin Section football in 1968 as “Project 68. It came to fruition on Sept. 6, 1968, when Section played its first football game, a 33-0 win at home over Wilson. Patterson also aided in the advancement of basketball, baseball, softball and peewee football in the community.