2011 Hall of Fame
12 Selected To AHSAA High School Sports Hall Of Fame
The 2012 class, which will be inducted at a March 19 banquet at the Renaissance Hotel at the Convention Center in Montgomery, includes coaches, an administrator, a contributor and an "oldtimer".
Selected were baseball coach Ken Whittle, football coach Jackie O'Neal; basketball coaches Louis Berry, Jimmy Golden, Ned Harbuck and Danny Petty; track coaches Angelo Harris and George "Snoozy" Jones; administrators Bill Marsh and Ronald Chambless; contributor Morris "Doc" Hodges; and football coach Roy Knapp, now deceased, who was selected in the "oldtimer" category.
The 17-member Hall of Fame Committee made the selections from approximately 50 nominations on the Hall of Fame ballot. The Hall of Fame is located at the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) office in Montgomery.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate sponsors are al.com, Alfa Insurance, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Russell Athletic, SouthPoint Bank, Teamip and Wilson Sporting Goods.
To order tickets ($35 each), mail requests along with check or money order (payable to AHSADCA) to: Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, P. O. Box 242367, Montgomery, AL 36124. Additional information is available at 334-263-6994.
ROY KNAPP - Knapp graduated from Gaylesville High School in 1936 and Livingston State in 1950 with an interruption while serving in the Navy during World War II. He received a master's in Administration from Mississippi State in 1956. Knapp coached high school football from 1939-1981 - a span of 42 years - at various schools in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. He served four years (1953-56) during that stretch at East Mississippi Junior College and won a state JUCO title in 1955. Among his coaching stops were Scooba (MS), Midland City, Washington County, Choctaw County, Gaylesville, McMinnville (TN), Ranburne, Randolph County, Macon Academy, Sand Rock, Spring Garden and Coosa Christian high schools. He also coached baseball and basketball at several of these schools. He spent 13 years as a player in the St. Louis Cardinals baseball organization. While his won-loss record in not complete, he won more than 200 games in his prep coaching career. Knapp, who enters this Hall of Fame in the Oldtimers Division, died in 1992.
JACKIE O'NEAL - The 1973 Reeltown High School graduate returned to his alma mater in 1977 after his college career at Livingston State College. He served on the coaching staff of AHSAA Hall of Fame coach Duane Webster before moving up to head football coach upon Webster's retirement after the 1987 state football championship season. Since then, he has led Reeltown to 210 wins, 92 losses and a playoff record of 46-19 with state championships in 2001 (1A), 2009 (2A) and runner-up finishes in 1991, 1992, 2000 and 2010. His teams have won 13 region titles. O'Neal was named the Alabama Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year in 1991, 1992 and 2001 and was chosen the Alabama Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2008. O'Neal also coached boys basketball for seven years, baseball for three years and girls basketball for 25 years. His girls teams reached the State Tournament in 1991, 1992, 2007 and 2008, the last two teams finishing as Class 2A runner-up. He coached as an assistant in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game in 1992 and 2002 and as head coach in 2007. He also coached in the North-South All-Star Football Game in 2008 and the North-South Girls All-Star Basketball Game in 2007. He has served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control and Legislative Council.
The first football game played by a high school team in Alabama was in 1892 when Central Birmingham (Phillips) lost to Alabama 56-0 on November 11.