RHS, LCHS Alumni to Clash at Rhea Stadium Friday
By Jim Turner


Posted on April 23, 2015 11:00 PM



Three months have passed since the announcement was made about an upcoming game between football alumni of Russellville and Logan County high schools. (For details of the concept, see http://www.theloganjournal.com/Stories.aspx?Article=sports604)

Now that classic encounter is upon us. The “Clash of the Cats, Russellville Alumni vs. Logan County Alumni” will be played this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Rhea Stadium.

Some 85 guys have been gathering on weekends for months practicing for this game, which will raise funds for both schools’ football programs. Some of them have traveled significant distances for those practices.

Russellville will have more players in uniform than Logan does, which is appropriate, since RHS has been playing varsity football since 1935 and Logan since 1984. That’s almost a 50-year head start.

Not many Panthers from those first 50 years will be in uniform, though. In fact, the only ones are Reggie Gough (1975-78), Jae Allison (81-84), Kelly Dickey (82-84), Rodney Gordon (81-84), and Todd Kerr (84-87). Allison, Dickey and Gordon played on state championship teams. No one is more excited about the game than is Gough, who played collegiately at Middle Tennessee along with some professional ball.

Players from the other state championship team in 1990 who are to suit up Friday include Kevin Bigbee (90-93) and John Paul Cates (88-90). Joining them will be Reggie Collier (85-88) of the 1987 state runner-up team.

The oldest former Cougar involved is the original quarterback, Kyle Hines (83-84), but he’s listing himself as a coach instead of as a player. Also from the 80s is Jason Hendley (88-92), who has joined current Panthers Coach John Myers and LCHS Middle School coach Todd Adler (00-03) in organizing the event.

Hendley is in an odd position. He’s the only member of his family to have been a Cougar. Everyone else has been a Panther. One of his uncles, Henry Noe, was an All-American lineman on the 1966 state runner-up team. Another uncle, Steve Noe, had a solid career at RHS. Hendley’s brother, John Wright, played for the Panthers, as did his son, Zack Hendley, and his cousin, Greg Noe. Wright (97-2000) and Greg Noe (01-04) will play against Hendley in this game.

Darnell Cross (84-86) was one of the earliest quality football players for Coach Steve Eans when LCHS football started. For several years, he’s been one of Myers’ assistants at RHS. Now he’s a member of the Cougar squad while his son, Shawn Cross (03-06) will be playing for the Panthers.

Also from the early years of Logan football is center Barclay Rowe (84-88), who has done some coaching himself.

Much of the backfield from Logan’s best-ever era will participate. The famed “A-Town Posse” from Adairville will be led by tailback Joseph Jefferson, who is the only player who graduated from either school to be drafted into the NFL. He became a starter in Coach Tony Dungy’s secondary of the Indianapolis Colts. Joining him Friday will be quarterback De Wilson and all-purpose back Charles ‘Punky’ Atkins.

Also playing Friday from those 90s teams coached by Les May will be Brian Holloman, Isaiah and Jeremy Sells, Shawn Cardwell, Aaron ‘Ernie’ Covington, Shannon Oxner, Donnie Perry, Adam Gafford, Josh Tanner, and Sam Clewell.

The other charter member of the Cougar Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame besides Jefferson who will play is Terry Clayton (98-02), who went on to have a distinguished career at the University of Kentucky.

Two other former UK Wildcats will play for Russellville. They are Mikie Benton (04-97), who started two seasons in Coach Joker Phillips’ backfield, and D.J. Quarles (07-10).

A member of the Russellville Alumni Hall of Fame is Michael Morris (97-99), who played good football but had an outstanding basketball career.

Everybody on the Panther squad played for either Coach Ken Barrett, Coach Bob Nelson or Coach Myers. Combined that trio has coached the Panthers 40 seasons, beginning when Barrett took over the program’s fortunes in the fall of 1976. During most home games last year, all three of those coaches were at Rhea Stadium. Gough began his high school career in the final season of Barrett’s predecessor, Coach Wayne Shewmaker, but most of his playing was under Barrett’s tutelage.

On the other hand, Logan football has had eight head coaches in these 31 seasons, and at least one Alumni player has been under the tutelage of the first seven. Those coaches are Eans, the late Stumpy Baker, Mark Allen, May, Gwynne Gaddie, Lee Proctor and Dain Gregory. Steve Duncan is completing his first year as the Cougars’ coach, and none of his players have graduated yet.

Other members of the Cougar Alumni squad are Steve Clark (89-93), Phil Baker (90), David Boggess (92), Larry Beadnell (01-04), Allen Moncrief (01-04), Brandon ‘Booty’ Osborne (02-04), Robbie Osborne (02-05), Daniel Denning (05-08), Reuben Rawlings Watson (06-09), Jonathan Barbee (06-09), Twin Lancaster (08-11), Jon Richardson (08-11), Jermaine Collier (08-11), Caleb Johnson (09), and Todd Haley (11).

Other Panther Alumni are Marius Beard (91-95), Jacoby Morris (92-95) Donny Snardon (94-97), Corey Thompson (94-95) Craig Stovall (96-97), Matthew Humble (96-99), Richard Duncan (96-99), Chris Elliott (96-98), Chris Gardner (96-98), Nathan Stone (96-98), James Hendricks (97-98), Justin ‘Leo’ Pratt (98-99), Donnie Bigbee (95-97), Dashawnti Clark (99-02), Chris Hampton (01-03), Daniel Elliott (01-04), Lance Bibb (01-04), Patrick Temple (01-04), Dontray Hampton (01-04), Chris Ward (02-05), Jamarcus Gordon (05-07), Craig Matthews (05-08), Marty Marshall (05-07), Jeremy Lucas (05-07), Kenton Cage (05-06), Chad Beard (06-08), Quinlyn Bell (06-09), Layton Bush (07-10), Travez Hampton (07-10), Alex Hardin (07-10), A.K. Tisdale (09-12), Zach Hines (09-12), Kahlil Bell (0910), Dustin Morgan (10-14), and Daquan Beard (10-13).

Each of the players paid $100 for the right to wear pads and a helmet again and to assist the programs that helped make them the men they are today.

Russellville will be coached by Ken Barrett, Gwynne Gaddie and John Myers.

Logan’s coaches are listed as Mark Allen, Kyle Hines, Michael ‘Pooh’ Elliott and Joseph Jefferson.

Players are selling tickets. They are also on sale at Yates Pharmacy, Lewisburg Banking Company, First Southern National Bank, Roy’s Bar-B-Q and Pratt Auto.

Tickets may be available at the gate, but those proceeds won’t go to the schools, we’re told.

The game will be broadcast live on WRUS with John Brett Reynolds calling the action. Station Manager Chris McGinnis says there will be minimal advertising to allow more air time for the fun.

Logan Memorial Hospital Administrator Jim Bills tells The LoJo that he plans to have extra emergency room personnel available if the need arises.

 




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