Back-to-back regional champion Lady Cougars honored
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 13, 2020 9:50 PM

The two best teams in local girls basketball history were honored between the Clash of the Cats Friday, and the players and coach seemed to enjoy the evening immensely. While the state champion Cougar boys have been honored repeatedly, this was the first official reunion for these teams, 30 years after they won their second straight regional championship plus a first-game win at state each season.

Those present included the two senior starters in 1989, Pam Collins Pollard and Jalee Wright Page. The third senior, Christy Burton Barnett, who saw lots of playing time, was not present.

Joining them were the starters both years—Shana Dean, Carrie Horlander and Kim Johnson Higgins, who were inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame later in the program. Also there were 1990 starters Gwen Barnes Dawson and Melodie Goodman Bingham and top reserve Amy Stratton.

Also present were players Kandi Chyle Slaton, Kim Martin Spaulding and Sandi Powell.

Head Coach Mike Haynes, who also went into the Hall of Fame, was with them. Assistant Coach Lex Lindsey couldn’t attend because he was coaching the Franklin-Simpson Lady Kats that night.

Other team members unable to attend besides Burton were Sheila Chyle Fitzgerald, Deana McReynolds, Shelley Simpson, Sara Tweedy and Tommi White Holloway along with manger Teresa Smith Walker. The other manager, Gail Sells, is no longer living.

The regional champs were honored in front of the large crowd individually. As each one came forward, a member of the current Lady Cougars came forward and presented her a memento from the 2020 team and their boosters.

Seven of them were then involved in the Hall of Fame ceremonies, counting the coach. Goodman-Bingham greeted her lifelong friend and teammate Johnson-Higgins, and Haynes selected the senior starters—Wright-Page and Collins-Pollard--to be his greeters, and Horlander and Dean were also Hall of Famers.

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