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Paris-Henry   County
Sports  Hall  of  Fame


The Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame
2005 Inductees'  Biographies

The Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet was held April 21, 2005 at the Elks Lodge.
This years Hall of Fame Class was David Bomar, Alf Caldwell, Billy Cronin, Fred Patterson and the late Robert "Bob" Vaughn.

George Atkins was presented the distinguished service award while a male and female student from each of the
schools that plays athletics in Paris and Henry County were included in the students' section of the hall of fame.
Longtime WSMV Channel 4 sports director Rudy Kalis was the guest speaker.


Jelks knew Bomar was fine example

P-I Sports Editor

bomar.jpg (2715 bytes)Whenever famed Grove High School football coach Bobby Jelks needed an example of how to block and tackle, he would tell his teams about David Bomar.

Bomar died in 1994 but the former Blue Devil lineman and fullback is being remembered by his induction into the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame.

Bomar played tackle on the 1942 and 1943 Grove football teams before moving to fullback in 1944. The Blue Devils posted a 20-5-3 record during that span.

One of the teams biggest wins came in 1944 when Grove defeated the Big Ten Conference champion Milan squad.

He also played basketball in the 1944-45 season and helped Grove to the state consolation championship, Nashville West End defeated Grove in the state championship game.

University of Kentucky football coach Bernie Shrively presented a scholarship to Bomar. It was Kentucky's first team after resuming football after World War II. The Wildcats' quarterback and kicker was George Blanda, would go on to stardom.

Bomar failed to earn a starting position that fall and left school to return to Paris to marry his high school sweetheart, Rozanne Clark

He moved to Jackson in 1952 where he made his home until his death. Bomar remained active in athletics for many years as a TSSAA football official and was a longtime coach in the church league basketball at Hayes Avenue Methodist Church in Jackson.

A gifted musician, Bomar liked to entertain young people by playing the piano, saxophone, harmonica and guitar. He served for many years as a Scoutmaster and Sunday school teacher.

Bomar was awarded the Silver Beaver, the highest honor in Boy Scouts of America, was a member of the Order of the Arrow, a BSA honor society.

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Caldwell was 'coaches' player

P-I Sports Editor

Alf Caldwell was called a real coaches' ball player by his high school coach, Jim Cullivan.caldwell.jpg (2857 bytes)

Now Caldwell will be joining Cullivan as a member of the Paris-Henry County Hall of Fame.

Cullivan recalls Caldwell as a player with size, quickness and toughness but believes his best attribute was a love of the game. His strong attitude rubbed off on his teammates and led to him being a natural leader.

Caldwell was on basketball, football and track teams at Grove High School from 1966-68 and played for the first Henry County High School team in the fall of 1969.

As a senior he earned the best tackler and best spirit award. He also competed for the Patriot track team and won a district award in the spring of 1970 for the discus throw. He had shown athletic prowess before high school by making the Babe Ruth All-Stars in 1968 and helped the team qualify for the state tournament.

Murray State University gave Caldwell a football scholarship where he would win a scholastic achievement award in 1970.

In 1974, he was twice the Ohio Valley Conference player of the week. That season he established a new Murray State record for tackles and was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference team.

Coming from a farming family, Caldwell received the Dekalb Farming Award as the top senior in vocational agriculture in high school. That background led him into becoming the club advisor to the newly formed rodeo team at Murray State shortly after his graduation.

He later became assistant manager of the MSU Livestock and Exposition Center in Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, MO.

In 1982, Caldwell took over the director of operations at Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center/Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.

Remaining active in athletics, Caldwell spearheaded a high school hockey league in the Oldham County, Kentucky area. A hockey jersey bearing his name hangs from the ceiling of the hockey rink and a sportsmanship award is presented in his name each year.

Caldwell married the former Jane Carr of South Carolina. His wife is an equestrian instructor and trainer. They have a 22-year-old son, Ivan, who is a member of the University of Louisville hockey team.

Cal dwell runs his own business, JA Cal dwell and Company of Crested, Kentucky. The business specializes in custom fit stall flooring products and installation services for equine, canine and weight room floors.

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Hard-nosed Cronin bashes his way into Hall of Fame

P-I Sports Editor

cronin.jpg (3166 bytes)Billy Cronin was the type of football player that would rather run over someone than score a touchdown.

The former Grove High School tough guy is being honored for his grit by being named to the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame.

Cronin lettered in football from 1943-46, starting his final years as both a blocking back and tailback. During that span, Grove's teams posted a 32-8-1 record and won it's first Big Ten Conference championship by downing Somerville High School 7-6 in 1946 at Rothrock Stadium in Jackson.

University of Tennessee scout Ike Peel attended the Somerville game to scout Cronin but Cronin suffered a broken ankle in the contest and no scholarship was offered. Peel did promise Cronin a scholarship after his ankle healed but Cronin decided to forgo athletics.

After high school, Cronin studied tool and die machining which would lead him to two jobs with two major corporations.

Cronin worked from 1947-1957 with Chevrolet Commercial Body of Indianapolis in the productions department and as a machinist.

From 1957-1885, he worked at the Atomic Energy Plant in Paducah as a machinist, foreman over the machine shop, general foreman over the maintenance department and general foreman over machining.

Since retiring in 1985, at age 57, he professes limiting himself to golf, fishing and woodworking.

Cronin married Mary Jean Cates in 1947 and they have two children and two grandchildren.

A past coach in Little League football and baseball, he served as a Red Cross swimming instructor in Paducah. He also is past president of the Rotary Club there.

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Fred Patterson spent half century in athletics

P-I Sports Editor

For more than 50 years Fred Patterson was a factor in West Tennessee athletics as player, coach andpatters.jpg (3126 bytes) administrator.

His prowess has led him to be one of the five 2005 inductees in the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame.

Patterson was introduced to athletics in elementary school at Sardis where he began playing basketball in the sixth grade. His family moved to Milledgeville the next year and Patterson played both softball and basketball.

As an eighth grader, he led his basketball team to the Hardin County Elementary Tournament Championship. He scored 18 points in the title game.

He attended Adamsville High School where he played baseball, basketball and football. He was a two- year starter in basketball. In his senior season, Patterson averaged 25.1 point a game and was an honorable mention pick for the all-state team.

In football, Patterson played both offensive and defensive end. He had a scholarship offer from Mississippi Southern College, now the University of Southern Mississippi.

He had basketball offers from Mississippi junior colleges, North east at Booneville, Holmes and Goodman and Itawamba at Fulton.

He chose Itawamba and the basketball team there twice finished second in the state. He averaged 16 points a game for his two-year career at Itawamba.

Patterson also played baseball in junior college with a batting average of better than .300 and the team also was twice the state runner-up.

He moved on to Bethel College where he lettered two years in baseball and basketball. One of his teammates at Bethel was Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame member Gordon Taylor.

Patterson was a double-figure scorer in basketball at Bethel. He hit more than .400 as a senior in baseball and he is a member of the Bethel Hall of Fame.

His association with association with Taylor led him into coaching although that wasn't his plan at the time.

Taylor was a Trezevant native and left there to coach a Buchanan High School. Trezevant had trouble filling a teacher position and Taylor talked Patterson into trying it.

It was 1960 and Patterson became the girls' basketball coach and led the team to a 10-11 record. He also assisted in boys' basketball, baseball and football.

Patterson joined Taylor at Buchanan the next year and would soon take over as the boy' coach. He coached the Buchanan boys' from 1960-69 with the high point coming with back to back district championships from 1965-1967.

The 1966-67 Wildcats went 25-1, were ranked in the state and were the last team in Tennessee to be knocked from the undefeated ranks.

Patterson also coached the girls' teams at Buchanan from 1966-69 and also served as the junior high coach, too.

As the Wildcats' baseball coach from 1965-59, Patterson's teams won three district championships..

Consolidation came to Henry County in 1969 and placed all the high schools' students at the new Henry County High School

Patterson was hired as the first boys' basketball coach at HCHS. He was the patriots coach for three years, compiling a 45-28 record and one district championship during that time.

He resigned as basketball coach in 1972 but remained a teacher until 1976 when then-principal Darrell Roweltt appointed Patterson as the school's athletic director.

Patterson served HCHS in the role for the next 22 years until he retired in 1998. Under his guidance , the HCHS athletic programs came under a budget system and had a rainy day fun of $45,000 at his retirement.

Patriot Stadium was built while he was athletic director as was a new field house for the football program following a fire in 1985.

New sports such as girls' softball and soccer for girls and boys were added to the HCHS program while Patterson was athletic director.

Under his leadership, the HCHS program was never guilty of a TSSAA rules infraction. He was recognized for Distinguished Service by the TSSAA in 1998.

Patterson and his wife Ann, make their home in Paris. They have two children, Andy and Terri and two grandchildren.

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Vaughn exhibited leadership skills while at Grove

P-I Sports Editor

vaughnb2.jpg (5287 bytes)Whether it was playing three sports, presiding over his senior class or working as a safety engineer, the late Robert "Bob" Vaughn was a leader.

The former Grove High School standout was enshrined in the
Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame on April 21th.

Vaughn was captain of the Blue Devils’ football team in his senior year of 1946 and won the Lions Club’s Most Outstanding Player Award. He started as an offensive end at Grove but played running back his junior and senior seasons. During his career, the Blue Devils posted a record of 29-9-2.

He also played a starring role in the Blue Devils’ basketball team’s drive to the state consolation championship in 1945. He played center on the basketball team.

In track, Vaughn was a strong competitor in the high hurdles and helped Grove capture the Big Ten Championship in 1946 at Ripley.

His leadership skills were demonstrated outside the athletic fields as Vaughn was vice president of his sophomore class and served as president of both his junior and senior classes.

He was a member of the National Honor Society for two years. He was president of both the G Club and the Hi-Y Club at Grove. In his senior year, he was chosen Most Popular, Best All-Around and Most Athletic.

Upon graduation, Vaughn turned down football scholarships to the University of Tennessee, Memphis State and Mississippi State to volunteer for the Marine Corps.

Before his tour in the Marines was over, Memphis head coach Cecil C. "Sonny" Humphreys contacted Vaughn again and he would go on to play wingback for the Tigers after his time in the Marines was done.

After two years, Vaughn transferred to Murray State where he was used mostly as a punter. He set a school record with a 72-yard punt. He graduated from Murray State in 1951 with a degree in physical education and history but went to work in the then new field of safety engineering.

He worked 25 years for Dow Chemical in Baton Rouge, La., and would serve as president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

Vaughn never gave up an involvement in sports and coached a Boy Scout football team that his son, Mark, played for. Mark Vaughn went on to play on a state championship team in high school and is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

He retired in 1982 and returned to live in Paris in 1987 and he died in 1996.

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Distinguished Service Award


atkins.jpg (4528 bytes)If you have played athletics anytime in the last half century, then you have almost certainly crossed paths with George Atkins. His dedication to youth and sports has awarded him the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame’s Distinguished Service Award.

Atkins was a football star for Grove High School in the 1953-54 season, earning the team’s Most Valuable Player Award in 1954. He also played baseball those seasons.

After high school, he was an assistant coach at Grove under head coach Andy Settles. Atkins worked with the incoming freshman players.

Atkins started the first home team chain crew in 1957, and he registered in 1960 as a football and baseball official. Since then, he has called Little League, Babe Ruth, and high school baseball.

Most probably recall Atkins as a football official. He worked in the old Big 10 Conference for high school and was an official for the Exchange, Tobacco and Buffer Bowls. Atkins has served as a playoff official in all high school classifications and in 1997 worked the Clinic Bowl.

He is now the supervisor and assigning official for Henry County football officials. He can be seen along the sideline keeping the game clock during Henry County High School home football games.

Atkins also works with the Lions Club in putting on the annual high school football banquet, and he has worked with the Elks Hoop Shoot program since 1986.

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Reprinted from
Paris, Tennessee

Used by permission

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