ASHLAND, Ky. – Saturday marks the 44th year the Ashland Lodge BPO Elks 350 has put on its Sports Day program.
Here is a year-by-year look at the honorees.
1975: Jimmy Anderson, legendary high school football and basketball coach at Ashland. Coached the 1928 Tomcat national champions.
1976: Ernie Chattin, played and coached football and basketball at Ashland High School and was longtime Ashland YMCA director.
1977: Ellis Johnson, played on ’28 national champions and was Adolph Rupp’s first All-American at the University of Kentucky.
1978: Al “Fonse” Atkins, famed Ashland pro golfer who won several championships.
1979: James “Bo” McMillen, former 3-year UK quarterback and local YMCA director for 27 years.
1980: Dr. Leo Dickison, All-state football player and helped develop penicillin during medical career.
1981: Raymond C. “Chigger” Adkins, multi-sport athlete and also local softball star and basketball official.
1982: Fred Rigsby, basketball and football player for Tomcats and served 40 years in AHS school system.
1983: George Conley, basketball player and coach at Ashland. SEC basketball official.
1984: George “Eck” Allen, played on ’28 national champions and All-State in football at Ashland. Played on 1930 state champs.
1985: Luster “Lus” Oxley, Basketball standout for Tomcats and Morehead State.
1986: Bob Wright, coached Tomcats to 1961 state title and 1962 runner-up. Played for Cam Henderson at Marshall.
1987: Dr. Marvin Keeton, played basketball at Ashland and Vanderbilt.
1988: Bill Selbee, fast-pitch softball pitcher in area and played basketball and football at EKU.
1989: Charles “Buck” Pergrem, football and basketball player for Tomcats and Ashland Junior College.
1990: Ralph Felty, All-State football at Ashland and played for Duke in the 1942 Rose Bowl.
1991: Larry Conley, basketball star on ’61 champions and ’62 runners-up and went on to play for “Rupp’s Runts” at UK.
1992: Marvin Meredith, basketball star at Catlettsburg High School and longtime coach at Russell with more than 700 wins.
1993: J.C. Kennard, All-State football player at Ashland and played for Bear Bryant at UK.
1994: John Caine, basketball and baseball player at Ashland and coach and AD at several colleges.
1995: Norman “Dutch” Berry, and basketball player at Ashland and longtime city commissioner.
1996: Herb Conley, 3-sport star at Ashland and starred on ’58 undefeated team. Tomcat head coach from 1968-1976 including 14-1 season in ’75.
1997: Earl “Brother” Adkins, standout basketball player for Tomcats voted state’s top player in 1953. Played on UK’s ’58 national champions.
1998: Darryle “Sam” Kouns, former Tomcat who led Army to its first consecutive winning basketball seasons in more than 50 years with 21.6 ppg career average.
1999: Megan Neyer, winningest diver in NCAA history and 1980 Olympic team diving member.
2000: W. James “Jim” Host, pitched for Tomcats and professional in White Sox organization. Began public relations/consulting firm that is synonymous with college sports.
2001: J.D. Ison, starred in football for Tomcats and was All-American tight end at Baylor. His nickname was “The Hand.”
2002: Ernest “Nard” Pergrem, great athlete who starred in baseball and basketball. He was first Tomcat to score 300 in a season.
2003: Gerald “Jerry” Henderson, 4-sport athlete who did them all well at Ashland. Played basketball at Florida and averaged 12 ppg as senior.
2004: Fred “Freddie” Simpson, prolific scorer with more than 2,000 points at Holy Family and also played for both Marshall and Morehead.
2005: Paul Reliford, football and basketball standout at Ashland and longtime teacher, coach and administrator at Fairview High School.
2006: Eugene “Jeep” Clark, All-State basketball player for Tomcats who had extensive coaching career that included developing Boyd County into 16th Region powerhouse.
2007: Jack Fultz, longtime Olive Hill coach who recorded 396 victories and four regional titles. Also played for the Comets, leading team to first region crown in 1944.
2008: Charlie Reliford, former major league umpire who called World Series in 2000 and 2004. Began umpiring career in Central Park.
2009: Bobby Lynch, basketball and baseball star for Tomcats who was part of all three of Ashland’s state baseball crowns from 1966-68. Played basketball at Alabama for C.M. Newton.
2010: Nick Jordan, football, baseball and track & field star who played college football for Michigan State and participated in “Game of the Century” in 1966 with Notre Dame.
2011: Maj. Gen. Chuck Anderson, former Tomcat football player who was quarterback-middle linebacker on 75 JAWS team. He went on to Army and rose to rank of major general.
2012: Steve Gilmore, outstanding basketball player at Holy Family and former Ashland Tomcat basketball coach who was a lifelong educator. He also has served as mayor of Ashland for several years.
2013: Vic Marsh, Tomcat football coach who led Ashland to 1990 state championship and is the winningest coach in school history with 112 victories.
2014: Don Gullett, perhaps the greatest athlete in northeastern Kentucky history. He played everything at McKell High School but his blazing fastball took him to the major leagues with the Cincinnati Reds. He played on four consecutive World Series champions from 1975-1978.
2015: Buffalo Bill Hopkins, played football and basketball for Tomcats and has been a longtime mayor in Russell.
2016: Bill Lynch, southpaw pitcher who had 27-2 career record with 303 strikeouts. He guided Tomcats to first state baseball title in 1966 and was drafted into pro ball by the Indians before being sidelined with injury.
2017: Tom Cooksey, spent a lifetime contributing to golf in the area and co-founded the prestigious AJGA Bluegrass Junior. He is a Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame member.
2018: Mark Maynard, Ashland sports historian who worked 30 years as a sportswriter/sports editor of the Ashland Daily Independent and also authored six books about the area.