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Bearden night is ‘FHS 100 years’ night Friday
More than 100 FHS hoop alums expected dating back to 1940s

1909 FHS boys basketball team members, left to right, are Nelson Russell (captain), Charles Boring, Treel Taylor, Hubert Miller, Earnest Miller, Franky Tillery and Joe Herron, manager.- Photo courtesy of the Farragut Folklife Museum
More than 100 former FHS boys and girls basketball coaches and players are expected for a special centennial gathering Friday night at FHS.

The Farragut High School 100 Year Anniversary Basketball Celebration will highlight non-competitive activities as the Admirals host arch-rival Bearden.

Jerry Gibson, president of the FHS Sixth-Player Club and a coordinator of Friday’s reunion, said the club and other FHS officials will honor “Players of the Decade” in addition to all former coaches present following the end of the BHS-FHS girls varsity game (approximately 6:30 p.m.)

Among those expected is a pair of basketball brothers from the mid-1940s along with at least two coaches from the 1950s.

“This is subject to change, but right now it’s Earl Graham, he graduated in 1943,” Gibson said of the oldest basketball personality who has committed to attend. “Don Graham, his brother, graduated in 1945. And their dad (Roy Graham) was an FHS coach from 1925 until 1946.

“We’ve got special players that we’re going to recognize for each decade,” Gibson added. “But first we’re going to recognize all the former coaches that are there.”

One of Farragut High School’s busiest coaches is expected to attend.

“Duart Walker (’49-50 and ’50-51 seasons), he coached all sports, boys and girls basketball, baseball and football,” Gibson said. “He’ll be there Friday. And Bill Beeler he was there (coaching) in ‘52-53 and ‘53-54, I know he coached boys and girls basketball, he’s going to be there.”

According to Gibson, it is not known whether Jack Thompson, another surviving coach from the 1950s, will attend. Lynn E. Sexton (boys head coach from 1961 to 1991), who had the FHS gymnasium named in his honor last season, is also expected.

As for girls coaches, Gibson said he’s been in contact with John Hays, girls head coach during the ’60-61, ’61-62’ and ’66-67 seasons, but does not know if he can attend.

Other former girls coaches expected to attend are Jerry Cannon (’77-78 to ’86-87) and Natalie Sisk (’87-88 to ’96-97).

“Another coach, we’re not sure if she’s coming or not, is Margaret Everhart, she coached the girls in ’58-59 and ’59-60,” Gibson said. “She lives in Greeneville, and she said she would try and come.”

Among players from the 1950s

expected to attend are a pair of well-known Farragut citizens: Mayor Eddy Ford and his wife, Linda, both from the Class of ’57.

From the 1960s, “we’re going to recognize Randy Kelley (Class of ’64) and Ralph Henry (Class of ’63),” Gibson said.

Also to be honored is Clyde Floyd, Class of ’52, “who has done so much for the school,” Gibson said.

Festivities begin with a reception at 6 p.m. in the FHS Band room. In addition to refreshments, “it’s mainly a place for them to socialize,” Gibson said.

All former FHS players and coaches will have a reserved seating area blocked off for them behind the Farragut team bench.


Along the theme of football’s “How the West Was Won” promotion of the Bulldogs-Admirals rivalry, the Sixth-Player Club has come up with “The West Side Shootout,” a halftime free-throw contest between a randomly drawn FHS and BHS student.

Sponsored by TnBank, “they will each shoot ten free throws, and TnBank will donate (a dollar amount) for every free-throw they hit,” said Gibson, adding that the contest will likely take place at halftime of the girls varsity game. “The winner will get a basketball magnet to stick on their car that says ‘First Winner of West Side Shootout’ with the date.”

Gibson said all interested FHS and BHS students can sign up to be randomly chosen upon entering the gate.

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