Six New Members Into Calhoun Co. Sports Hall of Fame
The Calhoun County Hall of Fame added six new members over the weekend. Below is the official release for the CCSHOF and bios for each of the inductees.
The Class of 2015 includes Wayne Carden, Paul Cox, Howard Miller, Henry O’Steen, Don Salls and Jerry Weems.
This year’s annual banquet, the eleventh, will be held at the Oxford Civic Center. The reception will begin at 5 p.m. and the banquet will start at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $25.00 apiece and must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door.
For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 256-453-4151.
Carden was outstanding in three sports at Walter Wellborn before graduating in 1969. In football, he played offense, defense and returned kicks on special teams and earned all-state honors in 1968 as a senior. A guard in basketball, he was all-county as a junior and as a senior. Carden ran dashes and relays in track. His field events were the pole vault and long jump. Following high school, Carden was a four-year letterman in football at Jacksonville State as a defensive back and kick returner. He played on the Gamecocks’ undefeated 1971 team. When his playing career ended, Carden remained actively involved in sports as a football official for 35 years. He also called basketball for many years.
Cox was sports editor of the Anniston Star for 10 years, ending in 1958, during a 53-year career in newspapers. During his time in Anniston, Cox won four Associated Press yearly awards for sports writing in Alabama. His regular column, “After the Whistle”, was a must-read part of The Star on an almost daily basis. He was also instrumental in the creation of the annual Calhoun County basketball tournament and in bringing organized youth baseball to Anniston. After leaving Anniston, Cox continued to win writing awards in Columbus, Georgia, and Opelika, Alabama. At Opelika in 1975, he received the Herby Kirby Memorial Award, presented by the Alabama Sports Writers Association for the overall best sports story of the year. Cox died in 2012 at age 83.
Miller was a three-year letterman in football at Cobb Avenue for Robert Mosby before graduating as valedictorian of the Class of 1962. As a senior in the 1961 season, he quarterbacked Cobb Avenue to a 7-1-1 record including a 26-12 win over the southern Alabama champion Mobile County Training School in the final game of the season. After the season he was named first team all-conference. His exploits earned Miller a football scholarship to Tuskegee University where he was a four-year letter winner at quarterback and team captain. While at Tuskegee, he set records for most touchdown passes in a game and most games with multiple touchdown passes. In 2007, Miller was inducted into the Tuskegee Athletic Hall of Fame.
O’Steen started at end as a junior on the 1955 Anniston team that finished 8-1-1 and was selected second team all-county. He served as Anniston’s captain as a senior, was a unanimous choice as first team all-county at end and was named county lineman of the year. The Birmingham Post-Herald named him first team end in Class AAA – the largest classification at that time – and Class AAA lineman of the year. He was one of five Alabama high school players named to the All-Southern team of the Orlando Sentinel. O’Steen was named first team on the Wigwam Wisemen of America All-American team and received a football scholarship to the University of Alabama. Just before entering Alabama, he was the most outstanding defensive player in the AHSAA North-South all-star game. A knee injury prevented him from playing in Alabama’s freshmen games. In 1958, he played for the varsity in Paul Bryant’s first three games at Alabama. In the third game, he suffered a knee injury that ended his football career.
His prowess as a football player brought Salls to Alabama and, except for military service in World War II, he never left. Following his graduation from high school in White Plains, New York, in 1937, he received a football scholarship to the University of Alabama where he lettered for three years and started at fullback and linebacker in 1941 and 1942 as a junior and a senior. After World War II ended, Salls returned to Alabama and earned a master’s degree in 1946. He became head football coach and an associate professor at Jacksonville State University in 1946 and remained as head football coach through the 1964 season. His second Jacksonville State team was 9-0-0. In 18 seasons, his Gamecock teams were 95-57-11. The 95 wins remains a JSU coaching record. Salls, who received a Doctor of Education degree from New York University in 1955, continued to teach at JSU long after he retired from coaching. He led the development of a system of static, or isometric, exercises which did not require the use of weights. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
Weems graduated from Walter Wellborn in 1966 after playing baseball, basketball and football. In 1970, he graduated from Jacksonville State University then spent a year coaching junior high sports at Jacksonville. In the 1971-72 school year he was head basketball coach at Cleburne County, his first head varsity position. After two years at Heflin, Weems spent three years as head basketball coach at Dadeville. In 1976-77, he moved to Clay County High School and remained until the school closed following the 2011-12 school year. His overall basketball record was 599-452, including Class 2A state basketball championships in 1991 and 1992. The Panthers were state runner-up in 1988. In addition to basketball, Weems served as an assistant in football. He was defensive coordinator on each of the six Clay County state championship football teams and for the school’s four teams that put together its state record 55-game winning from 1994 through 1997. Weems also coached baseball for 19 seasons.
The Class of 2015 brings to 70 the number of Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame members.
(Courtesy: www. ccshof.com)