DeKalb County (Alabama) Sports Hall of Fame

Class of 1997: The charter members


Julie Beatty
Born in 1968 in Ider, Beatty was one of the most decorated girls basketball players in DeKalb County history. She started as a seventh grader at Ider until her graduation in 1986. She was All-County from eighth grade on, and All-State from ninth grade to her senior season. She led Ider to the state championship in 1985 and she was named a Kodak All-American in 1986. Beatty then signed an athletic scholarship to play basketball at the University of Alabama, where she was a 2-year starter her junior and senior seasons for the Crimson Tide.
LD-bruce-392.jpg L.D. Bruce
Born at Kilpatrick July 3, 1919, Bruce lettered 4 years in football at Crossville and played basketball as well. He played college football at Newberry, S.C. and Jacksonville State. Bruce reorganized the sports program at Cedar BLuff High in 1946, and also coached basketball, football, and served as principal for 32 years. His football team won 41 consecutive games, a state record at the time. The streak included two state championships. Bruce was named Coach of the Year in 1959. His overall football record was 155-47-5 and he coached the first basketball team to represent Cherokee County in the state tournament.
ld-dobbins-392.jpg L.D. Dobbins
Born November 24, 1935 in Rainsville, Dobbins was a 1954 graduate and All-State basketball player at DeKalb County High School. He coached basketball for 29 years and amassed a career record of 511-311, with two years at Southside and 27 years at Collinsville. He led Collinsville to the state championship in 1975 and was the state Coach of the Year that season. He had 10 players go on to play college basketball and seven went into coaching. The Collinsville gymnasium is named in his honor.
rufevans-392.jpg Wyatt Rufus Evans
Born March 6, 1930 in Fort Payne, Evans was a 1947 graduate and three-sport star at Dekalb County High School. He was a three-year starter in football at the University of Chattanooga where he earned Little All-American honorable mention in 1951. He was named to the "All-Opponent Team" by six teams in 1951 including National Champion University of Tennessee. Despite being recruited to play professional football, Evans returned to Fort Payne and coached football, baseball and boxing from 1952 to 1956 at Dekalb County High School. Evans served as Fort Payne Recreation Director from 1952 to 1956, organizing youth baseball and the first swimming program. He was instrumental in the construction of WIldcat Stadium at Fort Payne High School.]
Ken Hammond Ken Hammond
Born December 7, 1959 in Valley Head, Hammond was a 1977 graduate of Valley Head High School. He led the Tiger football team to the semi-finals in the state playoffs in 1977. He was an All-State selction as a junior and an All-State and All-American as a senior for the Tigers. He earned All-Southeatern COnference, All-American honors and was a 4-year starter from 1978 to 1981 at Vanderbilt University. Hammond was the sixth round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 1982 and played two years of professional football.
haushalter Ron Haushalter
Born December 14, 1935 in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Haushalter was a highly succcessful head football coach in DeKalb County for 35 years. He coached nine years at Valley Head High School, one year at Jacksonville State and 25 years at Fyffe High School. He had a career record of 217-142-3 with 16 state playoff appearances. He led Valley Head to a runner-up finish in the state playoffs in 1967 and led Fyffe to the quarterfinals in 1984 and 1986.
Jerry Hulsey Jerry Hulsey
Born November 28, 1915 in Fairview, Alabama, Hulsey was head basketball coach and assistant football coach at DeKalb County High School  from 1946 to 1955. He compiled a record of 160-36 and never had a losing season. His teams won five county championships in basketball and was runner up in the Eighth DIstrict TOurnament four times. His team won one game in the Alabama State Tournament, losing to the tournament runner up. He became principal of DeKalb County High in 1957.
Skin Johnson James Thurston "Skin" Johnson
Born July 2, 1915 in Crossville, Johnson organized the Crossville Youth Baseball program in 1955. He was president of the Crossville baseball league from 1957 through 1995, coaching until 1993. He was instrumental in the construction of the Crossville City Ball Park, where the field is named after him. He organized Dixie Youth Baseball in Crossville and Boaz in 1962. He was Dixie Youth District 8 Director from 1962 until 1996 and helped expand Dixie Youth from two leagues to 42 leagues in six counties. He organized the Corssville Quarterback CLub and was captain for the first four years. He was scoreboard operator at Crossville Football Stadium for 40 years.
Charles Long Charles Long
Born in 1939 and passed away in 1989, Long was a four-year starter on the Fyffe football team, never missing a game. Long went on to become a four-year starter at the University of Chattanooga, never missing a game. He earned Little All-American honors at guard in 1960. An eighth-round draft pick of the Boston Patriots in 1961, "Choo-Choo Charlie" was runner-up in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting and had a 10-year career with the Patriots, which included two all-pro selections. He played seven straight seasons without missing a game.
Ben W McLeod Ben W. McLeod
Born April 22, 1913 at Leaksville, Mississippi, he was a three-sport star at Geraldine, playing on consecutive state basketball championship teams. He was captain and All-State on th 1932 team. He was awarded a scholarship to the University of Alabama where he earned eight letters in three sports, an SEC basketball championship, and SEC baseball championship, a National football championship, and played in the 1934 Rose Bowl. He coached football at T.R. Miller High going unbeaten the final two years and giving up only seven points the final year.
Larry Nelson Larry Nelson
Born in Fort Payne on September 10, 1947, Nelson played high school and college baseball in Kennesaw, GA until he took up golf at age 21 and was on PGA Tour by 1974. He won 10 PGA events and is the only Alabamian to win three majors (PGA Championship 1981, 1987, U.S. Open 1987). He was in the top 100 money winners on PGA tour before joining the Senior Tour in September, 1997. An Active course designer, he has 11 course open for play nationwide. Selected to the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1979, 1981 and 1987, and elected into Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

See Nelson's player profile at
Hugh P O'Shields Hugh P. O'Shields
Born March 20, 1927 in Fairview community near Dawson, O'Shields was a three-sport star at Geraldine, graduating in 1947. He attended Jacksonville State, lettering three years at running back and safety. He bacame head football coach at Cleveland in 1951. O'Shields coached there for 15 years until his retirement in 1983. He won consecutive state championships in 1972 and 1973. His overall coaching record was 243-74-13. At the time 243 wins was a state record.