DeKalb County (Alabama) Sports Hall of Fame

Class of 2007


Jodi Gilliland Benefield
Born September 15, 1970 — Jodi was an outstanding athlete from Fyffe High School.  She was the unquestioned leader and point guard of the 1986 team that won the State Championship.  She is the one person who established the rich tradition at Fyffe.  According to her coach Mike Cochran “Jodi was a great ball handler and passer, she had the unique ability to make everyone around her better.  She was a coach on the floor who excelled the most in close, important games.  We’ve had none better at point guard.”  Benefield also had an outstanding coaching career at Fort Payne High School.  She was All County in 1986, 1987, and 1988, All Sand Mountain those three years.  She was one of a very few persons who have been named All State three years.  In her career she scored 1449 points.  She shot 70% from the free throw line, had 535 assists and 237 steals.
Bobo Mike Bobo
Born July18, 1965 — Mike graduated from Crossville High School where he played football, basketball and baseball.  He lettered in football four years.  He was All-County as a sophomore and senior, All-Area his junior and senior year.  He was voted Best Defensive player both his junior and senior year.  He was named Player of the Year his senior year by the Sand Mountain Reporter, the Gadsden Times, and the Times Journal.  He was All-State first team by the Birmingham News and the Post Herald.  He played both offense and defense in the All-Star Football Classic for the North team in 1983.  In basketball Mike was
voted All-Area.  In baseball he was a member of the All Star team that advanced to the second round.  Upon graduation he signed a scholarship with Northwest Mississippi Junior College.  He later transferred to the University of Alabama where he won the Johnny Musso Award in 1985.
Kirby Jim Kirby
Born January 31, 1945—Jim is a 1963 graduate of Valley Head High School where he played football and basketball for four years.  He was All-County in football in 1961 and 1962.  Upon graduation Jim received a scholarship from Troy State.  At Troy Jim was a four year player for the Trojans as a fullback and linebacker.  Upon graduation Jim began his coaching career at Eufaula.  He moved to Florida where he coached under Jim Redfern for two years before returning to DeKalb County as as assistant to John Allen for three years.  He then became head coach at Trenton, Georgia for two years.  Jim was the head coach at Sylvania from 1975-1979.  The 1976 team went 8-2.  He transferred to Valley Head where he achieved his most success.  He coached the Tigers for eight years and had only two losing seasons.  His 1984 team finished 13-1 and won the State Championship.  A man of great modesty Jim credits his success to his players. He states “It was a pleasure, an honor to work with all of those players over the years.” 
mccurdy Ben McCurdy
Born January 5, 1964—Ben was a standout at Ider High School from 1978 to 1981 where he started at fullback and middle linebacker.  As a fullback he averaged 4.8 yards per carry.  He was known as a crushing blocker.  At linebacker he averaged 20 tackles per game.  He helped his team to a 22-9 record his last three years, going 10-1 his junior year.  Upon graduation Ben was recruited by Clemson, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia but he always wanted to play for Auburn where he signed a grant in aid.  He was a member of Pat Dye’s first recruiting class, a class that also included Bo Jackson.  He attended four bowl games.  He played in the Sugar Bowl in 1985, the Liberty Bowl in 1986 and the Cotton Bowl in 1987. Ben worked his way into the starting lineup as linebacker in 1984, starting along side Greg Carr.  He was the team’s fifth leading tackler.  His top game was against Mississippi where he recorded 12 tackles.  He also had 10 tackles against Southern Miss, Tennessee, and Florida State.  Ben played against great quarterbacks, including Boomer Esiason, Bernie Kosar, Kelly Lowery, and John Fourcade.  Although Ben looks back on his football years at Auburn with great fondness, he cherishes the degree in Building Science he received in 1987.