DeKalb County (Alabama) Sports Hall of Fame

Class of 2008


Joe Baxter Brown
Born March 8, 1928  — During high school, 1942 - 1946 he wrote sport stories and ball game reports. He continued writing sport stories until age 40. He operated the public address system at DeKalb County High School, and Fort Payne High School from 1950 until 1968, except for two years in the U. S. Army during the Korean War.  He broadcast several of the high school games over the radio. He also called a regional basketball tournament game over the radio. For a period of time, while stationed at Camp Gordon, Georgia, he continued working in  sports as a general reporter for The Camp Gordon Rambler.  His duties with the paper involved interviewing sports figures who were drafted into the Army and sent to Camp Gordon for training. Joe operated the public address system at the Fort Payne DeSoto baseball games, as well as scoring many of the games. He has contributed to the history of sports by writing sports history for Landmarks of DeKalb County publications.  The records he kept for the Fort Payne DeSoto baseball team were used in a publication by Landmarks to preserve the history of baseball in DeKalb County. Recently Joe wrote a series of articles for The DeKalb Advertiser on the four unbeaten teams fielded by DeKalb County High School and Fort Payne High School.
Joe Griggs
Born January 9, 1947 —  He graduated from Fort Payne High School in 1965.  During his senior year his team won the state championship in football. He played offensive tight end and linebacker.  He was named captain of the team and named to the all-area team. Joe signed a football scholarship with the University of Chattanooga where he lettered in both football and baseball.  He started for three years on the football team. Joe coached football and baseball at Valley Head and Ider.  He left to start the Fort Payne Recreation Center. He started the Dekalb County Umpires Association and was a baseball and football official for several years.
Thomas Groat
Born September 30, 1946 in Fort Payne — He attended Fort Payne High School where he played  football,  basketball,  baseball and  was on The track team. In his senior year he received Honorable Mention All State Football,  MVPin the Northeast Alabama Football Conference, won the Long Jump at NEAC track meet,  and finished 5th in the long jump at the state track meet. Thomas attended Auburn University in 1964 -1967 where he lettered two years in football, graduating in 1967 with a BA. 
Mike Locklear
Born May 7, 1958 — He played football, basketball and ran track for Fort Payne High School.  He made second team all-state his junior year. In his senior year Mike suffered a hip separation that limited his season. Mike was recruited by every SEC school. He signed a scholarship with Auburn in 1976. As a freshman and sophomore, he played fullback, linebacker, and defensive end. In his junior and senior year, he played tight end. At tight end he blocked for runners such as William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, and James Brooks. During his junior season, Mike had the longest pass reception from scrimmage against Kansas State. He also caught the winning TD pass against Florida his senior year. As a senior he served as team captain. He graded 90% or better in each game his senior year. Mike signed with Houston and played with them through the 1982 season before leaving pro football.