Franklin will add six individuals to its athletic hall of fame prior to Thursday night’s 7 p.m. live-televised home game against East Henderson.
Special thanks to the Panthers for this information:
2016 Franklin High School Athletic Hall of Fame
The Franklin High School Athletic Booster Club would like to welcome everyone to the Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This will be the Fifth Class and include Six Inductees.
Presenters tonight will be Tommy Cabe, Rhonda Blanton and Shelia Penland.
The Athletic Booster Club would like to thank Franklin High School, Principal Barry Woody and Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin for hosting this event. And special thanks are given to Andy Scheidler for all his help.
First Inductee – Walter Scruggs
In 1964, Walter Scruggs and three other black students walked to visit School Superintendent Bueck asking for enrollment at Franklin High School.
He became the first black athlete at Franklin High School, where he played football and basketball. And the first black athlete to excel in the Smoky Mountain Conference in western North Carolina.
After graduation from Franklin High School, he became the first black student at previously all-white Piedmont College – where he played basketball.
His life ended in a tragic car crash on Christmas Eve in 1965. The funeral was moved to First Baptist Church, the largest church in Franklin, with over 1000 people attending.
His family offers a scholarship in his honor each year to an athlete from Franklin High School at their spring athletic banquet.
Accepting for him are his sisters – Synethia Owens, Geneva Scruggs and Claudette Burston. And his nephew Lee Scruggs.
Second inductee – Coach Pat Pattillo
Our next inductee was native of Macon County. He was a running back at Franklin High School and was selected to attend the Optimist Bowl. He was approached by schools such as North Carolina and Georgia, but chose Western Carolina University – where he became co-captain of the team.
After a two-year Army stint, Pattillo coached briefly in Newnan, Georgia. He then coached football at Robbinsville High School for two years. He coached the team to a conference championship and then won the regional.
In 1966, he started coaching at Franklin High School. In 1971 his team became the first Panther football team to win a Smoky Mountain Conference Championship title.
In 2012, along with this team and Coach Joe Hall – the 1971 Football Team was chosen by the general public to be one of the five inductees for the first Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony.
Accepting for him is his wife Sissy Pattillo and son Rocky Pattillo.
Third Inductee – Coach Joe Hall
Joe Hall was a quarterback at Franklin High School, so it is no surprise that he ended up a football coach. After graduating Franklin High School, he played two years at Western Carolina University before a knee injury ended his career.
He taught for a year at Murphy and then came to Franklin High School as an assistant. In 1971, he helped to lead the 1971 team to their Conference Championship.
He took over as Head Coach for the 1972 and 1973 seasons and returned as coach in 1981 for nine more seasons.
At the time he quit coaching, his 37 wins was the most wins for a football coach. He is now currently in third place.
He has been most impressed by how many times his former players bring up things they remembered from his coaching days.
And today is even more special for Coach Hall – it is his birthday, so wish him “Happy Birthday”.
Fourth Inductee – Randy Chastain
Randy Chastain is known for speed. He played football, basketball and baseball – earning all conference honors his junior and senior years for each sport. He excelled in football went on to play at the University of South Carolina.
Some facts and statistics on Randy:
• His 95-yard touchdown against Clayton, Georgia still stands
• His single season record of 1,695 yards stood for 33 years
• His nine 100-yards rushing games as a senior stood as a record until 2012
• He was named All-State in football and was an All-American honorable mention
• He won the Mr. Panther award in basketball
• In his senior year playing baseball, he led the team in runs, at bats, hits, extra base hits and stolen bases
• He was recruited by many schools including Western Carolina University, North Carolina, Georgia, Tenneesee and choose the University of South Carolina
• He is the only Hall of Fame nominee to have received three votes from athletes from opposing teams that he played against
Being unable to attend the ceremony when his 1971 team was inducted, this induction is very special to him.
Fifth Inductee – Tommy Cabe
Tommy Cabe is known as Mr. Volunteer. His number of volunteer hours would be impressive if added up. This week alone he has spent two days at school health fairs, one day setting up for this football game, working the concession stand at three sporting events this week and answering numerous phone calls. He is at the schools so often that most students know him as Mr. Tommy.
He assisted Rhonda Blanton in starting the Salute to Veterans event held each year and was her first supporter in starting the Athletic Hall of Fame.
He is a graduate of Franklin High School and a veteran of the United States Navy – serving in the Submarine service. He has served on the Macon County School Board for 13 years.
He volunteers so many hours with numerous events; that sometimes he has committed to events on the same day. The athletic programs at Franklin High School and Macon Middle School have definitely benefitted from his countless service hours.
Sixth Inductee – Rhonda Blanton
Seven years ago, Ms. Blanton decided that Franklin High School needed an Athletic Hall of Fame. She first approached Tommy Cabe and then Franklin High School Principal Gary Shields. She spent the next year contacting and visiting 35 high schools and colleges to find out what had worked for them and what had not.
In 2012, the first class was inducted into the Franklin High School Athletic Hall of Fame – with the first five inductees being chosen by the general public. This is the Fifth Class of inductees and currently there are 51 nominations for other candidates.
Ms. Blanton has put many hours into organizing and maintaining the Athletic Hall of Fame; as well as other duties she performs as Secretary of the Athletic Booster Club.
On a personal note, Ms. Blanton would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during her recent battle with cancer. All Franklin High School coaches, athletes and community supporters need to thank her for making the Athletic Hall of Fame a reality.