The following athletes will be inducted into the Blount County Sports Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Airport Hilton on Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. The 1953 Townsend High School girls’ basketball team and the 1964 Maryville High School football team will also be honored, along with the Special Olympics athlete of the year.
Coulter played basketball for Porter High School in the mid to late 1950s. The 6-foot-6 center averaged 24.7 points per game and led the district in scoring his senior year. Coulter signed with Division I East Tennessee State College after high school. After graduation, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army. Coulter spent 28 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation after leaving the military. He is currently CEO of Patriot Investigative Group in Campbell, Calif.
Glenda McKenry Carroll
The glory days of Porter High School girls’ basketball were many, but inductee Glenda McKenry Carroll may have been there during the most special time of coach Galen Johnson’s dynasty. Johnson described Carroll, who played guard in the six-on-six era of girls’ basketball, as “one of the best athletes to play in the storied program at Porter.” Carroll holds the school’s records for interceptions and steals. As a senior during the 1962-63 season, Carroll and twin sister Linda were co-captains on the Porter team that defeated Walland in the state tournament championship game. Carroll and teammate Marie Rogers were named to the All-State team.
Never was Alcoa High School’s mascot – a swirling tornado – more appropriate than when Terry Whitted wore the maroon and gray of the school’s football, basketball and track teams. Whitted played receiver on Alcoa’s 1979 state championship football team. On the hardwood, the 5-foot-7 guard set school records for assists — single-season (341) and career (788) — that still stand. After high school, Whitted signed with Roane State Community College, where averaged 22.8 points per game. A Junior College All-American, he signed with Augusta College after earning his associate’s degree in accounting at Roane State.
Finley was an All-East Tennessee Valley Conference tight end for Friendsville High School in the late 1950s. Graduating from Friendsville in 1961, he enrolled at Maryville College, where he played football and basketball. Sustaining a knee injury, he transferred to the University of Tennessee, where he earned a bachelor’s degree – and later a master’s degree – in education. By the mid 1970s, Finley was back at his alma mater, teaching health and geography and coaching football and the girls’ basketball team. He remains in coaching to this day, an assistant with the Maryville High girls’ team.
Ramsey attended Everett High School from 1957 until 1961, lettering all four years in basketball and football. He continued his education and athletic career at Maryville College, suiting up for the Scots at quarterback. Graduating in 1966, Ramsey began officiating small college basketball games in the 1970s. He soon moved into the Division I ranks, hired to officiate in the NCAA’s Ohio Valley and Metro conferences. Ramsey would officiate NCAA championship games by the close of his career.
Prater wasn’t only a trailblazer in golf in Blount County. He was a trailblazer in bringing state titles home. The first Blount County student-athlete to win a Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association championship, Prater won the state golf championship as an Alcoa High School senior in 1957. Competing at Shelby Golf Course in Nashville, he shot a 54-hole total of 208, besting the runner up by 15 strokes – a record for margin of victory that still stands. At the 1956 USGA Junior Amateur Golf Tournament, Prater was eliminated by then 16-year-old Jack Nicklaus.
Thomas averaged 19.5 points per game, finishing with 1,088 points in three seasons for Maryville High School in the late 1950s. He was a starting end for the Red Rebels football team in 1957 and 1958. Initially signing with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, he would finish his career at Maryville College, where he played basketball and football. Thomas served as Maryville’s captain for the 1962 and 1963 seasons. The Scots finished 8-1 his senior season, one of the best finishes in school history.
Standing only 5-foot-6, Shepard was an All-Blount County wingback at Maryville High School from 1944 until 1948 and captain of the basketball team. Service in the Korean War caused him to miss the 1950 and 1951 seasons at Maryville College. Suiting up for the Scots for the 1952 season, Shepard helped Maryville end a two-year, 20-game losing streak. Thomas was named head football and baseball coach at Maryville High School three years after graduation. His football teams there won three Blount County Big Four titles. Shepard concluded his coaching career at Lanier High School in the 1970s. From 1980 until 1990, he was an administrator for Blount County Schools.