Local artist Jack Tupper works on the Bulldog Wall of Fame at Hanceville High School. The inaugural Bulldog Wall of Fame induction ceremony will begin just before the band plays the national anthem before the season’s first game on Friday night, Aug. 24. (Nick Griffin for The Tribune)
HANCEVILLE – This Friday night will be a special occasion for Hanceville football fans, and not just because it’s the first game of the season. Just before kickoff against Sumiton Christian, the Bulldog Wall of Fame, along with its first five inductees, will be unveiled.
The Wall of Fame has been painted on the side of the football field house by local artist Jack Tupper. Member of the Bulldog Wall of Fame Committee and Hanceville Quarterback Club, Greg Allred, knew early on that Tupper was the man for this job.
“He’s the artist the we commissioned for it and he was really the only person that we considered, so I went to him and talked to him about what we had in mind,” Allred said. “He was very easy to work with and we’re very pleased that he’s the one doing the work.”
The first of the inaugural inductees is Coach Rayford Talley. Talley played quarterback for the Bulldogs and helped lead the undefeated 1955 team under first-year head coach John Meadows. Talley graduated from Hanceville in 1957 and accepted a football scholarship to Jacksonville State University. Following college, Talley was sent to Germany with the ROTC and returned to the United States in 1966. Talley was hired as an assistant coach at Cullman High School and got his first head coaching job at Falkville High School in 1974. After two years there, Talley returned to his alma mater where he spent the rest of his coaching career. In his 15 seasons as the Bulldogs’ head coach, Talley posted a 117-52 record, with only two losing seasons, and nine playoff appearances including back-to-back trips to the semi-finals in 1985 and 1986. In 2005, Hanceville’s Ray Talley Stadium was named in his honor. Talley passed away in 2006.
The second honoree will be Jim D. Moody. Moody is a longtime supporter of the Hanceville High School football program and was a major contributor to the construction of Hanceville’s football stadium.
Allred and the committee identified Moody early on as an obvious candidate to be part of the wall due to his long-term support of the program and the City of Hanceville as a whole.
“Mr. Moody actually played football at Hanceville in the 1940s and he was a longtime business and civic leader in the Hanceville community,” Allred said. “He was very instrumental in bringing forth the construction of Hanceville’s football stadium which they still use.”
The next member of the wall of fame is G.W. Clapp. Clapp started four seasons on Hanceville’s offensive line in the 1950s and is the first All American player in Bulldogs history. Clapp graduated from Hanceville in 1957 and went on to play at Auburn University. Clapp’s college career was cut short by a knee injury, but former Auburn Head Coach Pat Dye was once quoted as saying that during his playing career at Georgia, Clapp was the toughest player he ever faced.
The fourth of this year’s honorees played alongside Clapp and Talley on the undefeated 1955 team and played at the University of Mississippi. Allen Green went on to play professionally for the Dallas Cowboys and actually kicked the game-winning field goal in the Cowboys’ first ever win during the 1961 season.
The last of this year’s inaugural wall of fame inductees is Coach John Meadows. Meadows was the coach of the undefeated 1955 team that featured Talley, Clapp and Green and compiled a 17-2-1 record in his two seasons at Hanceville before continuing to build one of the better coaching careers in the history of the state.
Meadows served in the military during World War II and after returning home, he enrolled at Jacksonville State University. Meadows played football and made the Little All-American Team as a receiver. Meadows graduated in 1951 and was named to Jacksonville State’s All-Time Team in 1983; he was inducted into the JSU Hall of Fame in 1985. Meadows began his coaching career as an assistant at Cullman High School in 1952 and took over as the head coach of the Bulldogs in 1955. The Bulldogs went 9-0-1 and defeated Cullman 7-0 in the final game of his first season.
After posting an 8-2 record in 1956, Meadows left Hanceville to be the head coach at Gordo High School. Gordo went 9-0 in his first season as head coach and after a 7-1-2 finish to the 1958 season, Meadows took the job at Scottsboro High School, where he spent the next seven years, compiling a 55-9-5 record before moving to Butler High School in 1966. Meadows coached 13 seasons at Butler, posting a 94-34-1 record before taking the job at the newly opened Lincoln County High School in Tennessee, leading the new school to a state championship in three years. After 11 total seasons with Lincoln, Meadows’ record stood at 87-29 with five state playoff appearances. During his career, Meadows was named Alabama Coach of the Year three times and Tennessee Coach of the Year twice.
Meadows was one of the first inductees in the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame and was also inducted into the Pickens County Sports Hall of Fame in 1995, Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2004, he was inducted into the Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame.
Meadows passed away Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018 at 94 years old.
The inaugural Bulldog Wall of Fame induction ceremony will begin just before the band plays the national anthem Friday night, Aug. 24, and is sure to kick off a special tradition for the Hanceville football program. The Bulldog Wall of Fame will add five new members every year.
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