Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2023

Bottom L-R: Ivan Richard, David Schaffer, Dee Merriweather Castille, Tracy Rutledge Means, Regina Jones (representing her husband Randy Jones), Daymon Gardner (representing his son Jeremy Gardner. Top L-R: Mark Putman, Stanley Parker, Paul Bailey, Kelley Freeman, Charlie Krenkel, Jeff Lovell. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Local sports legends gathered with family and friends at Stone Bridge Farms Saturday night to celebrate one of Cullman County’s most important sporting traditions. 12 new members were inducted into the Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame and the Class of 2023 is packed with men and women who inspired sports fans all over the state as well as Cullman County.

Before each of this year’s inductees were introduced, this year’s scholarship recipients were recognized.

Carley Davis, Cold Springs – Victoria Rouse Memorial Scholarship

Olivia Britton, Cullman – Jimmy Dale Burgess Scholarship

Aliyah Ryan, Holly Pond – Charlotte Cummings Foundation for Girls Athletics Scholarship

Bailey Keef, Good Hope – Gussie Shabel Memorial Scholarship

Zach Campbell, Hanceville – Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship

Noah Zane Roberts, Fairview – Peoples Bank Scholarship

Cole Bissot, St. Bernard Prep – Coach Charlie Richard Memorial Scholarship

Berkely Gable, Vinemont – Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship

Aiden Dujoud, West Point – James Shabel Memorial Scholarship

After each of this year’s student athletes received their scholarships, Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame Chairman Jackie Satterfield introduced each of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees.

Paul Bailey

Graduated from Hewitt-Trussville High School in 1979 – baseball player and cheerleader

Cheerleader at Jefferson State Junior College

Graduated Auburn University in 1989 with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science

Masters Degree in Athletic Administration UAB 1997

Athletic trainer Auburn University 1985-89 for coaches Joe Champi, Pat Dye and Sonny Smith

Started Sports Medicine program at Cullman Regional Medical Center

Started Sports Medicine Program as well as serving as WSCC’s athletic trainer

WSCC Athletic Director since 2011

WSCC Athletics has won national championships in Tennis (4), Track (1) and Softball (1) as well as multiple conference championships in all sports

Worked with several future professionals such as Craig Kimbrel, Derrick Holland and Jake Elwood

Member of the Auburn Football Letterman Club

Lifetime Auburn Alumni member

Part of two SEC Championships at Auburn

Kelley Freeman

Graduated from Cold Springs High School on 1996 – played basketball and baseball

Played on two junior high county championship teams and two high school county championship teams (basketball)

Received award for scoring 1,000 points

All county, All area three times, All region two times

Played in state tournament final four

Made all-state tournament team

Scored over 1,800 points in high school career

Signed basketball scholarship to Shelton State Community College

Made varsity baseball team in eighth grade and played five years

Played on one county championship team

All Area three years, All Region two years

Played on two Dizzy Dean state champions and one World Series champion

Jeremy Gardner

Graduated from Fairview High School in 1992

Played football, baseball, basketball and ran track

Three years football running back, cornerback and punter – most valuable player; most valuable back

Rushed for over 1,000 yards Junior and senior season, scored five touchdowns in one game

Team captain; All County

Basketball one year team captain; All Area; County Tournament Champions – led team in assists, recognized by AHSAA for most assists in a game

Three years baseball catcher and pitcher, team captain, most valuable player, led team in stolen bases

Played in East-West All Star Game

Track one year tied for All Sports Trophy

Played two years college football at Cumberland College

Played for five Hall of Fame coaches, Dafford Smith, Wade Knight, Mark Moore, Hobsin Hite and Marty Hardman

Son of 2014 CCSHOF inductee Connie Gardner 

Randy Jones

Graduated West Point High School 1986

Lettered in baseball, basketball and football

Cullman County junior high champions 1981-82

4A, Area 13 playoffs first West Point team to make playoffs 

Cullman County B Team champions 1983-84, 1984-85

4A, Area 13 basketball champions 1984-85, Cullman County champions 1985-86

4A, Area 13 basketball champions 1985-86

Sub state basketball runner up 1985-86

County baseball champions 1986

Head basketball coach at Jones Chapel Jr. High for six years

Won six boys jr. high county championships and three girls junior high/middle school county championships

Coached basketball 25 years at West Point High School, 10 years as varsity head coach

Won one county championship, three runner ups, an Area championship and three area runner ups

Four-time sub regional qualifier

Assistant football coach for 11 years, softball coach for five years

Charlie Krenkel

Graduated Banks High School in 1967

Lettered in golf

Attended St. Bernard College on golf scholarship

Part of national championship team at St. Bernard

Second team All-American 1968; First Team All-American 1971

First ever All-American from St. Bernard

Birmingham Golf Association Champion 1971 & 1972

Winner of 20 invitational golf tournaments 

Won Alabama state amateur tournament

Won Dixie Amateur Tournament at County Club of Miami

Winner of multiple mini-tour professional events

Played on PGA Tour 1981-83

Played on senior chapter tour winning multiple events

Played in Senior PGA Championship

Holds several course records

Golf pro and teacher in Cullman County for over 20 years

Jeff Lovell

Graduated from Holly Pond High School in 1989

Played baseball, football and basketball

All county basketball junior and senior year

Led Broncos to two state tournament appearances awarded basketball scholarship to WSCC

Set single season assist record (158) Sophomore season; team captain

Made basketball team at University of Alabama as a walk-on

Senior season, awarded partial scholarship by head coach Wimp Sanderson

Voted “Mr. Hustle” by teammates and coaches back to back years

Played for coaches Wimp Sanderson and David Hobbs

Played with future NBA stars Robert Horry, Latrell Sprewell, James Robinson, Jason Caffey and Roy Rogers

Served as graduate assistant at Livingston University

Assistant women’s basketball coach at university of Alabama 1995-97

Boys and girls basketball coach Lowndes Academy

Coached girls teams to three state championships and five runner up titles

2014 Alabama independent school coach of the year

Dee Merriweather Castille

Graduated Hanceville High School 2001

Four-year letter winner in basketball; two time state 3A player of the year

Led Hanceville to 2001 3A state championship

Three time All-County, All-Region, All-Area and All-State player

Led Hanceville to three straight county championships

Played in Mississippi-Alabama All Star Game

Averaged 22 points and 16 rebounds per game senior season

Signed basketball scholarship to play at university of Alabama; three year starter

Played in 27 of 28 games as a freshman

As a junior led Alabama and was fourth in the SEC in blocked shots

As a junior and senior led Alabama in field goal efficiency

During her career she played in 110 of 111 games

Three-time academic All-SEC

Second all-time at Alabama in blocked shots (138)

Career rebound leader at Alabama (8.4 per game)

Fifth all-time SEC leader in rebounds

Stanley Parker

Graduated from Vinemont High School in 1980

Three year letterman in football; all county, all area, all state

Played on first team in Vinemont history to win an area championship and qualify for state playoffs, elected team captain

Alabama’s first winner of the Alabama Chapter of the National Football Foundation Scholarship

Signed football scholarship to Memphis State University, transferred to University of North Alabama

Played four years at UNA starting at offensive tackle, three year letterman in basketball

All county junior and senior year; all tournament team junior and senior year; Al area senior year

President of student council; National honor society; boys state representative; class valedictorian

Pinnacle award winner

Coached pee wee football two years

Coached girls softball three years

Mark Putman

Graduated Hanceville High School in 1986

Three year letterman in football, three year starter

All county 1984 and 1985

All area and all state 1985

Most valuable offensive back 1984 and 1985

Hanceville First Baptist player of the week 1985

Two time McDonalds player of the week 1985

1985 permanent team captain

Rushed for 155 yards and three TDs in playoff win vs Sheffield

Played in class that had 28-8 three-year record

Considered one of the toughest running backs and linebackers in Hanceville Football history

Played for Hall of Fame coaches Ray Talley, Rodney Terry and Keith Burns

Ivan Richard

Graduated Cullman High School in 1972

Three year letterman in football and basketball and four year letterman in baseball

Most valuable back two years

All Tennessee Valley Conference junior and senior year

Basketball and baseball captain senior year

All state baseball team, selected for Alabama East-West All Star game at Rickwood Field

Football scholarship to play at UNA for coach Mickey Andrews; four year letterman, three year stater

Selected to the Ohio Valley Conference team as a junior and senior

Gulf south conference player of the week in win vs Jacksonville state

Has been coaching high school sports for 45 years, football and baseball

Has coached in five different states

Had 27 teams in the state finals and has been named coach of the year numerous times

Tracy Rutledge Means

Graduated Good Hope in 1988

Participated in softball, volleyball, basketball, track and cheerleading 

Member of Good Hope’s first softball team

Three year letter winner in softball, volleyball and basketball

Five year letter winner in track

All county, all area volleyball, competed in state tournament three straight years

All area basketball, led team in rebounds

Head volleyball coach at Good Hope one season and 24 years at Fairview

County champions 1997, 1999, 2016, 2017, 2018

Super regional 1997, 2002, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Area champions 1996, 1997, 2002, 2018, 2019, 2020

State elite eight 1998, 2018, 2019, 2020

Softball coach eight years, elite eight 1999

David Schaffer

Graduated Cullman High School 1973

Three sport letterman in baseball, basketball and football

1972 super all state football Birmingham News/Post Herald

1972 all state football Birmingham News/Post Herald

1972 AHSAA all star game selection

1972 most valuable player

1971 & 1972 most valuable lineman

1971 & 1972 all Tennessee valley conference

1973  Faculty good sportsmanship award

1971 & 1972 WKUL Player of the year

1971 & 1972 WKUL multiple player of the week awards

Led 1972 Cullman team to play in the state playoff championship game appearance

1972 signed football scholarship to Jacksonville state University

1973 president of the “C” Club

1972 most rebounds on basketball team

1995 head coach eighth grade Gwinnett County, GA football champions

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