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Gleason Championship Squads Reunite

 

 

KENNETH COKER

Sports Editor

The Dresden Enterprise

 

The clock was turned back inside the Gleason High School gym on Friday evening. Members of both the 1992 and 2007 Class A State Championship girls’ basketball teams reunited at their alma mater for a presentation and recognition of the squads in between games featuring the current Gleason and Greenfield squads.

 

To begin the ceremony, the 1992 and 2007 state championship trophies were wheeled out onto the floor by current members of the Lady Bulldog basketball program moments after Gleason claimed a 57-50 triumph over G’field.

 

Then, the 1992 squad was introduced and presented with medals commemorating the reunion by current members of the Lady Bulldog team. Three of the current Gleason girls have direct ties to the 1992 squad. Current Lady Bulldog junior Aubrey Wallace is the daughter of 1992 senior Cristi (Wallace) Sawyers. Gleason’s Lillian and Martha Nichols are the nieces of Camille (Connell) Legins, who was a sophomore on the ’92 state champion team.

 

 

“Although it’s been 25 years, I still remember winning the state tournament just like it was yesterday,” Sawyers said. “Seeing all the girls tonight from both teams as well as Coach (Randy) Frazier, Coach (Joel) Ayers) and Mr. (Mitchell) Parham brought back some of the best moments of my life. However, the highlight of it was my daughter handing me the memento from the evening. That brought tears to my eyes and will be something I cherish forever. I’m so proud to be a part of the Lady Bulldog team and hope that we will soon have a fourth state championship.”

 

All but five members of the 1992 girls’ state champion team were on hand at Friday’s celebration, including Becky (Crowe) Padgett.

“Friday night’s 25-year reunion brought back so many special memories like the love and support of our Gleason community, the bond between teammates, the admiration and respect for Coach Frazier and Mrs. Terry (Frazier) and the pride of what it meant to wear orange and represent the Lady Bulldogs,” said Padgett. “I was overwhelmed by Gleason High School’s warm welcome and hospitality.”

 

Aside from Sawyer and Padgett, other members of the 1992 squad – which went 33-3 en route to the state championship – present for the reunion were Selena (Dilday) Hodges, Heather (Lehmkuhl) Leach, Kristy (Freeman) O’Connor, Tonya (Parham) Lutz, Camille (Connell) Legons, Stacy (Stewart) Cook, Kristy (McKee) Dunn, and Holly (Crowe) Adams. Lisa (Wallace) Palmer, Ashley (Hopper) Flint, Brandy (Wiseman) Horler, Olivia (Lowe) Gilliam, Nicki (Stephens) Pace and LeAnn (Bell) Smith were not present.

 

Following the introduction of the 1992 state champion team, the 2007 squad was welcomed back for its 10-year reunion.

 

A decade ago, Gleason posted a 35-1 worksheet en route to the program’s third state crown. As was the case with the 1992 squad, the 2007 team’s medal ceremony had family ties. Current Lady Bulldog Jayden Green – who scored a dozen points during the win over Greenfield – is the niece of 2007 team member Candace (Green) Lindsey.

 

 

“It was great seeing everyone again and catching up like old times,” Green said. “I got a little emotional when my name was called and when Mr. P came out to do his chant, but I guess that’s expected when you’re nine months pregnant. I’m very proud of my niece Jayden and it’s an honor to know all those people were able to watch her win a big game.”

 

2007 Class A Miss Basketball award winner Kayla (Hudson) Irvin – the current girls’ coach at Crockett County and a second cousin to current Gleason player Kenady Atkins – was also on hand to take a bow alongside her teammates from a decade ago.

 

“It was such an honor to stand beside the girls I went to battle with 10 years ago,” Irvin said. “That team became my family. The wins and championships are fun, but it’s the relationships that make the journey worth it. Those ladies I love so much are now great wives and mothers. The lessons we learned on the court permeate into so many other areas of life. I was just so humbled and grateful to get to reminisce and experience that with them again.

 

“As a coach myself, I am now aware of the time and preparation our coaches put in to making us into a team that could succeed at that level. I see with clear vision that “whys” behind every drill and mental toughness challenge our coaches put us in. I am so grateful for the opportunity to play for coaches who expected excellence in all areas. It is my prayer that I am able to teach these same lessons to my team.”

 

Along with Irwin and Lindsey, numerous other members of the 2007 Class A state champion squad (35-1) were on hand on Friday including Ashley Coble, Camille (Cooper) Legens, Erica (Morgan) Stahr), Sara (Hensley) Webb, Elizabeth (Terrell) Cunningham, Kim (Edenfield) Marcus, Breanna (Wallace) Nerie, Jenna (Frazier) Verdell, Taylor Stout, Tiffany Coble, Riley (Auvenshine) Laster and Kim (Reynolds) Healy along with assistant coach Joel Ayers. Members of the 2007 squad not present were Becca Hodges, Alexis Tipton and Maggie Lowrance.

 

Following the team introductions, current Weakley County Director of Schools Randy Frazier – who served as the head coach for both of the honored Lady Bulldog state champion squads – briefly shared his memories of the two teams before turning over the festivities to former athletic director/ principal Mitchell Parham.

 

Parham led the home section of the crowd in a Gleason chant - a staple of postseason basketball pep rallies and games during his long tenure at the school.

 

“It was great to be back in Gleason for the reunion of the 1992 and 2007 state championship teams,” Parham said. “I enjoyed seeing all the former players as it brought back very good memories. I also enjoyed talking with many of the great Gleason Bulldog fans, who are the best. Thanks to Gleason High School for getting this together and I was honored to be invited to join in with the celebration. It was great.” Source: The Dresden Enterprise.

 

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 HomeAbout UsGleason BusinessesChurchesGleason SchoolObituariesPicturesGleason NewsContact Us

 Copyright © 2002 - 2016 GleasonOnline.comTM. All rights reserved.