Woodford schools Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2018
The 12 newest members of the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame were inducted Saturday, Sept. 8.
The Class of 2018 included four highly-successful coaches, two extraordinary musicians and the longtime managing editor of The Woodford Sun, Moss Vance.
“It’s quite an honor, believe me,” said Vance prior to the induction ceremony at Woodford County Middle School.
“… There are so many well-deserving people who have come ahead of me.”
Ben Chandler, a member of the inaugural inductee into the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame, introduced the Hall of Fame’s newest members and told their stories as photographs highlighting their life’s accomplishments were projected behind him.
Speaking on behalf of the inductees, Tom Preston told attendees, “Your presence honors not only individual inductees, but also illustrates why this particular institution in Versailles, in Woodford County stands proudly among the best in Kentucky and elsewhere. The very best – not in just our state, but among other premiere schools.”
Betty Dozier and Dr. David Lodmell: Academics
A graduate of Versailles High School in 1948, Betty Dozier was a school teacher and administrator in Woodford County for 36 years. She taught at Versailles Elementary for 14 years – in the same classroom where she attended first grade.
In addition to her school leadership roles and being honored as an Outstanding Alumnus at Eastern Kentucky University, Dozier was a charter member of the Woodford County Business and Professional Women’s Club.
David Lodmell graduated from Bellarmine University’s first doctoral program in physical therapy in 2005. He received advanced training in diagnostics and research, and now is the managing partner of ProActive Physical Therapy in Frankfort and Lawrenceburg Physical Therapy. Lodmell graduated from Woodford County High School with 13 years of perfect attendance and received many academic honors, including the Michael C. Wallace Award. He continued his education at Western Kentucky University, where he graduated with honors while earning a degree in biology and chemistry.
Charlie Crowe and David Hall: Arts and Humanities
After graduating from WCHS in 1978, Charlie Crowe became a successful musician and songwriter. He was best known as lead guitarist and bandleader for the popular country duo Brooks and Dunn.
Crowe also toured and performed with Johnny Cash, ZZ Top, Reba McIntyre, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and John Michael Montgomery.
Now based in Nashville, Crowe said he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to attend Saturday’s ceremony. He’s not lived in the area for more than 25 years and has “lost touch with a lot of people,” but said “you can’t beat” coming home and being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Being able to keep my family together throughout it all,” said Crowe when asked about his proudest accomplishment musically. “It’s very exciting and glamorous business, and it takes you away from your family. And luckily, I’ve been able to work with some of the best in the business and they’re really grounded people…”
David Hall graduated from WCHS in 1976 after earning All-State band honors and superior ratings in solo competitions. He became a member of the marching band, jazz ensemble and orchestra at the University of Kentucky, and has now been teaching and performing for more than four decades.
Asked to name his biggest influence musically, Hall said, “My Dad.”
Carroll Hall was not only band director at WCHS, he invited his son to perform alongside him with The Bourbonaires on weekends.
“I learned all these old tunes. So I knew the tunes when it was time to go out and try to find music work. I didn’t even have to have the sheet music on it because I knew the tunes because of Dad teaching them to me,” said David Hall.
“I wanted to do what he did. I saw how much fun he had leading his band.”
Hall, who plays saxophone, clarinet and a variety of other instruments, has been performing at Giuseppe’s Ristorante Italiano in Lexington for 24 years. That’s why it meant a lot to him when some patrons of Giuseppe’s and his parents were at Saturday’s induction ceremony, he said.
Hall has played with many noted performers, including The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and The Temptations, and also has been a member of Men of Note.
Andrea “Bug” Brown and Andre Flynn:
“Bug” Brown was a four-year starter in basketball and a prolific scorer on the Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team. She played on the boys’ team before becoming a two-time MVP, three-time captain and leading scorer for the Lady Jackets.
The 1991 WCHS graduate was named an All-American at Midway College, where she scored 100 goals and led the Lady Eagles to two national titles and was named Kentucky Sports Woman of the Year.
When her playing days ended, Brown coached the WCHS girls’ soccer team to the state’s final four on three occasions, was named state Coach of the Year twice and never had a losing season at any level.
“I am honestly blown away,” said Brown of her induction. “To God be the glory for this great honor.”
When the Class of 2018 was introduced at Friday night’s WCHS football game, Brown said she looked up and told her grandparents, “This is for you guys,” and then looked at her mom, who “never missed a game, never missed an important moment in my life. So I am just truly blessed.”
Andre Flynn, who graduated from WCHS in 1981, began a successful coaching career after playing basketball for the Yellow Jackets and Transylvania. He average 25 points a game while twice earning All-District, All-Region, All-Conference at All-State honors at WCHS.
A four-year letterman at Transylvania, Flynn was named his team’s MVP twice and ranks as its 8th all-time scorer. Flynn, who has nearly 400 wins as a coach, has led Fayette County (Georgia) to the state playoffs in each of his 16 years there. He credits his coaches at WCHS for his success behind the bench.
“When I moved to Woodford County,” the six-time Regional Coach of the Year told the Sun, “I was a shy little boy. But I had some great coaches like Ed Stepp, William Bland and Gene Kirk who helped make me a confident young man.”
Tom Preston and Moss Vance:
After graduating from Versailles High School in 1952, Tom Preston founded a public relations firm with international acclaim.
Preston, who served as press secretary for Wendell Ford during his tenures as governor and U.S. senator, received 125 citations acknowledging his career accomplishments. He received the Public Relations Society of America’s highest honor, was named Outstanding Young Man of Kentucky in 1966 and served as director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.
After his service in the Army from 1946 to 1948, and again in 1950, Moss Vance graduated with a degree in radio arts from the University of Kentucky. He produced two popular 1950s television programs – T-Bar Ranch and Hayloft Hoedown – while working at WHAS-TV in Louisville.
Vance began his 37-year career as managing editor of The Woodford Sun in 1964, and says his proudest achievement was putting together a special edition commemorating the bicentennial of Woodford County in 1989.
Reflecting on his newspaper career, Vance said he never wanted to be seen as leaning to one side. “I wanted to be fair and in the middle,” he said.
His aim was simple: “I wanted to have The Woodford Sun as a good voice in the community…”
Ed Allin and Joe Carr Sr.: Patron
After playing for Adolph Rupp, Ed Allin coached at Midway High School, from 1951 to 1963, and became the first coach at an integrated school to start an African-American player, according to John McDaniel’s research. “Ed played the best players – regardless of color – and that just didn’t happen in those days,” his wife, Jean, said.
Her husband went on to coach for eight years at Woodford County High School after Midway and Versailles high schools consolidated. His 1964-65 WCHS team won the CKC Conference with a 17-0 record.
“He was a trailblazer,” said one of his former players, Bill Bland. “… He played his best players and didn’t allow political issues to influence him when making decisions pertaining to basketball…”
Joe Carr Sr. coached 43 state wrestling champions and seven high school All-Americans during his 41 years at WCHS. He was named Kentucky’s Coach of the Year on three occasions and his teams finished first, second or third in the state for 20 consecutive years.
“I just think it’s a great honor to be recognized by your peers and the community of Woodford County,” said Carr of his induction. “It’s been a great experience for me.”
He viewed coaching high school wrestlers as an opportunity to build self confidence and a desire to compete. Sometimes, a wrestler succeeded because of a willingness “to put in the time and get better each year.”
“There might be a diamond in the rough … And we found a lot of those kids,” added Carr. He coached for many years with Rusty Parks at WCHS, who described Carr as “truly the heart and soul of Woodford County wrestling.”
Bill Phelps and Owen Range: Public Service
After graduating from WCHS in 1965, Bill Phelps worked in state government for three decades, including as assistant director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Committee.
Phelps has also served his community as a Versailles firefighter – beginning as an 18-year-old volunteer. Now a major with the department,
Phelps was past president of the Versailles Kiwanis Club, a board member with the local Salvation Army service unit and played a vital role in the Food Pantry for Woodford County raising $80,000 to build its new facility.
Being considered – let alone inducted – into the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame was “quite an honor,” Phelps said.
Owen Range was a pioneer in radio technology after he graduated from Versailles High School in 1931. He not only taught radio and electronics theory to his military students during World War II, he designed a “square wave” generator, which is the basic principal of radar.
Closer to home in 1947, Range built WVLK’s first radio studio above the public library in downtown Versailles. He also uttered the first words on its airwaves.
Range was mayor of Versailles for 16 years, helping recruit major employers Texas Instruments, Rand McNally and Sylvania.
He also developed several residential subdivisions, including Southland, Merewood, Paddock and Derby Hills.
“I think it’s overdue.” John Range said of his dad’s induction into the Hall of Fame, pointing to the industry that came to town during his father’s four terms as mayor.
Receiving special Team Recognition during last Saturday’s induction ceremony were Woodford County High School’s State Champion wresting teams of 1972, 1973 and 1974.
Three-time individual State Champion Jeff Fitch credits the coaching of Ron Becker, two-time Kentucky Coach of the Year, for the team’s successes.
“So many memories, and with the price that we had to pay together… it’s great to see them all,” said Fitch. “…It’s also great to see the teachers… and the people in the community that supported the team because there were a lot,” including many who didn’t have a kid on the team.
In addition to Becker, wrestlers Steve Atha, Bruce Boggs, Wayne Campbell (’74 state champ), Vaughn Cordle, Randy Cotton, Eddie Davis, Fitch, Arnie Guy, Tilton Hancock, Steve Hillock, Rick LeMaster (’73 state champ), Billy McDaniel, Danny McMillian, Brad Simpson, George Smith, Doug Stratton, Johnny Thomas, Jack Wood (’72 state champ) and Kevin Rankin (team manager) were recognized by the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame.
“I am always amazed as I read of the accomplishments of those who are being inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins, while welcoming the largest crowd to attend an induction ceremony.
“…It truly is amazing.”