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WCPS Hall of Fame inducts Joseph Barr, Larry Blackford Sr.

Joseph Barr and Larry Blackford Sr. represent two entirely different eras and styles of Woodford County sports. Blackford, a member of the Woodford County class of 1973, earned his reputation on the hardwood. Barr, an ‘08 graduate, made his mark on the lush greens and fairways. Where Blackford was a tough and tenacious rebounder, Barr built his reputation on smooth drives and steady putts. Despite the obvious differences, the two will forever be linked as the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 inductees for athletics. Barr is considered the most accomplished male golfer in Woodford County history and has the accolades to prove it. He was a four year letterman at the University of Kentucky, three time all-state selection, two-time Kentucky Junior player of the year and Junior Golf All-American. Barr won over 10 tournaments as Yellow Jacket across six years of varsity play. Of his induction, Barr says, “It’s a great honor not just for me but for my family. This is 100 percent a family award. I wouldn’t be here without a great support system.” Blackford is one of the most statistically significant basketball players in Yellow Jacket history as he is listed in the top five in school history across several categories. Selected as the No. 1 player in the region. “I grew up on Macy Avenue, playing ball and going down to the park to play with the guys in Big Spring Bottom,” Blackford said in an interview earlier this year. “We beat a lot of people in Fayette County that had much more talent than we did. Matter of fact, the only team that beat us was Bryan Station with Jack Givens.” He played collegiately at both Eastern Kentucky University and Transylvania University, garnering all-conference honorable mention honors at the former and two all-region team honors at the latter. His time at Transylvania as a co-captain also saw him lead the team in both scoring and rebounding. After his playing days ended, Blackford served as a coach and educator for nearly three decades before retiring. In 2018 he became the first African-American elected to the Woodford County Fiscal Court. Larry is now the second member of his family to be inducted into the WCPS Hall of Fame. His sister Priscilla was inducted in 2012 alongside Larry’s coach at Transylvania, Don Lane. Blackford is also a man of faith, serving as an outreach pastor and volunteer chaplain at the Woodford County Detention Center.

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