My years have gone by swiftly and within the week, yet another will have slipped away. Most vivid in the memories of those years are family and friends.
Those memories are wonderful and I thank God for allowing me to reflect and trace in my mind the family as far back as I can remember. I also disagree with whoever it was that said if you have one true friend you are rich. I have been blessed with many good and true friends.
In order to avoid this column turning into a biography, I will turn my memory to some of the Redhound lore over its wonderful history.
1924 – The Redhounds, then known as the Railsplitters, play their first game of football. My memory will not help a great deal since I was yet to be born, but everyone associated with this game would probably like to forget it. Pineville 143, Corbin 0.
The 30’s was a kinder decade. Nick Denes was to arrive on the scene to accelerate the football program, but in the meantime coached the Corbin High School Redhounds basketball team to the state championship.
Ted Meadors took over for Coach Denes in football, and led them to an undefeated season in 1939.
It was part-way through the 40’s, 1943 that a young Harry Taylor took over the basketball program and beginning in 1947 produced six regional championships and many outstanding players.
The fifties and the latter part of forties were where two families were to put an imprint on Corbin High School athletics that could never be removed. To have one family with all of that talent and athleticism would be unbelievable enough, but this was a tale of two families in one era.
The young men of both families were and remain to this day unselfish and very respectful of each other.
The Birds and Selvy’s were individually All-State and All-American players recognized nation wide.
Outside these two outstanding families were many other great players such as Mel Chandler in football and Jerry Smith who was the best basketball player in the state in 1959.
I still believe the 1955 state championship football team was the best high school team to ever play in Kentucky. I suppose it is all right to lay claim to that honor since Paul Horning in his book “The Golden Boy” said he felt the 1952 Louisville Flaget team he played on was the best high school football team in Kentucky history.
The sixties had two great teams that represented the Corbin High School Redhounds. The football team got the decade off to a great start going undefeated over an 11-game schedule in 1960. They were coached by Walt Green.
I have always felt the 1965 basketball team was among the very best ever at Corbin. Coach W.C. Sergant could not get them past Knox Central in the regional after soundly defeating the Panthers in the district finals.
The seventies produced a state AA football championship in 1976 and a runner-up in 1977 under coach Archie Powers.
The eighties produced yet two more AA state championships in 1980 and 1982. The 1980 Redhounds were coach by Powers while Larry “Cotton” Adams coached the champions of 1982.
The nineties finally saw a long drought come to an end, Coach Billy Hicks would guide the Redhound basketball program back to the Sweet Sixteen in 1992 after nearly a 50-year wait.
Coach Mike Deaton led the ‘Hounds back to Rupp Arena in 1998 and began the new century by once again winning the 13th region in 2000.
We are nearly halfway though the first decade of the 21st century, and we have played for a state AA championship in Louisville once and came within one point of going back this year.
I am sure the future holds many great memories in basketball and football.
Happy New Year!
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