The Cumberland Falls Tournament of 2006 is now history as a young team out of the 15th region claimed Championship honors. The Shelby Valley High School Wildcats played and fought their way through a competitive field including a five-point win over the Corbin Redhounds.
Shelby Valley then destroyed Dorman, South Carolina and disposed of a very good Bell County team in overtime for the championship.
The Redhounds were represented on the all-tournament team by Josh Crawford, who was outstanding and Madison Johnson, who gave the ‘Hounds an excellent performance as well.
Please pass the crow, as I must eat it after a terrific performance by the football Wildcats of Kentucky in the Music City Bowl. A win over the mouthy Clemson coach Tommy Bowden was particularly pleasing. Coach Bowden and his team spent the week talking in a condescending manner with regard to the Wildcats.
Andre Woodson finished the year as one of the best quarterbacks in the college ranks this year.
Well, a new year is here bringing with it high hopes for the future and an opportunity to generate memories for the youth of today that will give them the warm comfortable feelings the past affords me now.
The Corbin Redhounds are currently ranked number two in the 13th region behind South Laurel in the Lexington Herald Leader’s Cantrell rating of all Kentucky high school teams. Actually, it is Bell County at this time that poses the biggest threat to South Laurel because of size and maturity. By the first of Match, however, the Redhounds will be entering the stretch run of the season marathon and the ‘Hounds will be ready for either South Laurel or Bell County.
The Redhounds lost to Shelby Valley in the opening round and Shelby Valley is ranked 14th in the overall state ratings.
Shelby Valley like the Redhounds have a very young team, that starts three freshmen and I am sure will be making an appearance at the state tournament this year and maybe the next few years.
I recall my first trip to the state tournament, it was held in Memorial Coliseum in Lexington in 1952, and I was 11 years old. My dad and mother were avid Redhound fans, and took me to watch the best player in the state that year, Jerry Bird, lead the Corbin Redhounds to a state championship game.
Our hopes were dashed early as Cuba High School out of western Kentucky led by Doodle Floyd and Howard Critteden sparked a second half comeback to knock off the Redhounds. Cuba went on to capture the state championship and inspire the book “When Cuba Conquered Kentucky.”
Jerry Bird went on to become the second young man from Corbin to play for the University of Kentucky, where he was All-SEC and Honorable Mention All-American. Jerry also followed his predecessor Marion Cluggish and later played for the New York Knicks in the NBA.
Bird was an inspiration to Corbin kids in the 50s as he and high school teammate, Frank Selvy made names for themselves nationwide as basketball players. More than just great athletes, these were young men of great character, no arrests, no performance enhancing drugs. We were so proud of our heroes in the 50’s and there were several, but these two young men led the way.
This year’s team of Redhounds has young kids who follow them as well, I am sure the Josh Crawfords, the Madison Johnsons, the Clayton Sewells will always provide the good example as Jerry and Frank have.
The Corbin Redhounds of 1957-58 were not decked out in red, grey and white, but maroon and white. Their coach was Harry Taylor, their cheerleaders were Shelby Thurston, Jana Chaffin, Beulah Parrott, Elrose Jones, Glenda Thurston and Tommie Lanham. The roster was Harold Queary, Jim Terrell, Billy Bird, Jerry Bible, Terry Smith, David Selvy, Harold Jones, Jerry Smith, Keith Hutson and Bobby Croley.
Jerry Smith, who was a junior on that squad, went on to become All-State his senior season with the Redhounds. Jerry signed with Furman University where he led the nation in scoring and was all All-American. Jerry was drafted by the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. As far as a role model, Jerry is one of the finest men I have ever known, Jerry resides in Taylor, South Carolina now with his wife, Connie and their two children. I believe they have two grandchildren, one of which is named Corbin.
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