MONTGOMERY – Twelve major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama, including a former Gordon Central High teacher and assistant football coach, have been selected from an outstanding field of 50 nominations for induction into the 27th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame next March.
The 2017 class, which includes an “old-timer,“ will be inducted at the 27th annual banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, March 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.
Selected for induction are football coaches Peter Braasch, Wayne Grant, Danny Horn, Russell Jacoway and Dwight Sanderson; basketball coaches Wayne Bowling, Richard Carter, Bob Harpe; volleyball and softball coach Rebecca Lee; softball coach Tony Scarbrough; tennis coach David Bethea; and coach/administrator Lorenzo Jackson, who was selected in the “old-timer“ division. Jackson is deceased.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate sponsors include Alabama Power, ALFA, Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Jack’s, Russell Athletic, TeamIP and Wilson Sporting Goods.
Veteran sportscaster Jeff Shearer will emcee the banquet. The NFHS Network is scheduled to live-stream the banquet.
The first class was inducted in 1991. These 12 new inductees will run the total enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 332.
Here is more information on Sanderson’s athletic and coaching career:
Sanderson, 75, spent 29 years teaching and coaching in the AHSAA. He spent 14 years as head football coach at Notasulga High School from 1967-81. His first four years notched only eight wins but provided the foundation for what would come over the next 10 years.
The Blue Devils were 76-24-2 during that stretch with five state appearances. His 1977 team was Class 1A state runner-up. The early years were extremely important, however, since it came just as the AHSAA and AIAA merged. His leadership and direction helped the school move into the new era smoothly.
He had stops at Valley High School and Chambers County High School before retiring from Alabama in 1993. He then spent 13 years teaching in Georgia from 1994-2006 and was an assistant football coach at Gordon Central High.
Sanderson has been active in the community serving as a Sunday school teacher at New Site Methodist Church, a youth director in Ashland and working with senior citizens in Tallassee. He is a member of the Notasulga Lions Club.
A 1959 graduate, he is one of two Clay County High School alumni to be selected for the Class of 2017 Hall of Fame. He earned his college degree from Jacksonville State in 1964 and a Masters at Troy University.