Seven decorated former athletes will be joining the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame this summer.
The Hall of Fame committee recently selected its Class of 2016, which is comprised of Jamie Hampton (Cedar Bluff), Josh Moten (Cedar Bluff), Charley Whorton (Cherokee County High School), Bobby Sanders (Hatcher High School), Taylor Burt (Sand Rock), Lucas McMichen (Sand Rock) and Paige Anderson McDonald (Spring Garden).
“This year’s class is an extremely talented group,” Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame President Mike Welsh said. “Each member has shown remarkable character and a diligent work ethic that goes beyond the extraordinary statistics and great team successes. They truly embody the spirit and meaning of Hall of Fame members.”
The Class of 2016 will formally be inducted on June 11 at 6 p.m. at the Gadsden State-Cherokee Arena. Hall of Fame organizers are also planning a golf tournament in honor of the 2016 class members the morning of June 11 at the Cherokee County Country Club.
Details on ticket prices for the banquet and the golf tournament are still being worked out.
Hampton was a standout quarterback at Cedar Bluff from 2004-07. He guided the Tigers to their first Super 6 Class 1A championship game appearance in 2006 and also played in the 2007 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
Hampton, an all-state selection in 2006, ended his high school career passing for 4,971 yards and 65 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,272 yards and 17 scores on 203 carries.
After graduating from Cedar Bluff, Hampton continued his football career at Troy University. He saw action in eight games as a freshman in 2007 and won the Trojans’ starting quarterback spot in 2008. Hampton started the first five games of the 2008 season before suffering a season-ending knee injury at Florida Atlantic.
Hampton redshirted in 2009 and battled his way back onto the field in 2010, where he saw limited action in six games. Hampton played in five games as a senior in 2011 and finished his career with 1,190 passing yards with 12 touchdowns. He also rushed for 471 yards and four scores on 98 carries.
Moten is the most prolific wide receiver in Cedar Bluff football history, etching his name into several Alabama High School Athletic Association receiving records along the way. From 2000-02, Moten finished his high school career with 218 receptions for 4,272 yards and 43 touchdowns.
Moten, a two-time First Team All-State selection, earned the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 1A Back of the Year his senior year after catching 66 passes for 1,266 yards and 13 touchdowns. He went on to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, then continued his football career at Jacksonville State.
As a member of the Gamecocks, Moten played in 42 games from 2003-07. He caught 58 passes for 833 yards and three touchdowns and was part of two Ohio Valley Conference championship teams (2003-04).
Whorton excelled in basketball as an all-county center at Cherokee County High School from 1952-56. He averaged 28.5 points per game as a senior.
During his senior year, Whorton scored 42 points in a single game and held that record for over 25 years. He scored a total of 513 points that season to set a school record.
Whorton was named to The Gadsden Times’ Northeast Alabama All-Century Basketball Players list in 2000.
Sanders made his mark with his swing in baseball. After graduating from Hatcher in 1956, he became one of the first black students in Cherokee County to go to college after receiving a baseball scholarship to attend Florida A&M.
Sanders excelled at Florida A&M, becoming one of the best hitters and all-around players in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He drew the attention of the Birmingham Black Barons, who offered him a contract after his second full year of college. Following a tryout, Sanders made the team in the summer of 1959 and was an East-West All-Star game selection. In 1960, Sanders was one of two black players chosen to play in the Philadelphia Phillies baseball organization. He was assigned to a team in Elmira, NY that played in the Class C Pioneer League. Sanders led the league in home runs and slugging percentage.
In 1961, Sanders was moved from Elmira to the Magic Valley Cowboys in Twin Falls, Idaho. He led the Pioneer League in home runs (38), batting average (.333), runs scored (103) and total bases (107).
Sanders retired from baseball in 1974 and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, but he picked up a new sport in racquetball. He became a five-time national champion from 1977-95 and paired with Otis Chapman to win over 30 state championships. Sanders is a member of the Ohio Racquetball Hall of Fame.
Burt is one of the most decorated female athletes in Sand Rock’s athletic history. A multi-sport standout in the early 2000s, Burt led the Lady Wildcat volleyball team to state tournament appearances in 2004 and 2005. She finished her volleyball career with 1,102 kills, 773 digs, 227 aces and 134 blocks.
Burt was also a six-year starter in basketball, earning numerous all-county and all-state accolades throughout her career. She led the Lady Wildcats to a state runner-up in 2006.
In 2005, Burt was selected to play in the North-South All-Star game, and in 2006, she earned a spot in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game. Burt signed a basketball scholarship with Gadsden State Community College and played for one year before switching to softball.
Speaking of softball, Burt was a standout pitcher and hitter at Sand Rock. She tossed 779.1 innings in her career with a 0.99 earned run average. Burt also notched 1,303 strikeouts and tossed nine no-hitters.
As a hitter, Burt tallied a career batting average of .399 with 177 hits in 444 at-bats. She scored 156 runs and stole 85 bases.
Burt went on to play two years of softball at Gadsden State and finished her collegiate career at Auburn-Montgomery.
McMichen guided Sand Rock to a Class 2A state runner-up in football as a sophomore in 1997. He was recognized as an all-state performer at the position for three consecutive years (honorable mention in 1997; First Team in 1998-99), and received numerous other honors in basketball and baseball as well.
As a senior in 1999, McMichen earned the American General AHSAA Class 2A Back of the Year after guiding Sand Rock to a 10-3 record.
After graduating in 2000, McMichen played college football at the University of West Georgia, where he was a three-year starting quarterback. McMichen earned Player of the Week honors four times and finished his college career passing for over 4,000 yards.
The former Paige Anderson was a star volleyball and basketball player at Spring Garden. In volleyball, she guided the Lady Panthers to area and county championships three consecutive seasons (2005-07). Spring Garden earned a Class 1A state runner-up in 2005, but then finally earned its first state volleyball title in 2007, thanks to a Most Valuable Player performance from Anderson.
But Anderson was best known for her basketball skills as a point guard. She posted 3,667 points, 1,137 rebounds, 573 assists and 484 steals throughout her high school career.
The Lady Panthers claimed three state championships under Anderson’s guidance (2004, 2005, 2008). She was also a Class 1A Player of the Year finalist four consecutive years (2005-08), and won the award in 2006 and 2008.
Anderson also earned the North-South All-Star Game MVP in 2007, won the Bryant-Jordan Scholar Athlete Award in 2008, and was selected to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game in 2008.
After graduating from Spring Garden in 2008, Anderson continued playing basketball at Samford University. She guided the Lady Bulldogs to a Southern Conference Tournament runner-up and a Women’s National Invitational Tournament berth in 2010. Anderson then helped Samford win back-to-back conference championships in 2011 and 2012 to clinch berths in the NCAA Tournament.
Anderson finished her collegiate career in Samford’s top 10 in scoring (902 points), free throws made/attempted (217/261), 3-pointers made/attempted (144/379) and games played (126).