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Introducing the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024

The banquet to induct the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024 is May 4 at the Priceville Event Center. Proceeds go to the North Alabama Boys & Girls Club to be used in Morgan County.

The Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame is hosting a golf tournament at Burningtree Country Club on May 3.

For more information, on tickets to the banquet, playing in the golf tournament or sponsorship for either event, contact Joe Bailey at 256-286-9048.

Morgan Hall of Fame announces Class of 2024

Decatur’s Adcock, Decatur Heritage’s Meek lead 10 inductees

By David Elwell

Jere Adock

Two recently retired high school coaches who left a huge imprint on the area sports scene are part of the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

Decatur High’s Jere Adcock and Decatur Heritage’s Steve Meek lead a class of 10 inductees.

Adcock, 68, led the Decatur High football program for 27 seasons. His teams won 187 games, captured seven region championships, had five 10-plus win seasons and visited the playoffs 21 times.

“It’s humbling to think that I will be in there with a group of people who are really great people and have done so much for Morgan County with their athletic endeavors,” Adcock said.

Steve Meek

Meek, who turns 64 later this month, turned Decatur Heritage football and baseball into powerhouse programs recognized around the state with a magical 11-year run.

“When I think of the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame I think of people like Tom Calvin, Joe Jones and Earl Webb and not me,” Meek said. “I’m extremely appreciative and humble to receive this honor. It’s been a privilege to work with so many great coaches and athletes.”

The 35th Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet is May 4. For the first time it will be held outside the city of Decatur. The Priceville Event Center is hosting the banquet. The new facility is located next door to the Priceville City Hall on Marco Drive.

The Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame is a fundraiser for the North Alabama Boys & Girls Club to be used in Morgan County.

The rest of the Class of 2024 includes six other schools in Morgan County and a variety of sports. Austin is represented by swimmer Lorenzo Jackson Jr. and softball player Lesley Westmoreland.

Basketball brings to the Hall of Fame Gary Orr and the late Dwain Keel both of Hartselle, Danville’s Timmy John Morgan and Falkville’s Randy Nelson.

Two inductees are being honored for their careers as umpires. David Chairs of Decatur and the late Arnold Russell of Trinity each umpired baseball and softball games over 50 years. Russell was also a fixture at West Morgan for operating the scoreboard for both football and basketball games for many years.

Adcock, who is a native of Handley, came to Decatur in 1994 to be an assistant for then head coach Steve Rivers. When Rivers moved to Athens in 1996, Adcock was promoted to head coach.

Adcock was Decatur’s fifth head coach in a 90-year span. The previous four of H.L. “Shorty” Ogle, Wes Thompson, Earl Webb and Rivers are all in the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame. Adcock is Decatur’s second winningest head coach behind Ogle’s 209. In Adcock’s 27 years, the program had 40 All-State selections.

“When you get in the business you hope to be one of those coaches who make an impact,” Adcock said. “All of a sudden you get a phone call about an honor like this and you can’t help but be extremely appreciative.”

Meek is an Austin graduate. Besides a five-year stint as head football coach at Lawrence County from 1990-1994, he had been an assistant coach at several schools, including Austin. Meek retired from public education in 2010 only to be lured back to coaching by Decatur Heritage in 2011.

In 11 seasons, the Decatur Heritage football program won 86 games, had four 10-plus win seasons and made eight trips to the playoffs. The baseball program won the 2016 Class 1A state championship. The Eagles made two other visits to the state finals. Meek’s football and baseball teams had a combined 41 All-State selections.

Meek is the first Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame inductee representing Decatur Heritage.

“It’s an honor to be representing Decatur Heritage,” Meek said. “Coaching there was an amazing experience.”

Class of 2024

Jere Adcock, 68, the Handley native came to Decatur High as an assistant football coach in 1994 and was elevated to head coach in 1996. His teams won 187 games in 27 seasons with five 10-plus win seasons, seven region championships and 21 playoff appearances. The program had 40 All-State selections.
David Chairs, 92, was a star athlete at Decatur Negro High School. For over 50 years, Chairs was a highly respected official for baseball, softball and football.
Lorenzo Jackson Jr., 68, was a championship swimmer at Austin in the 1970s. He was the first Black to ever place in the Alabama High School Athletic Association state swim meet.
Dwain Keel, deceased, graduated from what is now Hartselle High in 1969 and is still one of the leading all-time scorers in program history. The Tigers won the Morgan County Tournament in his junior season. He died in 2020.
Steve Meek, 63, the Austin graduate retired from Decatur Heritage in 2022 after 11 seasons where he guided the football and baseball programs to statewide recognition. His football teams won 86 games in 11 seasons. The baseball program won a state championship in 2016.
Timmy John Morgan, 65, the Danville graduate followed up a stellar prep basketball career with a college career at North Alabama where he played on the 1979 NCAA Division II national championship team.
Randy Nelson, 67, the 1974 Falkville graduate averaged over 20 points a game in three years at Falkville while scoring 1,650 career points. After playing at Athens State, Nelson moved into a long high school coaching career.
Gary Orr, 68, was a star point guard as a sophomore on Hartselle’s 1971 state championship team. After high school and college, Orr began a coaching career that eventually brought him back to Hartselle. He coached the 2016 Hartselle girls basketball team to the Final Four.
D. A. “Arnold” Russell, deceased, was a fixture in Morgan County as a baseball and softball umpire in a career that spanned 60 years. The mentor to many young people in the Trinity area was also the long-time scoreboard operator for West Morgan. He died in 2018.
Lesley Westmoreland Smothers, 49, starred in softball and basketball at Austin. She continued her college career at North Alabama, Athens State and Calhoun Community College, where she was the national tournament MVP in 1999.


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