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Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame announces Class of 2021
The Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame is making history in 2021.
For the first time since the Hall of Fame started recognizing Morgan County’s athletic heroes in 1989, half of the Class of 2021 of six is female.
The three are Nancy Keenum, Lori Breedlove Bailey and Andrea Watkins-Orr.
“It just shows you how far we’ve come as a society,” Keenum said. “When I graduated from West Morgan in 1975, we had no girls athletic teams.
“Today, we have girls from Morgan County going to college to compete at a high level. It’s great to see recognition for what they have accomplished.”
Joining the three females are Charles Lee Martin, Howard Jenkins and Clift Knight.
The sports world was dominated by males for decades, but that changed in 1972 when Congress passed Title IX, which bars discrimination in education programs receiving federal financial assistance. That sparked a boom in female sports.
That boom has also been felt by the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame. The first female inducted was golfer Kathy Farrer in 1991. Through 2011, seven females had been inducted. The Class of 2021 will make 11 since 2014. The total of males to females will still be male heavy, but many more females worthy of induction are coming.
Here’s a capsule look at the Class of 2021:
Lori Breedlove Bailey, 46, was a four-time All-State player at Danville from 1989-1993, where she scored 1,500 points. She played in college at Wallace State and Jacksonville State. Today, she teaches at Danville Middle School and coaches the Danville softball team.
Howard Jenkins, 83, was a star athlete at Cotaco where he played basketball and baseball. He played on Cotaco’s 1955 Morgan County Tournament champion baseball team. He worked at Monsanto and served as a Morgan County Commissioner for 12 years.
Nancy Keenum, 63, graduated from West Morgan in 1975 and played basketball at Calhoun. She coached at UNA and Judson before returning to Calhoun in 1983. She retired as the Calhoun softball coach in 2019 and continues as the school’s athletic director.
Clift Knight, 85, spent nearly 50 years covering high school sports for the Hartselle Enquirer. After serving in the Air Force following high school, Knight graduated from Alabama with a degree in journalism. He won numerous press awards and was mayor of Hartselle from 2000-2004.
Charles Lee Martin, 70, was a star athlete at Austin in the late 1960s. He was the most valuable player in the Class 3A state tournament in 1969 when Austin won its first state basketball championship. Martin was named to All-State teams by the Birmingham News and Birmingham Post-Herald.
Andrea Watkins-Orr, 45, went by the nickname “Bam” in high school at Austin, where she was a Class 6A All-State player in 1994. She played in college at Wallace State, UNA and UAH. She graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from UAH and has worked for several companies involved in missile defense and space exploration.
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