Portland High School will hold its annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, Feb. 3 in the gymnasium following the girls’ basketball game. The school is very excited to induct new members into the Portland High School Athletic Hall of Fame as it celebrates the athletic accomplishments of Portland High School.
This year’s inductees include: Coach Carl Fussell, three-sport standout Scott Cline, stellar PHS golfer Katie Legge, and Cliff Williamson, the “Voice of the Panthers.”
This will be a memorable night for not only the inductees, but also for the alumni of PHS. Advance tickets are not necessary, and tickets can be purchased upon entry to the gym. The girls’ game begins at 6:30 p.m. against county rival Beech High School. Admission is $5. Portland High School is eager to continue this new tradition of PHS by recognizing the best of the best from years past at PHS in all facets of athletics.
Coach Carl Fussell came to Portland in 1963 and coached the Lady Panthers for 16 years. Fussell was recognized for winning his 200th game during the 1975-76 season. He ended his career with 235 wins and 185 losses.
Among the program’s accomplishments during his tenure was several second place finishes in the district and regional tournaments and reaching the substate. His 1965 squad was the first team in 31 years to advance to the region tourney.
He coached the 169-70 squad that won 24 out of 27 games and the 1973 team was 20-13 and the first to advance to the substate.
One of the outstanding players during Fussell’s career was Sandra Smallwood who played from on that 1970 team.
Smallwood is the second leading scorer in school history and was installed in Portland’s Hall of Fame last year.
During his retirement years, Fussell organized an elementary basketball team called the “Dream Team.” Many of those girls went on to play at the high school level.
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Katie Legge has a long list of accomplishments in her golf career at Cumberland University. As a freshmen, Legge finished as the top Cumberland University golfer in five of her teams’ nine tournaments and was Player of the week three times
She capped off her first year by winning the TranSouth Conference Freshmen Golfer of the Year and Player of the Year honors.
In the 2012-13 campaign, Legge was the leading individual scorer in six of the Lady Dawgs nine tourneys and earned a spot in the nationals and finished in 33rd place out of 143 golfers from around the country.
Legge was four shots from the top 20 and six shots from tying for 11th overall at the prestigious tournament. For her effort, Legge was a co-player of the year in the Mid-South conference, was selected as golfer of the week and named to the NAIA scholar-athlete list.
In her junior campaign, Legge was picked to the second team all Mid-South conference team, made the Dean’s List, was a Mid-South Scholar-Athlete and was named a DakTronics NAIA Women’s Scholar-Athlete.
Legge was the top individual scorer among her Cumberland University teammates in five of eight tournaments.
As a senior, Legge had two, second place finishes and a fourth and fifth place spots as the Lady Dawgs won their first two tournaments.
While a member of the Lady Panther golf program from 2007-2010, Legge lettered all four years, and won Individual medalist honors at the District 9-AAA tournament and finished as runner-up at the regions in three of her four seasons.
Legge won the district each year and clinched a region championship in her senior season. Legge played in the state tournament each season, where she finished 17th, 13th, 10th and ninth respectively overall.
Legge was the Tennessean/Schooldays girls champion in 2010 and finished as runner up in 2009.
As a small boy growing up in Georgia, Cliff Williamson never dreamed that life would take him to a small Middle Tennessee town nearly 30 years ago. And little did Williamson know that for many of those years, he would spend Friday nights behind the mike being the Portland football Public Announcer.
Loyal Panther football fans have traveled to every part of the state to support the team and have heard every kind of public announcer. In our eyes, no one does it better than Williamson.
Williamson came to us in the 1980’s after his dad’s connection to Ronnie McDowell led him to build a radio station in Portland. Williamson ran the radio station WMRL that was named in honor of Cliff’s mother.
Williamson met his wife Cindy at that time a reporter for the Portland Leader and the rest is history.
“I’ve been very blessed to work in the country music industry,” Williamson said when honored as part of the football program’s 100 year celebration. “But I look forward to Friday nights and doing what I do. It’s never been about me “
For 30 years, Williamson has set the bar high for future public announcers and hope for many more years behind the mic.
Scottie Cline, a 1988 graduate of Portland High School, was a three sport standout for the Panthers. Cline was an all state selection in both football and baseball. As a senior, Cline quarterbacked the Purple to a 9-1 record and a first round playoff game.
Cline went to Maryville College and played baseball all four years and was recently named to their Wall Of Fame. After college, Cline went into the business world but also found time to umpire baseball games at the college level.
Cline was influenced by his American Legion baseball coach Dave Alexander. After playing baseball for Alexander, Alexander asked Cline to umpire some American Legion games.
Cline did some high school games and in 1999, attended his first college camp for umpires. Since that time, Cline has umpired many college baseball game and got one of the biggest phone calls that a college umpire can receive
Cline was selected as one of eight umpires to work the 2016 College baseball World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Considering there are over 2500 umpires at the college level, to be chosen as one of the eight was a special honor.
Though Cline has traveled all over and been able to do things that most people never have a chance to do, Cline still retains his love for Portland and Panther athletics.