By Don Brown
February 7, 2014
The first group of inductees into the newly-formed Grayson County High School Athletic Hall of Fame was introduced to the public last Friday evening in ceremonies between games of the boy/girl doubleheader against Butler County.
Twelve individuals made up the inaugural class, one former coach, one member of the media, and 10 former Cougar athletes.
Don Lee was the Cougar cross country coach for 20 years at GCHS, but was was best known as the head coach of the Cougar baseball team. Lee finished his career as the Cougar baseball coach with a record of 576 wins against 337 losses and was also inducted into the Kentucky High School Baseball Hall of Fame.
Lee had one cross country regional title and was runner-up four times. In baseball, Lee amassed 17 district titles and was runner-up eight times. His teams were regional champions four times and were runner-up nine times. His 1993 team made it to the sectionals, where the Cougars were runners-up.
Dave Thompson was the only inductee in the contributor category. Thompson retired in 2007 as “The Voice of the Grayson County Cougars” after 32 years of covering Cougar sports on local radio.
Michelle Critchelow graduated from GCHS in 2005 and was named Kentucky Miss Softball that year. Critchelow was also a member of the 2000 State runner-up golf team. Critchelow set pitching records for most strikeouts in a game and in a season, best ERA, most perfect games and most no-hitters.
Chris Gaither was a 2002 GCHS graduate and was a star for the Cougar basketball teams, leading them to the Sweet 16 in 2001. Gaither set records for most points in a single season and for a single game. He was a first-team all state selection and was a member of the Kentucky All Star Team.
Gaither went on to play basketball at Temple University and Georgetown College and is currently the head coach at Collins High School, in Shelbyville.
All the other Hall members were from the track & field or cross country teams.
Pat Alexander graduated in 1982 after setting school records in the 800-meters, 400-meters and mile, along with records in the 4x400 meters and 4x200 meters. He ran track and cross country at WKU, where he earned a BS in chemistry and biology and a Masters in counseling. He is currently a teacher at St. Xavier High School, in Louisville.
Kimberly Escue was inducted posthumously following her premature death in 1993. She would have been a 1994 GCHS graduate. She participated in track, basketball, football and baseball. She was a state high jump participant and also went to state in the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles.
Spring Wall Pendleton graduated in 1993 and participated in track, cross country and basketball. She holds the school high jump record at 5-feet, 6-inches and was the state champion in that event in both 1992 and 1993. She went on to run track for WKU where she received her BA in sociology.
DeShea Brock Richards was a 1995 GCHS graduate and set school records in both the discus and shot put. She went on to attend college at Lindsey Wilson.
Lee Miles was a 1996 GCHS graduate, where he left with the pole vault record. Miles went on to attend Berea College and still holds the pole vault record there of 14-feet, 9-inches. He was All-Conference at Berea in 1997-98.
Angie Lee Abner graduated in 1999 after participating in cross country, basketball and track & field. She set a cross country record in the 4K and held track records in the 400, 800, mile and two-mile races. She was also part of record-breaking 4x100. 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800-meter teams.
Abner was a regional champion in cross country, and was the Junior Runner of the Year in 1997. In track, she won nine regional titles and was the state 800-meter champion as a sophomore.
Abner went on to attend Eastern Kentucky University, running on the track and cross country teams there. She earned her BA and MA degrees there and is currently a first-grade teacher at Clarkson Elementary.
Brian Soverns graduated from GCHS in 2006 and played football and was a member of the Cougar track & field teams. He set school records in the shot put (56-feet, 4-inches) and discus (163-feet, 3-inches). He was selected to the first team All-State in the shot in 2006 and was second-team in the shot in 2005, and in the discus in 2006.
Soverns went on to attend WKU where he was a five-time NCAA qualifier, a six-time individual conference champion, a 13-time All-Conference selection and currently holds school records in two events. Soverns currently coaches track & field at Bellarmine University, in Louisville.
Josh Smith was a 2007 graduate after participating in track, cross country and basketball. Smith still holds the school record in the pole vault at 14-feet, 7-inches. He was also a member of the 4x400-meter relay team which set a school record that was just recently broken.