1991 State Champion Bobcats
Without a doubt, the 1991 Bobcats qualify as one of the greatest teams, not only in Bell County history, but also in the history of the entire Mountain area. These Bobcats, under the direction of Coach Dudley Hilton, were indeed the Pride of the Mountains — and in 1991 they were the pride of the state.
The 1991 Bobcats finished their season with a record of 14-1 and outscored their opponents by a total of 441 to 148. More importantly, in the five playoff games at the end of the season, the Bobcats held their opponents to a grand total of only 34 points, an average of under seven points per game.
The 1991 campaign began on an uncertain note as the Bobcats traveled to Lexington to take on state power Ft. Thomas Highlands in the prestigious Thoroughbred Bowl. The Bobcats had lost some valuable seniors off of the 1990 state semi-final team, so these Bobcats were young. However, Bell County pulled out a dramatic 22-21 win and set the tone for the rest of the season.
A 39-0 win over Laurel County followed, and then came the only defeat of the season to an outstanding Corbin team. The loss motivated the Bobcats and provided quite possibly was the turning point in the season. They would not lose again.
Victories over Shelby County (21-18), Middlesboro (31-6), South Oldham (27-23), Clay County (21-7), Whitley County (36-6), Cawood (27-13) and Knox Central (55-0) followed.
The playoffs began with a convincing 41-6 win over Coach Hilton’s former team from Breathitt County. Dominating wins over Leslie County (42-6) and Belfry (26-6) came next.
A Saturday afternoon trip to perennial state powerhouse Covington Catholic for the state semifinals was the next stop and it was a classic showdown. In the end, the Bobcats totally shut down the Colonels, allowing just a field goal in a 12-3 victory.
Not many teams can boast of defeating the stories programs of Ft. Thomas Highlands and Covington Catholic in the same season; but in 1991 these Bobcats did just that.
The State Championship Game in Louisville climaxed the season and the Bobcats passed the test with flying colors, defeating Meade County 35-13 to secure the school’s first state championship and bring the big trophy back to Bell County.
Team members include: David Brainard, Jody Brock, Crit Callebs, Michael Callebs, Arthur Carter, Darrin Clark, Jimmy Coomes, Stacy Ellison, Alan Gilbert, Dewayne Graves, Lonnie Gray, George Howard, Tony Hunley, Kevin Jackson, Robbie Jeffers, Lee Jenkins, Derek Jones, John Knuckles, Steve Knuckles, Donnie Lamar, Brian Langford, Billy Joe Lee, Chris McGeorge, Matthew McWilliams, Carlis Muncy, John Parrott, Reggie Robbins, Jay Rutherford, Dan Sanders, Lowell Scott, Johnny Slusher, Joe Smith, Steve Smith, Ray Stepp, Darrin Thomas, Derrick Thomas, Shawn Ward, Andy Wilder, Travis Wilder and Matthew Williams; Head coach Dudley Hilton; Assistant Coaches: Bo Callebs, Brian Crawford, Tom Greer, Hunk Johnson, Barry Philpot, Jeff Saylor and Jim Bo Terry; managers Derrick Delk, Jacon Elder and Brett Thompson; and Team Doctor Emanuel Rader.
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A 1976 graduate of Bell County High School, Bob was one of Bell County’s most decorated and versatile athletes. During his four-year career, he excelled in three different sports: Track, Cross-Country and Football.
A member of Bell County High School’s first cross-country team, he earned All-SEKC honors as a junior and was the team’s MVP three times.
During his four-year track career, Bob was a two-time region champion in the pole vault, and also region champion in the 120-yard hurdles and triple jump. He was also all-Region in the mile run and 880-yard run. He qualified for the Kentucky State Track and Field Championships in his junior and senior years.
In the SEKC Track Championships, he won two pole vault titles and twice placed in the top three in the mile run and the 880-yard run as well as a top three finish in the 120-yard hurdles. During his four-year track career, he was named the team’s MVP three times and the Bobcats won the SEKC Championship in 1975, Bob’s junior year.
During his senior year he earned All-Conference honors in cross-country and football in the same season.
Bob continued his track and cross-country career at Western Kentucky University. During his college years, he became an accomplished marathon runner. His best marathon finishes included seventh place finishes at both the Florida Relays and Kansas Relays; and he placed third in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the University of Louisville Relays in 1979.
He graduated from WKU in December, 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Spanish.
In a 28-year coaching career at Division II Lander University in South Carolina, Bob was sports information director as well as cross-country coach. He led the women’s team to three Peach Belt Conference Championships and was named the conference Coach of the Year three times. He was also awarded the NAIA Area 7 Coach of the Year after leading the team to the NAIA District 6 Championship, which earned it an automatic berth into the National Championship Meet.
Bob was inducted into the Lander Athletic Hall of Fame in 2022 and was also voted the Conference Sports Information Director of the Year in 2015-16.
He was escorted by his wife, Leigh.
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Paul Greene was one of the most decorated players in the history of Bell County football. A 1952 graduate from Old Bell County High School, Mr. Greene was a member of the school’s basketball team as well as a tremendous member of the football team.
He was a six-year starter and a three-year captain, and he was named All-Cumberland Valley Conference three times. He was named honorable mention All-State once and was All-State twice.
During his senior year, he was named the Outstanding Lineman in the Cumberland Valley Conference and First Team All-State. He was also named to the All-Southern High School Football Team and played in the prestigious East-West All-Star Game.
And to top off his list of accomplishments, Mr. Greene was named to the High School All-American Team. He is still the only High School All-American football player in the history of Bell County. After graduation, Mr. Greene also earned a full football scholarship to the University of Louisville.
Mr. Greene was represented by his great nephew Bill Keyes.
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Pam Walters Miracle
Pam Walters was one of the most outstanding basketball players in Bell County history. She played on the varsity from her 8th grade year in 1984-85 through her senior year (1988-89). She was a 3-year starter and totaled 1,326 career points, which was an average of 20 points per game. She also totaled 582 career rebounds, an average of eight per game; and 408 career assists, an average of five per game.
Pan was named to the Regional All-Tournament Team three times and the All-District Tournament Team three times. She was also named All-SEKC during all three of her years as a starter.
She led her Lady Cat teams to District Championships from 1985 to 1989.
Pam was also named the Harlan Rotary Classic MVP and was the U.S. Army Reserve Athlete of the Year her senior season. She was also named honorable mention All-State twice.
In addition, she was also a member of the Lady Cat softball team.
Pam continued her outstanding basketball career at Lincoln Memorial University, where she finished in the program’s All-Time Top Ten in scoring, rebounds and assists. She was inducted into the LMU Hall of Fame in 2003.
Pam also served as an assistant coach for the Lady Cats from 1995-97, and was the head coach at Page from 2016-18.
Pam has been a teacher in the Bell County School System for 28 years, 20 at Bell County High School as well as eight at Page School Center.
She was escorted by her husband, Lynn, and children Kaelyn and Jordan.
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Robert Leon Miracle
Leon Miracle is renowned throughout Bell County as one of the greatest supporters of athletics in the county’s history.
A 1957 graduate of Henderson Settlement High School, he was a member of the school’s basketball team all four years of his high school career from 1953-57.
He taught at Henderson Settlement High School from 1962 to 1964 and then at Old Bell County High School from 1964 through 1969.
He ended his teaching career to take a job as a Standard Oil agent and he later became a distributor for Chevron as R.L. Miracle Distributing Company.
In his professional life, Mr. Miracle sponsored many radio broadcasts of local high school football and basketball games and coaches shows on WANO and WRIL radio for many years through his Chevron bulk plant and gas stations.
He was also an avid Title IX supporter and ensured that girls basketball games were broadcast on an equal basis.
He never wanted any recognition for his support. He did it because of his true love of Bell County athletics.
Mr. Miracle is also a devoted supporter of the Henderson Settlement Community through its annual reunion and other events. He also commissioned the print of Henderson Settlement School, which was on display for Henderson Settlement Night at Bell County School several years ago.
Leon was escorted by his daughter Leighann and grandson Landon.
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Pearl Ray Lefevers
Almost 30 years after his retirement as superintendent of the Bell County School System, Pear Ray Lefevers’ contributions in his role as an administrator certainly helped build the foundation for both future academic and athletic success at Bell County High School. Those contributions are still being felt today.
Mr. Lefevers was a 1955 graduate of Old Bell County High School. He ran track and held the 100-yard dash record at one time. He began his teaching career at Blackstar in Harlan County, and started his career in Bell County at Dorton Branch in the late 1950s, where he eventually became the school’s principal. He then spent many years at the District Office and became principal at Old Bell High in 1982. He was the last principal at Old Bell High and the first principal of the current Bell County High School. In addition to being principal, Mr. Lefevers served the Bell County School System as Director of Pupil Personnel, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent.
Old Bell County High School was considered a basketball school during his time as principal, having won two regional tournaments over a four year period. However, success on the football field had been minimal at best. That was soon to change as Mr. Lefevers and a few other supporters successfully lured a young coach away from Breathitt County to take over the Bobcat program. They were able to convince the coach that with the coming consolidation in Bell County, the Bobcats could be successful. That young coach was of course Dudley Hilton, and a new era of unparalleled success on the football field began.
In addition to Coach Hilton, Mr. Lefevers also hired J.D. Strange as boys basketball coach and Wayne Walters, another of this year’s inductees, as girls coach. Both had great success at the helm of the Bobcat and Lady Cat programs, leading their respective teams to several 13th Region finals.
As principal, Mr. Lefevers went out of his way to take care of students who did not have a lot. He always made sure that they had money for food and winter clothes when needed. This was during a time before the beginning of Family Resource and Youth Service Centers.
Mr. Lefevers was principal at Bell County High School until 1989, when he moved to the Central Office as assistant superintendent. He later became superintendents in 1993 and served in that capacity until 1997. He then retired from the School System and became director of Comprehensive Care. But he continued to be involved in the school system in various ways.
Mr. Lefevers also served as State Representative for several successful terms.
Mr. Lefevers was represented by his grandson Clint Hurley.
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Bobby Lee Slusher
Bobby Lee Slusher is certainly one of the best basketball players to ever to come out of the Bell County School System. Bobby Lee was a 6’6” power forward with a beautiful jump shot. Along with teammate and 2021 Hall of Fame inductee Larry Pursifull, Bobby Lee led Lone Jack to one of its greatest seasons in 1957 as the Mustangs held the #1 ranking in the state after defeating top-ranked Lafayette in Lexington. Bobby Lee holds the individual single game scoring record of 83 points, scored against Pineville in 1957. It is the fifth highest single game point total in Kentucky High School history.
Bobby Lee was named first team All-State in 1957, and he played in the East-West All-Star Game and in the Kentucky –Indiana All-Star Game in the summer o f1957. He was also named a Parade Magazine All-American, and is the only such All-American to ever come out of Bell County and possibly from the 13th Region.
After graduation, Bobby Lee signed with Coach Adolph Rupp and the University of Kentucky. During his sophomore season in 1959, Bob was inserted into the starting line-up in the UK Invitational Tournament. In his first start, he scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Ohio State and its great Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas. In the following night’s championship game he scored 19 points and had six rebounds as the Wildcats defeated West Virginia and its own All-American and Hall of Famer Jerry West. Bobby Lee was named to the five-man All-Tournament Team that weekend.
Bobby Lee Slusher was represented by his daughter Linda Vorndran.
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A 1960 graduate of Old Bell County High School, Wayne Walters played basketball all four years of his high school career and also played on Bell County’s best-ever baseball team in 1959.
Wayne attended Eastern Kentucky University and began his teaching career at Lone Jack High School in 1964. He served as an assistant basketball coach for seven years before becoming head boys coach in 1972.
During his tenure the Mustangs won district titles in 1975 and 1979. His 1979 team was regional runner up and his teams in 1980, 1981 and 1983 were district runners up.
After the Bell County Schools consolidation, he became the first girls basketball coach at the new Bell County High School. During his girls coaching career he compiled a record of 187 wins against only 91 losses. His teams won nine district championships in a row from 1986-94 and his Lady Cats were regional runners up in 1990, 1991 and 1992.
Wayne also served as a long-time math teacher as well as spokesperson for teachers in the Bell County School District.