On Friday evening at Tug Valley High School, a ceremony was held to induct members into the first-ever class of the Tug Valley High School Athletics Hall of Fame. It was presented by the Tug Valley High Athletic Hall of Fame and Museum.
Speakers at the ceremony included Jeffrey Reynolds, Executive Director of the Tug Valley Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum, Elder Jimmy Maynard, Pastor of Little Dove Church, Dr. C. Douglas Ward, Principal of Tug Valley High School, and Tug Valley High School Athletic Director and Treasurer of the TVHS Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum Clyde Farley.
The members inducted into the first Athletics Hall of Fame class at the school were Greg Davis, Nicole Colegrove, Billy Jack Parsley, Kyle Gillman, Kandas Workman, Austin Vance,and Frankie Smith.
Davis was a 2000 graduate of Tug Valley High School who started four years on the boys basketball team. He led the first ever Tug Valley state championship basketball team in 1997 in scoring, and was the only one in the program’s history to win West Virginia Player of the Year. In 1998, 1999 and 2000, he was an AA 1st-team All-State selection for the Panthers, and he was captain of the AA All-State First Team in 1999 and 2000. He is the leading scorer in Tug Valley basketball history, and he was a two-year starter in football.
Colegrove graduated from Tug Valley in 1993 and was a starter in both girls basketball and softball. She was a three-time Class AA 1st Team All-State selection in girls basketball from 1991-1993. She played on the girls AA basketball sectional championship teams from 1990-1992. She was a member of the Lady Panthers teams that made the state tournament in 1990 and 1992. She was elected to the All-State Tournament Team in 1990 as well as a captain on the All-Area girls basketball team in 1992. She was selected to the first ever All Area girls softball team in 1993.
Parsley was a 1996 graduate of Tug Valley and a three-year starter in football and boys basketball. He made 1st Team All-State in Class AA in football in 1995, and in basketball in 1996. He was the first athlete in Tug Valley High School history to be selected for 1st Team All-State in two sports, and he scored over 1,000 points in his basketball career with Valley. He was also a member of the 1995 Tug Valley playoff football team as well as the first ever sectional champion basketball team at TVHS in 1995.
Gillman graduated from Tug Valley in 2002 and was a four-year member of the basketball team from 1999-2002. He was on the Panthers team that won the Class AA state championship for the first time in school history in 1999. He was on the Tug Valley team in 2001 that was runners-up in the Class AA state tournament. He was a two-time Class AA All-State first team selection in 2001 and 2002 while being named captain of the team in 2002. He was a Class AA All-State second team selection in 1999 and played on four consecutive TVHS state tournament teams from 1999-2002. He was also a McDonalds All-American team nominee in 2002.
Workman was a 2004 graduate of Tug Valley and started on the girls basketball team every year from 2000-2004. She was a member of the All-Tournament team in Class AA for the Panthers in 2004. She was a two-time Class AA girls basketball All-State first team selection in 2003 and 2004. She was a Class AA girls basketball All-State second team selection in 2002. She played on consecutive sectional and regional Lady Panthers basketball championship teams from 2003-2004, and she was a McDonalds All-American team nominee in 2004.
Vance was a 2011 graduate of Tug Valley and a four-year member of the boys basketball team from 2008-2011 as well as a three-year football team member from 2009-2011. He was a Class AA All-State first team selection in boys basketball in 2011, and a Class AA All-State second team selection in football in 2010. He scored over 1,000 career points in boys basketball and ran for over 1,500 career yards in football. He led the state of West Virginia in scoring in football in 2010 with 232 points and was a member of that year’s Panthers playoff team.
Lastly, Frankie Smith was the boys basketball head coach at Tug Valley from 1994-1999 with a coaching record of 125-35. He was the head coach of the first ever boys basketball state championship team at Tug Valley in 1999 and was named Class AA Coach of the Year that year, the first person in school history to achieve that feat. He led the Panthers to five consecutive sectional championships from 1995-1999, as well as to regional championships in 1997 and 1999. He coached the Panthers to their first ever appearance in the boys basketball State Tournament in West Virginia in 1997 and won the first sectional, regional and state titles in school history.
Reynolds couldn’t help but realize everything this night meant to the Naugatuck community.
“Athletics is a big part of this school’s 33-year heritage,” said Reynolds. “It’s a big part of this community. Athletics has always been a binder for this community. Athletics has always been a very important part of any good school program, so this is something we’ve always wanted to do. We’ve talked over the years about doing it but there’s never seemed to be a good time when all the components, people being able to devote the time to it, people being willing to support it, fell into place. Now, it did. Getting this inaugural induction class under our belt is just amazing.”
Reynolds hopes that the greatness of the group that was inducted into Tug Valley’s first Hall of Fame class serves as a harbinger for things to come athletically at the school.
“The folks that were in this inaugural class each set a benchmark for excellence in their respective sports,” said Reynolds. “The fact that we now have these guys that we can have these plaques on the wall that we can point to with the kids who we have here now and say, these are the guys that come before you, these are the things that Tug Valley kids who sit in these same seats you did, achieved, these are your benchmarks, if you want to call yourself successful here, these are the benchmarks of success. It gives them something we can point to and some goals they can set. These people, not just what they did in the past but what they will do in the future for us by being the example to today’s students.”
Another point that Reynolds didn’t fail to mention was the school having enough of a past to pull something like this off.
“33 years is a long time,” said Reynolds. “This is something that this community needed. We’re in a unique juncture in Tug Valley’s history to where we have enough history behind us to where we can do some things like this. Sadly, many of our Tug Valley students here have no idea of the beginnings of this school. They may have heard a little bit about it from their parents or grandparents, but they don’t know a lot about it.
“That’s why we’re not only doing this as a Hall of Fame, but we’re also building a museum piece with it to be able to put that stuff out there again and build a room after these kids on where Tug Valley came from. I’ve often said that before you can get to where you need to go, you have to know where you’ve been. In order for our school to get to where we need to go in the future, we have to know where we’ve been. This will do that.”