With thanks to Carolina Athletic Products and Hickory Orthopedic Center for sponsoring this year’s induction ceremony
Burrell Peterson Brown, Jr.
is affectionately known as “Coach Brown” or “Doc Brown” to any member of the Ridgeview High School Panthers, having mentored dozens of Panthers players who went on to success in athletics, the business world, and in community service.
Mr. Brown moved to Hickory, NC in 1948 where he was employed as a teacher of industrial arts, and served as assistant coach and head coach for football, girls and boys basketball, and track at Ridgeview High School. Under his guidance, the Ridgeview Panthers won numerous regional and state championships. He was recognized as the “winningest football and basketball coach of his time” in the Southeastern United States.
Mr. Brown later achieved recognition as a referee and umpire at local football, basketball, baseball and softball games, receiving commendations for twenty-five years of service from the North Carolina Football Officials Association, and for his work as a basketball official from both the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and the North Carolina Athletic Officials Association. He passed away on January 6, 2001.
Kathleen C. “Kathy” Kim
has been credited with doing as much, or more, than any other individual to promote tennis in Catawba County. She has lived in Catawba County since 1972 and is presently employed by the Hickory Foundation YMCA. She served as a Junior Council member on the NC Tennis Association in 1985-86, and as a Junior Council Director of that Association in 1987-88. During those years, she was instrumental in developing the rules and regulations for players across the state of North Carolina. Ms. Kim ranked fifth in the state in the age 35 group in 1985, and with partner Sandra Denny, ranked second in the state in doubles competition. She coached the Senior David Cup team for the NC Tennis Association in 1988 and worked with Coach Laurie Newman at Hickory High School in 1989 to lead the Hickory High boy’s tennis team to the state championship.
She was named NC Teacher of the Year in 1986, and the Southern Teacher of the Year in 1988, by the NC Tennis Association. In 2002, both the United States Tennis Association and the North Carolina Tennis Association honored her as the National Teacher of the Year. The City of Hickory honored her with the Community Relations Council award in 1992 and she won the Hickory Rotary Club’s first-ever Dwight Bartlett Award in 1992.
B. E. “Gene” Miller
was born in Catawba County on January 3, 1924 and starred in football, bsketball and baseball as a student at Hickory High School, then repeated that stardom in the same three sports at Lenoir-Rhyne College, beginning in 1941 and continuing after he served as a commissioned officer in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
Following his graduation from Lenoir-Rhyne, Mr. Miller taught at Oxford High School and served as basketball coach in 1949 and 1950, leading both teams to conference championships. He then began teaching at Hickory High School, where he coached the boy’s basketball teams to seven conference championships between 1951 and 1959.
Mr. Miller served as principal at Greenpark Elementary School from 1961-63 and at Kenworth Elementary School in 1963 and 1964. He rose to the rank of assistant superintendent of the Hickory City Schools from 1964-67, then served as principal at Hickory High School from 1967-74. He has been a member of the Hickory Rotary Club for over 35 years, and served as the club’s president in 1986-87. He was the very first president of the Catawba County Council for the Arts and was inducted into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.
Troy L. Washam
was co-captain and letterman on the Lenoir-Rhyne College football teams from 1939-42, and again in 1946-47 after returned from service as a Navy pilot in the Pacific Theater in World War II. He also lettered in baseball and basketball at Lenoir-Rhyne. He served as Lenoir-Rhyne’s head baseball coach from 1948-53, leading two teams to conference championships and a 70-23 record that remains the best of any L-R baseball coach.
Mr. Washam taught mathematics and physical education at Hickory High School for 31 years, coaching baseball from 1954-60 and from 1968-73, and also serving as assistant football coach. His Hickory High baseball teams won nine conference championships and he was named conference Coach of the Year on several occasions.
Mr. Washam’s American Legion baseball teams won ten area championships, and his 1948 club won the state and regional championships and finished second in the American Legion World Series. He was inducted into the North Carolina American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968 and in 1983 was elected to the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame. After his retirement, Mr. Washam enjoyed gardening and donated much of his annual harvest for fund raising to benefit Hospice of Catawba Valley. He passed away on November 10, 2003.
2004 High School Student Athletes of the Year
Bandys High School – Kyle Helderman – Ashley Chisiom
Bunker Hill High School – Lamar Stewart – Jennifer Payne
Fred T. Foard High School – Sammy Shreitah – Audra Harrison
Hickory High School – Jeremy Hyder – Christie Shuford
Maiden High School – Logan Spake – Tia Vance
Newton-Conover High School – Damon James – Trevan Rankin
St. Stephens High School – Adrian Young – Taylor Queen