Trigg County High School has announced their first Athletic Hall of Fame class. Athletes, coaches, and contributors to athletic programs at TCHS were considered for induction to the hall of fame, based on criteria that includes, but is not limited to, athletic accomplishments (both in high school and college), contributions to the athletic program, community impact, and citizenship.
The first Trigg County Hall of Fame class consists of:
Al Baker was a two-sport record holder at Trigg County from 1981-85. Al’s 5,396 rushing yards still rank as the top total in school history and 24th most in Kentucky history. That total was fourth most in state history when Al graduated in 1986. He was a three-time 1,000-yard rusher, including 1,567 yards as a sophomore. Al still holds the school record for rushing yards (306) and career 100-yard rushing games (33). His 92-yard run against Murray in 1983 is the second longest in school history, and his 731 career rushing attempts are the second most in school history and 18th most in state history. When Al graduated, it was the second most in state history.
He was First Team Courier-Journal All-State and First Team Associated Press All-State in both 1984 and 1985. Al was also the Associated Press Kentucky Player of the Year in 1984 and 1985. Al’s honors his senior year included Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year; Parade First Team All-American; and Bally First Team All-American.
On the track, Al was a two-time winner in both the 100 and 200 meters and finished runner-up in the shot put his junior year. His winning time of 10.7 seconds in the 100-yard in 1985 remains a Class 1A state record to this day.
Al was recruited nationally to play college football. He played at the University of Kentucky where he was a second team All-SEC selection at running back his senior year. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the tenth round of the 1991 NFL Draft.
Al is married with two children and lives in Ashland where he is the director of cultural diversity at Ashland Community and Technical College.
Joe Graham was a standout basketball and football player at Trigg County from 1957-61. He was a three-time All-District selection after leading the Wildcats in scoring his junior and senior seasons. By the time he graduated, Joe held the school record for points in a game (37), season scoring average (20.6), and his 1,441 career points would remain the school record for nine years.
Joe was also an All-Western Kentucky Conference lineman in football. He opted to continue his athletic career in football at Vanderbilt University. Joe was a three-year letter winner for the Commodores from 1962-64 and was named All-SEC honorable mention as an offensive guard. Joe was also selected to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic.
Following his college career, Joe was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Defender of Freedom Award. He was also named Who’s Who in U.S. Industry.
Joe has served as an executive director for the National Rifle Association for the past 11 years. He and his wife Marilyn have four children and reside in Gainesville, Virginia.
Millard Griffin was elected to the Trigg County Athletic Hall of Fame as a contributor to the athletic program. Millard drove the team bus for both the football and basketball teams for nearly 40 years. His observations and insight were both respected and valued by coaches and players alike through the years.
Millard also kept the stat book for the boys’ basketball team for over three decades, witnessing nearly 800 TCHS games. Following his “retirement”, he was still a fixture at many Trigg County home games, taking his honorary perch on the Wildcat Gym stage and pushing his total games to nearly 900.
Millard passed away in 1995. The TCHS basketball team has honored its sixth man annually with the Millard Griffin Sixth Man Award, created over 20 years ago.
Karen Johnson was an all-district and all-region basketball player at Trigg County from 1974-80. She played on the first basketball teams at TCHS as middle schooler and was a starter by her eighth grade season. She led the Lady Wildcats in scoring each of her four years in high school, averaging 23.7 points a game as a freshman and a school record 26.0 points a game as a sophomore.
Karen still holds the girls basketball school records for career scoring average (19.8), steals in a season (176), field goals in a game (19), free throws in a game (19), free throw attempts in a game (29), steals in a game (15), career free throws made (512), career free throw attempts (783), and career steals (345). She scored 42 points in a game in 1977, which remained a school record for 14 years. Karen’s 2,140 career points is the second highest in school history and makes her one of four players in Fifth District history to top 2,000 career points.
Karen obtained her degree from Columbia College and served in the U.S. Army for 26 years, receiving various military awards throughout her distinguished career. She currently lives in Elizabethtown where she is employed as a civilian with the U.S. Army at Fort Knox. She has one son.
Paul Perdue was the first football and boys basketball coach at Trigg County High School. He was given the task of starting the county’s first football program from scratch. Many of the players on Trigg County’s first team in 1938 had never seen a football game played before. After failing to score a point in their first three games, Trigg County beat Providence 13-6 for the school’s first football win on October 28, 1938. The Wildcats would win just three games in its first two seasons.
However, Perdue led the 1940 team to a 6-2-1 record, which included a scoreless tie with Princeton Butler in the season opener – the closest Trigg ever came to beating the school in 13 career meetings. Only three of the nine teams Trigg played that year scored on the Wildcats, and the 25 points allowed that season still stands as a school record and is among the best in state history. Perdue stepped down as football coach after the 1940 season with a record of 9-15-1.
Perdue also was Trigg County’s first boys’ basketball coach when the school was created in 1937. Three of his first four teams produced winning records with the 1939-40 team winning 18 games and the school’s first district title. The 18 games won that season would stand as a school record for 20 seasons. Perdue stepped down after the 1940-41 season but later returned for a second tour in 1944. After coaching the Wildcats to a 7-3 record to start the 1945-46 season, Perdue left Trigg County for another employment opportunity.
His career record as basketball coach was 70-57 in six seasons, and his .551 winning percentage is third best among all TCHS coaches. Perdue later served as principal at Trigg County High, and the football field is named in his honor.
Eddie Radford (1966-70) is the only person in Trigg County history to rush for 1,000 yards in a football season and score 1,000 points in his basketball career. Radford was an All-State football player and a member of Trigg County’s first district football championship team in 1967. He rushed for 1,297 yards in 1969, which was a school record at the time. Eddie was also a three-year starter in basketball, leading the Wildcats in scoring his junior and senior season. In 1970, Eddie averaged 23.3 points a game in helping lead Trigg County to the school’s first region basketball title. Radford was named to the Louisville Courier-Journal’s All-State third team and is the only TCHS basketball player named to the All-State Tournament team.
Eddie finished his career with 1,461 points, which remained a school record for 27 years. His 23.3 points per game average in 1970 remained a school record for 19 years.
After high school, Eddie attended Jacksonville State University to play football. He has two daughters and six grandchildren, several of which were active in athletics at Trigg County High School.
George Radford was a three-sport star at Trigg County High School, lettering in football, basketball, and track from 1964-67. He was a member of two district championship basketball teams. He attended Murray State University where he lettered in football. He returned to Trigg County where he became the track coach in 1977. He guided Trigg County to state track titles in 1978, 1981, 1982, and 1983. He also coached the 1982 girls cross country team to their first state title. In all, George coached 21 individual state champions. He was elected to the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992.
In 1981, George became the girls’ basketball coach at Trigg County, leading the Lady Wildcats to a district title in 1982. His teams won 41 games in four seasons. In 1985, George took over as boys’ basketball coach and coached the Wildcats for seven seasons.
George later served as assistant principal at Trigg County High School and retired after a 31-year career in education.
George has been a deacon at Cave Spring Baptist Church since 1977 and is a partner/owner of GFB Company in Cadiz. In 1987, George was one of the founding members of Genesis Express, a non-profit organization that benefits the children and youth of Trigg County.
He and his wife Agnes live in Cadiz and have three children.
David Sadler was a two-way starter on Trigg County’s two state championship football teams in 1971-72. As a three-year starter at offensive guard and defensive end, David helped Trigg County to a 33-5 record from 1971-73. Known for his uncanny combination of size and speed, David was a two-time All-State selection and named the state’s outstanding offensive lineman by the Lexington Herald-Leader in 1973.
When it came time to choose a college, Alabama was active in his recruitment and offered David a scholarship to play for legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Sadler was a three-year starter at Alabama at offensive tackle and on occasion at nose tackle. He played in two Sugar Bowls and a Liberty Bowl. He was the captain on the 1975 Crimson Tide team that beat Penn State in the Sugar Bowl.
David is a charter member of the Trigg County Football Alumni Hall of Fame, and his jersey #76 is retired by the school.
David passed away in 2009. There are signs dedicated to his honor at the county line proclaiming Trigg County to be the home of David Sadler.
Jim Wallace has been a player, coach, administrator, and volunteer in the Trigg County School System for over 50 years. Jim was a starting guard on Duke Burnett’s teams in 1960 and 1961, averaging double figures both seasons. After graduating from Murray State University, Jim returned to Trigg County and would begin a coaching career that would see him helm five different sports as head coach and later serve as athletic director. He served as head baseball coach (1965-67) and was named the boys basketball coach in 1967. Over 11 seasons, he posted a record of 156-145. The 1970 Trigg County team won the school’s first region title in basketball, advancing to the state semifinals before losing to Richmond Madison. He would coach Trigg County to within a game of the Sweet 16 again in 1975 and 1976, losing to Christian County in the region finals both years.
Following the 1977-78 season, Jim decided to become the girls’ basketball coach. He coached three seasons, winning 33 games and coached the Lady Wildcats to the 1980 Fifth District title. In addition to basketball, Jim helped start the girls track program in 1968 – the first girls sport offered at TCHS. In addition to serving as boys cross country coach (1968-78) and assistant boys track coach from 1978-84, Jim served as the school’s athletic director from 1967-81. He was named to the Kentucky Basketball Coaches Association Court of Honor in 2009.
Once his coaching career ended, Jim moved into the school’s administration, serving as principal and later superintendent of schools. Jim stays involved with athletic program, coaching at the middle school level and helping film football games. Jim and his wife Penny have three children, having both retired from the Trigg County School System.
Willie Wilson was the original voice of the Trigg County Wildcats. Shortly after signing on WKDZ Radio in April 1966, Willie began a career of broadcasting Trigg County sporting events that lasted 20 years. Willie’s broadcast style was one that involved the athletes and students on the radio through his many interviews. In the beginning, Willie taped the games for playback on Saturday mornings. Willie broadcasted nearly 1,000 Trigg County football and basketball games, including their trip to the basketball Sweet 16 at Freedom Hall in 1970 and the football team’s back to back state titles at Stoll Field in Lexington in 1971-72.
For his accomplishments behind the mic, Willie was named the Kentucky Farm Bureau Farm Broadcaster of the Year in 1976; Trigg County Citizen of the Year in 1982; and the Willie Wilson Scholarship was created in 1986. Willie and his wife JoAnn have two children and still reside in Cadiz. He is still involved in the radio business in sales and commercial production.
The first Hall of Fame class will be honored at Trigg County's February 12 basketball game with Caldwell County. A banquet will be held at the school on February 13 to officially induct the first Hall of Fame class.
An athlete must be out of high school for 10 years to be considered for induction, while coaches must be retired for five years.