Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

October 15, 2012

A historic call to the Hall of Fame

TVCC inducts latest class, including entire '89 cheer squad

Athens — Joe Bob Johnson and his wife, Susie, have roots that run deep in the story of Trinity Valley Community College.

On Saturday, before a packed crowd during the latest TVCC Cardinal Hall of Fame induction, Johnson recounted the story of how he and his wife, Susie, landed in Athens.

Long story short, he had an offer to play football at the University of Arkansas, but had also been contacted by Henderson County Junior College.

HCJC not only offered Johnson a scholarship, but asked his wife to come too, to organize a drill team that became the Cardettes.

As for him, he was told that the facilities weren’t much, but that if he were able to help the team be successful, future generations of Cardinal football players would reap the benefits.

Johnson, who lives at Pinnacle Club, said he sometimes finds himself driving around the Athens campus, taking pride in what he and his teammates helped build.

Johnson — who led the nation in rushing and scoring in 1959 and 1960 — was back on campus Saturday, as he was one of five individuals inducted into the Cardinal Hall of Fame.

The 1989 TVCC cheerleading squad also became the first campus group to be inducted.

Johnson went on to play two years at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce), where he was a 2-year starter, and was named small college all-state both seasons.

The spotlight would be back on Johnson, once he began his career as a successful high school coach. He served 12 years as athletic director/head football coach at Lake Highlands, where he claimed the Class 5A state championship with a 15-0 record in 1981. 

His first squad in 1975 went 13-0-1. In all, he led Lake Highlands to three playoff appearances.

His father, Cecil Johnson, served as the Cardinals’ head football coach for two years in 1949-50.

Others inducted Saturday were:

• Yaleshia “Boo” Barnes

Women’s Basketball (1997-99)

In 1999, the Lady Cardinal basketball team produced the first unbeaten season in the college’s history, and Barnes was largely responsible. The 2-time first-team All-American was named NJCAA Player of the Year to cap a season, in which the Lady Cardinals claimed their fourth national title in six years.

Barnes was named the Region XIV Conference Most Valuable Player as a sophomore. In her first season, she was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year in helping the Lady Cardinals to a national runner-up finish.

In her two seasons, the Lady Cardinals were 70-1 and never lost a conference game.

“I am so thankful for the coaches and teammates I had here, and my foster parents – Mr. and Mrs. John Glover,” Barnes said. “After I got over being homesick, I enjoyed my two years here very much.”

She played one season at the University of Alabama, where she turned in 15 double-digit scoring performances. Barnes was named the Most Valuable Player in one tournament, and named to the all-tournament team in another.

• Scotty Conley

Football (1996-99)

When it comes to coaching football at the college, Conley takes a back seat to no one.

In four seasons at the helm of the Cardinal football program, he compiled a 34-10 record, giving him a college-best .780 winning percentage.

Included in the numbers were a 12-0 record and national championship in 1997, two conference championships and two bowl victories.

As a result of the Cardinals’ unbeaten national championship season, Conley was named NJCAA Coach of the Year. He was twice named Southwest Junior College Football Conference Coach of the Year, at one point winning 19 of 20 games.

Conley talked about his decision to come to TVCC to be head football coach.

“First, I wanted to see if there was an atmosphere and a chance at being successful. The success of “CJ” and the cheerleaders, the 1994 football team and the women’s basketball team played a role in that decision,” he said. “I was convinced there was an environment here to play at a championship level. We used the success of those programs when we were recruiting.”

After leaving the college, he was Special Teams Coordinator at the U.S. Naval Academy for one season, before becoming head coach for five seasons at Texas A&M-Commerce.

He led Texas A&M-Commerce to the Lone Star Conference North Division championship in 2007.

Currently in his fifth season at the University of North Texas, where he serves as Director of Football Operations and Recruiting Coordinator, Conley has also had coaching stints at Texas A&M, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, Rice, Arkansas and Howard Payne.

• Niles Dockery

Men’s Basketball (1980-82)

One of the most exciting players to ever don a Cardinal uniform, Dockery helped the Cardinals to their most successful season in the college’s history in 1982.

With Dockery running the show on the floor, the Cardinals advanced to the national tournament for the first time, finishing third, and completing the season with a 33-3 mark.

Dockery established two school records his sophomore season – free throws made in a game (22), and free throws made in a season (218). He hit 86 percent of his free throws that season, which still ranks No. 17 on the all-time NJCAA list. His 22-of-23 free-throw shooting exhibition against Lon Morris in 1982 ranks 11th on the all-time NJCAA list.

He was named honorable mention NJCAA All-American as a sophomore, and was a 2-time all-Texas Eastern Conference selection.

Dockery played two seasons at the University of New Mexico after leaving the college.

“I’m honored, privileged and humbled to be here,” Dockery said. “I hope I made an impact on this school, because it sure made one on me.”

• Kynan Forney

Football (1997-98)

As a freshman in 1997, Forney helped pave the way for the Cardinals to claim their second national championship – literally.

Playing on the offensive line, he played a key role in the Cardinals leading the Southwest Junior Football Conference in rushing, which resulted in a perfect 12-0 season.

In his two seasons, the Cardinals went 19-3. He was named first-team all-conference offensive lineman as a sophomore.

“I am very humbled by this honor. Being a part of that 1997 team (which won national title) taught me how to be accountable,” Forney said. “Trinity Valley gave me the proper foundation to take the first step to being a man.”

Forney continued his playing career at the University of Hawaii, where he played every game, and made five starts as a junior, and was named All-Western Athletic Conference as a senior.

He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft, and went on to have a 9-year pro career, playing for the Falcons, San Diego Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars. He started eight games as a rookie, and for his NFL career started in 89 of 95 games.

• 1989 Cheerleaders

Team members were Lisa Apple, Willy Bibbs, Kristy Boyett, Craig Callaway, Craig Dickerson, Lisa Dunson, Melanie Dyer, Kelly Gilliam, Chris Griggs, Chris Hendershott, Rob Henderson, Scott Lamontagne, Susan Manning, Russell McCoy, D’Ann Whitsell, Dianna McFarland, Jenny McMillian, Jeff Wolpa.

 The coach was Connie “CJ” Russell, who was inducted into the hall of fame in 2008.

“On behalf of the crew, WOW, this is huge … more than we expected,” Callaway said. “We thank you very much. The tradition here at the college is amazing. The tradition with cheerleading here is amazing.”

Russell addressed current Cardinal cheerleaders who were in attendance, and served as escorts during the grand entrance.

“We took care of our teams (football, women’s and men’s basketball) first, then we focused on our competition,” Russell said. “Always remember, it’s about our teams.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Knife-wielding man arrested

    The Athens Police Department arrested a 34-year-old man who allegedly entered an apartment early Saturday and injured another man using a pocket knife.

    July 22, 2014

  • fair Henderson County Rural Resource Fair

    When you find yourself in need of help, it's important to know where to go. The need to know is what drew a crowd to the Trinidad ISD cafeteria Monday morning.
    Approximately 30 non-profit vendors were on hand for the first Rural Resource Fair. The vendors were there to provide information to the public about available resources in Henderson County.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mission Minded

    Eight ladies are in Garland to teach the word of Christ to the area’s Arabic-speaking population.
    Makaye Key of Eustace is part of a group of ladies known as the G.M.A.’s or Girls Missionary Auxilary.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former Pct. 5 JP dies

    Judy Newman, who served as Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace for parts of three decades, died Thursday at age 75.

    July 21, 2014

  • ADR logo.tif City of Tool re-zones property for new Dollar General Store

    After an hour-long  public hearing, the Tool City Council voted to re-zone property located at 1301 S. Tool Dr. (Highway 274) from residential to commercial.  This re-zoning was a required condition for a proposed Dollar General Store.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0122.JPG Broken water main

    City of Athens crewmembers worked in falling rain to fix a broken 8-inch cast-iron water main near the intersection of Barker Street and Faulk Street in Athens Thursday.  Workers believed the reason for the break was the age of the water main. Shown are workers Jonathan Davila, Eric Davis and Marion Klutts.  Also present was Dean Burkhalter.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Mover convicted for stealing goods

    A family’s nightmare finally came to an end on June 25 when John Junior Smith, formerly of Tyler, was sentenced to eight years confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for his role in defrauding a family who had hired him to move them. 
    Assistant District Attorney Justin Weiner prosecuted the case.  Smith was sentenced in the 173rd Judicial District Court with Judge Dan Moore presiding.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-19 back to school bash.jpeg Back to School Bash needs donations to help children

    For the second year Leslie Ward has been organizing the Back to School Bash at Cedar Creek Lake. Her goal this year is to provide free hair cuts, immunizations, bibles, backpacks, school supplies and  bags of food to 700 local children.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-19 CCL ribbon cutting.jpg CCLACC new member

    The Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on Friday for new member LaQuinta Inns & Suites in Gun Barrel City. Friends, family and chamber members help Nadina and Reema Patel cut the ribbon. The hotel is owned by Jay Patel and Vimal Patel. Sarah Turner is the general manager of the hotel.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-19 CCL rotary.jpg Speaker at Rotary Club of CCL

    Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake President Erin Osborn (right) welcomed Pastor Nancy Schoenle as speaker to the Friday Rotary Club meeting. Pastor Nancy is the Director at The Genesis Center. The center is a faith based shelter for women. Genesis provides safety and shelter for victims of domestic violence.  The Center serves Kaufman and Henderson County.  Amanda Michael (center) has lived at the shelter for 10 months. For information The Genesis Center call Pastor Nancy at 972-932-4351.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo