All three 2013 inductees into the Bryan County Athletics Hall of Fame were net-scorchers.
Tim Condor played for the Blue Warriors from 1969 to 1973. Jimmy Patton played for the Calera Bulldogs from 1961 to 1965. Aileen DaVault (Pratt) played for the Cobb Hornets from 1960 to 1964.
Blue and Cobb high schools no longer exist, of course. Cobb and Mead combined to form Silo. Blue and Bokchito combined to form Rock Creek.
Calera is still going strong and is making preparations to move into a long-overdue new gym. The new members of the Bryan County Athletics Hall of Fame will be inducted between the girls’ and boys’ championship games in the Bryan County Tournament on Saturday, January 26, in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
Local fans are encouraged to come out, catch some good basketball, take a look at the Hall of Fame display set up by the Calera twins, Karla and Kelli, and visit with the Hall of Famers before and after the ceremony.
TIM CONDOR had the honor of being named the Most Valuable Player of the first Bryan County Basketball All-Star team back in 1973. His basketball career started as a third-grader at Roberta. It wasn’t strictly third-graders since the schools were so small. The team had players from the third through eighth grades.
“While at Roberta,” Tim said, “ I remember playing Utica, Wade/Albany, Kenefic and Mead. We played other schools in the county, but the ones I mentioned have consolidated with other schools several years back.
“I think we played Utica about every week and sometimes twice a week because it was just down the road about six miles.”
In a game at Kenefic as a fourth grader, Condor scored eight points.
“I guess I remember the game because I scored the eight points, I don’t know. It may have been just because I was getting to play.”
He moved to Blue for the seventh grade. He scored more than 30 points in a win over Achille with a perfect 10 for 10 at the free-throw line as an eighth grader. That same year, trailing by one point with two seconds left in a game against Calera, he defeated a double-team to hit nothing but net from the corner in the Calera tournament.
As a freshman for the Blue Warriors, he was the first player off the bench and went on to average more than 23.5 points per game during his final three years as a starter.
Blue won the District tournament three out of his four years. As a freshman, he knocked in some key free throws down the stretch to defeat Calera in the District championship game played at Bennington. The Warriors won the Southeastern State College Invitational tournament behind Condor’s 32 points against Milburn in the title shootout. Condor played for three coaches in his four years at Blue. Bob Sharp coached his freshman and sophomore years and Jack Humphrey his junior season.
Bobby Carr coached Condor in his senior year at Blue.
“I was fortunate enough to play for coach Bobby Carr one year,” Condor said. “He was a super coach, person and friend whom my family and I respect very much.”
Carr said, “That was my first year of coaching and I’m sure Tim had his act together more than I did. He was pretty serious in his senior season. He was one of those players who never complained about anything. He just went out and performed every night.”
Condor’s wife, Sally Mosser, was a forward on the Blue Warriorettes. Tim and Sally experienced high school and basketball together.
Early in Condor’s high-school career, a friend of his bother, some kid named Jerry Shipp, helped Tim fine tune both his jump shot and his inside game.
As a junior, Tim scored a career-high 45 points in the Regional tournament and that was without the three-point line. He was honored as an All-State alternate in his senior season. He was All-Bryan County Tournament and as a senior, selected by his classmates as senior-class president and also voted best male athlete by his peers.
Condor remembers great crowds and great competition in high school. “We didn’t realize how much fun we were having,” Condor said. “Basketball was a team sport and no one player won games. It was hard work, but I can honestly say I never once thought about quitting.
“We would play before the school bus arrived, hurry home on game night, hunt some quail, then get back in time to watch the girls play before our game.
“Those were good times. On a good night, Blue could beat anybody, according to a story in the Durant Daily Democrat. We didn’t run around, drink beer and all of that stuff. We just played basketball and enjoyed it. We played ball, hunted, went to school and worked in the fields.”
Condor played one year at Southeastern before joining the Air Force. He got up at 4 a.m., worked at Texoma Drug Sales until 10, went to class at 10:30, sneaked a bite of lunch, finished his last class at 1:30, hit the gym from 2-6 p.m., did homework and started the next day at 4 a.m.
“I had a plan,” Condor said. “I would spend four years in the Air Force, finish my degree, teach and coach.” That didn’t quite work out. He has more than 38 years in the Air Force with 20 on active duty. His service spanned 10 countries as he rose to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant and collected the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct Medal with silver oak leaf cluster and the National Defense Service Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He credits his success both on and off the court to his parents, family, teachers, coaches, teammates and a strong work ethic. He and Sally have been married 38 years and live in Schertz, Texas, near San Antonio. They have three children, one granddaughter and grandson Tim, now three months old.
“Being inducted into the Bryan County Athletics Hall of Fame is a great honor and I will cherish it the rest of my life,” Condor said. “My wife and I have a special place in our hearts for Bryan County basketball and the great fans who attended our games.”
JIMMY PATTON was introduced to the game of basketball on an outdoor court at the ripe old age of eight.
He was asked to play a game with some church boys when he was in the eighth grade and he was hooked.
Newspaper articles from then on were loaded with his scoring feats for the Calera Bulldogs.
“I started every game in high school except my first one,” Patton said. “I remember it well. I got into the game late in the fourth quarter and scored four points against Mead.
“I was fortunate enough to be taught the game under the strong arm and watchful eye of coach Joe ‘Bok’ Laughlin,” Patton said. “He was really a great coach.”
Patton played his first three years for coach Laughlin and his senior year for coach Raymond Lewis.
He averaged four points a game as a freshman and improved to 10 points per game as a sophomore.
Calera was a team without a gym in his junior year when the school was torn down to build a new one. Chairs and desks were brought in and classes were held in the gym.
The Bulldogs had to practice and play their ‘home’ games at Colbert, one of Calera’s strong rivals, along with Mead and Cobb.
“Coach Wayne Merryman was at Colbert then and had those really good black players. They were fast and could really jump,” Condor said.
“Our objective when we played Colbert was to keep them from scoring 100 points. They would play a box-and-one zone defense and that one man followed me everywhere I went. That really made it tough for us.”
Patton averaged 23 points per game as a junior without playing a home game.
Losing the gym was tough enough, but that distraction was followed by a new coach in his senior year.
“Coach Raymond Lewis took over as coach,” Patton said. “It was a little tough under a new coach, but he took us and got the best out of us.”
Patton saved his personal best for his senior season. It was a cold night when the Bulldogs traveled to Grant and he got his nose bloodied.
“I ran into a player and there was quite a bit of blood,” Patton said. “Coach kept me out for about five minutes before I could get back on the floor. I probably broke my nose. I know it bled for quite a while. I don’t know for sure if I broke it because I never got to a doctor.”
The injury wasn’t much of a factor, however, as Patton nailed 19 field goals and added 14 points on 17 free-throw attempts for a school-record 52 points as he sparked the Bulldogs to an 84-72 victory.
Along with the record-52, Patton had several games in the 40s and high-30s as he averaged 29.3 points per game as a senior.
He was also an outstanding pitcher for Calera and the Durant American Legion. In a 4-3 win over Kingston, Patton and Kingston’s Jim Little hooked up in a duel with each allowing just three hits while striking out 17.
Patton never played a game against Achille. When the Bulldogs won state in 1956, some Achille fans set off fireworks during a game at Calera and that ended the rivalry for Patton’s entire career.
Ross Davis played on that 1956 Calera team and scored 10 points in the finals.
Jimmy was a competitor and really got after it,” Davis said. “I saw Calera beat Colbert one time in a game at Calera and Jimmy scored close to 40 points.”
The 6-3 sharpshooter received scholarship offers from Southeastern, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.
“I was young,” Patton said, “and Vietnam was in full swing so I joined the United States Air Force in 1966. That’s when I met my wife, Marcia. We were married in 1968 and discharged from the Air Force in 1970.”
The couple moved to Dallas and Patton joined the Dallas Fire Department in 1971. He played on the department softball team that went to the national tournament in Georgia and finished second. His church softball team won state in 1983 and advanced to the nationals for another second-place finish in Little Rock, Arkansas.
He attained the rank of Driver Engineer and retired from the fire department in 2008 after 36-plus years. He and his wife live in Midlothian, Texas, close to kids and grandkids.
“I wish to extend my thanks, thoughts and prayers to all of my family and friends who have touched my life in so many ways,” Patton said.
“I also want to thank the Hall of Fame committee members and everybody involved in my selection for this tremendous honor.”
AILEEN DaVAULT PRATT came from a family of 11, lived on a small farm and grew up in Cobb.
For most children back then, there were many chores that had to be completed every day. After work, she spent most of her free time shooting hoops at the barn until darkness halted play.
That dedication paid off when she finally got on the court for the Cobb Hornets. She graduated in 1964 after playing her last three years for coach Jack Hedden, who went on to lead some outstanding Southeastern teams as he restored the Savages to national prominence.
DaVault was a forward in those days of six-on-six (three-on-three, really) and she was the leading scorer for the Hornets.
She recalled a game against Mead in the finals of either the Bryan County or Southeastern Invitational Tournament.
“Mead was our main rival,” DaVault said, “and we went into overtime. Back then, we jumped at center court and we got the tip. I was the dribbler and my job was to dribble the clock down and take the last shot.
“I dribbled for what seemed like at least 10 minutes, but overtime was only three minutes. It just seemed to be a lot longer. I was too tired to take that last shot. I was being double- or triple-teamed so I just passed the ball to an open teammate, who made the shot that won the game.
“It’s a good thing that shot went in. I was supposed to take the shot and if we had lost I might have been dead.”
Coach Hedden remembered that game as well as another against Achille, also in the finals of one of those tournaments.
“Achille had some big girls,” Hedden said. “They were either undefeated or had lost only one or two games. We were tied and down to the last few seconds when I called time out and set up a little play.
“We had a pick and roll off a screen for Aileen with one girl down low. Everybody in the gym knew Aileen was going to shoot the ball. She came off the screen with two big girls guarding her. Instead of forcing a shot, she passed to the open girl under the basket and we won the game.
“Aileen was very, very unselfish. I had to ride her pretty hard to get her to shoot the ball. I will always remember that win. It ranks in the top five wins in my career, high school and college and she was one of the best girls I ever coached.
“I was just so proud of those girls. It was one of the finest groups I ever had. Winning a championship in that fashion was an extremely rewarding experience.”
“We fell short to Tushka many times and never made it to state,” DaVault said. “I remember one time coach called time out because we weren’t playing well. He tossed a towel toward us and it hit me. I just grabbed it and threw it back at him.
“I got to spend several minutes on the bench before I got back in the game.”
It was seldom DaVault’s fault that the Hornets fell just short of that goal. She was the No. 8 scorer in the state in her junior year, averaging between 34 and 36 points a game.
She was a defensive target as a senior, but still ranked 11th in scoring at 24 to 26 points per game.
Glenda Wright (Rowland) was a teammate and friend of Aileen.
“There was no spot on the floor where she couldn’t score,” Glenda said. “No telling what she would have averaged with the three-point line and she just didn’t miss from the three-throw line.
“We had some great times in school. She took biology with me so I wouldn’t be the only girl in the class. Girls didn’t take biology in those days. Sometimes the boys would give us a hard time. We shoved some of them through a window and locked them out of the room. We also played hooky several times.
“She was a real competitor. I had never been in the cotton patch, but she had. I learned a great work ethic from her when we were pulling bolls. I remember working so hard because I wanted to beat her at something.
“I got up to 300 pounds a day, but I never caught her.”
Aileen and Glenda spoke highly of coach Hedden.
“He was a lot of fun, but he was all coach,” DaVault said. “Going to games, he was all basketball. After that, you could talk to him about anything. He was really great. He had eyes in the back of his head and always knew what you were doing.”
Glenda said, “He was a great coach and a really good teacher in biology and science.”
One of Aileen’s most memorable games came against Soper.
DaVault said, “Something or someone had made our coach mad. He wasn’t one to run up the score. If we got up by a lot, he would pull his shooters.
“This time, he left me in and I scored 52 points.”
It was a career worth remembering. After high school, she became a mother and housewife, playing recreational basketball and softball in Arlington, Texas. She is now a respiratory care provider at the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma. She has two children and five grandchildren.
DaVault said, “It is such an honor for a country girl from Cobb to be inducted into the Bryan County Hall of Fame. I am speechless, and so very proud. Thank you so very much.”
Bryan County Athletics Hall of Fame Members:
2003 – Gene Barker, Dudley Barnett, Virginia Hamilton Childers, Arlen Clark, Harold Harmon, Joe ‘Bok’ Laughlin, Anita Lyons-Meadows, Guy Luscombe, Jay Mauck, Wayne Merryman, Francis Rambo, Jerry Shipp
2004 – Wynell Brown Summers, Bobby Carr, Jim Daley, Jimmy Edelen, Shawna Folsom, Earl Jackson, James Moss, Alvie Nelson, Roy Nickles, Wesley Smithart, Rip Tidwell
2005 – Mike Birdsong, Lori Hagood, L.C. Wesberry, Jonell Hartwell Whitehead
2006 – James ‘Pudge’ Bowers, Joey Wakefield, Tommy Wesberry, Rick Young
2007 – Billy Jack Bowen, Mickey Dyson, Bettina Turner, Bonita Turner
2008 – Preston Burns, Ross Davis, Joyce Parker, Kim Phillips
2009 – Dana Simpson, Anthony Williams, Jerry Don Williams
2010 – Shery Friloux, Teresa Harbison-Perry, Clyde Smith
2011 – Jimmy Dill, Billy Johnson, LeQuita Smith
2012 – Tim Birdsong, Cindy Blackburn Proctor
2013 – Tim Condor, Jimmy Patton, Aileen DaVault Pratt