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Five Letcher Countians played in All-State Bowl

KENTUCKY ALL STAR TEAM — Members of the Kentucky team who played in the Kentucky-West Virginia Senior All Star Bowl – 1957 were (first row, left to right) Donnie Skaggs, Fleming-Neon; Buddy Elkins, Pikeville; Larry Phillips, Pikeville; Vernon Rowe, Hazard; Butch Woods, Pikeville; Major Sparks, Whitesburg; Frankie Patton, Pikeville; Johnny Maynard, Belfry; (second row) Harry Johnson, Fleming-Neon; Pete Stidham, Hazard, Jim Cyrus, Paintsville; Larry Horner, Jenkins; Don Browning, Fleming-Neon; Howard Hatfield, Belfry, Coach Bobbie Phillips; (back row) C.A. Noble, Hazard; Monty Rice, Prestonsburg; Stanley Knight, Paintsville; Paul Sheets, Paintsville; H.L. Justice, Pikeville; Jim Conley, Paintsville; Paul Pelfry, Paintsville; and Coach Al Viperman. (Picture provided by Paul Sheets of Paintsville)

KENTUCKY ALL STAR TEAM — Members of the Kentucky team who played in the Kentucky-West Virginia Senior All Star Bowl – 1957 were (first row, left to right) Donnie Skaggs, Fleming-Neon; Buddy Elkins, Pikeville; Larry Phillips, Pikeville; Vernon Rowe, Hazard; Butch Woods, Pikeville; Major Sparks, Whitesburg; Frankie Patton, Pikeville; Johnny Maynard, Belfry; (second row) Harry Johnson, Fleming-Neon; Pete Stidham, Hazard, Jim Cyrus, Paintsville; Larry Horner, Jenkins; Don Browning, Fleming-Neon; Howard Hatfield, Belfry, Coach Bobbie Phillips; (back row) C.A. Noble, Hazard; Monty Rice, Prestonsburg; Stanley Knight, Paintsville; Paul Sheets, Paintsville; H.L. Justice, Pikeville; Jim Conley, Paintsville; Paul Pelfry, Paintsville; and Coach Al Viperman. (Picture provided by Paul Sheets of Paintsville)

Letcher County was well represented with five players selected to participate in the first Kiwanis Kentucky West Virginia Senior All-State Bowl, which was played August 16, 1957 at the Lefty Hamilton Park in Williamson, W.Va. The players from Fleming-Neon High School were Donnie Browning, Donnie Skaggs and Harry Johnson. Larry Horner represented Jenkins High School and Major Sparks was selected from Whitesburg High School.

Dickie Barber from Logan, W.Va., and Donnie Browning, a guard from Fleming-Neon, were named the “Star of Stars” immediately following the game.

The starting lineup for the Kentucky team consisted of Rice, Johnson, Browning, Noble, Knight, Woods, Sheets, Conley, Justice, Patton and Elkins. This was a hard-fought game even though the Kentucky boys came up on the short end of a 26-6 loss.

According to Paul Sheets, the players were together for about two weeks for practice, which was conducted on the Belfry field. Different families in the community allowed some of the players to stay in their homes during this time and some of them stayed in the firehouse in Williamson.

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