Whitesburg KY

Moments and Memories of WHS



Can you identify these Whitesburg High School graduates? Answers are at the bottom of the column.

WHS athlete listed in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”

Sam Potter was a member of the WHS 1931 football team that went 11-0, the first undefeated season in WHS history, and until one of the last games, no team had scored against them. During the entire season, only Hazard was able to score one touchdown. This team scored 355 points and allowed its opponents only six points.

Mr. Potter received worldwide attention in 1931 when “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” featured him as the nation’s leading football scorer. He had scored 234 points in nine games for an unbeaten WHS team.

He was also one of a small number of people who lettered in football and basketball at the University of Kentucky. Sam also was an award-winning coach and a member of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

He taught social studies and coached several sports at Lynch High School from 1944 to 1953. He was principal of that school from 1953 to 1960. He was superintendent of the Lynch Independent School District from 1960 to 1966.

His Lynch football teams’ record was 76- 19- 6. His teams won 30 consecutive regular season games. He was named Louisville Courier Journal Coach of the Year in 1953 and was runner-up the previous year. He was coach of the East All-Stars, which upset the favored West, led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Paul Horning, 14-13.

Mr. Potter became superintendent of Shelbyville Independent Schools in 1966, and a group of Lynch educators followed him. He stayed in Shelbyville until 1974, retiring as the city and county school systems there were merging. He later became a construction consultant for Sherman/ Carter/Barnhart Architects in Lexington, traveling throughout the state to give advice on the construction of new schools, jails and other buildings.

(Parts of this article from the Lexington Herald-Leader June 1995.)

Answers to the pictures above: Picture 1, Laura Caudill; Picture 2, Ramona Sturgill; Picture 3, Robert Caudill; Picture 4, Rhonda Polly; Picture 5, Judith Picklesimer; Picture 6, Luanne Vermillion; Picture 7, Wade Creech; Picture 8, Sandra Ison; Picture 9, Janis Campbell; Picture 10, Fredia Brown; Picture 11, Jeff Collins; Picture 12, Cilla Frazier.

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