Prep notebook: Will Healy part of Boyd Buchanan’s first class for sports hall of fame

Staff file photo / Former Boyd Buchanan quarterback Will Healy (12), who went on to play football at Richmond and coach the sport at multiple NCAA Division I programs, is part of the inaugural class being inducted into his high school alma mater's athletics hall of fame next month.

Although it took more than three years to complete due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials at Boyd Buchanan School have announced the inaugural class of the school's sports hall of fame.

The group is headlined by former quarterback Will Healy, who graduated in 2003 after leading the Buccaneers to a TSSAA Class 1A state runner-up finish in 2002.

Healy was a member of the University of Richmond's 2008 team that won the NCAA Division I-AA (now the Football Championship Subdivision) national title, and after his playing career ended, he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

In 2015, he was hired as the head coach at Austin Peay, where two years. later he earned the Eddie Robinson Award, given annually to the top FCS coach in the nation. He moved on from there to become the coach at Charlotte -- a Football Bowl Subdivision program -- and is currently an offensive analyst and advisor to the head coach at the University of Central Florida.

In addition to Healy, Tracy Barnett Walker, Michael Gaines, Jeff Legg, Joe Legg and Matt Peardon will be inducted on Sept. 28.

Barnett Walker graduated in 1989 after earning all-state recognition in both softball and basketball, and she went on to play basketball at UTC. She was hired as girls' basketball coach at Boyd Buchanan in 2013, and last season she was named coach of the year in the Lady Bucs' district.

Gaines played football and was an all-state selection in basketball. After graduating in 1992, he attended Freed-Hardeman University, where he became a four-time all-conference selection in basketball and the school's all-time leader in rebounds.

Joe Legg coached Boyd Buchanan's softball team to state titles in 1987 and 1989, with the 1988 Lady Bucs finishing as runners-up.

Jeff Legg was the school's first all-state honoree in football. After graduating in 1985, he continued his playing career at UTC.

Peardon was an all-state running back who graduated in 2005. He was a member of the Class 1A state championship team in 2003 and was the school's first Mr. Football award winner.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Walden Club in Chattanooga with a fellowship hour beginning at 6 pm. The dinner and induction ceremony begin at 7. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at

  photo  AP photo by Tony Gutierrez / Will Healy, head coach of the Charlotte 49ers at the time, smiles as he responds to questions during a broadcast interview at Conference USA football media day in July 2022 in Arlington Texas.

Former player replaces Williams at Northwest Whitfield

The impressive girls' basketball coaching tree at Northwest Whitfield added another branch this week when former Lady Bruins star Tori Clemmons was introduced as the program's new leader after the death of Bob Williams this summer.

Clemmons played for coach Margaret Stockburger at Northwest, graduating in 2011, then was an assistant coach under Stockburger at Ringgold for 10 years before returning to Tunnel Hill a year ago to assist Williams, who was in the latter stages of a long bout with cancer.

Clemmons will be just the seventh coach in the successful program's history. Linda Gilpatrick was the first head coach in 1975, with Ron Wheeler taking over in 1985 and Stockburger, who coached under both Gilpatrick and Wheeler, promoted in 1996 and starting a 15-year run that included 326 wins. Her top assistant, Greg Brown, took over and coached for seven seasons before Williams, who was highly successful at Walker Valley, took over in 2018.

Clemmons inherits a Northwest team coming off consecutive GHSA Class AAAA state quarterfinal appearances under Williams, who took the Lady Bruins to the playoffs in each of his five seasons.

Atlanta Falcons honor Ridgeland football player

Ridgeland's Braylon Pritchett is the first finalist for the Atlanta Falcons High School Man of the Year Award, the NFL team announced this week.

The junior linebacker, who is the son of Ridgeland football coach Craig Pritchett, was informed Tuesday of the honor. He will be recognized at Atlanta's season opener against the Carolina Panthers a week from Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Former Ridgeland star Vonn Bell is set to start his first game for the Panthers.

"Braylon was nominated for his commitment to excelling in the classroom, on the field, as a leader and through his community service," Coach Pritchett said. "This is a huge honor for him and Ridgeland football."

Each Georgia football program can nominate one player for the award and each finalist will be invited to a Falcons home game, where they will be honored for their achievement.

Contact Stephen Hargis at [email protected] and Lindsey Young at [email protected].