AHS 2015 inductees become 5th football HOF class

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Richard Robertson

Richard Robertson

Ricky Kale

Ricky Kale

Andalusia High School inducted its fifth class into the AHS Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night in the gymnasium.

Judge Ben Bowden welcomed the more than 200 people in attendance, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the blessing.

After the blessing, members of the AHS cheerleading squad served a meal catered by Hook’s Barbeque.

Bowden began introducing the 2015 hall of fame inductees, beginning with Ricky Kale.

“It’s a big honor to be inducted,” Kale said. “I appreciate all of y’all for coming out.”

Kale told several stories about his time as an Andalusia Bulldog, as well as his time with the Memphis State Tigers.

“I’m in with a lot of great company,” Kale said about being in the HOF. “Some of these guys I played with, I didn’t literally play with them, I was on the team with them,” Kale said jokingly.

Stanley Shakespeare was the next inductee Bowden spoke about Shakespeare’s few years at Andalusia, and also about his time with the Miami Hurricanes.

Bowden read a letter sent from Shakespeare’s former Miami teammate, Bernie Kosar. Kosar expressed what a passionate and positive person Shakespeare was to be around, and his immeasurable contributions to their team.

Next up was a man who needed no introduction, legendary coach Richard Robertson.

“I want to thank every one for the honor,” Robertson said.

Robertson spoke on his time at Andalusia and all the teams that he has coached over the years.

Robertson also spoke briefly on two moments that inspired him to go into coaching.

“I can remember sitting on the hill watching the high school teams practice every day,” Robertson said. “Sometimes it would be 6 in the morning, but those coaches would be there. Another person that inspired me was Chick Earle. They used to let us in baseball games for free if we brought back a foul ball, and Chick Earle would come out there with three or four balls in his pockets and he would toss them over the fence so that we could get in the game.”

Mark Wiggins was the next up, but because of his ongoing battle with cancer Wiggins was unable to attend.

In his place, his daughter stepped in and gave a teary-eyed, heartfelt speech on her father’s behalf.

She spoke about all the great things that her father has accomplished in his life, both on and off the football field.

She read a letter that her father sent with her.

“This was not something I accomplished alone,” Wiggins said. “It was a harmony of us all. With great running backs, it was easy to look good. With a tight end as big as Sam Johnson, my accuracy didn’t have to be great, and with a wide receiver as slow as Harris Rabren, there was no worry of him out running my range.”

One of Wiggins’s accomplishments that everyone mentioned was that he threw a touchdown pass on his very first pass as varsity quarterback.

The final induction to the 2015 HOF class was the 1965 Bulldogs, who finished the season with a 9-1 record.

The Bulldogs’ only loss came to Enterprise. The defense that year only allowed more than seven points twice during the season.

“We were fortunate to grow up in a community like Andalusia,” 1965 team captain David Moore said. “It was Doug Barfield’s first season as head coach, and for the first time ever, we got water breaks.”

That season, the Bulldogs would go on to be ranked No. 1 in 4A, the highest division at the time, before losing to Enterprise.

“I will never forget that season,” Moore said, “and what it meant to be a Andalusia Bulldog.”

Following the inductees, new Andalusia head football coach Trent Taylor spoke briefly about the inductees.

“For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Trent Taylor the new head football coach at Andalusia, or at least I am for the next week or so,” Taylor said, drawing laughs from the crowd.

Taylor then introduced the assistant football coaches for the 2015 football season.