AHS Football Hall of Fame inducts five new members for 2023 class

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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The Andalusia High School Football Hall of Fame inducted five new members Friday, Sept. 29, immediately following the homecoming parade, including Lucky Cope, Tracy Davis, Michael Jackson, Lex Short and Marlon Thomas.

The Football Hall of Fame began in 2010, and Friday marked the 11th class of inductees. There are now 51 individual members and seven teams in the HOF.

Lucky Cope was both an outstanding fullback on offense and linebacker on defense from 1971-1973. He played for four years at Auburn University, and after retiring from the insurance industry in 2022, he became the strength and conditioning coach for the Bulldogs. In his first year in that role, AHS won the state 4A championship. He is a founding member of the Andalusia Football Foundation.

Tracy Davis was a two-year starter (1973 and 1974) at safety on AHS football teams that never experienced a regular season loss, and who compiled a 21-2-1 record, including the 1973 State Runner-up team. In 1974, Davis was named First Team All-State by the Montgomery Advertiser, named All-South Alabama Conference Defensive Back and named AHS’s Best Defensive Back. He was also a standout basketball player at AHS.

Michael Jackson was a four-year letterman for the AHS football team from 1987 to 1990 and started on both the offensive and defensive lines in 1990 and 1990. He also was a member of the weightlifting team and won many meets in both bench press and deadlift. By his senior year, he was being heavily recruited by both Alabama and Auburn, as well as other Power Five universities. However, a traffic accident ended his playing career. In 1996, Michael became involved with the newly-formed Andalusia Youth Football League as a coach, and is now in his 27th year with the league.

Lex Short was a three-year letterman at quarterback in 1976, 1977 and 1978. During those seasons, the Bulldogs posted an overall record of 35-1-1, won the State Championships in 1976 and in 1977 and set the state record of 58 straight regular season games without a loss. In 1977, he quarterbacked the Bulldogs to a perfect season of 14-0 and the State Championship. As quarterback he threw for more than 1,600 yards and 16 touch-downs, won 21 straight games and was 4-0 in playoff games. He continues to support AHS football, and is a founding member of the Andalusia Football Foundation.

Marlon Thomas was a three-year starter at both offensive and defensive tackle and was named All-State Tackle for the Andalusia Bulldogs in the 1957-58 season. He was named Andalusia’s Most Valuable Player that year and participated in the State All-Star Game. Thomas also handled kickoff duties for the Bulldogs, and was team captain his senior year. Both he and his co-captain, Ashton Wells, earned football scholarships to the University of Alabama. Thomas was also an academic standout at AHS. Sadly, Marlon died in an automobile accident in the 1970s, but his daughter, Lisa Thomas Maultsby, was on hand to accept the award.

Andalusia High School Football Hall of Fame Committee members select honorees each year. Members include Lucky Cope, Robert Cremer, John Jones, David Moore, Joe Nix, Larry Brown, Will Sconiers, Lex Short, Jimmy Wilson, Jackie Woods Jr., Kyle Gantt, Trent Taylor, and Ray Wilson.

HOF committee member John Jones did the welcome, Mayor Earl Johnson was the guest speaker, and Judge Ben Bowden introduced the honorees.