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Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Timmy Knipp Elliott County
Most of the 2007, 2008 & 2009 seasons for Elliott County were covered in an article posted here on September 07 a few years ago. We talked of Ferguson and the Faulkner twins so now let’s talk about another great player who played with them, though a couple of years younger, in Timmy Knipp.
Timmy Knipp was an All State Honorable Mention player in his freshman and sophomore years of high school at Elliott County High. As a freshman he was on the same team as the Faulkner twins, Evan & Ethan, and Jonathan Ferguson. All four would be All State players while playing at Elliott County. Some had that honor two times.
Elliott County had been the 16th Regional runners- up in 2006 to Russell but the 2007, 2008 & 2009 Regional crowns belonged to the Lions.
In 2010, the 6ft. 7 inch Knipp was a junior and a 1st Team All State player. He had joined senior teammate Ethan Faulkner on the Sweet Sixteen All Tournament team at the end of the previous year and now was taking a backseat to no one. The part that hurt a bit was he had become accustomed to going to the big tournament at year’s end but this year they could not make it past the semifinal round of the 16th Regional, losing to Fairview 57-52. They had a new coach (Greg Adkins) and they had a great season, finishing at 20-8. Knipp led the state in scoring as a junior at 30.8 ppg. Not a bad season in any book.
As a senior in the 2010-11 season Knipp was once again an All State 1st Team player. A team mate, Jake Ison, was named to the Honorable Mention All State squad. This team also made it to the semifinal round of the Regional Tournament before bowing to Ashland 61-55. They completed their year by going 17-10.
Knipp was selected as Gatorade’s Player of The Year. He also played in the KY-Ohio All Star game where he scored 13 points. He made 62 three point shots as a senior. He also averaged 26.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 5.7 blocks per game. Not a bad senior season. Not a bad high school career.
Knipp went on to play at EKU where he steadily improved in his years there. As a senior in 2014-15 he averaged a career-best 10.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while helping the Colonels to a third straight 20-win season in 2014-15. He scored in double figures 18 times in 33 games, including a career-high 23 points against Tennessee State on Feb. 7. He capped his career by hitting 5-of-10 attempts from three-point range and finishing with 15 points against Tennessee-Martin in the Postseason Tournament (CIT) quarterfinals.
Knipp made 41 percent of his shots from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc. He blocked a team-high 40 shots during his senior campaign.
Knipp signed a professional contract in 2015 with the Bayer Giants in the German pro league.
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Published by Doug Kretzer • November 20, 2017
Phil Ratliff Football Lawrence County
What about a little football? Here is one of the greats from our area-
Phil Ratliff.
Ratliff was a 3rd Team All State, first team all-area and first team All-Northeastern Kentucky Conference player for three years in football at Lawrence County High. He also was an All State Honorable Mention basketballer in 1987, ’88 & ’89for the Bulldogs. Ratliff also lettered three years in baseball at the high school. He was coached in football at Lawrence County by Billy Goldsmith.
At Marshall University he played defensive tackle as a freshman in 1989 before moving to offensive guard as a sophomore. Marshall University was National Runner up in NCAA 1-AA in 1991. He was a third team All American at Marshall that season.
The Thundering Herd won the National Title in NCAA 1-AA in 1992. Ratliff was a consensus First Team All American in 1992. He won the Jacobs Blocking Award presented to the Southern Conference’s top blocker in 1992.
Ratliff and Johnson Central High School’s Chris Deaton played side by side on the offensive line the last few years at Marshall, becoming known as The Kentucky Headhunters.
After his playing days at Marshall, Ratliff became a graduate assistant there and then an assistant coach at Lawrence County Hgh School from 1994-1999. He next became head coach at Spring Valley High School in WV from 2000-2003. He then went to James Madison University as an assistant from 2004-2005 (helping them win a championship in l-AA in 1994) and later coached tight ends at Marshall from 2006-2011. Then he got a job as an assistant at UNC Charlotte for their fledgling football program. He coached there until his untimely death in 2015 at the age of 44.
Ratliff was voted into the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Todd May of Virgie was the 1982 Ky Mr. Basketball. Virgie's run in the State Tournament in 1982 took them pastM.C. Napier and Mason County before they fell to Kaurel County who would b State champs that year.
My friend Dwayne Sweeney shares this with us. Some highlights of Virgie in the 1982 State Tournament.
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Three from our area were on this 196-63 UK freshman team
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
Mountain Sports Hall of Fame
The following story was written by
my friend Brewie Gibson a year ago. Brewie was himself a star basketball player at Wayland where he was an All State Honorable Mention selection in 1962. His recollections of King Kelly Coleman are wonderful. This was posted a year ago. Happy Birthday Kelly!

My Hero
I was in the eighth grade when I first met my hero, Kelly Coleman. He just appeared there in my classroom. One minute I was being taught by Mr. Archie Beverly and the next minute there stood Kelly. Kelly was the star of the Wayland Wasp basketball team and was breaking every record. I had just started getting interested in basketball, because of Kelly. Even though I was in Wayland Middle School, he had always felt so far away like he was a TV star. I watched him play laying on top of the scoreboard keeping score marking my x’s and o’s Almost every game was like watching the NBA game of the week. I remember filling the score sheet up especially the 75 points against Maytown. I followed him in the Floyd County Times and the Courier Journal.
The Coleman family and Gibson family go back to the start of the town of Wayland. The siblings, which there were 11 Coleman's and 10 Gibson’s, intermingled as friends throughout life.
Kelly’s mother Rusha was a good friend of my mother, Bessie Gibson. They worked together at different school functions. Kelly’s dad Guy and my dad Cody worked in the coal mines. The Coleman’s only lived ten houses away from us on the back street in a company house. I am not sure when they moved there, but I was good friends with Phillip, Kelly’s younger brother. Phillip was in the 7th grade at Wayland Middle School. (Phillip went on to serve our country with his life in the Vietnam war). Bronley Williams was a few houses down below the Coleman’s and about six houses from the Gibson's on back street. Myself, Bronley and Phillip played basketball all the time, but we never talked about Kelly.
My brother, Daryl, was good friends with Peggy and Keith, Kelly’s younger siblings. My sister, Brenda was good friends with Kelly’s sister Silky. Even with the close proximity of our houses, and the friendships between the Coleman and Gibson families, Kelly was like a Hollywood movie star who came back home occasionally.
I followed Kelly throughout his basketball career:
Wayland (the first Mr. Basketball of Kentucky) , Kentucky Wesleyan and New York Knicks . His years in the ABA. My brother, Maynard, saw Kelly play in Hawaii. He said it was amazing to see him shoot the ball so far out like a howitzer beyond the 3 point line if there was one. He rebounded with the big guys, and held his own.

Kelly stopped playing basketball and I quit reading the sports scores. It wasn’t as much fun. My life went on raising kids, always hearing news from home regarding all the Coleman's especially Kelly.
I had not seen Kelly in person since the eighth grade. It was around 2016 when I heard from Mayor Jerry Fultz that Kelly might be moving to Wayland. He was temporarily staying in the community guest house.
I remember the day so well. I was in my 70’s, and I was finally going to meet my hero. I was excited like a child as I walked up the stairs to Jerry’s office. I did not know what to expect.
The person I met was so much more than one could expect. He was one of the nicest people. He was a legend who carried the pressure of being a legend with as much grace as anyone could. He made conversations very easy. It was like meeting an old friend.
Over the next few years, I visited Wayland and got to hang out with the King.
One story Kelly shared was playing against Connie Hawkins. He always guarded Connie because of his weight he could keep him away from the basket. Kelly said Connie always referred to him as "fatboy". Ha
I wish it could have been much more, but not many people ever get to hang out with their childhood hero.
I miss Kelly.