Buff Walker will be guest speaker at Sports Hall of Fame dinners

Published 1:46 am Friday, June 10, 2022

Buff Walker started on Happy Valley Elementary’s basketball eighth-grade team as a sixth-grader. He played on one of Coach Charlie Bayless best and most talked about teams, the 1973-74 State championship team.

Walker said, “we had most of the players back from the 1973 team that made it to the region semis – we were pretty confident of a good year.”

He will be the guest speaker at this year’s Carter County Sports programs on June 25 at the Tennessee Technology School.

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Walker’s Happy Valley Warriors beat Hampton’s 33-1 team to advance to the state tournament in a banner year for both teams. Hampton had been ranked #1 in Class S for much of the year and the Warriors had gotten as high as #4.

Having beaten HV three times during the year, Hampton was the favorite in their final meeting. Hampton fans had already made their reservations in Memphis to follow their team to the state tourney.

There was only one “expert” to pick Happy Valley to beat Hampton in the region semifinals – remember the old Dr. Litkenhous computer ratings? Dr. Lit basically had the teams deadlocked but showed Happy Valley as #1 and Hampton #2.

Marty Street had picked up his fourth foul with just under two minutes left in the third quarter and sat out most of the fourth. Shockingly, referee Carroll Meredith controversially ejected Teddy McKeehan with 15 seconds left in the third quarter with Hampton leading 23-22.

In the fourth quarter, Happy Valley outscored Hampton 18-7 to win 40-30. That ended the season for a simply fantastic Hampton team at 33-2 and sent the Warriors to the Region Championship.

The Warriors went on to win the state title.

Walker will speak at the 1 p.m. Carter County Sports Hall of Fame All-County team awards banquet and again at the 6 p.m. 2022 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.