Five Carter County football greats nominated for National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Ballot

Published 4:11 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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Five Carter County football greats have been nominated for the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Ballot for the 2024 Class. The induction ceremony will take place at a banquet on April 13 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Johnson City, coinciding with the recognition of local high school scholar-athletes. Voting for the nominees will occur at the foundation meeting on Wednesday, March 6, with the Hall of Fame Selection Committee overseeing the tabulation.

The nominees are divided into two categories: Class 1 includes those who graduated in 1975 and Pre-1975, while Class 2 comprises those who graduated post-1975.

Among the 1975 and Pre-1975 nominees from Carter County are:

  • Robert C. (Bob) Laws (Elizabethton – Elizabethton, TN – 1952): Laws served as team captain for Elizabethton High School and received All-Big 5 1st Team honors (1951-52). He earned a scholarship to Vanderbilt University, where he played tight end and was selected as team co-captain. Laws excelled as an All-SEC 1st Team member and honorable mention All-American (1955) while earning his law degree from Vanderbilt.
  • Hunter Bowers (Hampton – Roan Mountain, TN – 1954): Bowers, a standout player for Hampton High School, garnered 4-time All-Watauga Conference honors and 13 touchdowns in 1954, with 7 covering 50 or more yards.
  • Kim Richardson (Unaka – Elizabethton, TN – 1974): Richardson boasted a career rushing total of 3,807 yards and received numerous accolades, including All-Watauga recognition and honorable mention all-state honors. He continued his football career at ETSU after high school and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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In the Post-1975 category, Carter County nominees include:

  • Tim Andrews (Hampton – Roan Mountain, TN – 1984): Andrews led Hampton High School to the Class AA State quarterfinals and was the Watauga Conference scoring champion with 99 points. He achieved 2,900 career rushing yards and later served as an Assistant Coach at Hampton.
  • Mark Byrd (Cloudland – Roan Mountain, TN – 2003): Byrd was a standout quarterback and defensive back for Cloudland High School, earning 3-time All-State honors and the 2003 Mr. Football award. He amassed over 9,000 career all-purpose yards and played in the Tennessee State Championship Game in 2001.

These individuals represent the rich football tradition of Carter County and have left indelible marks on the sport both locally and beyond.