Prairie Grove Will In­duct Three Fri­day

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS WEEK - By Mark Humphrey

PRAIRIE GROVE — Three for­mer Tigers will be in­ducted into the Prairie Grove Hall of Pride in a cer­e­mony held Fri­day night be­fore the var­sity girls and boys bas­ket­ball games against West Fork.

This year the Prairie Grove High School Ath­letic Hall of Pride com­mit­tee se­lected three peo­ple to be in­ducted. On Mon­day, Prairie Grove ath­letic direc­tor Joey Sorters con­firmed the in­ductees are: Ed Staggs, Don­ald Led­ford, and Ed­die McClel­land. The Class of 2018 will join for­mer Prairie Grove coach/ ath­letic direc­tor the late Mike Green, who was the ini­tial in­ductee into the Hall when the honor was es­tab­lished in 2015, and four peo­ple in­ducted last year.

Coach Ed Staggs

Coach Ed Staggs coached at Prairie Grove from 1965 through 1971. He was di­ag­nosed with colon can­cer and was un­able to con­tinue coach­ing at that time. Af­ter a year off, he re­sumed teach­ing at Prairie Grove High School. He taught So­cial Stud­ies for two years be­fore he be­came prin­ci­pal at the Prairie Grove El­e­men­tary School, where he re­mained until his re­tire­ment in 1982.

Dur­ing his years of coach­ing, he coached all sports in­clud­ing: foot­ball, bas­ket­ball, track and field, as well as base­ball. His first year at Prairie Grove (1965-1966), he coached the fi­nal year of girls bas­ket­ball. Prairie Grove would later re­sume girls bas­ket­ball in the early 1970s. In ad­di­tion to his coach­ing du­ties, he taught phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion classes, spon­sored the Fel­low­ship of Chris­tian Ath­letes, which he helped es­tab­lish, co-spon­sored the Let­ter­men’s Club, and served as a class spon­sor. He made sev­eral se­nior trips to Washington D.C. as a se­nior class spon­sor.

Dur­ing his years of coach­ing Staggs would al­ways call the lo­cal news­pa­pers af­ter ball games and other sport­ing events to re­port the scores. He also wrote nu­mer­ous ar­ti­cles and took pho­to­graphs for the Prairie Grove En­ter­prise pre­de­ces­sor of the En­ter­prise-Leader, which even­tu­ally led to his own col­umn en­ti­tled, “A Clear View on a Cloudy Day.”

Staggs al­ways loved the young men and women he coached. That car­ried over into his teach­ing and even­tu­ally to the el­e­men­tary school.

The street that runs from Jenk­ins Road in front of the Prairie Grove Se­nior Cen­ter and up to the old el­e­men­tary school, which has since been torn down, par­al­lel to the foot­ball sta­dium was named in his honor, Ed Staggs Drive, to serve as a re­minder of the last­ing im­pact he had on the school and com­mu­nity.

Don­ald Led­ford

Don­ald Led­ford was a grad­u­ate and stu­dent ath­lete of Prairie Grove High School. He let­tered in track and field, bas­ket­ball, and foot­ball. He was named an All-Dis­trict line­backer his ju­nior and se­nior years and All-Dis­trict in bas­ket­ball his ju­nior and se­nior years.

Since grad­u­a­tion Led­ford has vol­un­teered count­less hours coach­ing kids in bas­ket­ball. He cur­rently vol­un­teers teach­ing girls third grade through sixth grade the fun­da­men­tals of bas­ket­ball and the im­por­tance of hard work and good sports­man­ship.

He was a mem­ber of the Ath­letic Booster Club from 1986 through 2001 work­ing to help pur­chase the sprin­kler sys­tem, fence, bleach­ers for the foot­ball field, as well as uni­forms for foot­ball, bas­ket­ball, and base­ball. He and other booster club members worked tire­lessly to build the Prairie Grove Tiger Field­house.

Don­ald has ded­i­cated his life to giv­ing back to the Prairie Grove com­mu­nity, al­ways say­ing you get out of it what you put into it.

Ed­die McClel­land

Ed­die played bas­ket­ball, foot­ball, and base­ball. It was said of McClel­land, if Ed­die was on the team — he was among the best. He let­tered in ev­ery sport he played. McCel­land was a nat­u­ral and he loved com­pe­ti­tion, but he was also an out­stand­ing stu­dent.

McCel­land was of­fered schol­ar­ships to pres­ti­gious schools, but opted for base­ball with the

St. Louis Car­di­nals.

In Dec. of 1964 McCel­land mar­ries his grade school sweet­heart, Dianne Keene McClel­land. When he left the Car­di­nals, he went to bar­ber school and bar­bered, known as “Fast Ed­die” for 48 years.

McCel­land has three great chil­dren: Shawn, re­tired Master Sergeant from the U.S. Air Force; Ben­ton, su­per­vi­sor at KENCO Con­struc­tion; and Shan­non Evans, man­ager for Su­pe­rior Wheel.

McClel­land has eight grand­chil­dren and seven great grand­chil­dren. He farmed for 21 years, served on the Prairie Grove Fire Dept., has been a mem­ber of the Li­ons Club and a life­time mem­ber of the Church of Christ.

McCel­land coached his boys while they played base­ball and he played soft­ball for Le­vis for sev­eral years.

Hall Of Pride His­tory

Prairie Grove High School Hall of Pride was es­tab­lished in 2015 to for­mally honor the mem­ory and con­tri­bu­tions of many out­stand­ing ath­letes, coaches and sup­port­ers of Prairie Grove ath­letic pro­grams. In­duc­tion into the Hall of Pride pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to rec­og­nize top stu­dent ath­letes, coaches and oth­ers who have made a pos­i­tive im­pact on the lo­cal com­mu­nity and who pro­vide role mod­els for to­day’s stu­dent ath­letes. It also pro­vides in­cen­tive for ath­letes, coaches and the com­mu­nity to ex­cel in ath­let­ics and to in­crease pride in Prairie Grove High School.

Green was the first in­ductee in 2015. Dur­ing the span of Green’s 31-year ca­reer at Prairie Grove, he served as a So­cial Stud­ies teacher and as a coach for both boys and girls bas­ket­ball, base­ball, track and foot­ball, and later as ath­letic direc­tor.

Last year’s in­ductees into the Prairie Grove Hall of Pride in­cluded: Mea­gan Har­ney-New­berry, Class of 2003; we­b­caster Lynn Greg­son known as “Voice of the Tigers;” Sam Tyree, Class of 1957; and Josh Smith, Class of 1997. The in­duc­tion cer­e­mony was held Nov. 27, 2017 dur­ing the ri­valry bas­ket­ball games against Farm­ing­ton. All in­ductees were present ex­cept Har­ney-New­berry with Trys­tan New­berry ac­cept­ing the award on be­half of his mother.

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