As the second half of the high school hoops season gets under way this weekend, Bradley Central fans are in for a stroll down memory lane as the Bear Hall of Fame inducts a couple of new members Saturday evening.
While the current Bradley squads will be focused on rematch battles with region foe White County, the Black-and-Gold family will honor Chris White and David Landrith, who both played for hall of fame coach Steve Williams in the early 1980s.
A multi-sport athlete, on the court White was an all-district performer and led the Bears to district championships in 1980 and ’81. He was also named to the Basketball Coaches All-Area Team and was an all-state honorable mention in 1981.
On the gridiron, White went onto play football for the University of Tennessee, earning All-American honors after leading the nation with nine interceptions as the Volunteers were ranked fourth in The Associated Press poll.
As a fifth-year senior in 1985, White made his first career start in the season opener against UCLA as an injury replacement. Three interceptions later, White had secured his place as the Vols' starter for the rest of the season. Along with his nine picks, he ended with 62 tackles and three fumble recoveries, plus he caused a fumble.
His place in the Tennessee secondary that Cinderella season earned him All-America honors as the Vols went on to become SEC champions and defeat No. 2 Miami 35-7 in the Sugar Bowl for a 9-1-2 record and No. 4 national finish.
White also played in the National Football League for the Seattle Seahawks for a year, plus played professionally in Italy for several seasons. A local real estate developer, White and his family still live in the Bradley County area.
Landrith was an All District and All Region performer his junior and senior years at Bradley.
He was named to the Chattanooga Times All Tri-State team and was voted the Most Valuable Player by the News-Free Press All Chattanooga team.
Landrith led the Bears to the TSSAA state tournament in 1982, was named to the all-tournament team and was also voted to the Sports Writers All State Team that season.
Landrith played at Cleveland State Community College for a season before transferring to Belmont University in Nashville, where he was a three-year letterman for the Bruins. Since 1997, Landrith has served as senior pastor of the Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville.
Bradley isn’t the only team cranking up the second half of the season as Cleveland High’s Blue Raiders will play host to Westminster, Ga., at 7:30 this evening before both CHS squads entertain Knoxville West tomorrow night at 6.
Polk County will return to District 5-AA play tonight as Sweetwater comes to Benton.
All local hoops teams will be back in action next week as Walker Valley travels to Cleveland Tuesday evening and Bradley on Friday. The Bear and Raider squads will both make the trip across the river to Rhea County on Tuesday and Friday respectively.
Polk County will host archrival McMinn Central Tuesday and district foe Sequoyah Friday.
On the wrestling mats, Cleveland will host a four-way match this evening with the second-ranked Raiders and No. 8 Walker Valley taking on Cookeville and No. 11 Cordova, while fifth-ranked Bradley will tangle with No. 15 Science Hill and Murfreesboro Oakland at Soddy-Daisy.
The Bear and Mustang grapplers will participate in the Soddy Showdown Saturday, while Cleveland travels to the Chattanooga Central Classic.
The Cleveland High swimming team will take on Maryville Saturday.