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Scholarship presented in honor of coach, former athletes

Posted on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Franklin County High School’s Quarterback Club received a special monetary donation at its meeting Monday night.

The funds were presented on behalf of the FCHS Class of 1961 and will be used toward a scholarship for one of the seniors on the Franklin County Rebel football team.

Joanne Davis, member of the Class of ‘61, made the presentation, explaining a little bit about how the money for this scholarship was raised and how the reason behind this effort is one that is near and dear to her heart.

Davis mentioned it all started when Claude Clements, president of the FCHS class of ’61 and former Rebel athletes Rodney Rogers and Dale Gulley came up with the idea to honor their coach, Pete Holmes.

Coach Holmes could be seen out on almost every Rebels field there was, as he had a hand in coaching most sports at the high school during the 1950s and 1960s.

“Holmes was like a father to so many of his athletes, so Claude, Rodney and Dale spearheaded the project of having a portrait made of Coach Holmes,” Davis said.

She further explained that many others with the Class of ‘61 got on board to help see that this portrait in Holmes’ honor came to fruition.

“He meant so much to everyone in our class,” Davis said.

But prior to the portrait’s completion, the Class of ‘61 suddenly lost two of its beloved classmates, Dale Gulley and Rodney Rogers.

Gulley had played football for Franklin County High School. Rogers played football, basketball and baseball.

Rogers went to Austin Peay on a football scholarship and had a great career while there. He later returned to FCHS to coach football, basketball and baseball during the 70’s and 80’s. He also coached some at Huntland High School.

“When we lost these two great gentlemen the Class of ‘61 and former athletes of the 50’s and 60’s really stepped forward,” Davis said. “Memorials for Dale and Rodney poured in, as well as contributions for the portrait.”

With the leftover funds, everyone involved thought it’d be a great opportunity to give back to the school and to the Rebel football team.

“The scholarship being given to the FCHS Quarterback Club is the result of the outpouring of love for Coach Pete Holmes and the two deceased athletes,” Davis said, choking back tears at Monday’s Quarterback Club meeting.

Many of those in attendance who knew Gulley and Rogers were emotional when the check was presented. Quarterback Club president Vance Pituch hugged Mrs. Davis and thanked Holmes and his family, as well as the family members of Gulley and Rogers for being present.

In accepting the scholarship money, Pituch commented that in all the places he’s been in the world, Franklin County has some of the kindest and caring people. Pituch again thanked those involved for providing the scholarship that would assist one of the FCHS Rebel seniors in furthering his education.

The Quarterback Club officers noted that the Rebel players interested in applying for the scholarship money would be required to write an essay. Once the essays are turned in the Quarterback Club will then review them and select a recipient.