2019-2020 Pineville Hall of Fame Inductees

Published 1:55 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Due to the amount of participants and teams entering the Pineville Hall of Fame, this will be a two-part series. The second part will be published later this week.

Tim Stephens

The 1960s ended with the Mountain Lions dominating the SEKC, producing some of the best athletes to ever play the game at PHS. Among those was Tim Stephens, a 170 pound agile, very strong, quick from sideline to sideline linebacker/guard, who was known by his classmates as “Animal.” Tim was born in Oneida, Tenn. to Anna Jo Williamson and Howard Stephens.

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He and his sister, Kathy, attended elementary schools in Prestonsburg and Corbin. His father, a State Wildlife Biologist, accepted a position with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife in Southeastern Ky., and moved to Spruce St., where Tim began attending the seventh grade at Pineville. That year Tim practiced with the Mountain Lions, and as a result he lettered four years in football. He was a member of the golf and track teams, Key Club, and manager of the ’68 Mountain Lion basketball team.

He received the coveted Junior Athletic Cup, and No. 61 was considered by many to be one of the top linebackers in the state. On any given Friday night, Tim could be found blocking punts and extra points, recovering fumbles, breaking through opposing linemen for quarterback sacks, and making open-field tackles. As a linebacker, he was selected First Team All-SEKC in ‘66, ‘67 and ’68. As a guard on the ’68 team he was selected 2nd Team All-State Courier Journal as well as Third Team Linebacker All-State Honorable Mention.

Robert O’Neil Roan

It is with great appreciation for his unwavering support of the Pineville Independent School District that we honor Robert O’Neil Roan, who is the son of Geri Chandler Roan and the late James “Stud” Roan. He was born in Pineville on Sept. 13, 1956, played football and basketball for the Mountain Lions and graduated Salutatorian of the 1974 class. In December 1979, he graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Mining Engineering, and then returned home to accept a Mine Engineering position with Bow Valley Coal.

That year he became Operations Manager, supervising over 120 employees and producing 750,000 tons of coal per annum. However, that was just the beginning of a lifetime career in mining. By 1987, he had become co-owner of Cumberland Valley Contractors, with 135 employees that produced 1 million tons of coal per year. In 1983 he became a licensed Professional Engineer in Kentucky as well as a certified surface mine foreman.

From 1992 to 2001, he was General Manager of Asher Land and Mineral, LTD. From 2002 to 2010, he contracted high wall mining for various coal companies in the area, and owned/operated ROCO Enterprises and M&G Mining LLC. Robert married Michelle Mason in 1984. They have three children: Jacob, Lindsey and Jamie. He served 23 years from 1987 to 2012 on the Pineville Board of Education, and 11 years as the board’s Chairman. From 1984 to 1998, he coached the middle school football team and later became an assistant for the Mountain Lions under coaches Delynn Cline and Tuck Woolum.

In 2005 the “Pineville Mountain Lions All-Sports Program” was dedicated to Robert Roan for being “an inspiration and role-model for student athletes, and for his tireless effort for the youth of Pineville as a volunteer in the elementary, middle and high school levels.” He is a 25-year member of the Pineville Boosters Club and served as president from 1981-1983.

In 2011, he was named “Rotary Club Man of the Year.” Robert has always been very active in First Baptist Church, where he has continued to serve as deacon since 1982, and has been treasurer as well as chairman of the Finance Committee. He presently serves on the Pineville Schools Hall of Fame as president, and has been on the committee since its inception in 2011. He also serves as director of the Mountain Laurel Festival, of which he was General Chairman in 2013, Treasurer from 1990 to 2001 and a member of the Advisory Board since 2013.

Rev. Marshall Fraley

A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart. Reverend Marshall Fraley was a true friend to Pineville High School and touched the hearts of those he met and came to know in Pineville in the 80s and 90s. Born in Lexington, Ky. August 21, 1935 to the late Ruby Burns Fraley, he graduated Lafayette High School in 1953 and Transylvania College in 1957, where he was president of Delta Sigma Phi. He later graduated with a master’s degree from Lexington Theological Seminary and was ordained to the order of Christian Ministry on May 28, 1972 at Old Union Christian Church near Lexington.

Several years of service and dedication followed at Bloomfield Christian Church in Bloomfield, Ky., and Cloverdale Christian Church in Montgomery, Ala. In June 1978, Rev. Fraley accepted an itinerary position as minister of the First Christian Church of Pineville; however, 30 days became 60 days helping the parishioners recover from the devastating ‘77 flood, and one year became 21 years of dedicated service.

With contributions, grants and hard work, the old church was restored to its former beauty. Marshall Fraley made innumerable contributions to the community in his roles as minister, community leader, supporter and voice of the Mountain Lions Athletic Teams, and this journey began not long after he and Ginny moved to Pineville.

In the early 80s, he served as chairman of the Pineville Library Board as well as the Bell County Library Board. He became an avid spokesperson for senior citizens, encouraging monthly meetings in the basement of the church and became the chairman and the driving force to obtain a new senior citizen building.

While serving with the American Cancer Society for several years, he conducted two Jail-a-Thons to raise money for the cause. He chaired the Interfaith Board and served on the Pineville City Council for 11 years from 1990-2001. He became an active member of Pineville Kiwanis Club in 1979, where he served as chairman and actively supported the Little League program, and in 1998 he was honored with the prestigious Hixon Award. He was named Pineville Rotary Club’s “Man of the Year” in 2000. He served on the Pineville Board of Education in 2001 and 2002 and was willing to give of himself to assure the success of students through academic and sports endeavors.

James David Strange

“It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game!” This reflects the winning attitude of Pineville’s James David Strange, who is remembered for his individual as well as team efforts on the basketball court during the final years of the first decade of the 21st Century, from 2006-2009.

Born in Pineville January 10, 1990 to Leah Gambrel and Coach J.D. Strange, James David grew up with two sisters, Courtney and Erin, and graduated sixth in PHS Class of 2009.

He was also a member of the baseball team and ran the 400-meter relay on the track team, which qualified for state in 2007. He was a student leader of First Priority and a member of the National Honor Society. As a freshman, James David averaged 11.3 points per game; he averaged 16.3 points as a sophomore, 17.6 as a junior and 23.9 his senior year. As a point guard for the Lions, No. 11 ended his career shooting 52.5 % for 2-point attempts, 40.5% for 3-point attempts and 73.8% for free-throw attempts, for a total of 2,129 career points.

As a result, James David became a part of one of the most celebrated eras of basketball at PHS. He saw his team rise from the bottom of the 13th Region to the very top, with the most wins of any district team in the 13th Region, and a new PHS record of 24 victories.

James David’s individual efforts are reflected by the many awards he received. In Class “A” basketball, Pineville’s prolific point guard was selected to the All-Region Team in 2006, 07, 08, and 09. He was also Class “A” 13th Region Tourney MVP two years in a row, in 2008 and 2009, and selected to the Class “A” All-State Tournament Team in 2009.

In the SEKC, he received all-conference honors four years in a row and selected SEKC “Player of the Year” in 2008 and again in 2009. In 2006, as a freshman, he was chosen Second Team All-Region and went on to be selected First Team All-Region for the next three seasons — 07, 08, and 09. As a junior and senior he was selected 13th Region “Player of the Year.”

In 2008, he received AP All-State Honorable Mention and WYMT Mountain Top Player of the Year. In 2009, he received Lexington Herald Second Team All-State Honors as well as Courier Journal Third Team All-State Honors. As a senior, he was chosen to play in the KABC Kentucky East/West All-Star Game and chosen as the KABC “Region 13 2009 Player of the Year.” That same year he was invited to tryout on the Kentucky/Indiana All Star team.

After high school, James David played college basketball for Transylvania, and three years for Union College. During his sophomore season, the Bulldogs qualified for the NAIA Tournament for the first time in 40 years and won a first AAC Championship. As a junior, he was selected to the AAC All-Conference Academic Team.

After graduation, in 2013, James David married Tiffany Gambrel and together they have a daughter, Clara, and son, Cannon. In 2014, he became a graduate assistant basketball coach for the Bulldogs, and they once again qualified for the NAIA National Tournament.

James David returned to Pineville High School in 2015, where he was hired as an assistant basketball coach and to teach math. In 2017 and 2018, the Mountain Lions made back-to-back trips to the All “A” State Basketball Tournament, and James David can be found these days encouraging team as well as individual efforts at PHS.

George Brittian Cunningham

Pineville Schools Hall of Fame Inductees of the 1930s are joined this weekend by a third teammate from that era of dominant Mountain Lion football, basketball and track: George B. Cunningham.

George was born in Corbin, Ky., Dec. 2, 1914 to Maggie Gibson and Selwyn Cunningham. In the early 1920s they moved to Pineville with his two sisters, Adella and Sarah, where his father was employed by the L & N Railroad. They lived on Holly Street when George first attended Pineville Elementary School, and as a 12-year-old he arose early each day to deliver the Courier Journal to the many homes and businesses of Pineville. Coach Grabruck arrived when George began his freshman year at PHS, and sports became his priority.

The next four years he lettered in football, basketball and track, earning honors in all three sports. He threw the shot-put and the javelin, and ran the 440 relay for the Mountain Lion track team, which won back-to-back Cumberland Valley Conference Track Championships in 1933 and 1934. He placed first with the javelin throw in 1932, ‘33, and ’34. In the spring of ’34, he won the shot put, and the 440 relay. No. 77 played center for the Lions basketball team that finished third in the CVC in ‘33, and first in the CVC in ‘34.

The ‘34 team defeated High Splint 56-15 in the first game of the 63rd District and Lynch in the second round 36-27 but were defeated by Benham in the finals 30-20. As District 63 runner-up, the Lions qualified for Region 16 playoffs in Hazard defeating Carr Creek 33-11 and Fleming 24-12. George’s team was defeated in the region finals by Hazard 20-14, missing a state berth by six points.

George was a strong halfback, who also played defensive end, and the ‘33 Lions depended on him for the kicking game: he punted, kicked-off, and also put the ball through the end zone for the extra point. Sometimes Red Harp found him in the end zone, and sometimes he passed the ball to Harp in the end zone.

An article in the Nov 11 News Sentinel describes the’33 team as: “The smallest team in the conference, starting this season with what fans called a great backfield, and a tissue paper line. However, that alleged tissue paper line has played nobly on defense and offense making holes for Harp, Green and Cunningham.”

Defeating Lynch, Middlesboro and Somerset, this team finished second in the CVC in a three-way tie that went down to the wire in the last game of the season.