Altavista High School will be recognizing 11 legendary individuals from Colonel Country next February.
10 athletes and 1 “Lifetime Colonel” will be inducted into the school’s new athletic hall of fame February 5 at a home basketball game against William Campbell Combined School. Altavista High School boys basketball coach Casey Johnson, who proposed the idea to administrators, said an exceptional number of great coaches, athletes and teams have represented the Colonels in athletics over the years.
“This is a great way to remember everyone,” Johnson told the Altavista Journal. “There were great players, great athletes, that a lot of people may not have heard about if they weren’t raised in Altavista. So this is a terrific way to give them an honor that will last forever.”
Johnson said he knew he wanted to do something to shed a light on Altavista’s storied athletics as soon as he became a coach at the school in 2019, referencing AHS’s many championships over the years.
“When you walk through the gymnasium and you see all the banners and all the years of greatness,” he said, “that doesn’t even begin to tell the story.”
This Spring he put a proposal for the project together, and received approval from AHS Principal Ron Proffitt and Campbell County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Johnson. An executive committee composed of alumni was created to guide the project, along with a selection committee made up of alumni and former administrators and coaches to select inductees.
Current plans are for the hall of fame to be placed in a hallway adjacent to the AHS gym. Johnson said inductees will receive plaques in the hall and personal plaques, along with a few surprises to be revealed later.
A celebratory banquet at Riverview Manor will follow the induction. Information on tickets and the event’s guest speaker will be released this fall.
Future induction ceremonies will likely take place in the fall each year. Johnson said he hopes the announcement of the first class will get Colonel Country excited.
“We’re just hoping that it will be a great tradition for years to come,” Johnson said.
The first class of inductees is listed below. Dajah Berger provided information on each member.
Lil Andrews – Lifetime Colonel
The Lifetime Colonel is given to someone who is or has been a supporter of Altavista Athletics. This year’s Lifetime Colonel is Lil Andrews, she graduated from Altavista High School in 1937. She taught at Altavista High School for 30 years and coached basketball, debate, and forensics. She was a supporter of Altavista Athletics for over 50 years.
Bill Booker graduated from Altavista High School in 1958. Booker was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. In baseball, he had a 4-year batting average of 0.350. He continued his baseball career at Ferrum College and Lynchburg College (The University of Lynchburg). Booker played professional baseball with the Colt 45s (Houston Astros). He became a referee/umpire and also coached high school baseball at multiple high schools within the area.
Mike Campbell graduated from Altavista High School in 1963. Campbell was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. In football, he was 3x All-District and District Player of the Year during his senior year. He continued his football and track career at Lenior Rhyne. Campbell played professional football with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Lions.
Leonard Brown graduated from Altavista High School in 1970. Brown was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. In football, he was Player of the Year his junior and senior year while also being a District Selection for 3 years. He was also all 2nd Team All-District in basketball and received All-District Recognition in baseball. Brown holds the school record in the shot put. He continued his collegiate career at Salem College. He served as the head coach at Altavista and also coached basketball and baseball at Altavista.
Tracy Poindexter graduated from Altavista High School in 1979. Poindexter was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. He holds the school record in track for the High jump and Triple Jump. Poindexter is most notably for his basketball career at Altavista. He is the 1st player to score 2,000 points and has the 2nd most points scored in school history. Poindexter continued his basketball career at Concord University.
Micah Moon graduated from Altavista High School in 1981. Moon was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. In football, he was an All-Group AA Selection as a linebacker. Moon holds the school record in 110-meter hurdles. He continued his football career at the University of North Carolina and played professional football with the Atlanta Falcons.
Jenny Hecht Kerns
Jenny Hecht Kerns graduated from Altavista High School in 1985. Kerns was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. In basketball and volleyball, she was the team’s Most Valuable Player and the Seminole District Player of the Year. Kerns was also All-District in volleyball and basketball for multiple years. She also is the first girl at Altavista to be a part of the 1,000 Point Club, she ended her basketball career with 1,126 points. In basketball, she was a member of the VHSCA All-State Team. Kerns continued her collegiate career at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
Vincent Myers graduated from Altavista High School in 1990. Myers was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. In basketball, he was an All-Group AA Selection, 2nd Team All-District, and a member of the VHSCA All-State Team. Myers is also a 1,000 point Club member ending his basketball career with 1,253 points. In football Myers was an All-Group AA Selection as an End and Defensive Back.
Stacy Shepard Stewart
Stacey Shepard Stewart graduated from Altavista High School in 2004. Stewart was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. She shined on the basketball team at Altavista. She was 3x All-Region, 2x All-State, 2x Dogwood District Player of the Year, 4x All-District, VHSCA, and Associated Press Player of the Year. She was a member of the 2004 State 1A Girls Basketball Team. Stewart was the first and still the only female basketball player at Altavista to score over 2,000 points, she ended her basketball career with a total of 2,092 points. She was also named to the VHSCA All-Star Team. Stewart continued her basketball career at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Sydney Morris Rabe
Sydney Morris Rabe graduated from Altavista High School in 2014. Rabe was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. In basketball, she was all-district, all-region, and all-state first-team selection. Rabe is also a 1,000 point Club member ending her basketball career with 1,096 points. In track, she holds the school record for the Long Jump, Triple Jump, and 300m Hurdles. In volleyball, she was named 1A State Player of the Year, Regional Player of the Year two times, and Dogwood District Player of the Year two times. She was also a member of the VHSCA All-Star Team for volleyball. Rabe continued her volleyball career at James Madison University and Liberty University.
Juan Thornhill graduated from Altavista High School in 2015. Thornhill was a multi-sport athlete at Altavista. He is a 1,000 Point Club member ending his basketball career with 1,182 points. Thornhill was a member of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 State 1A Boys Basketball Championship Teams. In football, he was VHSL 1A Player of the Year, VHSL 1A Quarterback of the Year, and Region 1A East Player of the Year. He was a member of the 2013 & 2014 State Championship teams. Thornhill was also awarded the Titan Trophy Winner. He continued his football career at the University of Virginia and plays professional football with the Kansas City Chiefs.