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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.

Sports on 12/05/2018

Print Headline: Prairie Grove Will Induct Three Friday

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