With Marcus Wright and Ed Berry joining a short list of some of the great Eminence High School players of the past, EHS has now retired six players that also includes Jim Green, Keith Blackburn, Chrissy Roberts and Buddy Berry.
Their jerseys — No. 5 for Wright and No. 2 for Ed — were officially retired between games of Eminence’s double header against Cornerstone Christian last Thursday night, and will be hung in the EHS hallways along with Blackburn, Roberts and Buddy. Green, who in 1999 was voted by the Courier-Journal as the top sprinter from Kentucky in the last 100 years, also has his track shirt and shoes retired in the school’s trophy case.
Eminence principal and football coach Steve Frommeyer said all players who are named All-State automatically get their jerseys retired. Blackburn and Roberts were named All-State in basketball while Wright, Buddy and Ed were named All-State in football. Green remains the only person from Eminence to win a state title when he did it 11 times during the 1960s.
“Players can get their jerseys retired for doing things exceptional while they’re here or afterwards,” said Frommeyer, who has been coaching the football program since 1984 when he arrived in Eminence. “Marcus has distinguished himself in football both at Eminence and at Kentucky State University and Ed has had an outstanding high school career as well. They’re both great athletes and great people.”
Wright was a standout on the football field and basketball court as a 2003 graduate of Eminence. He holds more school records than any football player with 18 marks. During his senior season he broke the state record with 15.5 yards per carry and was named All-State Third Team. He later played football for Kentucky State, where he was named All-American.
Ed finished his senior football season in the fall with 11 school records and is now fifth all-time in Kentucky in career catches with 193, fifth in career receiving yards with 3,101 and eighth in career touchdown receptions with 39. He was named to the All-State Third Team.
The only other football player to have his jersey retired is Buddy — No. 75 — who is the uncle of Ed, currently a math teacher and football coach at EHS, and was also recognized during the Cornerstone double header. Buddy graduated from Eminence in 1993 and later played for the University of Kentucky. He holds every school record at Eminence in tackles and holds the unofficial state record for career tackles with 407. He was named All-State Second Team following his record-breaking senior season.
As for Blackburn and Roberts, both players graduated in 1993 and were named All-State. Blackburn — No. 23 — still holds school records for career points (3,016) and rebounds (1,516) and later played for Indiana University Southeast. Roberts — No. 25 — holds just about every school record at Eminence on the girls’ side, later played for both the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University, and is currently the head coach at EKU.
Green, who graduated in 1967, won numerous state titles and a pair of high school national championships. He later ran at the University of Kentucky and on the professional track circuit. He won multiple SEC titles, USA titles and competed in the Olympic Trials twice.
To go along with the retirement of jerseys, Eminence High School also started a Hall of Fame with its fourth class named last fall. So far, it has 41 inductees with Green and Roberts being inducted with the first class in October 2005, Blackburn being inducted with the third class in 2007 and Buddy being inducted with the fourth class in 2008.
“When I came here in 1984 one of my biggest frustrations was I heard about all this tradition but there were no documentations,” Frommeyer said. “I’m sure all of it happened but it was tough digging for documents. We did manage to get a lot of stuff from the past but there are still some holes. The Hall of Fame, along with the jerseys retired, are ways of remembering those people.”
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