Florence, Ala. – The Lauderdale County Sports Hall of Fame has announced the inductees for 2017 and among the group is former player and head coach for the Lauderdale County Tigers, Coach Ronnie Ritter. Ritter who played running back and quarterback for LCHS under Coach Earl Grisham from 1969-1973, was named an All-State player his senior year. As a player, Ritter also holds the LCHS record for longest interception return at 100 yards.
Upon graduation from LCHS in 1974, Ritter attended and graduated from The University of North Alabama where he also played football.
In 1991, Ritter was hired as the head coach of his alma mater where he would serve as the head coach for the next 16 years. During his time at LCHS, 12 of his 16 teams made the AHSAA Playoffs. Two of those teams, the 1991 and 1995 squads, made it to the AHSAA Playoff State Semi-finals. Over 16 seasons at LCHS, Ritter amassed a record of 106-77.
In 2015, Ritter, along with one of his former assistants, Don Grubbs, came back to LCHS to coach an alumni team against Loretto High School Alumni as a fundraiser for the LCHS and Loretto football programs. In the 17-14 victory over Loretto, the alumni team raised over $4000 for the LCHS football program. Ritter is currently an assistant football coach at Loretto High School.
Ritter’s son, John, who now coaches for West Morgan, posted the following after hearing the news of his dad’s being named an inducted into the LCSHOF, “So extremely proud of my dad. Such a great career as a player and a coach at Lauderdale County. Great coach, great man, but an even better dad and granddaddy. Proud son of a Hall of Famer.”
Others named to the LCSHOF 2017 class are:
• James “Bubber”Ford
• Chris Mapes
• Charlie Meyer
• Gary Wayne Michael
• Samuel Lee Prater
• Mike Russell
• Joseph Terrell
• Tony Willis
• Sandra Witt Bradley
The annual dinner, and induction ceremony, is Saturday, March 18, 2017, at 6:30 p.m., at the Florence Conference Center. It is a special event for visiting with old friends, sharing memories, and recognizing the athletic accomplishments of individuals from Lauderdale County. Tickets are $30 each or $240 for table. Contact Steve Harrison at 256-810-3460, or Dennis Hargett at 256-762-9056, or any committee member for tickets. Tickets are also available at local high schools.