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Pitts inducted into Hartselle Football HOF

Published 12:54pm Monday, January 13, 2014

More than 100 Hartselle High School football players and cheerleaders were singled out for special recognition at the school ‘s annual Appreciation Program and reception Sunday afternoon.

The event, which was attended by an estimated 400 students, family members and fans, was held in the auditorium and cafeteria.

A surprise part of the program was the recognition that was given to David “Bucky” Pitts who served as head coach of the Hartselle Tigers from 1969 to 1979.

Pitts was introduced by Bob Sittason, one of his former players, and announced as the latest member of the Hartselle Football Sports Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed by Hartselle Athletic Booster Club.

Pitts came to Hartselle from Cookville, Tenn. where his teams won two state championships, and changed the face of football in Hartselle by introducing the veer offense. The Tigers developed quickly under his system, established a winning record and became playoff contenders year after year.

Sittason told of his experience of playing for Pitts for three years and drew several laughs from the audience.

“I didn’t like Coach Pitts at first because my older brother Randy broke his arm in a blocking drill during the team’s first scrimmage under him,” Sittason recalled. “That night, he came to our home to talk with my dad and when I was introduced I told him I would never play for him because he broke my brother’s arm. Of course, I changed my mind later on when I got old enough to play on the varsity.”

“Coach Pitts had high expectations for his players and he made them work hard in practice, added Sittason. “ He closed every practice with three words: ‘give me three more plays, boys.’ We knew that meant we’d have to practice for another hour.

“Finally, Mark Hill, our center, had heard enough. When coach uttered those words, Mark replied, ‘coach, you can go to hell for lying.’ We ran three plays and he let us go home.’”

“We didn’t realize he was teaching us lessons of life,” said Sittason. “One of the lessons I carry with me every day is to give what I’m doing my best effort and never give up.”

“There’s nothing I enjoy more than to live in Hartselle and be a Hartselle Tigers fan,” said Pitts. I want to congratulate coach Godsey and his staff and you football players for the good job you did last season.

“I appreciate this honor and the opportunity to be a part of the Hartselle community. “

Coach Bob Godsey and his staff introduced each football player by class and had them come on stage to receive certificates of achievement. Each senior also received an enlarged, framed portrait of the 2013-2014 Tigers.

Cheerleaders were also introduced individually and brought on stage to receive certificate of achievement.

The only senior player to receive an individual award was Nicholas Hillman. He was awarded the Virgil Starks Academic Award for having a 4.1 grade point average, the highest in his class.

Godsey commended the senior class for achieving a 33-7 overall record and a 10-3 record in playoff games during their four-year careers.

He also expressed appreciation to his wife, assistant coaches and their families, cheerleaders, school administrators and many volunteers who give their support to the football program.

The program concluded with a video presentation of games played in 2013 and guests were invited to the cafeteria for refreshments.

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