BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
The sixth class of the Greeneville High School Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted on Friday, Oct. 26, during a ceremony at 4 p.m. at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
Four new inductees are set to be placed into the Sports Hall of Fame this year. The GHS Sports Hall of Fame is an organization established to honor outstanding sports figures, and those elected are honored at an induction ceremony at their picture will be added to the GHS Hall of Fame display located inside the high school.
The 2012 inductees are:
*Dr. Walter Clay Chapman Jr.: (Supporter and team doctor, 1975-2008)
A native of Salem, Va., where he was a graduate of Andrew Lewis High School, Dr. Chapman made his way to Greeneville after graduating from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.
Throughout his high school and college days, Dr. Chapman was an outstanding athlete.
Following his internship, Dr. Chapman served two years in the U.S. Navy, as an orthopedic surgeon. He completed his tour of duty with the Navy in 1972 having advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
After completion of his military duty he accepted a position with Watauga Orthopedics in Johnson City where he saw the need for expansion into Greene County. This brought about his move to Greeneville and the establishment of Greeneville Orthopedic Clinic in 1974. He was joined in 1975 by his long time friend and partner, Dr. Thomas Webster. This move led to his involvement with Greeneville High School and Greene County sports.
Chapman worked closely with student athletes in both Greeneville City and Greene County school systems and worked closely with the formation of the Greene County Sports Medicine Association. Through his guidance this association insured that one attending physician from the clinic, along with athletic trainers would be present at each Greeneville and Greene County high school game. Dr. Chapman was also instrumental in establishing the athletic training program at Tusculum College.
Dr. Chapman served as attending physician for all GHS games for over 30 years. During these years he was also attending physician for the teams Greeneville played, for he would treat any injured player on the other team.
Throughout his career, Dr. Chapman was recognized and received many awards for his success as a businessman and community leader.
He received the Distinguished Service Award for the state of Tennessee presented by the Tennessee High School Athletic Administrators Association; in 2001, he was honored as the Sports Medicine Person of the Year by the Tennessee Athletic Trainers' Association; in 2001, he was named "Executive of the Year" by the Greater Tri-Cities/Virginia Business Journal; in 2005, he was honored as a "Friend of Education" for his support of the GHS Athletic Dept. over the years.
He served as Chief of Staff at Laughlin Memorial Hospital. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Greene County Medical Society, Tennessee Medical Association, The American Academy of Sports Medicine, and was a fellow with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Dr. Chapman died of cancer in 2008.
*Doug DeBusk: (Class of 1991)
Doug DeBusk was an outstanding member of the football, basketball and soccer teams and started at a variety of positions all four years while at Greeneville High School. He received numerous awards throughout his career in football, basketball and soccer, including All-County, Player of the Week, All-Tournament, All-District, All-State and Most Valuable Player.
DeBusk started at quarterback on the 1987 freshman football team, which enjoyed an impressive undefeated season with him at the helm. He started at free safety on the varsity football team during his sophomore year.
He started at wide receiver and punt returner during his junior year and remains in the Inter-Mountain Athletic Conference (IMAC) record book for punt return yards in a single season.
He exhibited exemplary leadership skills on the varsity football team during his senior year as both starting quarterback and place kicker and was All-Greene County at both positions.
DeBusk was the starting point guard on the undefeated regular season championship freshman basketball team. As a freshman, he was named to the All-Tournament team.
He started at point guard on the varsity basketball team during his sophomore, junior and senior years. He was All-Greene County and All-Conference and received Honorable Mention All-State in basketball during his senior season.
DeBusk excelled all four years as a stellar member of the GHS soccer team. He started at forward and halfback his freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. He was an All-Conference selection in soccer all four years at GHS, and his team won the IMAC title for four consecutive seasons.
He was IMAC District Player-of-the-Year and All-State in soccer his senior year.
DeBusk attended Tusculum College on a scholarship and received a Bachelor's Degree in 1995 with a double major in business management and sports management. He played point guard in basketball all four years as a Tusculum College Pioneer where he was among the national leaders in assists. He recorded his 700th career assist and 1,000th career point as a senior with a 7.37 average per game, which ranked him 11th nationally.
He was selected to the All-Tennessee-Virginia Athletic Conference (TVAC) basketball team his senior year. He was selected Tusculum College Athlete of the Year and Most Valuable Player in Men's basketball in 1995.
Doug was inducted in the Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
He is employed as Executive Vice President with Andrew Johnson Bank and resides with his wife, Christy, in Greeneville. They are the proud parents of three children: Dylan, Connor and Delana.
*Katie Kreeger Smelcer: (Class of 1990)
Katie lettered in three sports (soccer, basketball and softball) all four years at GHS. She was on the first girls' soccer team at GHS in 1986.
Her freshman year she was selected Most Improved in softball. As a sophomore, Katie was selected soccer team MVP, basketball best defense award and received the Charles Thorpe Award.
In 1989, Katie's junior year, the Lady Devils basketball team was IMAC Champions, won their first District 2 AAA Championship, Regional Champions, and went as far as the semifinals in the Sub-State.
Her senior year she helped the team become an undefeated (12-0) IMAC Champion, District semi-finalist, Regional semi-finalist, and Sub-State semi-finalist in 1990. She was an All-IMAC selection as a senior.
After graduation she signed a scholarship to play soccer at Tusculum College where she played and lettered 4 years on the first women's soccer team. In 1993 she was selected for the NAIA All District Team, and was chosen as an All-Tennessee-Virginia Conference Team selection all four years (1991-1994). She served as assistant coach her 5th year at Tusculum to finish her education. She graduated in 1994 with a degree in Special Education.
She returned to GHS to be the head coach for the boys' soccer team for three years beginning in 1996. She has been a teacher at Greeneville Middle School for 16 years where she has served as assistant girls' basketball coach and head volleyball coach.
*Charles Thorpe: (Coach, Assistant Principal, Athletic Director - 1948 - 1973)
Thorpe was born in Brooklyn, N.Y, and came to Greene County when a friend talked him into attending Tusculum College which led to his graduation in 1936 with a teacher's certification.
His first teaching position was at Cedar Creek Academy in southern Greene County. At the academy he taught and coached basketball. This is where he met his future wife, Rose Payne, who would spend 56 years by his side and be the mother of their three children: Marty, Betsy and Ginny.
Following Cedar Creek Academy he spent the next few years teaching in Greene County with stops at Baileyton, Doak and Camp Creek.
His journey with GHS began in the 1948-49 school year when he joined the staff as Physical Education teacher and coach of both the boys and girls basketball teams. This was his position in the 1949-50 school year. The 1950-51 school year saw Thorpe promoted to assistant principal and drivers' education teacher, while also coaching the girls' basketball team.
The fall of 1951 saw the opening of the new high school on Tusculum Blvd. (its present location) with Charles Earnest as principal and Thorpe as assistant principal and drivers' education teacher. This also was the year GHS changed from a county school to a city school.
For the next 25 years he continued to serve GHS as assistant principal and athletic director with 15 of those years also serving as drivers' education teacher. He served as secretary of the Big 7, later the Big 9 for all of the 20 years that GHS was a member of that conference. In addition, he oversaw the introduction to GHS the sports of boys and girls track, boys' golf, boys and girls' tennis, and the re-introduction of baseball while GHS was a member of the Big 7/9.
In 1973 he oversaw the re-instatement of girls' basketball after an 18 year absence. He also found time to be a charter member of the Parks and Recreation Board, and served as his area's representative for many years on the TSSAA board.
During this time, for fun, Charles served as a broadcaster on WGRV radio on Saturday afternoon and evening.
Because he spent most of his adult life serving the youth of Greeneville and Greene County, especially Greeneville High School, he was honored with the Charles Thorpe Award, an annual scholarship given to recognize an outstanding GHS scholar athlete.
During his retirement years he continued to serve his community and especially GHS.