Mckell athletes recall old memories

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 5, 2001


Monday, March 05, 2001

ASHLAND, Ky. – Dr. Dan Bentley had an idea.

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On the surface, his idea wasn’t that different. It called for a school reunion. But this school reunion was for a school that no longer exists: McKell High School.

The South Shore, Ky., school was in existence from 1931-1973 when consolidation reared its ugly head and merged Greenup, Wurtland, and McKell to form Greenup County High School.

Dr. Bentley decided to plan an athletic reunion Feb. 24 at the Ashland Plaza Hotel.

"I expected 100 people and we had 129. We filled all three rooms. We didn’t have enough room for anyone else," Bentley said who operates a pharmacy in Ironton.

The guest speaker for the event was Tom Sims who coached the Bulldogs to a 51-10-0 record from 1962-67.

The program produced Elbie Nickel, a 1939 graduate, who played 11 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL, Don Gullett (1968) who went on to pitch for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees, and Jerry Bentley (1967) who played for the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Bentley, who was a cousin of Jerry Bentley, was an all-district lineman for the 1967 team that set a record for most points in a season (394) and went the farthest in the playoffs in winning the District II Region IV championship along the way.

The success of the reunion could bring about an encore event.

"We might try it again in five years," Dr. Bentley said.