Softball coach Dale Lynch and his players Amy Allen, Kim Black and Heather Cloyd Osburn, along with Poe and representatives from Hardee’s were honored at a dinner at the school.
Lynch, now the Executive Director of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents, led the Pioneers softball program from 1989-94. His teams won IMAC Conference and district championships every year of his tenure. They also won five region titles and made two appearances in the TSSAA state tournament. He was honored with the prestigious TSSAA A.F. Bridges Award, given to those who reflect good sportsmanship and good citizenship.
“This is like coming home,” said Lynch, who now lives in Nashville. “It’s a great honor to also be here with Coach Poe. I worked with him as his assistant after Coach (Gary) Scheuerman brought me in when he was the athletic director. Then to be here with my three girls, that’s a big reason I’m here to be with them.”
Allen, a 1997 Crockett graduate now living in suburban Nashville, played softball, basketball and volleyball all four years, earning all-conference and all-district honors in each sport. She was a three-time all-state softball player with a .550 career batting average.
The conference volleyball MVP her junior year, Allen led the IMAC in scoring in basketball as a senior, averaging 18 points per game. She scored over 1,000 points at Milligan College and averaged 14 points per game her senior year.
Osburn, then Heather Cloyd, threw 450 strikeouts for a school record that still stands. In 1993, her senior season, she was the All-Northeast Tennessee player of the year with a .576 batting average and led in home runs and total bases.
She was also the District 2-AAA player of the year in 1993 and the Washington County Classic MVP in 1992. She was a multiple-time, all-conference selection on teams that won IMAC Conference titles, regional titles and appeared in sub-state games and the 1992 state tournament.
She also excelled on the volleyball court, earning all-conference and district all-tournament awards. She was named the IMAC’s best defensive player in 1991 and the best defensive player in 1992.
Kim Black, who played from 1988-92, was district player of the year in 1991 and ’92. She finished with more than 300 career strikeouts over her high school career.
“We had incredible athletes who were great girls,” Lynch said. “I think they put softball on the map here in Northeast Tennessee.”
Poe, currently the boys’ basketball coach at Volunteer High School, was the Pioneers’ coach from 1988-96. His team finished region runner-up in 1990. He coached teams to the 1993 IMAC championship and the 1993 Hardee’s Classic tournament title.
He later moved to Science Hill and coached the Hilltoppers to the 1999 Arby’s Classic championship and a state runner-up finish in 2002. His overall high school coaching record is 352-211.
Poe coached at Tennessee Wesleyan College from 2004-18 and compiled a 251-176 record. All total, he has been recognized 13 times as coach of the year and his teams have won seven conference championships.
“Being here with people like Gary Scheuerman and Dr. Lynch brings back a lot of memories,” Poe said. “I had a lot of great friends here that I will have forever. It was a lot of fun being here so this is quite an honor for me.”
He remembered the 1990 run to the regional championship game.
“We got fortunate at the right time,” Poe said. “We ended beating Dobyns-Bennett in the semifinals. That team had struggled off and on throughout the year, and we had to fight to get things going the right direction. But we had some talented kids and when they were locked in, they could play.”
Hardee’s was recognized as athletic contributor. It has been sponsor of the annual Hardee’s Classic basketball tournament at David Crockett for all 29 years. Hardee’s has been sponsor of the DCHS Athletic Hall of Fame dinner since 2016.