Luke Harrison earns award named after Clinton icon
There are awards and plaques to give out for accomplishments — this is particularly true in the world of athletics.
These honor achievements made during a game, a season, or maybe a playing career — all well-deserved.
And then there are awards and honors that carry a little more meaning to them, that work as a stepping stone to something greater that you carry with you long after your playing days are done.
Randy McKamey, the head football coach at Clinton High School, has that vision. Yes, you can visit the Hollingsworth Sportsplex on the campus of Clinton High School and you can see the records and achievements of players on the wall. Those honors are well-deserved and mark a certain point in time.
“We want to do something that gives credit for something more, that a kid will have with him beyond the field,” McKamey said last Wednesday.
Now you can visit and see this new honor, a new standard to work for if you are a football Dragon — a place where everyone can see your commitment.
Established in 2018, the Ray Beatty Commitment Award will be given to the Dragon who best shows “Their commitment to the program,” at the end of spring training.
The inaugural winner, for the 2018 spring practice, is Luke Harrison. He received his award last week and met the man it is named to honor.
“It is humbling,” Harrison said. “It’s quite an honor.”
This award, however, doesn’t stop at the end of spring training. It doesn’t really begin with spring drills, either.
You have to understand the men behind this award to really comprehend the full meaning: Randy McKamey and Ray Beatty.
Ray Beatty was a linebacker at Clinton High School in 1943-44, and was co-captain of the team.
He left early, however, to enlist in the United States Navy to do his part in World War II.
After the war he enlisted at East Tennessee State University on the GI Bill and played football. He transferred to the University of Tennessee after two years and obtained a degree in business finance.
He spent the next 35 years working at ORNL in finance and eventually because Head of Operations.
And Beatty made a commitment to his community, serving on the Anderson County Court, as Justice of the Peace, and the building committee for the Anderson County Courthouse.
He and his wife, Betty, raised three sons, Michael, Patrick, and Timothy.
McKamey noted that Beatty was also an avid supporter of Clinton High School, especially the Dragon football team.
He committed himself to the Dragons like he committed himself to everything in his life — 100-percent.
“That’s what we look for,” McKamey said. “That’s why Luke was selected. He’s a two-sport athlete and as soon as basketball is through, he was over here getting ready for spring. He is committed to this program.
“And he will be committed to Clinton,” McKamey added. “When he finishes college he’ll be one of the who come back and are committed to this city.”
As an added bonus, a surprise unveiled last week, Harrison will receive $500 in scholarship funds.
“To recognize you as the first recipient, our family wants you to know we appreciate you,” Tim Beatty told Harrison during the brief ceremony.