Cindy Freeman – Curtis Marlin – Bill McGlothlin – Anthony Padgett – Rusty Wright
Cindy Freeman, Portland High School Class of 1978, made an impact on the basketball court during her high school tenure. She played for Portland High School Athletic Hall of Fame Coach Carl Fussell and was a 3-year starter. She received District 9AA tournament honors as a Sophomore as her success on the court had just begun. Cindy was named again to the 9AA tournament team her Senior year as well as named to the All-Region and All Mid-State teams as well. She received the Portland High School Girl’s Athletic Award her Senior year and was named Most Valuable Player for her team. Cindy scored 55 points her Senior year in a game against East Robertson. Also during her Senior year, she set records and still holds the record for field goals made in a game with 18 and most field goals in a season with 309. She accomplished her best field goal percentage her Senior year hitting 309 out of 673 shots for a 46% shooting percentage. She made 25 free throws in 2 different games as well. Cindy played when girls played 6 on 6 basketball. Three team members played offense on half the court while the other 3 team members played defense on the other end of the court. Cindy graduated from Portland High School Summa Cum Laude, 3rd in her class, was the Faculty’s Gold Key recipient, represented Portland High School at Girls State and was the Student Body President her Senior year.
Cindy’s success at Portland High School earned her a full scholarship at Vanderbilt University where she lettered in Women’s Basketball in 1980. She had been redshirted due to an injury before returning to the court in 1980. She played for Coach Joe Pepper. She was also a letter award winner in Track and Field at Vandy in 1981. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1982 with a double major in Business and Psychology.
Cindy joined Procter & Gamble out of college and worked for them for 36 years, just recently retiring. She held positions in sales, supply chain and quality. She has moved 7 times in the continental US but has had regional and global responsibilities. She has worked in the Beauty, Health, Fabric and Home Care and Paper Sectors of Procter & Gamble. Before retirement she oversaw quality for the North American market. She has visited and worked with people all over the globe; China, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Turkey.
Curtis, a 1977 graduate of Portland High School, loved sports at an early age. Before ESPN and the Internet, when the Atlanta Braves, his dad’s favorite baseball team would play on the West Coast, Curtis would listen to the games on WSM-AM and take notes and do a box score of the game to put on the table for his dad the next morning.
Curtis’ love of Portland athletics also developed early as he remembers going to Portland football games when he was seven or eight years old. Throughout high school Curtis supported the Panthers. One memory that stands out during that time was when the Portland boys basketball team defeated number one ranked Gallatin in January of 1975.
Since the high school newspaper at that time consisted of all girls, Curtis didn’t want to break the “glass ceiling”, so he chose not to write sports for the newspaper.
After high school, Curtis attended Volunteer State Community College where he became sports editor for the college newspaper, “The Settler”, and covered all the Pioneer games.
After being out of the sports writing business for a couple of years, Curtis decided to write again, and in July 1983 he approached the editor of the Portland Leader and asked if she needed a sportswriter. She said yes, and the rest is history.
In almost 36 years of covering Portland sports, Curtis has traveled to all parts of the state and has written about everything from eight-year old race car drivers to Senior Ladies’ softball teams. Curtis also covered Portland for the Gallatin News Examiner under the pseudonym Scott Dillon for several years. (Most people don’t know he had two identities.)
For years Curtis has reported the result of Friday night football games to the Tennessean, and he currently turns in football stats to be published each week in the Nashville paper. Curtis has also kept football stats during Panther broadcasts for 36 seasons for both WHIN and WQKR radio stations.
In 2013 he was honored on the football field for his 30 years of covering Portland sports. He was given a helmet signed by many of the players and coaches he had covered during his tenure as sportswriter.
Curtis also was a source for the 95th anniversary book of Portland football by gathering information over the past 30 years.
Curtis has always been proud to support Portland athletics through the years and feels blessed to have been able to cover his favorite team, the Portland Panthers. He may not have 36 more years of writing left, but he plans to continue as long as his wife lets him.
Curtis is also appreciative of his wife Sharon who has been on this journey with him for 23 years and allows him to do something he loves to do.
A 3-year letterman, selected Co-Captain and selected Most Valuable Back, Bill McGlothlin played for the Panthers from 1966 – 1968. He was the Quarterback for the Panthers, played linebacker, centered for punts, kicked extra points and kicked off. During his Senior year of wearing the purple, Bill led his 1968 team in number of tackles, yards passing and rushing, PAT’s and touchdowns. He was named to the All Cumberland Valley Conference Team, All Mid-State and selected to play in the TSSAA East-West All-Star Game.
Upon graduation in 1969, Bill was signed by Coach Doug Dickey to a 4-year football scholarship to play for the Volunteers at the University of Tennessee. While he was at UT, Bill was a 3-year letterman and was a contributor in winning 3 bowl games. One of those games was the 1970 Sugar Bowl, where the Volunteers finished 3rd in the nation. He helped contribute to an SEC record for team interceptions by returning an interception for a touchdown in Neyland Stadium in 1970. A notable interception for Bill was his 30-yard pick 6 against Army in 1970. This record still stands as an SEC team record today. Bill’s name is on The Letterman Wall of Fame at the University of Tennessee football training facility.
Bill graduated from the University of TN at Knoxville in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in Business. He returned to Portland to the family farm where he resides with his wife, Penny, of 44 years. Their 3 children and 7 grandchildren live on the farm as well, which makes the grandchildren the 8th generation to reside on and farm the family farm.
Anthony Padgett graduated from Portland High School in 1972. He played football and basketball for the Panthers and excelled at both. Some spectators would agree that his performance on the gridiron was some of the most exciting times at Memorial field. Under the direction of Portland Athletic Hall of Fame Coach Edgar Johnson, Anthony was a starter his Sophomore season as a tailback and in the secondary on defense. He had 296 yards and two touchdowns and recorded a 90-yard run to set up another touchdown in a win over Greenbrier. He was named to the All Cumberland Valley Conference Team. During his Junior year he continued as a starting tailback and defending the Panther’s goal in the defensive secondary. Anthony’s senior year was stellar as well. He continued as the starting tailback and in the defensive secondary. He scored 5 touchdowns against Lafayette and had an interception late in the game to stop a potential game-winning drive by the Tigers. He scored 5 touchdowns against Greenbrier as well. The Panthers were selected to participate in the Midstate Bowl where Anthony had an interception to help Portland defeat Cookeville 14-13. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the Midstate Bowl. He was named to the Cumberland Valley Conference team as well as named to the All-Midstate team. Anthony signed a four-year scholarship to play football at Middle Tennessee State University.
On the hardwood, Anthony played for Coach Larry Moores. He started as a Sophomore and at the time held the record for Most Rebounds in a season, with 353. He had 30 rebounds in a win over Greenbrier that year, which was a record for most rebounds in a game. Anthony’s junior year, he played guard and was named to the Christmas Tournament team. His Senior season, Anthony helped lead his team to the 20th District Championship. He was named to the 20th District All-Tournament team.
Anthony was selected as the recipient of the Portland High School Boy’s Athletic Award. He was also selected at Mr. Portland High School by his peers. Anthony played and loved sports but most of all he displayed a sense of sportsmanship.
A three-sport athlete, Rusty Wright played football, basketball and baseball for the Panthers from 1979-1982. He excelled in all three sports before graduating from PHS in 1982.
Rusty was a starting quarterback his first season on the gridiron. In 1979, he helped lead the team to its first district title since the beginning of the playoff system in 1969. He was named player of the week, named to the Nashville Banner All Class AA Team and was named Honorary Captain of the All-County team. In 1980, his Junior year, he was the starting Quarterback, Safety and Punter. He helped lead the team to the district and regional championship games. He was named to the All-District, All-County and All-Midstate team. He was player of the week and received the PHS Most Valuable Offensive Player Award. His Senior year, he was the starting Quarterback, Safety and Punter. He helped lead the Panthers to the Industrial Bowl. He was named AP Tennessee High School Player of the Week when he went 10 of 14 for 187 yards; 3 touchdowns and made 9 tackles. Rusty was named player of the week, named to the All-District, All-County, All-Midstate and All-State 1st team – Class AA. He was selected by his team as Captain and received the PHS Most Valuable Offensive Player award. He finished his HS football career with 3169 total yards of offense, 120/240 pass completion with 20 touchdown passes. He was recruited by MTSU, TN Tech and Austin Peay.
As a basketball starter all 3 years of high school, Rusty helped lead his team to district championship finals in 1980, 1981 and 1982 where the team won the district in 1981. He was named to the All-District tournament in 1982, his Senior season. During the years that he played, the teams averaged 16 wins per season. He had a season-high 16-point game when PHS upset the #2 state ranked East Robertson. He played guard for the Panthers.
In the spring, Rusty was an integral part of the Panther baseball program. He was a starter all 3 years of high school as a pitcher and shortstop. He helped
lead his team to be runners-up or champions each year in the post-season. His Sophomore year of high school, the team finished as District Tournament Runners-up. His Junior year, Rusty had a batting average of 433 and the team finished District champs, Region and sub-state champs and advanced to the Final Four of the State tournament before eventually falling to Knoxville, who went on to win the AA State Baseball championship. His Senior year, the team finished second in the District tournament. Rusty had 14 stolen bases and a batting average of 476. He was named to the All-District and All-County team and was selected to play in the Mid-State All-Star Game.
After high school, Rusty chose to attend Belmont University to play baseball. He played for the Bruins from 1984-1987 where he was a starter all 4 years at second base. As a Sophomore in 1985, Belmont made the NAIA playoffs and he led the team to the finals in 2 wins with 2 homeruns, 5 hits and 7 RBI’s. He was named to TCAC team. He received from Belmont the College Gold Glove Award for a fielding average of .981 in 1986 as well as the Belmont College Tony Haywood Hustle Award in 1987. While at Belmont, he compiled a batting average of 322, a slugging average of 475 and had a total of 166 hits in his college career.
Rusty was an honors student at PHS as well as being a member of the Beta Club, Student Council, an FCA officer. He was named Junior Class Favorite. During his Senior year, he was voted Most Athletic, received the Athletic Departmental Award, and was voted Mr. Portland High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Belmont College in Business and worked after college in sports marketing and pharmaceutical sales. Rusty passed away in 2000.