Howard, Rowe Enter Blue Ridge Athletic Hall Of Fame
Pictured above, former Blue Ridge High School head football coach, Jim Howard (left) and former quarterback Caleb Rowe (right) pose with their Hall of Fame plaques during ceremonies at The Ridge last Friday night. (BRHS PHOTO).
Blue Ridge High School honored a former football coach and a former quarterback last Friday night by way of inductions to the school's athletic hall of fame. Jim Howard, who was responsible for bringing respect to the Blue Ridge football program, as head coach for sixteen seasons, and Caleb Rowe, a former quarterback who extended his football career to play for the Maryland Terps, were honored during halftime ceremonies.
Jim Howard came to Blue Ridge after serving Travelers Rest High School for nine years. He inherited a football program that had only two winning seasons in its 27 year history. His goal was to bring respect to the program.
Howard is said to have gone from page to page and door to door to put together his Fighting Tigers team. He asked long time assistant coaches Jerry Henson and Bob Butler to point out potential football players as they flipped the pages of the school yearbook. Howard followed that up with home visits around the county's Dark Corner area. By the time the first practice rolled around, he had over 60 candidates for the team and some of those turned out to besome of the best in school history. Considering that the previous year's turnout for football totaled only 30 young men, Blue Ridge's road to success was starting to surface.
The following sixteen years brought 82 victories for Howard's Fighting Tigers, including 9 winning seasons. In 1997 Howard retired from Blue Ridge and was immediately asked to return to Travelers Rest High School where he became an assistant coach on Jack Anderson's staff. After his retirement from high school athletics Coach Jim Howard was honored as a South Carolina Coach Of Distinction award receipient.
By the way, Blue Ridge, inspired by Howard and Rowe, scored 22 fourth quarter points against Berea last Friday for a 38-35 victory and a berth in the state AAA playoffs. Blue Ridge travels to take on the Chapman Panthers on Friday night in the first round of the playoffs.