White County High School is proud to announce the 2022-2023 inductees to the White County High School Hall of Fame. The inductees both significantly impacted the success of White County athletics. One comes from the 1950s, Dean Fisher, and the other comes from the 1990s, Lisa Leftwich. The great heritage of WCHS was advanced and continued through both inductees’ successes on the high school and collegiate levels.
From the 1950s comes a legendary member of the 1954 WCHS football team, Dean Fisher. Fisher and Hall of Fame member Bobby Price led the Warriors to a record-setting year, running the single-wing offense that was brought to WCHS from the University of Tennessee by Coach Brixey. Fisher received All-Midstate honors for his senior season.
Fisher was raised in the Gum Spring community and was described in the Spartan as, “He puts his heart into playing the game.” While at WCHS, Fisher was a member of the football team, FFA, Athletic Club, Letter Club, Student Council, HR President, and Chorus and was elected Most Handsome. Fisher attended Shady Grove School before attending WCHS.
After attending WCHS, Fisher went on to play at the University of Tennessee. During his time at UT, he played on the 1956 team that went 10-1 and was led by Heisman Trophy runner-up Johnny Majors. The Vols played in the Sugar Bowl and finished number 2 behind Oklahoma in the final college poll. He also played in the 1957 Gator Bowl while at UT. In 1958, he transferred to MTSU, where the 1959 Blue Raiders went 10-0 and won the Tangerine Bowl.
During his time at MTSU, he met the homecoming queen, Mary Lynn Sharpe, from Lenoir City, and convinced her to become Mrs. Fisher. The couple had two sons, Christopher Dean and Jon Mark, and raised their family in Murfreesboro.
After college graduation, Fisher started his long coaching career. He spent time in Lenoir City, Lebanon, Macon County, and MTSU and finished his career at Riverdale High School. He is a member of the Hall of Fame at Macon County High School and Riverdale High School. During his coaching and educational career, Fisher touched many lives, and thousands of those students today affectionately refer to Fisher as “Coach.”
Dean Fisher passed Oct. 12, 2021. His life covered over 80 years since the start in White County. He was a true reflection of his White County roots, referred to as a hard worker, extremely kind, humble, not afraid of anything, and never quit anything. He kept life simple and loved his family.
“Coach” Fisher is survived by his wife, Mary Lynn Fisher, sons Chris (Sage) Fisher and Jon (Heather) Fisher, brother Woody (Mary Kate) Fisher, and grandchildren Charlie, Jon David, Kathleen, Emily, and Matthew. Coach is also survived by many nieces, nephews, students, and players.
WCHS is proud to induct Dean Fisher into the Hall of Fame. As stated by a former classmate, “Dean Fisher would run to the line and tear it up! He was a true Sparta Warrior.”
From the 1990s comes Warriorette basketball standout Lisa Leftwich. Leftwich shared the court with several other memorable Warriorette players during her career, including Ginger Jared and fellow 1991 graduate Julie Metcalf. Leftwich led the 1991 team to a record of 32-4, while capturing the District 7AAA District Championship. The 1991 team was ranked #2 in the state and #20 in the USA Today poll during the season. The 1991 Warriorettes finished the season as State runners-up and ranked #17 in the USA Today poll. Leftwich was named to the All-State Team – Honorable Mention. The 1991, WCHS Warriorette team led by Hall of Fame Coach Keith Short was one of the most decorated teams in WCHS history.
Leftwich was raised in the Bluff City community by her parents, Glenn and Connie Leftwich. She has a brother, Dietrich, and two nephews, Dominic and Jaxson. Lisa attended Baker School Elementary, East Sparta Elementary, White County Middle School, and White County High School in the White County School System.
During her career as a Warriorette, she was coached by Mike Shockley (WCMS) and Keith Short (WCHS). During her junior and senior seasons, the Warriorettes posted a 62-9 record and made two state tournament appearances. In both seasons, the Warriorettes were 7AAA District Champions, leaving 13.1 points per game as a junior, six rebounds, two blocked shots, and three steals, and was also awarded the “Steal Leader” both seasons for the team.
While at WCHS, Leftwich was involved in many other extracurricular activities. She ran track in 1988 and 1989 and was named MVP for the 1988 season. In her junior year, she was a homecoming attendant. She was also a member of the softball team in the 1990 season. Leftwich completed her decorated career at WCHS in the TSSAA Championship game at MTSU, falling to a Tiffany Woosley-led Shelbyville team by 13. Leftwich’s talent earned her a nomination to the TN-GA Coca-Cola All-Star Game, played at UT-Chattanooga.
Virginia Tech University head coach Carol Alfano saw the talent of Lisa and offered her a scholarship to become a Hokie, and Leftwich took her talents to Blacksburg, Virginia. Alfano moved Lisa to point guard, where she saw success. During her four years, the Hokies compiled a 76-39 record in the tough Metro Conference. Leftwich led the Hokies to their first NCAA Tournament appearances back to back, in 1994 and 1995. The Hokies advanced to the second round for the first time, in 199,5 and were paired with the Rebecca Lobo-led University of Connecticut Huskies, where they were defeated.
While at Virginia Tech, Leftwich received many honors, including MVP of the Diamond Club Classic and Best Defensive Award, in 1993 and 1995. The Hokies also captured the 1994 Metro Tournament Championship and were the 1995 Metro Conference Champions. The Hokie team led by Leftwich established a new aim for post-season play, and now 11 Hokie teams have made the NCAA tournaments.
WCHS is proud to induct Lisa Leftwich into the Hall of Fame, and Coach Keith Short described Lisa as the “complete player with all the top qualities.”
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