Kingsport Times News Sunday, August 30, 2015


Grandsons sustain family presence in Lee County sports

January 18th, 2007 12:00 am by George Thwaites

BEN HUR - It might be going too far to call Winston Terry the grandfather of Lee High athletics.

But it would certainly be accurate to call him the granddaddy of a significant chunk of this year's boys basketball squad.

No fewer than four of Terry's grandsons play for the Generals this season: brothers Bobby and Gary Stafford and cousins B.J. Terry and Justin Terry.

"I'm really proud when they're all on the floor at the same time," said "Papaw" Terry. "They're all good boys and always have been."

In his day at Jonesville High School, the grandfather played multiple sports. So have most of his descendants. But basketball has been a particular point of excellence for this blood line.

Three of Winston Terry's four children were Jonesville Bulldogs. This includes daughters Cindy (mother of the Stafford brothers) and Liana (mother of B.J.) and son Winston II (father of Justin).

Cindy, who is now married to proud stepfather Wayne Nickodam, played her college basketball at Alice Lloyd. The Stafford boys' father, Rick Stafford, played college football at Georgetown, Ky.

Winston II, aka. "Rat", played for Clinch Valley College. His total of 2,256 career points - scored at Jonesville before the inception of the 3-point goal - remains 12th on the VHSL's all-time list.

Justin's older brother, Josh, is in his third season playing for Milligan. Josh, by the way, is Lee High's all-time leading boys scorer with 1,356 points.

Winston Terry's youngest son, Tommy, is probably best remembered for football. At quarterback, he led Jonesville to the Division 1 state championship in 1988 and helped carry the Generals to the Division 4 title game in Lee High's 1989 inaugural season.

Tommy is a career airman in the U.S. Air Force. He and his offspring are currently stationed in San Antonio, Texas, but that still leaves a lot of extended family in Lee County. In fact, the Terry patriarch purchased a 16-seat passenger van specifically for family road trips to athletic events.

"Our family is always going crazy up in the stands," said B.J. Terry, a senior forward who plans to major in physics at Virginia-Wise next year. "Most of the time, you can hear them over everybody else."

The other senior of the quartet, Bobby Stafford, has been Lee High's starting point guard for the past three seasons. He's averaging 13 points, five assists and five boards per game. He's currently being recruited by Union, Virginia-Wise and Concord College.

"I was the only one of us that got to play with Josh. I thought that was pretty fun," he said. "I think the whole situation now - having four family members playing on the same team - is just great."

The four grandsons have been playing organized basketball together since the fourth grade, including AAU and middle school ball.

"It's been great playing with each other for years. We hang around together. We go on vacations together. I think it carries over to the court. We know where we all are and what we're going to do." said Gary Stafford, who currently averages 15 ppg at two-guard and was one of the region's leading pass-catchers during the 2006 football season.

Last week's loss to Virginia High was a setback for the Generals, who still hope to make their second consecutive Region IV tournament appearance in Lee High's last season of Group AA basketball. But they haven't ruled out a comeback district championship.

"Since it's going to be our last season in the Highlands, we'd like to go out by winning it," said Justin Terry, a junior who rates the nickname "Smoke" due to his speed on the floor.

Gary Stafford, who looks forward to the Generals' first season in the newly-formed Clinch Mountain District, upped the ante.

"I'd like to see us win the Highlands this year and be the first team to win the new district next year," said Stafford, who is unapologetic about Lee's drop to the Group A ranks. "I know we've got a bigger school, but it's pretty much the same small group of athletes playing every sport."

Don't expect "Papaw" Terry to trade in his passenger van any time soon.

"I've also got two granddaughters playing fourth-grade basketball in Jonesville ... Justin and Josh's sister, Kayla and Bobby and Gary's sister, Sarah," Winston Terry said. "I guess I'm pretty well tied-up in ballgames."

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