Abilene High, Texas Tech duo selected to Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame

Taylor Potts and Lyle Leong Jr., whose remarkable careers were intertwined at both Abilene High and Texas Tech, have been selected to the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame.

The annual Big County Athletic Hall of Fame induction banquet is set for Monday, April 19, 2021 at the Abilene Convention Center. VIP tables for the Banquet and VIP reception are $800 while single tickets are $65 each. To order tickets, go online to bigcountryhalloffame.org or call (325) 668-3685. A portion of the VIP table sponsorship will go to the college scholarship endowment. The Hall of Fame will again award 12 $1,000 college scholarships to graduating senior athletes from the Big Country. The Hall of Fame has given out $89,000 in college scholarships.

Potts and Leong were both three-sport standouts at Abilene High, but they especially shined as a dynamic passing combination on the football field.

Potts is the leading passer in Abilene High history, throwing for 3,162 yards and 53 touchdowns, twice leading the Eagles to the Class 5A regional semifinals. He threw for 7,835 yards and 62 touchdowns as a two-year starter at Texas Tech. Potts was named offensive MVP of the 2009 Alamo Bowl and the 2011 Ticket City Bowl. He threw for 372 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl and 369 yards in a win over Northwestern in the Ticket City Bowl.

Leong was a wide receiver and high jumper at Abilene High and Texas Tech. He had 91 receptions for 1,850 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior and senior at AHS. In 2006, Leong cleared 7-feet-1-inch to win the high jump at the Class 5A state track meet. He and Potts hooked up again at Texas Tech. Leong was named a second-team all-Big 12 receiver as a senior. He ended his college career ranked second in Tech receiving touchdowns (32) and fifth in Big 12 career receiving touchdowns. He finished 10th in scoring touchdowns (19) and 31st in receptions per game (5.69) in the nation as a senior.

Potts and Leong will be recognized at the April banquet along with the 2020 inductees, whose banquet was postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A world champion roper, a former Abilene High Eagle and Texas Longhorn who has been a football analyst for ESPN, and a former Super Bowl champion headline the 2020 inductees into the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame.

Lari Dee Guy of Clyde becomes the first rodeo star to be inducted in to the Big Country Athletic of Fame. She will be honored along with former Abilene High quarterbacks and multi-sport standouts Ahmad Brooks and David Bourland, Jerry Don Logan of Graham who won a Super Bowl in a 10-year NFL career with the Baltimore Colts, and C.H. Underwood, who was the coach at O’Brien that won the UIL’s first six-man state football championship.

Honored posthumously with the Bill Hart Memorial Legends Award will be Milton Martin of Avoca and Boone Magness of Breckenridge. The Legacy Award will go to the father-son tennis coaching duo of Fred L. Scott and Fred W. (Derf) Scott, who coached at Sweetwater and Abilene High. Long-time Associated Press writer Mike Cochran from Stamford, who was a two-time nominee for a Pulitzer Prize, will receive the Lifetime Achievement for Media award, and legendary Ranger College coach and athletic director Ron Butler will be recognized as the second recipient of the Impact on Big Country Athletics award.