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Hall of Fame recognition, makeup Senior Night set for Friday

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The Shawnee High School Football Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized Friday, Nov. 6, during halftime of the Shawnee vs. Bishop Kelley game at Jim Thorpe Stadium.

Kickoff for the football game is set for 7 p.m.

Prior to the game, seniors from band, choir, cross country, football, cheer and pom who were unable to attend Senior Night in October will be recognized. Parents of these seniors should meet at the north end of the football field at 6:15 p.m.

This year's Hall of Fame honorees are Tucker Brown, Gary Higgins, Chris Reynolds and Tanner Whitson.

Tucker Brown

Brown graduated from SHS in 2007.  He was a member of the 2003 SHS State Championship team.  He was a quarterback throughout his high school career and was selected as an All-State quarterback by The Oklahoman and Tulsa World newspapers.  The Oklahoman picked Tucker as the No. 1 Dual Threat Quarterback in the State of Oklahoma his senior year.

Shawnee won 26 football games with Tucker starting at quarterback.  He rushed for more than 1,000 yards and passed for more than 2,000 yards each high school football season. Brown still holds the single season total yardage record of 3,557 yards passing and rushing.

He was also an outstanding baseball player while at SHS and was selected to the Shawnee Baseball Hall of Fame. Tucker attended Seminole State College and the University of Central Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship.  While at UCO, he set, and holds, the NCAA record for consecutive home runs with five.

Brown now lives in Oklahoma City and is the Vice President of Land and Acquisitions at Baseline Mineral, LLC.

Gary Higgins

Higgins graduated from Stroud High School in 1966 where he played football and baseball.  He was selected to the All-District Football Team.  Higgins served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard from 1967-1973.

Higgins received his bachelor's degree from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma) in 1973.  He received his master's degree in secondary education in 1980 from Central State University.

Higgins has established a 45-year tenure of coaching high school football that includes the following schools: Stroud, Crescent, Woodward, Blackwell, McLoud and Shawnee, and he continues coaching to this day at North Rock Creek.

While coaching at SHS, Higgins was the defensive coordinator from 1989 to 1994.  During that period, SHS teams qualified for the playoffs in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992.  The 1991 SHS team won the district championship.

Higgins served as the SHS head football coach from 1994 to 2000, during which SHS participated in the playoffs in 1998 and 1999.  During his tenure as head football coach, he achieved 100 career wins.

Higgins coached in the 1986 Oil Bowl game and the 1988 All-State Football Game.  He has also worked part-time at the Shawnee YMCA for 18 years. Higgins has been a long-time member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association.

Higgins and his wife Sherry reside in Shawnee.  They have a son, Garin, and his wife, Heather.  Garin is the head football coach at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. They have blessed Gary and Sherry with three grandchildren, Halen, Harlee and Gracyn.

Chris Reynolds

Reynolds graduated from SHS in 1975.  He was a junior running fullback on the 1973 SHS state championship team, during which he averaged 10.6 yards per carry and gained a total of 616 yards on 58 carries, scoring nine touchdowns.

During his senior year, Reynolds played tailback, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, gaining 667 yards on 131 carries and scoring 15 touchdowns.  He led the Boomer Conference and District 2AAAA in scoring and was 10th in rushing in the Boomer Conference. 

That same year, he was awarded the following football honors: Most Valuable Player, Golden Helmet Award and Offensive Player of the Year.  He was selected as an All-District, All-Conference and All-State player.  He also was on the SHS track team on which he ran the 440-yard dash and hurdles.

After graduating from SHS, Reynolds attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.  Unfortunately, his football career was cut short due to injuries he suffered in an automobile accident. Following college, he worked 12 years as a production manager for High End Systems, an entertainment lighting systems manufacturer located in Austin.  He also worked 10 years as a buyer for United Dynamics in Shawnee.  Reynolds now works for Tesmec USA, a trencher and rail workover company located in Alvarado, Texas.

Reynolds currently serves as an usher and small group leader at The Branch Church located in Farmer’s Branch, Texas.  He married his high school sweetheart, Brenda Bryson Reynolds, in 2008.  Unfortunately, his son, Colton, passed away in 2016.  Brenda has four children, three daughters-in-law and six grandchildren.

Tanner Whitson

Whitson graduated from SHS in 2003.  After moving to Shawnee as a freshman, he became a three-year starting quarterback for the SHS football team his sophomore, junior and senior years.  Whitson was also a member of the SHS track team, participating in the high hurdles and the mile-relay team.

Whitson started at safety and took many snaps his sophomore year.  He revised the SHS football record books and set the standard for Shawnee football's future successes.  For his SHS career, Whitson passed for 3,588 yards and 31 touchdowns. His 55.6% completion rate in 2002 set a then-school record. His 2,000 passing yards and 15 passing touchdowns his senior year also set school records.

Whitson was named the SHS MVP and the MVP of District 5A-3 in 2002.  He was also selected to the East Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Team and started at quarterback for the East Team in the annual All-State game in 2003.

After graduating from SHS, Tanner attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) on a football scholarship.  As a freshman, he was the deep snapper for the conference champions and the No. 2 ranked junior college team in the nation.  The following year, as a sophomore, Whitson took over as the starting quarterback. 

After NEO, Tanner transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated in 2008 with a degree in construction science.

Following his graduation from OU, Whitson joined Reeder General Contractors in Fort Worth, where he is now vice president of operations.  Tanner, his wife Ashley, and daughters McKenlee (7) and Landry (3) live in Fort Worth, Texas.