“Patterson, you’re in right field”. These were among the first words that 2016 Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame inductee Glenn Patterson heard when he reported for his first baseball practice with his first team as a 10-year old in the summer of 1964. His first team was the Epworth Yankees of the newly formed Dixie Youth baseball league. His first coach who uttered those memorable words was Charles Woodall.
For those unfamiliar with youth baseball, right field is generally where a coach assigns one of the less talented players on the team. A 10 year old right fielder is often the kid who devotes more time to searching for four-leaf clovers than paying attention to the game at hand.
It did not take long for Coach Woodall to recognize that Glenn Patterson was a talented young athlete and that he should in the middle of the action on the baseball diamond. Glenn was soon promoted from the hinterlands of right field and to the vital position of shortstop squarely in the middle of the fray. Glenn was one of the best, if not the best, players on the young Epworth Yankees.
Glenn Patterson grew up in the pastoral village of Epworth. He was the 5th of 6 children of Maudie and Claude Patterson. Don, one of his older brothers was a starting end on the West Fannin football teams of 1959 and 1960. Garry, his younger brother by two years, was also an outstanding all-around athlete and will be inducted into the FCSHOF with Glenn with the class of 2016. It will mark the first time that two siblings have been inducted in the same year.
Beginning with his days with the Epworth Yankees, Glenn played baseball, football and basketball throughout his younger years. He excelled in all three sports making all-star teams several times in each sport. He was named to the county all-star team as an 8th grader in football and played a vital role as his Epworth team won the Fannin County Elementary School championship in both his 7th and 8th grade years.
When Glenn’s high school days at West Fannin rolled around, Glenn and his family decided that he should concentrate on only two sports, football and basketball, so that his academic work would not suffer. His accomplishments in both sports were many and impressive.
In football, Glenn saw limited varsity playing time as a freshman but started as a halfback and defensive back for three seasons at West Fannin. He won the Most Valuable Back award as a junior and as a senior. At the end of his senior season of 1971, he was selected to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class A All-State Honorable Mention squad. The Atlanta Constitution named Glenn to its weekly Prep Honor Roll for his performances vs East Hall in 1971 and vs Union County in 1970.
On the basketball court, Glenn was the leading scorer on the freshman team and was named to the North Whitfield Holiday B-Team All-Tournament team as a sophomore. He was a starter for the Yellow Jacket varsity squad as a junior and senior. He was elected as the team captain and received the Most Valuable Player award as a senior. Glenn played a vital role in the success of the 1971-72 team that won the 6A Tournament championship and advanced to the State Tournament in Macon.
The 1971-72 West Fannin basketball team finished with a season record of 19-8. They defeated arch-rival Murray County four times, including two victories on Murray’s home court in Chatsworth. The fourth and last of those victories came in the Region 6A Tournament Championship game played at Murray County. Glenn scored 14 points in that championship game and was named to the All-Tournament team for his performances. The team then advanced to the State Tournament where they upset a heavily favored Coosa team, 77-62. Glenn again scored 14 points to play a pivotal role in this huge victory. Glenn considers this victory to be his biggest team thrill in any sport during his high school career.
At the end of his senior year at West Fannin, Glenn Patterson’s classmates selected him as the Most Athletic senior boy. In addition to his athletic exploits, Glenn was also elected to the National Honor Society as a student at West Fannin.
Armed with a high school diploma, a transcript full of good grades, youthful exuberance and athleticism and a lot of ambition, Glenn Patterson headed out for the real world after graduating from West Fannin High School in the spring of 1972. None of his family had ever attended college and Glenn was determined to do so. He worked for a while to raise some money and headed for Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. He was a football walk-on there and became a starting free safety for the varsity team in the fall of 1974. His athletic career as a participant ended midway through his sophomore season when he broke his hand and developed a pinched nerve in his right shoulder.
After completing the two-year program and earning an Associated Degree at Lees-McRae, Glenn enrolled at Georgia State University. His goal was to become a coach and educator. He began his career in coaching at North Springs High School where he coached track, football and basketball. He moved on to Milton High School as an assistant football coach before moving back to Fannin County in 1990. He served as a coach, teacher and administrator in his native Fannin County before retiring in 2013.
During his coaching career, Glenn had the opportunity to coach each of his four children, Sarah, Bethany, Josh and Rebekah, in basketball with the Fannin County Recreation Department. At the age of 12, his daughter Bethany was a member of the Recreation and Parks Association, Class C State Championship team in 2000.
Always looking for a new challenge, Glenn began running in 2007. Beginning with a 5K race at Riverbend in Chattanooga, Glenn began a running odyssey that culminated when he competed in and completed the Chickamauga Battlefield marathon (26.2 miles) in 2010.
Glenn and his wife Beverly currently divide their time between Chattanooga and Fannin County, having residences in both locations. Glenn Patterson has been the President of the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame for the past two years. The Hall of Fame is very fortunate to have him in a leadership role and very proud to welcome him as an inductee in the Class of 2016.