Jack Walker of Barbourville was named to the All State 2nd Team in 1944. That team was selected by the coaches, writers and officials according to the Courier Journal. Walker was the center for the Barbourville Tigers team that won the four team 99th District Tournament( war years had much smaller districts because of gas rationing and other reasons) defeated Middlesboro 34-24 and Clay County 30-27 before falling to thatgreat Harlan team of Wah Wah Jones, Carl Eagle and Earl Bradford that went on to win the State title that season. Barbourville finished at 23-6. SPOILERS is what I would call the Tigers of 1944.
Barbourville’s coach was Herbert D. Tye who was the head man there from the 1935-36 season thru the 1972-73 school year, compiling a 534-512 record.
In mid January Walker was third in conference play in scoring behind runaway leader Jones and second place Jack Garrett of Corbin. We have posted articles on both of those greats in the past.
Another good scorer on that Barbourville team was Paul Hall. He and Walker made playing the Tigers a tough chore. The Tigers were the first that season to defeat Middlesboro, defeated a really good Hazel Green ( of London) team and were the first to hand Harlan a conference defeat that season.
News media never covered our area very well during the period and in depth coverage was nonexistant. One newspaper when referring to Barbourville’s talented Walker simply called him their cotton headed center. 
Jack Walker was one who excelled and gave fans something to be happy about during a troubled time in our country. It seems the 13th Region excelled in doing that during the war years.

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