The Beckley football program has had a storied history over the years. The names that have donned the maroon and white jerseys remain legends in the City of Champions.
Friday night prior to the clash between the Flying Eagles and longtime rival Greenbrier East, three more gridiron legends will be added to the Beckley Football Hall of Fame.
Joining the elite group this year will be Sutton Radford, Ellis Lilly and Steve Kidd.
“The Hall of Fame is not only about honoring great football players, but it is about honoring gentlemen and leaders,” assistant head coach Dale Stafford said. “You don’t have to be a superstar, you just have to do all you can to help better Beckley football and show what it means to you.”
Kidd is 1982 Beckley graduate and participated in basketball and track during his high school career.
His senior season was a memorable one as he helped lead the Flying Eagles to the Class AAA boys state track title. Kidd was a key member of the Beckley shuttle hurdle team whose state record still stands today.
A four-year starter for Concord (University) where he graduated in 1986, Kidd started to make his impact on the gridiron in 1994.
From 1994 through 2000 and once again from 2015-2020, Kidd was an assistant football coach for the Flying Eagles.
Arguably Kidd’s largest impact came at the middle school level where he was the head football coach at Park from 2003-2013, as well as the 2021 season.
During his tenure, the Roadrunners won seven county championships and had two undefeated seasons. He was also an assistance coach for Park from 2013-2015.
“Stevie Kidd has been a part of some type of athletics in our area for 25-plus years,” Stafford said. “He has been a big contributor to the growth of football at Beckley as much as any other coach, whether it is with the youth or in high school, Stevie is just a great coach.”
“He is very deserving of it and he is very humble about getting it to be honest,” Stafford went on to say. “I have coached under Stevie and I have coached against Stevie. Trust me, I like him on my side a lot better.”
Kidd is currently an assistant coach at Beckley-Stratton and the head coach of the Flying Eagles boys track team.
“He is teaching kids the right way. The sooner the kids learn that, it just makes our job at the high school so much easier,” Stafford said. “When you talk about the quality of men that we want in our program and in the Hall of Fame, Stevie Kidd fits that description. I wish we had a lot more Stevie Kidd’s in the community.”
Lilly was a member of the Woodrow Wilson football team from 2013-2017. In a prepared statement, Lilly talked about the impact the Flying Eagle program had on his life.
“We always held ourselves to a standard of excellence. The programs taught us to work hard in everything we did both on and off the field,” Lilly said. “That standard of excellence is something I carried with me throughout my time at Woodrow, throughout college and now in my career.”
As a sophomore, Lilly was a varsity player on special teams. Over his last two seasons for Beckley, Lilly started at defensive end and on the offensive line.
Although he was not highly recruited during his senior season, Lilly refused to give up on his dream to play college football.
Without a scholarship offer, Lilly signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Glenville State (University). Remaining steadfast through a red-shirt year, Lilly went on to be a four-year starter for the Pioneers, earning a full scholarship his final two seasons.
Lilly graduated “Cum Laude” with a degree in accounting and management, as well as a minor in computer science. He is currently the senior auditor for Ernst & Young in Charleston.
“If you look at the names on the Wall (of Fame), you will find these people are not only great football players, but great people within the community,” Lilly said.
Radford was a four-year letterman for Beckley where he was the starting quarterback his last three seasons. The last two seasons he played for current head coach Street Sarrett and coach Stafford.
“While playing for coach Sarrett and coach Stafford, I learned life lessons that I wouldn’t come to realize until further down the road,” Sutton explained. “They always preached that the things we do here and the hardships and the successes we endure will come to have an application in the future.”
Sutton went on to graduate from Clemson University with a degree in Economics where he also witnessed the Tigers beat Alabama for the College Football National Championship.
The former Beckley signal caller credited Sarrett and Stafford for preparing him for the long nights of study and enduring a tough curriculum at Clemson.
“The things that (coach Sarrett) instills in his players have multiple applications. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have played for him do benefit from the lessons he teaches.”
Radford is currently a project manager for Radford & Radford Construction. He is also the lead project manager for the new Park Middle School gymnasium addition.
“It is not always about stats. Sutton likely took more of a beating at quarterback than anybody in Beckley history, but he always showed up Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday and Saturday for the Eagles,” Stafford said. “He was a fighter and a quality kid. When we look to put somebody in the Hall of Fame, Sutton has those characteristics.”