Hill, Miller, Neeley, Stidham join Burton HOF

Kevin Mays • Jun 19, 2020 at 7:45 PM

NORTON — The J.I. Burton Hall of Fame has added four new members.

The selection committee has approved the Class of 2020, which includes David Hill Jr., Dr. Preston D. Miller, Mark Neeley and Kenny Stidham.

Hill (1960) played football for four years, basketball and baseball for two and track for one season.

He was a captain on the Raiders football team his senior year and an all-district and all-state guard in both his junior and senior years.

Hill is also a member of the 1958 District 8 championship team.

He went on to Virginia Tech, where he received a B.S. in aerospace engineering in 1965. He then received an M.S. in mechanical engineering in 1969 from the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma.

Hill has earned numerous awards and honors over his 55 years of technical and management experience in research and development and system engineering projects that include flight testing and ground testing projects with NASA and the U.S. Air Force, among others.

Miller (1956) played football, earning second-team All-District 8 honors as an end, behind the first-team selection of NFL great Carroll Dale of J.J. Kelly.

Miller was also a member of the 1951 Norton Little League All-Star baseball team, which won the Virginia State Little League Championship.

Miller graduated from Davidson College in 1959 before earning his D.D.S. from the Virginia Commonwealth School of Dentistry in 1963 and his certificate in periodontics from Alabama in 1969.

Miller practiced dentistry for 45 years before beginning his teaching career in 2008 at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Renowned in his profession, Miller introduced the concept of periodontal plastic surgery to periodontics and was the first to present a graft procedure and a new recession classification, both of which are universally accepted today.

He has published 32 scientific papers, contributed to four textbooks and has lectured to more than 250 dental societies including Harvard, Columbia, Penn and internationally in Paris, Rome, Germany, Switzerland, Madrid, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, among many others.

Neeley’s basketball jersey hangs in the hallway near Stan Wilson Gymnasium at Burton.

Neeley (1980) became the school’s all-time leading scorer at the time, but he was perhaps better known for his accolades on the football field.

He was a three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball.

Neeley was All-Lonesome Pine District, All-Region D and All-State in football. He was also named to the All-Southwest Virginia team.

He was also All-LPD in basketball.

During his football career, he set Raider records for most career touchdowns, most receptions, and most receiving yardage in a game.

Neeley went to ETSU, where he played wide receivers. He graduated with a criminal justice degree.

Neeley has worked in corrections and law enforcement for more than 30 years.

He also has volunteered his time as a youth football basketball coach.

Stidham holds his doctorate in ministry from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va.

Stidham (1973) was a member of the Raiders’ 1972 football state championship team as a running back and defensive back.

He also was a basketball star and helped Burton to the LPD tournament championship in 1973.

Stidham was an All-LPD, All-LPD Tournament and All-Wise County team pick.

He played basketball at Virginia-Wise, then known as Clinch Valley College from 1974-76.

Stidham received his B.S. in 1979 from ETSU and his Master of Divinity in 1987 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth before gaining his doctorate in 2011.

Since 1994, Stidham has served as the senior pastor of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Scott Depot, W.Va.

Current plans call for the inductees to be recognized at Burton’s Hall of Fame Night football game against Twin Springs on Friday, Sept. 18.

If government guidelines permit, the inductees will also be recognized at the Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday, Sept. 19.

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