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J. Paul McKenney
Class of 1976

Paul Mckenney was a three sport athlete at HHS from 1973 – 76, participating in football, basketball and tennis. In football, Paul was an electrifying running back who could score from anywhere on the field. During his senior year he rushed for more than 800 yards from scrimmage and scored a Valley League-leading 25 touchdowns for a district 
championship team. Several of the touchdowns came on kick-off and punt 
returns. The Blue Streaks won three Valley District championships and made the regional play-offs three times during this time. 

In basketball, Paul was a valuable reserve who was especially known for his defensive ability. During his three years on the team the Blue Streaks won a district championship and advanced to the regional tournament.

Paul was a member of the 1975 and 1976 Blue Streak state championship tennis teams. He was the #2 singles player and a member of the #1 doubles teams that won two district championships, were regional runners up in 1975, and state runners up in 1976. 

After graduation, Paul attended Lees-Mcrae Junior College and East Tennessee State University on football scholarships. He was the team’s leading rusher and was voted all conference as both a running back and defensive back at Lees-Mcrae. He achieved 2nd team All-American honors and was chosen as the league’s most valuable athlete, covering all sports. 

After completing his college career Paul was drafted by the Washington Generals of the United States Football League and later by the Miami Dolphins of the NFL, who put him on waivers during training camp.

Following his football career, Paul moved to California and became a professional model for 20 years. He appeared in ads and commercials for such major national brands as Gillette, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Sears and Macy’s.  Paul continued his interest in sports by serving as player-coach of the Milano team in the Italian-American Football League in 1986 and as tennis coach of a high school team in California. Paul has returned to the valley and now lives in Bridgewater.


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