SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Sylacauga Board of Education passed a resolution at its January 23 board meeting renaming the competition gymnasium the Douglass-Martin Court. The formal dedication of the court will take place Friday, Jan. 26, at the intercession of the girls and boys basketball games. Approximate time for the dedication is 6:30 p.m.
The resolution was passed in appreciation for the dedication and leadership of two former Sylacauga High School basketball coaches, Gerald Douglass and the late Justin Martin.
Justin Martin began his teaching career at Sylacauga High School in 1974, and was an educator in Ohio for eleven years prior. He taught science and math, and later driver’s education, as well as coached basketball. In 1983-1984, Martin became head coach of the SHS Girls Basketball team, leading them to eight Area championships, two Elite 8 playoff berths, five Final Four playoff berths, and the Alabama State Championship in 1991-1992. Martin retired in 1995 after 32 years of teaching and coaching. He died in 2004.
Gerald Douglass began his teaching and coaching career at Sylacauga High in 1977. Douglass, an All American basketball player at the University of Montevallo, began his career as an educator teaching science and coaching. He became head coach of the SHS Boys Basketball team in 1980-1981, leading them to eight Area championships, three Elite 8 berths, two Final Four berths, and the Alabama State Championship in 1987-1988. Douglass later served as principal at East Highland School and Nichols-Lawson Middle School. He retired in 2013.
The resolution honoring these two outstanding coaches stated that “…the Sylacauga Board of Education places a high value on the character-building lessons student athletes learn through sports…” and that “…basketball players looked to Gerald Douglass and Justin Martin as mentors and role models helping to prepare the players for athletic competition, as well as the pursuits of life beyond high school graduation…”
Sylacauga will play Childersburg Friday night. The game will be covered live on YEA!106.5 and WYEA1290 as the Shop-N-Fill Sylacauga High School Basketball Game of the Week presented by Bowden Oil. Company. Play-by-play announcer Jeremy Law and color commentator Max Jackson will go live 10 minutes before tip-off with the Reams Custom Homes Pregame Show.