Photos and story by David Stewart
Knox Central’s new incoming coach of the high school basketball team, Wendi Messer, created a buzz and quite a bit of fun Wednesday when she teamed up with Jeff Canady, the school’s athletic director, to hold court in the Knox Board Annex. Wanted posters for local celebrities and politicians were circulated around town. If they failed to turn themselves in, Messer’s deputies (her basketball team) were sent out to “arrest” them.
Jeff Canady played judge and jury, which made him actual executioner when handing out monetary sentences. Bailiff Brandon Hillard and booking officers Madison Hicks and Becky Brown showed no mercy as arrestees were dressed out and pictures were taken. The inmates were then thrown into the cooler.
Some notable arrestees were: Stephen Jones, Mike Corey, J.M. Hall, Gilbert Holland, Mike Blevins, Mike Smith, Bill Oxendine, Mary Hammons, Gary Williams, John Ferguson, Mike Baker, Darren West, Keith Abner, Jason Lake and many, many more.
Football coach Scott Russell spent a long time in jail due to pledges that were called in “to keep him incarcerated” and “NOT to release him.”
Coach Russell said later, “I was happy to help the ladies’ basketball team out. This is what we do at our school. Panther Nation is not just a couple of words. It describes how we feel about each other. One big organization dedicated to helping our students succeed.”
Russell added, “I would like to say that I felt betrayed by ‘Judge Canady’ when he auctioned me off for a pie in the face. I felt a lot better when he and Wendi took a pie also.”
The event was a huge success according to Messer. She and the entire athletic department sent a big thank you to Mike Green with Mix 96 and TV 4 for broadcasting the entire event. They also wished to thank anyone that volunteered to be locked up or just helped out. No detainees were kept overnight or injured during the event.