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19th Annual “Battle of Paulding” In Memory of Coach Ken Phillips was played on Friday, October 19th with EPHS hosting PCHS

East Paulding High School Raiders and Head Coach Billy Shackelford was presented the revolving “Battle” trophy on October 19th with a true rivalry battle. This game did not disappoint with several lead changes and big plays to allow the Raiders to get the “w”! The cannon was booming on Friday night as the Raiders dominated the second half! East Paulding ended winning the “Battle” with the final score being 42-13. This is the 2nd year for the “Battle” game with the Raiders out of a two-year stint. Congratulations Raiders!
The Phillips family would like to thank EPHS Athletic Director Brad Thomason for his hospitality and accommodations for the game on Friday night from beginning to end. A “BIG” thank you to PCSD Director of School Administration and Athletics Jason Freeman for giving a heartfelt presentation about Coach Ken Phillips and the memories he instilled in all his players. Thank you seems so small for how much both of you meant to my Dad and how much you mean to our family. We love you and Big Daddy is PROUD to have been a part of your lives~

battle 800Back Row L to R: PCSD Director of School Administration & Athletics and former player of Coach Phillips, Jason Freeman, PCHS Athletic Director Dustin Skelton, PCHS Head Coach Van Spence, and EPHS Athletic Director and former player of Coach Phillips, Brad Thomason.
Middle Row L to R: Annelle Phillips, PCHS MVP #57 Logan Parvin, EPHS MVP #15 Tyrell Robinson, EPHS Head Coach Billy Shackelford (holding the revolving “Battle” trophy), and Kenelle Phillips Gresham.
Front Row: Kent Gresham, grandson.
Photo Credit: Stuart Houghton

battle 600Caption: Coach Ken Phillips granddaughter, Kenzie Jay Gresham proudly holding the “Battle” of Paulding trophy on Friday night. She loved knowing her Big Daddy once held and presented this same trophy. A brief history of how the “Battle” came about in Paulding County. The “Battle of Dallas” was established in 1999 between East Paulding High School and Paulding County High School to honor Coach Ken Phillips. Coach Phillips passed from this life on August 7, 2005 (his grandson, Kent, was born 3 years later August 7, 2008). When the “Battle of Dallas” tradition began, the District had only two high schools. The Battle of Dallas was played from 1999 – 2007 with Paulding County High School versus East Paulding High School. Since the District has grown to five high schools, the name changed to the “Battle of Paulding”. In 2008, The “Battle of Paulding” was established to carry on the legacy of Coach “Big Daddy” Ken Phillips and his beliefs about the game of life. At the end of the “Battle”, both teams gather at the 50-yard line for a presentation from Coach Phillips wife Annelle, and daughter Kenelle. Coach Phillips grandchildren, Kent, and Kenzie Jay Gresham present the MVP trophies and the revolving “Battle” trophy to the head coach and principal. “Big Daddy,” as his players lovingly referred to him, was the head coach for a record 90 games at PCHS and led the program to its first winning season in 1980. His tenure at Paulding was nine seasons (1977-80; 1985-89), a mark no one in the history of the program at PCHS has surpassed. In August of 2005, the field house at Paulding County High School was named in honor of Coach Phillips. He taught life lessons and touched thousands of lives in a way that made everyone around him a better person. At the end of every football game, win or lose, he always told his boys to go home and tell your mom and dad you love them. Paulding County teams continue to honor “Big Daddy’s” memory by carrying on life-long traditions he established a decade ago. Coach Phillips has left a legacy in Paulding County that will live on in his players for years to come.

Article Credit: Kenelle Gresham
Photo Credit: Stuart Houghton