Before a packed house at the Limestone County Event Center, the county’s Sports Hall of Fame inducted its 12th class of outstanding athletes, coaches and athletic contributors Saturday night in Athens.
The eight members of the Class of 2014 featured Athens High booster Hugo Bates, AHS four-sport legend Carrel Daniel, former AHS star and Austin coach Jimmy Elmore, state championship-winning football coach David Hogan, former Athens State softball coach Larry Keenum, state title-winning basketball coach and current Tanner principal Billy Owens, Trinity running back James Nolan and AHS star running back and former AMS football coach Paul Parker.
According to the hall’s website at www.lcshof.com, 95 members have been inducted since its inception in 2003.
Listed below are bios for this year’s LCSHOF inductees.
• Hugo Bates — A 1955 graduate of Tanner high school, he is best known for his support of Athens athletics and band for more than a decade. Bates was involved in the AHS band and served as a basketball and softball manager for many years. Bates was a crossing guard at Julian Newman Elementary School for 14 years and received the Outstanding Service Award from the Athens Booster Club in 1991.
• Carrel Daniel — He stared in baseball, football, baseball and track for Athens High from 1950-53. The fullback was selected to the All-Tennessee Valley Conference and All-State teams in 1953. He was the TVC 100-yard dash champion, finishing second in the state track meet in the 100, 440 and 880-meter relays. Daniel also pitched on the AHS and summer independent league teams. After a stellar career at Athens, he received a scholarship to the University of Alabama, where he played both ways on the 1955 that featured Bart Starr at quarterback. Daniel transferred to Florence State College for his final two college seasons, serving as a team captain his senior year.
• Jimmy Elmore — A four-sport letterman at Dothan High School, he excelled in football, basketball, baseball and track. Elmore moved to Athens in 1963, lettering in three sports and making the All-TVC football and basketball teams for his final two seasons. After earning All-State football honors his senior year, he received a football scholarship to Memphis State and played defensive back for two seasons before a career-ending injury his junior year forced him off the field. Elmore coached the Memphis State freshman team as a senior in 1967. The 1964 Athens graduate went on to coach Austin High School.
• David Hogan — An All-Conference performer at Tanner (1962-63) and Athens (1964-65), Hogan went on to play for Memphis State in 1966. Hogan made the All-Freshman team at Memphis State in 1966. He then transferred to UNA, where he set an NAIA record for most field goals in a single game (5) and most points in a game (21). Hogan finished his career as a 25-year high school coach of Hartselle, Austin, Johnson, Hazlewood and Haleyville. The longtime football coach finished his career with an 88-40 record, including a 14-5 playoff record. Hogan became the first coach to in back-to-back state championships in two different classifications with Hazlewood in 1981-82. His final record with Hazelwood was 54-7, including a 32-game winning streak.
• Larry Keenum — A longtime softball coach at Athens State University, he was inducted into the Alabama Junior and Community College Hall of Fame in 1996. Keenum’s final record at Athens State was 475-288. His teams came close to winning national championships twice, finishing second in 1994 and 1999. As a player, Keenum had a .463 batting average in 1974, and was named a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American as sophomore.
• James Nolan — A three-year starter at Trinity High School, he scored more than 30 touchdowns in his career. Nolan went to play for Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he started at running back in his final two seasons. Nolan later played running back for the semi-pro Decatur Rough Riders during an undefeated inaugural season. Nolan was selected to the All-Time Trinity Football team in 1999.
• Billy Owens — A longtime basketball coach and current principal at Tanner High School, he played basketball and baseball at Athens State from 1976-78. Owens went on to coach Athens Bible School, West Limestone and Tanner. Coaching Tanner in 1986, Owens was named the Class 3A Coach of the Year after winning the state title in boys basketball. He has served as a high school athletic director for 15 years and was a Limestone County baseball umpire for 31 years. For the past 11 years, Owens has directed the Limestone County basketball tournament.
• Paul Parker — An All-State running back, he helped Athens to a 10-0 regular season record and a state playoff appearance. Parker later played for Abilene Christian University, which won a national championship during his first season in 1973. Parker went on to coach at Athens Middle School, AHS and is currently the physical education and head archery instructor at Athens Intermediate School.