With a more spacious venue, a growing roster of nominees and a broader selection process, a dozen former stars from several sports were inducted Saturday into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame.
The hall of fame’s board of directors opted to stage this year’s ceremony at the Limestone County Event Center, which opened nearly three years ago. Fifty tables dotted the center Saturday, and at least 275 people tucked into a catered dinner from Mooresville’s Limestone Bay Trading Company.
The LCSHOF, which now has 87 members, inducted its first class in 2003. The first two classes had a dozen apiece but most of the classes have six to eight inductees. Board members said they decided to select one nominee from each of the eight high school communities within the county, plus four at-large selections.
As in previous years, the nominees were required to receive at least 60 percent of the vote by the board’s 13 members. The board, which selected Clements senior Cynetria Malone and Elkmont senior Brittney Carter as this year’s scholarship recipients, includes Greg Young, John Witt, Trisha Black, Martha Jo Leonard, Barry DeVine, Mike Davis, Jeff Hodges, Kenneth Leweter, Ernest Campbell Jr., Barry Hamilton, Jimmy Gill, John Wayne King and Jackie Greenhaw.
This year’s class has two posthumous members — Paul “Jack” Rose Sr., a four-sport star at Clements who died at age 63 in August, and Hadley “H.B.” Provience, a multi-sport Trinity High School coach described as “legendary” by one of his former players, retired Army Lt. Col. James L. Walker.
In 22 years of coaching football, basketball and baseball at Trinity, Provience, whose LCSHOF plaque was accepted by his son, Merrill Provience, won more than 455 games and coached 2011 hall of famer Lewis Cogar.
“The history of Trinity High School sports could not be told without mentioning his name,” said Merrill, who said he wrote at least eight versions of the steady speech he gave Saturday night to honor his father.
Jack’s wife, Sandra Whitworth Rose, accepted his award on behalf of their two children, son-in-law and four grandchildren. She said her husband never sought the limelight but he displayed a natural affinity for sports.
“He didn’t play for recognition — he played for the love of the game,” Sandra said. “Jack was a true athlete, and I loved watching him … he showed us you can be a true athlete throughout life (in his fight against melanoma cancer).”
This year’s inductees also included Kathi Coggin Bailey, Mary Jane Hobbs, R.C. “Brownie” Nelson, Tommy Groce, Cody Sweetland, Russell “Rusty” Brand, Charles “Chuck” Allen, Jo Jo Smith, Jerome Wagnon and Henry White.
For full biographies on each inductee, visit The News Courier sports archives at www.enewscourier.com/archivesearch. For more photos from Saturday’s ceremony, go to http://thenewscourier.smugmug.com/Events.