The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

June 14, 2013

LCSHOF set to induct 12 new members

From staff reports

— A dozen former athletes and coaches are set to join the Limestone County Sports Hall Fame tomorrow night at the club’s annual banquet. Tickets are on sale at the RSVP Center in Athens for the 6 p.m. banquet  at the Limestone Event Center.

The class includes three former high school coaches, two former college softball players, three former men’s college basketball players, two former college football players, a former high school athlete and a former minor league baseball pitcher.

LCSHOF president John Wayne King says he is pleased with the board’s selection of this year’s class.

“We have another outstanding class. This class is full of athletic accomplishments. The athletes and coaches in this class contributed greatly to their teams and communities. We are pleased to honor their achievements,” said King.


Charles “Chuck” Allen — Former All-TVC football player for Athens High School and later played four years at the University of Alabama, the last two for legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

Russell “Rusty” Brand — All-State basketball player for West Limestone High School. Was named Limestone County Most Valuable player. Was a two-year starter for Jacksonville State University.

Kathy Coggin Bailey — Outstanding softball player who started three years for Athens High School. Played softball collegiately at Calhoun Community College and Athens State University earning numerous awards.

Tommy Groce — Former four-sport (football, basketball, baseball and track) letterman for Tanner High School. Was three-year starter and all-conference defensive back for Troy State University.

Mary Jane Hobbs — Starred in three sports (basketball, softball and volleyball) for Elkmont High School. Twice, led the Calhoun Community College softball team to the National Tournament. Finished her softball career as a starting first baseman for Athens State.

R.C. “Brownie” Nelson — Coached numerous sports at Athens High School at the varsity and junior varsity level. His varsity basketball teams won three county championships while Nelson’s baseball teams won county and district titles.

Hadley Province — Long time football, basketball and baseball coach for Trinity High School. His teams won six TVC Negro football championships. Won over 400 games coaching three sports.

Jack Rose — Was a four sports letterman for Clements High School. Helped lead the Colts to state championships in football and basketball. Was named All-State in football and to the All-State Tournament team in basketball.

Jo Jo Smith — Outstanding pitcher for the Ardmore baseball team. Was named county Most Valuable Player before playing collegiately at Vanderbilt University. Later pitched in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Cody Sweetland — Was a All-County, All-District and All-State basketball player for Athens Bible School. Was a member of the Class 1A state championship team. Played three seasons collegiately at University of Montevallo.

Jerome Wagnon — One of the most prolific scorers in the rich history of the East Limestone High basketball program. Was an All-County and All- State selection. Averaged more than 30 points per game during his last three years at East Limestone.

Henry White — Coached the Tanner High School basketball and baseball teams to numerous championships. His basketball team earned four county championships. Was named Limestone County Coach of the Year in 1977 and 78.