Sports Hall of Fame

The 2019 class of the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame gathered for a photo prior to Saturday night's induction ceremony. Front row, from left, are Greg Yarbrough, Jason Lucas, Shannon Davis Rutherford, Larry Tribble, Henry Miller and Jeff Harwell. Back row, from left, are Ed Reynolds, who accepted the induction on behalf of the late Stacey Atkins; Philip Jennings; Jesse Lockett; and Ben Holt.

Editor's Note: This is the second in a two-part story about the 2019 Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame banquet.

One after the other, the inductees of the 2019 class of the Limestone County Hall of Fame thanked those who helped them reach their goals.

They didn't talk about their own accomplishments. They talked about those who helped them achieve their accomplishments. Whether it was parents, coaches, friends or others, inductees showed it takes many people to help someone achieve their best in life. Here are more excerpts from the rest of Saturday night's inductees:

Jason Lucas

Jason Lucas thanked those at Athens High School who were always there to help him when he needed it.

“I met a lot of good people, lot of guys knew what they were doing, and they wanted to see the best out of the youth,” Lucas said. “And they did.”

Lucas gave special thanks to his parents. He said his mother was prayer warrior for him and the team, and his father made sure he made it to all his practices, not just on time but early.

“Without him, there is no way I'd be standing here today,” Lucas said. “He made sure we got up on time every morning and got to where we needed to be. We would probably be 30 minutes to an hour earlier than we needed to be.”

Lucas said he never dreamed of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, but was thankful for the honor.

“We didn't do this thinking this is where we would be tonight,” he said. “We just did it because it was fun. We didn't want to stay in the house. They didn't have PlayStation back then, just Atari, which only had two or three games. You'd go outside and beat the street lights home before you come back.”

Henry “Hen” Miller

Henry Miller was joined on stage by his granddaughter, Morgan Alexander, who made the speech on his behalf. She said it was an honor to be able to be with him at his induction.

“Poppy absolutely loved softball just as much as he loved family,” Alexander said. “Getting to meet so many of the amazing people he got to play with, I realized he didn't just leave an impact on the field, he left an impact on so many lives. I haven't met somebody who didn't say 'Hen Miller is your granddaddy? He sure could play ball.' He played into his 70s and he even coached my softball team when I was little. He taught me to love what you do and love the people around it.”

Shannon Davis Rutherford

Shannon Davis Rutherford's speech included a thank you and a lesson she learned at the hands of her high school softball coach, Randy White.

Rutherford said she had played shortstop as a youth, but when she got to Athens High softball team, she had to play left field because the team already had a shortstop who was a year older than her.

Her senior year, she was finally ready to play shortstop. However, White, who was the new coach that year, told her he thought she would most help the team by playing left field.

“I had to suck it up, and I knew I had to go out and be the best left fielder I could possibly be,” Rutherford said. “We started playing, and started winning. I started thinking, 'Hey, this coach may know what he's doing.'”

The Golden Eagles made it all the way to the state championship game, and left fielder Rutherford caught the last out of the title game that won Athens the state championship.

“I didn't realize it at the time, but I was learning a lesson, and I took that lesson and applied it to my athletic career and to my engineering career at NASA. And I'm trying to teach my daughter that lesson. Sometimes you've got to put your own wants and needs aside to help your team reach their overall goal, no matter what that may be.”

Larry Tribble

Larry Tribble won 249 games as West Limestone's girls basketball coach, but he doesn't take credit for those wins. He gives all the credit to his players.

“I want to accept this honor for the many athletes I coached,” Tribble said. “I had a lot of great kids I coached. They were not only great kids, but are just great people now. I don't think I had any bad ones.”

Tribble said he felt humbled by being included in the latest class, which includes so many great athletes from Athens and Limestone County.

“It's amazing the athletes who have come to the stage tonight,” Tribble said. “God has blessed me with many things in my life, and thank you for blessing me tonight with this.”

Greg Yarbrough

Greg Yarbrough was a legendary basketball player for Tanner High School. He thanked the Tanner community for always being there to help.

“The Tanner community, I love you,” Yarbrough said. “You were watching out for us, keeping us safe and keeping us out of trouble. I love you and am so proud to have come from there.”

The Tanner basketball tradition has always been strong with both boys and girls, and Yarbrough said scrimmages against the girls team were as tough as practices.

“That girls team made us because they would come down and they would beat us up,” Yarbrough said with a laugh. “We'd never admit it to them, but they'd beat us up. We'd be so mad at them, but you can't beat on them, we'd fight each other at practices.”

Yarbrough said he was proud of where he came from, which makes his induction into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame even more special.

“Limestone County is the greatest county in Alabama, without a doubt, hands down,” Yarbrough said. “I love you guys, and thank you.”