Six Inducted in Sports Hall of Fame
HUNTINGDON (May 5) — Carroll County’s Sports Hall of Fame has six new inductees following the 17th annual banquet to enshrine former athletes from each of the respective school districts. The event was held at the Carroll County Civic Center.
This year a brother and sister were enshrined representing Atwood High School, now part of the West Carroll Special School District.
Buddy Smothers served as emcee for the event. He represented other board members, Angie Bartholomew, Charles McGregor, Stan Welch, Richard Chappell, John Sanders, Russell Bus, Darrell Tucker, Randy Thomas, and Keith McGee.
While each of the six inductees had fascinating stories of their career in athletics, it was Joe Longmire of Bruceton who crystalized why sports and athletics is important.
Longmire said he was a 12-year old boy in Cincinnati when his dad died in 1987. He had missed 35 days of school and was soon to be consumed by the streets of the city. Sports saved his life. His 25-year-old sister took him in Bruceton. He was soon playing sports with the encouragement of coaches Wood and Smothers. He played for coaches Rod Sturdivant and Jackie McGee on the football team and started as a freshman after the first string player was injured. He praised the coaches, community, and school for their support.
Glenn Jackson and sister, Ruby Jackson Hamrick expressed their appreciation for sports. Ruby still plays sports at the age of 73.
Glenn said he would sneak into gymnasium at Westview, where just enough light would be visible to see the goal and to shoot. He said he also had the opportunity to play on the Huntingdon Jaycees Little League team and advanced to state.
Carolyn Lutz said she came from a large family, mainly boys, and was always called upon to play baseball in a pasture. She said she was honored and humbled for the honor of being named to the Hall of Fame, but did not feel she deserved such an honor. She said she recently competed in the Senior Olympics.
Mike Mansfield said he coached in Camden and started there as a fourth grade teacher. Then he went to work for TVA for a short while before entering education and coaching again. He was in Waco Texas ready to interview when he received a call from Robert Cursey at Huntingdon to come coach.
He said he spent 27 years at Huntingdon and had great students, athletes, and lots of support from administrators and the community.
Susan (Susie) Askew said she was honored to be inducted in the county’s Sports Hall of Fame. She said the call from Coach Randy Thomas brought back many memories of her days growing up in Carroll County and playing for McKenzie High School. She praised her coaches J.C. Popplewell, Bruce Herrin, and Terry Howell for their encouragement in basketball and tennis. She noted her freshman year, she shared a uniform with two other girls on the basketball team and was able to be on the sidelines every third game. She had a tradition of chewing bubble gum prior to the contests. Her dad and mom never missed a contests, said Susie.
She said she met her husband in a basketball contest of “21”. She won the contest. Sports was probably what brought she and her husband together, said Mrs. Askew.
High school athletes of the year included:
Sydney Roney, who played basketball, softball, and ran cross country. She has a 4.0 GPA. She is the daughter of Jeff and Linda Roney.
Devin Wildridge, who played basketball, baseball and golf. He is the son of Gordon and Ruby Wildridge.
Hollow Rock- Bruceton Central
Olivia Lowry, who played basketball, softball and was named to the All-West Tennessee Team in softball. She is the daughter of Vanessa Snider and Joe Lowry. She has a 3.82 GPA and plans to attend UT-Martin.
Jacob Ervin, who played baseball, basketball, and football and was named captain of all three sports. He has a 3.4 GPA and plans to attend Bethel University. He is the son of Dwayne and Dawn Ervin.
Huntingdon High School
Taylor Smith played basketball and softball. She is the daughter of Kenny and Brandon McKinney and has a 3.7 GPA.
Kade Pearson played football, baseball, and basketball. He was a finalist for Mr. Football. He is the son of Johnny and Kim Pearson and the late Lori Pearson. He has a 3.3 GPA.
McKenzie High School
Hannah Bilger played soccer and basketball, and ran track. She has a 3.33 GPA and plays to attend FHU on a soccer scholarship. She is the daughter of Jeremy and Amy Bilger.
Zach Jarrett played football and baseball and had over 3,700 yards of passing as the quarterback. He was team captain for football. Zach had a 3.89 GPA. He is the son of David and Michele Jarrett.
Micayla Hart played softball and was a cheerleader. She has a 3.75 GPA and plans to attend Jackson State. She is the daughter of Roger and Sandy Hart.
Christopher Shear played football and basketball. He has a 3.2 GPA. He plans to attend college and pursue a degree in psychology. He is the son of Michelle and Daniel Shear.
Susan Steele Askew
Susan Steele Askew attended McKenzie High School from 1979 through 1982, where she excelled as a 4-year member of both the basketball and tennis teams. In basketball, she scored 783 career points earning, both All-District and All-Region honors during her senior year. She also excelled in tennis, earning both the District Singles and Doubles Championships her senior year.
After graduating from McKenzie, Susan continued her athletic career at the University of the South in Sewanee, where she again participated in both basketball and tennis. In basketball, Susan finished with 1,225 points, which remains sixth on the All-Time Sewanee scoring list. This was achieved in a time before the three-point line was adopted. She was also selected thrid team All-American while at Sewanee. In addition to her basketball accomplishments, she was twice selected to the All-Conference tennis team.
Susan is currently the Associate Vice President for Alumni and Parent Programs at the University of the South in Sewanee. Previously, she was the executive director of the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce. She began her career in the banking field as an associate vice president in Nashville and Huntsville, Ala. She graduated from the University of the South with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.
She continues to play tennis every day. She loves (among so many other things) to watch her son play on his middle school soccer and basketball teams. She enjoys seeing her husband’s new art studio and gallery in downtown Sewanee come alive.
Susy lives in Sewanee, with her husband, Bob, and 13 year-old son, Spears.
Ruby Jackson Hamrick
Ruby Jackson Hamrick played basketball for Atwood High from 1959-1962. She earned several awards: 1959 All-District and Regional, guard; 1960 All-District & Regional, guard; 1961 All-District, All-Conference, All-State; and 1962 All-District, All-Conference, All-State. She played on the 1961 and 1962 Atwood state tournament team. She graduated from Atwood in 1962. She received a scholarship to play with the Red Heads at Draughn’s Business College, Nashville, but declined due to being a home body and not wanting to leave home.
After a few years, she moved to Memphis, where she continued to play basketball with the Memphis Park Commission and church league. She was employed by a medical office practice in insurance billing, and was an office manager for over thirty years. She retired in 2007.
She married Jim Hamrick in 1984. Jim was employed by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad until 2005. He enjoyed traveling and camping for many years.
Ruby discovered senior basketball and found a team, who called themselves the Memphis Age Defyers. They won several medals before qualifying to go to Nationals. In 2010, they went to Cleveland, OH, and won bronze. Two years later, they played in Minneapolis, MN, and won bronze again. In 2016, they went to Birmingham, Ala, and finally won gold. On April 7, they played in the Mississippi Senior Olympics. In June of this year, they will have state games in Franklin to qualify for Nationals in 2019.
Along the way, Ruby discovered a new game called pickle ball. It is similar to tennis and is the fastest growing sport among seniors in the country. She plays three times a week at the Olive Branch YMCA. She has even snagged a few medals.
Ruby’s comment after receiving the news that she had been nominated: “I feel very blessed and give all the Honor and Glory to God for allowing me good health and the ability to stay active playing basketball and pickle ball at age 73. In 2016, I unfortunately lost my biggest supporter, my husband Jim. I know he is looking down cheering me on. I plan to continue playing for a few more years. I have friends in their eighties and nineties still playing who encourage me not to give up.”
Joe Longmire played football and basketball for Hollow Rock – Bruceton Central High School. As a four-year football two-way starter for the Tigers, he earned All-District, All-Region, All-West Tennessee and All-State Honors. He was named Class A Mr. Football in 1995. He helped lead the Tigers to a four-year record of 48-7 which included a trip to the 1995 Clinic Bowl.
Longmire was named the Clinic Bowl Most Outstanding Offensive Player. Until recently, he was the Tennessee High School All-Time Leading Rusher and currently ranks in the top five statewide in several offensive categories. He is first in all-purpose yards in a career with 9,447 yards, second in rushing attempts in a career at 1,135, third in rushing yards in a career with 7,350 yards, fourth in rushing touchdowns in a career with 88, and fourth in rushing attempts in a season with 345. As a four-year starter in basketball, he helped lead the Tigers to a regional berth.
Glenn Jackson attended Atwood High School from 1961-1964. He lettered in basketball and baseball all four years. He played in regional semi-finals in 1963 and 1964. He was chosen All-District and All-Regional in basketball in 1963 and All-District, All-Regional and All-State in 1964. He averaged 28 points per game and scored 53 points in his best game. He received a 4-year scholarship to the University of Tennessee at Martin for basketball.
Jackson joined the United States Marine Corps in 1965 and served 13 months in Vietnam. He received his Associates Degree in Electronics Technology in 1972 while working at I.T.T. Telecommunications in Milan. He worked in the field of electronics for 45 years.
He married Sonya Gordon on January 5, 1968. He has two sons, Steve and Jason; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He retired in 2008 and currently resides in Lexington. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and woodworking.
Upon receiving word of his nomination Glenn wrote this: “If there in any honor, any good that came from my life, I owe it all to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Carolyn Hatler Lutz played basketball seven years at Clarksburg High School. She also played softball and was coached by the late A.D. Jarrett. She scored 46 points in one game. She was the recipient of a medal in basketball and an athletics medal. She was team captain and played in regionals at Paris. She was also chosen as Best All-Round Girl her senior year.
Mike Mansfield graduated from Dresden High School in 1967. During his high school football career, he was selected All-Reelfoot Conference as a linebacker during his junior and senior years. He received a full scholarship to play at UT Martin, but his career was cut short by injuries. He graduated from UTM in 1972 with a Degree in Education.
He began his coaching and teaching career in Camden, where he served as a middle school coach from 1972-74 and high school coach from 1975-79.
Mike’s career at Huntingdon High School began in 1981 and ended in 2007. He served as defensive coordinator for the Mustangs for ten seasons before becoming head coach in 1991. During his 17 years as head coach, he compiled a 151-61 record as his teams claimed 6 regional championships and appeared in 41 playoff games, including 7 semi-final games and three state championship games (1999, 2004) with the highlight coming in 2003 as they claimed the 2A State Championship.
For his accomplishments, Mike was named Region Coach of the Year 7 times. In 1997, he served as an assistant coach for the Tennessee squad during the Tennessee- Kentucky high school game at Neyland Stadium. During the 2003 season, he was named Tennessee Titans Coach of the Week. Following the 2003 season he was named West Tennessee Coach of the Year and State Coach of the Year and was a featured speaker at the University of Tennessee Spring Football Clinic.