Inductees are selected from nominations solicited from the public. Recommendations, including biographical information, records and photographs are to be sent to:
Jackson Madison County Sports Hall of Fame PO Box 10085 Jackson, Tennessee 38308 You may also submit nominations online using this form.
Jim Frazier, a Brownsville
native, is honored for his accomplishments as a football coach in Jackson,
primarily for fielding championship junior high teams. He had a 32-0 record at
North Side Junior High and an overall record of 102-15 (87 percent wins) at
He was a three-sport athlete
at Haywood High School in Brownsville, graduating in 1963. He played football
for coaches John Hooper and Richard Ross (both are members of this hall of
fame) and received the Masonic Award for being the school’s Outstanding Senior
Athlete. Frazier attended Union University in Jackson thinking he was being
called into the ministry.
“But after one semester, I
realized that was not my calling,” he said. “It turned out I was meant to be a
teacher and coach.”
He earned a bachelor’s degree
in biology and physical education at Union in 1967 and added a Master of
Education in administration and supervision at Memphis State University in
His first coaching job was at
Fayette County High School in Somerville as an assistant to Jim Poteete (a
member of this hall of fame). Frazier helped with the varsity football team,
coached the freshman linemen, was head track and field coach and head football
coach for grades 7 and 8, posting a 4-1 record.
“That was a real learning
experience,” Frazier said, laughing. “I was also teaching four classes of
biology and one general science class and earned all of $2,000 or $3,000. But I
wouldn’t take anything for that year with Jim Poteete. I learned so much, not
only about football but about life. He was a great teacher and coach.
“Coach Poteete once said that
he had served as janitor, right on down to principal in his career, and that
pretty much describes my career, too. After that first year, I knew without a
doubt I was going in the right direction.”
Before the next school year
in 1968-69, Frazier got a call from coaches Tury Oman and Richard Ross in
Jackson, offering him a position as assistant football coach and boys track
coach at Tigrett Junior High.
“I’ve always been so thankful
to Coach Oman and Coach Ross,” Frazier said. “They gave me a chance, and things
progressed from there. I moved to Jackson and built a career.”
He helped Don Williams at
Tigrett three years before being offered the head coaching position at the new Parkway
Junior High, which had no football team. He organized, equipped and coached the
Parkway team 11 seasons. His teams had a 66-14 record, were unbeaten three
years and won eight Jackson city championships. He also organized and coached
Parkway’s first tennis team and was head boys track coach.
“In the beginning at Parkway
I wondered if I had made the right decision,” Frazier said. “We had no dressing
room or training facility and had to let the boys take their gear home at night.
If they needed to use the bathroom, they had to hit the woods behind Muse Park.
“But we had great kids to
work with and very few problems with them. We had a 7-1 record that first
season and beat Tigrett in overtime our third year to get our first unbeaten
season in 1973.”
In 1982 Frazier moved to
North Side Junior High as head football coach and put together four consecutive
unbeaten seasons. The 32-0 record was believed to be a state record at the time
for junior high teams.
“When I took over at North
Side, I looked at the roster and honestly didn’t know if we would win a game,”
Frazier said. “I was as shocked as anybody at our success, but we had great
assistant coaches and players eager to learn.”
In 1986 Frazier shifted into
an administrative role as assistant principal at North Side High School. He also
helped coach football and track and organized a softball team. He moved to
Haywood High School as an assistant football coach in 1990 and held different
administrative roles. When he retired in 2012 he was athletic director at
Haywood High and director at Anderson Early Childhood Center in Brownsville.
Frazier and his wife Judy
have been married 56 years. They have a son, Butch, five grandchildren and two
great grandchildren. Their daughter, Beth, passed away last year.
“I’m just so thankful for
everybody who tried to help me along the way,” Frazier said. “I appreciate
every one of them.”
Lee Mayhall, a Jackson
native, is honored for his accomplishments as a football player at the
University of North Alabama and as a three-sport, all-state athlete at
University School of Jackson.
He proved that attitude,
speed and quickness can often overcome lack of size on the football field. He
was 5-foot-9, 160 pounds at USJ and topped out at 185 pounds at UNA.
“Being smaller, I always felt
I had to prove myself,” Mayhall said. “I never felt like I had arrived. But I
believed I could control three things: Giving great effort, having a good
attitude, and having fun. It paid off in the long run.”
At USJ he was an all-state
football selection three years, playing free safety on defense and slot
receiver and running back on offense for Coach Mickey Marley.
“I might have been among the
top three fastest players on the team, and I was probably the quickest,” he
Mayhall used that quickness
and speed to score 42 touchdowns his senior season, the most by an individual
among TSSAA schools in 2011. He had 2,740 all-purpose yards, scored 252 points,
including 18 TD receptions, and made 73 tackles that season. He was The Jackson
Sun Player of the Year in 2011 and served as a team captain his last two
He broke three state records
his senior year: most receptions in a game (21), most receptions in a season
(116), and most receptions in a state title game. He was the defensive most
valuable player in the Division II Class A state championship game, which the
Bruins lost, 28-23, to St. George’s.
But USJ defeated their main
nemesis, Knoxville Webb, 48-27 in the state semifinals and beat ECS, 48-41, in
“They had eliminated us so
often in the playoffs, so beating Knox Webb in the semifinals on the road was
the best win of all time for our senior class and students,” Mayhall said. “And
it’s my best memory of all time for football because we won and I scored five
touchdowns. My next best memory is beating Harding Academy for the state
championship in baseball my senior year.”
Mayhall was a catcher and
centerfielder on the baseball team. An all-state selection, he was the leadoff
hitter and batted .411 with 64 hits and 48 runs scored his senior year. He was
the point guard on the basketball team and led the team in assists and steals
while making all-state as a senior.
He had a 4.2 grade point
average at USJ and wanted to continue his football career in college. But few
schools were interested because of his size. Amazingly, it was a water-skiing
video his father posted on YouTube that drew the most attention from North
Alabama’s head coach.
“I was wake boarding, where
you’re being pulled by the rope, hit the wake just right and it lifts you about
20 feet into the air,” Mayhall said. “I do a flip, turn different ways and then
hit the landing. UNA had seen my football video and was on the fence. When the
coach saw the wake-boarding video, he said, ‘You’ve got to be an athlete to do
all that,’ and he decided to sign me.”
Mayhall was on 75 percent
scholarship and almost last on the depth chart among 30 receivers when he
arrived at UNA. But he wound up starting the last four games his freshman
season, was awarded a full scholarship and became a four-year starter at slot
receiver. He was a major contributor on three Gulf South Conference championship
His senior season in 2015 he
was selected USA College-NCAA All-America first team, All Gulf South Conference
and a team captain. He was a three-time Academic All GSC first team pick and a
member on the UNA All-Decade team. He was Academic All-America twice,
graduating with a 3.9 GPA and a double major in chemistry and industrial
Mayhall met his wife,
Whitney, at UNA. They have been married five years and have a year old
daughter, Rivi. They live in Florence, Ala., where he is employed by United
Launch Alliance Engineering, a subsidiary of Boeing Lockheed Martin Aerospace.
“We design and build
rockets,” he said. “I work in safety and health engineering.”
Mayhall still marvels at his
“Honestly, I’m just thankful
at the end of the day,” he said. “I was just trying to survive and get on the
field at UNA, and things fell into place. I got hurt during my athletic career,
but I only missed two games due to injury. What a blessing from God that was to
have good health all those years.”
A Jackson native, Tim Sikes
is honored for his accomplishments as a baseball player at Union University and
as a three-sport athlete at North Side High School.
He was only 5 when he served
as Union’s bat boy and got his first taste of baseball shenanigans. His
brother, Bud Sikes, and David Blackstock played on Union’s team that season.
(Both are members of this hall of fame). Blackstock took a piece of wire, shaped
it into what appeared to be eye glasses, and told little Tim to take it to the
home-plate umpire and say, “Compliments of the Union bench.”
The Union dugout roared with
laughter at the umpire’s reaction, and Tim realized baseball could be fun on
and off the field. But he couldn’t have known he would eventually play
shortstop for the Union Bulldogs and become one of the school’s all-time best
hitters with a .326 career batting average.
His senior season in 1978 Sikes
had a .408 batting average and hit .500 with runners in scoring position. He
was a four-year starter at Union.
“I really enjoyed playing
short,” Sikes said. “I did it from the time I was 10 years old.”
When he was 12 in 1968 he
helped his Dixie Youth team win a state championship and advance to the Dixie
World Series in Florida, where he saw the ocean and sandy beaches for the first
And in August of 1974 he
helped the Jackson American Legion team win a state championship in Manchester
after three days of rain delays and some incredibly wild contests, including
the title game. Jackson beat Chattanooga East Ridge for the championship, 8-5,
in 14 innings. Sikes swears he remembered very little about that game after the
ninth inning when he was knocked silly in a collision at second base but stayed
in the game.
“All I know is I woke up in
the other team’s dugout,” he said. “They were bandaging me up, and I got to go
back to shortstop. I was so out of it, I had to rely on Mark Yates at third
base to tell me what to do with the ball if it was hit to me. And when I went
to the plate, I just stood there and never swung the bat.
“But that week was one of my
greatest experiences in baseball. You don’t win a state championship like that
During the numerous rain
delays, Sikes entertained his teammates in the motel rooms with wrestling
exhibitions against pitcher Freddie Hill. It was inspired comic relief during a
stressful week for both the team and the nation.
During that stay, U.S.
President Richard Nixon resigned.
At North Side High School,
the 5-foot-10, 145-pound Sikes was the starting shortstop three years in
baseball and as a senior helped the team win the district for the first time.
He played point guard on the basketball team three years, and used his speed to
earn a starting job on the football team his last two years. He was a team
captain and played safety on defense, receiver and running back on offense, and
returned kickoffs, averaging 15 yards a return. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry
at running back and 12 yards per catch as a receiver.
“I really, really enjoyed
football,” he said. “But folks weren’t lined up to offer me any scholarships
for football. So I played baseball.”
After college, he coached
Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball teams for about seven years. Sikes, 67,
has worked in sales since college graduation and has been with Associated
Packaging Inc. the past 30 years.
Sikes has a son, Tim Sikes
II, and a granddaughter, Millie.
Johnny Growe is honored
primarily for his 702 victories as a high school baseball coach at Jackson
South Side, Trinity Christian Academy and Greenfield.
Inducted into the Tennessee
Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2022, he has a 702-422 record
(.625 winning percentage) entering the 2023 baseball season.
He spent 29 seasons as head
coach at South Side High School, where his teams won 600 games, 10 district
championships, six regional crowns and four substate/sectional titles. The
Hawks were runner-up in the 2003 Class AA state tournament.
Born in California, Growe
moved to Alabama with his family when he was 5. After a year, they moved to Bay
St. Louis, Miss., and were living there in 1969 when Hurricane Camille made
landfall on Aug. 14. It remains one of just four Category 5 hurricanes to make
landfall in the United States.
The Growes were “wiped out,”
Johnny said, and decided to move away from the coast. His parents, John Sr. and
Linda Growe, learned that two of their best friends from their hometown of Kizer,
Ark., Royce and Norma Smith, lived in Jackson.
John and Linda had a common
bond with Royce and Norma. While in high school, the couples had eloped together
to get married in Mississippi. They returned to Arkansas after their weddings
and were back attending their high school classes the next school day.
So the Growes moved to
Jackson to join their friends and be closer to John Sr.’s mother, who lived in
Memphis. Johnny Growe finished 6th grade at White Hall Elementary in
Jackson and attended North Side Junior and Senior High Schools, graduating in
He played football and
baseball three years and basketball one year in high school and was an
all-conference wide receiver his senior football season. He played outfield and
third base for the baseball teams and batted over .300 his sophomore and senior
seasons. As a junior, he was the lead-off hitter and batted over .400. He also
played American Legion baseball.
Growe attended college at
Jackson State and Austin Peay before earning a bachelor’s degree in business at
Union University in 1980. He added his teaching certificate in 1981. He was a
student assistant baseball coach at North Side High for Bud Sikes in 1981. He was
hired that fall at South Side Junior High as a teacher and assistant football
coach. He also helped Andy Rushing with the high school baseball team on his
In 1983 Growe moved to South
Side High as a teacher and assistant football coach and continued to help
Rushing with baseball. Growe became head baseball coach at South Side in 1985.
He also started the softball program and coached football, golf, basketball and
Under Growe, South Side
advanced to four state baseball tournaments, finishing third in 1998 and second
in 2003, when Growe was named The Jackson Sun Coach of the Year. He was also
the TSSAA Class AA State Coach of the Year that season.
Two of his South Side teams
won 30 games, and the 2005 team won 21 consecutive games.
“I had good people and good
kids who liked to play baseball,” Growe said of his South Side years. “We had a
really good blend of young and old players those years we did so well.”
His last victory at South
Side was his 600th win. Growe, 64, picked up his 700th
victory last season at Greenfield High. This will be his fifth season as head
coach of the Jackets after coaching Trinity four seasons.
“Greenfield hired me over the
phone,” said Growe. “I love it. It’s a small town, a great community, and the
people are so nice. I helped with the football team my first three years there,
and that was rejuvenating for me.”
“My one and only unbeaten baseball
season came at Greenfield,” Growe said, laughing. “We were 2-0 in 2020 before
the Covid pandemic ended the season.”
Growe met his bride in high
school and began dating her his senior year. They married in 1979.
“My two greatest lifetime
achievements are my acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and my
43-year marriage to my beautiful wife, Rita,” Growe said. “She has been my
Tommy Sadler, a Madison
County native, is honored for his contributions to local sports while working
38 years at Union University, the last 15 as director of athletics.
Born in Medon, he was raised
in the Madison Hall community on Riverside Drive, near Bemis. He attended J.B.
Young Elementary School and South Side High School, graduating in 1972.
Voted best pitcher his senior
season at South Side in 1972, he was a strong competitor on the mound but
received only two letters of interest from colleges.
“And one of those was a
barber college,” Sadler said, laughing. “I don’t remember where the other one
He wound up at Union
University because his Sunday School teacher at Madison Baptist Church was Dr.
Maggie Brewer, the dean of students at Union. She urged him to give it a try.
“Nobody in my family had ever
been to college, and we sure didn’t have any money,” Sadler said. “I never even
thought about college. But I came to Union to be a preacher and major in
religion. I got some scholarship money for preaching at youth revivals and pitching
on the baseball team. It wasn’t long before I changed majors.”
Sadler played for three head
coaches in four seasons at Union, the last one being David Blackstock, who
later became his boss. A right-hander with a decent curve, Sadler pitched in 25
of 30 games his junior season in 1975. He was voted Most Valuable Player on the
team and best pitcher.
“I had a rag arm and could
pitch all day,” Sadler said. “I once came in as a reliever in the third inning
against Austin Peay, finished that game, then pitched all of the second game of
that doubleheader. Nowadays, they’d call the lawyers on you for doing that. But
I was a junk-ball pitcher and didn’t throw hard. They probably timed my
fastball with a sundial.”
There were no lights on the
baseball field, and the team rarely made overnight trips. So Sadler worked at
night for spending money. He worked at a bakery, at a hotel as a desk clerk and
at The Jackson Sun newspaper as a stringer, covering games. In fact, he covered
the first men’s basketball game played at Union’s new Fred Delay Gymnasium in
1975 when the Bulldogs faced David Lipscomb.
At Union he majored in
history and minored in English/journalism, graduating in 1976. He earned his
Master of Education in 1981 from the University of Memphis. He was working full
time in advertising at The Jackson Sun in 1985 when Union offered him a job as
director of public relations. He never dreamed he was beginning a 38-year
career at the school.
After one year, he spent the
next 10 as a fundraiser for Union. Then he transitioned to a newly created
position as the associate director of athletics, working under David Blackstock,
who had become his mentor and best friend. He held that job for 15 years before
succeeding Blackstock as director of athletics in 2008.
He helped Union add seven
sports, beginning with softball in 1995, and helped plan and raise funds for
the school’s present baseball, softball and soccer stadiums and the Fesmire
Sadler led Union through the
three-year membership transition back to the NCAA after 40 years of NAIA
membership. He was the baseball liaison athletic director for the Gulf South
Conference eight years and served on the NCAA Regional Baseball Advisory
Committee five years, four as chair. He served four years on the NCAA Division
II National Baseball Championship Committee, one as chair, and was the NCAA
site representative for three region tournaments.
He also served as president
of the TranSouth Athletic Conference 12 years and was named the conference’s
Athletic Director of the Year in 2009-10. Sadler plans to retire in May.
“I’ll take a little time off
and see where the Lord leads me,” he said. “But I’ll stay in Jackson because
that’s my home, and I want to spend more time with my daughter Jenni and two
“I just know that I’ve been
blessed by God, who put a lot of wonderful people in my path to help me,”
Sadler said. “They saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, and I owe them
so much. A lot of it might not have happened if Blackstock wasn’t my best
friend. God has had His hand on me for sure.”
Mark Campbell is honored for his exceptional career as head women’s basketball coach at Union University in Jackson. Campbell was named Union’s head coach in 1999 after working five years with the Union men’s basketball program following graduation from Lipscomb University in 1994. In his 22 seasons as head coach, Campbell has a .862 winning percentage and 658-105 record. His teams have won five of the six national titles in women’s basketball history at Union. He has led Union to a third place or higher finish in national tournaments 12 times, including 10 straight from 2005-14.
In 2018-19, Campbell made college basketball history, winning his 600th career game faster than any coach in the history of the sport at any level, men or women. He earned his 600th win on Jan. 19, 2019 at Auburn-Montgomery, reaching the milestone in just 691 games.Campbell topped the men’s record holder, Kentucky legend Adolph Rupp, who reached the 600-win mark in 704 games. And he broke the women’s record, held by Nancy Fahey, currently of Illinois, who reached 600 wins in 706 games.
A member of the NAIA Hall of Fame, Campbell’s teams won NAIA national championships in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 and the NCCAA Christian college title in 2014.Campbell’s .895 winning percentage following the final year of Union’s NAIA era in 2012 ranked him No. 1 among NAIA women’s basketball coaches with five or more years of coaching.In 2012-13 Union began playing an NCAA Division II schedule. Union became an active member of NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference in 2014-15. Campbell’s teams have since won seven GSC regular-season titles and four GSC tournament championships.Overall, Campbell’s teams have won 18 conference regular-season titles and 13 conference tournament titles. He has reached the 30-win plateau 13 times in his career and set a program record with 37 wins in 2008-09.
Campbell’s personal honors include:
NAIA Hall of Fame as a coach (2019).Head coach for USA U16 undefeated, gold medal team in the American’s Championship Tournament in Chile in 2019.NCAA DII Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year (2015, 2016, 2018, 2021).NAIA National Coach of the Year (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010).NAIA TranSouth Coach of the Year (2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010).Daktronics South Region Coach of the Year (2015).WBCA NCAA D2 South Region Coach of the Year (2015, 2016, 2018).NAIA WBCA Coach of the Year (2004, 2008).TSWA Coach of the Year (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
Campbell, a graduate of Franklin Road Academy in Nashville, ranks 12th all-time in scoring at Lipscomb University with 1,509 points. And his 724 career assists rank him in the top five at Lipscomb, where he played for coach Don Meyer.Campbell is married to the former Molly Graves of Jackson. They have four children – Gray, Ella, Kalyan and Mia - and live in Jackson.
A native of Jackson, Meg Griffin Nethery is honored for her impressive basketball career at Jackson Central-Merry High School and Union University.
She played point guard for Coach Sandy Fitzgerald at JCM and helped lead the Lady Cougars to Jackson’s first girls basketball state championship in 1996. JCM beat Oak Ridge, 70-61, to win the Class AAA state title and complete a 31-2 record.
Nethery was selected to the all-state tournament team and was named honorable mention all-state. She also made the all-region tournament team, all-district tournament team and all-district team while earning District 13-AAA Senior All-Academic team honors.
At the state tournament in Murfreesboro, Nethery had eight points and seven assists when JCM stunned previously unbeaten Sullivan East, 70-52, in the quarterfinals. The Lady Cougars fought off Columbia, 41-39, in the semifinals. Then Nethery sparked a 22-2 run with two baskets and a steal to help JCM turn a nine-point deficit into an 11-point lead when the Lady Cougars knocked off Oak Ridge, 70-61, in the championship game. Nethery scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half and added seven steals and five rebounds in the title game.
Nethery, who graduated fifth in her class at JCM with a 4.0 GPA, signed to play point guard at Union University and was soon back in the spotlight. Her sophomore season in 1997-98, she helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to their first NAIA Division I National Championship under Coach David Blackstock.Starting at point guard, Nethery was Union’s second-leading scorer at the national tournament, averaging 13.2 points per game. She earned all-tournament honors. In a crucial quarterfinal game against Oklahoma Baptist, Nethery scored 16 points in a double-overtime, 99-92 victory. She added 23 points and seven assists, hitting 5-of-6 three-point attempts, in an 80-64 semifinal win over Findlay, Ohio. She had eight points and five assists in the 73-70 title win over four-time defending champion Southern Nazarene of Bethany, Okla.Nethery scored 1,202 career points at Union and had career averages of 8.3 points and 4 assists per game. She stands fifth all-time in Union women’s basketball records with 586 assists and is sixth all-time with 144 games played.
She is still tied for the Union record for most free throws in a game, hitting 15 of 15 against Berry College in double overtime. She was named second team All-TranSouth Conference in 1999 and was an NAIA Scholar Athlete in 2000.Meg and her husband of 21 years, Damien Nethery, live in Jackson with their three daughters – Kate, Ellie and Halle. Meg works part-time as a physical therapist. She and Damien own Hope Restored Counseling, which provides substance-abuse and mental health counseling across West Tennessee. They are members and serve at West Jackson Baptist Church.
A native of Jackson, Jewuan Long is honored for his impressive basketball career at Liberty Technology Magnet High School in Jackson and Murray State University in Kentucky.A four-year starter at Liberty Tech, Long helped lead the Crusaders to back-to-back Class AA state championships in 2006 and 2007. Liberty was the first boys basketball team from Jackson to win a state title.
Long was the Class AA state tournament Most Valuable Player in 2006. And he was the first TSSAA Mr. Basketball winner in Jackson history in 2007.
A 6-foot-1 guard, Long scored a school-record 1,590 career points at Liberty and helped the Crusaders post a 111-26 record during his high school career.At the 2006 state tournament, Long shot 60 percent from the field and averaged 14.6 points per game to earn MVP honors and help Liberty close out a 34-3 record.
At the 2007 state tournament, he averaged 14.6 points and five rebounds and tied a state tournament record with 17 assists. Liberty finished with a 37-3 record.
He was named the Jackson Sun’s West Tennessee Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2007 and was an All-State selection. He was All-District and All-Region multiple years. He led Liberty to a national ranking of No. 13 in 2007, a first for a Jackson school.
Long earned a full athletic scholarship at Murray State and added to his stellar career as a Racer. During his Murray State career, the team had a 104-28 record.
Long’s senior season in 2011-12, he was named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He shot 43 percent from 3-point range and averaged 8.5 points and 2 rebounds.That season the Racers finished with an historic 31-2 record. They drew national attention with a 23-0 start and were the nation’s last undefeated men’s college basketball team.They were the OVC regular season and tournament champions and earned a first-round win in the NCAA Tournament. The team spent 13 weeks in the national rankings, including the program’s first ranking in the Top 10. They also won the OVC regular season in 2010 and 2011 and the OVC tournament in 2010.
Long is a 2012 Murray State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology. He worked as a graduate assistant manager at Murray State and earned his master’s degree in occupational safety and health in 2016. He presently works as a safety manager for a general contractor in Orlando, Fla.
A native of Jackson, Jabriel Washington is honored for his football career at Trinity Christian Academy and the University of Alabama.
A 5-foot-11, 170-pound speedster, Washington played both offense and defense for the Lions. He became TCA’s first 1,000-yard rusher as a junior quarterback in 2009, running for 1,062 yards, while passing for 1,282 yards. The Lions had a 5-5 record, but the future was promising.Washington did not disappoint during his senior season in 2010, leading Trinity to the Class 2A state championship game. He completed 161 of 303 passes for 2,635 yards and 23 touchdowns, averaging 16 yards a completion. Washington also rushed for 1,006 yards and 17 TDs on 251 carries. And as a defensive back he recorded 111 tackles and made six interceptions.The Lions finished 6-4 in the regular season before zipping through the Class 2A playoffs. They defeated Peabody, 37-24, in the first round before upsetting Humboldt, 13-7, and McKenzie, 27-26, in overtime in the state semifinals. Trinity lost the state championship game against Signal Mountain, 56-28, to complete a 9-5 record.
Washington was named The Jackson Sun All-West Player of the Year and was a USA Today High School All-American. He had his pick of colleges to attend after his 2011 graduation. He was recruited by all of the Southeastern Conference schools and numerous others, including Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon, Southern Cal and Notre Dame.
He picked Alabama because he wanted to play cornerback for Coach Nick Saban on a national championship team. He got his wish during five seasons with the Tide, including a redshirt year in 2011. Washington owns three national championship rings (2011, 2012, 2015) and three Southeastern Conference championship rings (2012, 2014, 2015).“It was unbelievable to be part of this run,” Washington told The Jackson Sun after his college career ended.
Washington earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at Alabama. He was not drafted in 2016 but signed as a free-agent cornerback with the Los Angeles Rams after a tryout. He was waived by the Rams on Sept. 6, 2016 as part of final roster cuts.He earned his master’s degree in education while serving as a graduate assistant at the University of Washington, where he worked with the football team’s defensive unit. He is presently a scouting assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles.
A native of Jackson, Preston Overbey is honored for his outstanding baseball career at University School of Jackson and the University of Mississippi.
He played youth baseball and football in Madison County before experiencing quick success as an eighth-grade starter on USJ’s varsity baseball team in 2006. He played infield and pitched for the Bruins, taking the mound to win Game 3 of the TSSAA State Tournament. He was named The Jackson Sun Baseball Newcomer of the Year in 2006.
He was a five-year baseball letterman at USJ, playing third base, first base, catcher and pitcher. He set the Bruins’ record for career home runs with 41 and the record for homers in a season with 17.
Overbey helped lead USJ to state runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2010 and was named All-State in baseball in 2010. He also lettered four years in football, playing linebacker, running back, receiver and punter, and lettered two years as a basketball forward. He earned All-West Tennessee and All-District honors in both football and baseball, but his baseball skills drew the scouts.
In 2009, Overbey was invited to the Perfect Game National Showcase as one of the nation’s top 150 players and was selected to the East Coast Professional showcase team.
He was drafted in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft by the Tampa Bay Rays but chose to accept a baseball scholarship at Ole Miss, where he was a four-year starter.
Overbey played in 230 games for the Rebels. He was a .261 career hitter with 194 hits and 104 RBIs. He had 14 home runs, three triples and 35 doubles. Defensively, he was regarded as one of the most versatile athletes to ever play for Ole Miss, starting games at first, second and third base, leftfield, rightfield and catcher.During Overbey’s four seasons at Ole Miss, the Rebels had a 153-96 record and advanced to three NCAA regional tournaments. His senior season in 2014, the Rebels won the Southeastern Conference West Division, the Super Regional and placed third in the College World Series. That team finished 48-21, an Ole Miss record for wins in a season.
In the Super Regional against No. 7 Louisiana Lafayette, Overbey was 2-for-3 including a tie-breaking home run. Other highlights came against No. 2 LSU, when he had five RBIs with a two-run homer and a three-run homer, and against No. 11 Arkansas, when he hit a grand slam.Overbey, the son of Michael and Regina Overbey of Jackson, is a graduate of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy. He is employed by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office as a K-9 handler and a member of the SWAT team.
Joe North is recognized for nearly forty years of coaching basketball at the middle and high school level in West Tennessee.
North graduated from Ramer High School in 1969, where he played for legendary coach, Marvin Williams. Over his four years, North scored over 1,300 points and had an overall record of 102-23, earning All-State honors. Over his career, North coached over a thousand games, garnering an 853-289 overall record (462-151 high school boys, 182-69 high school girls, 103-39 middle school boys, 106-30 middle school girls). North is a twelve-time District Coach of the Year and four-time Jackson Sun West Tennessee Coach of the Year. He was also voted as the Coca Cola Referees Coach of the Year twice.
At the high school level, North had coaching stints at Bells, Bolivar Central, Crockett County, Adamsville, Dyersburg, North Side, and Trinity. He also coached middle school basketball at Michie, Adamsville, and USJ.
Most notably, North prides himself in helping over fifty of his players pursue college ball, and he inspired twenty-four of his former players to become coaches at various levels, including current USJ head coach Tony Shutes and Sacred Heart of Jesus head coach Nick Beauregard.
North currently lives in Jackson and enjoys volunteering for various local teams.
Ellen Renfroe Reed is recognized for her unprecedented softball career at Trinity Christian Academy, University of Tennessee, and professionally with the Chicago Bandits.
Over her career at TCA, Reed helped lead the Lions to over 224 wins, including four Class A state championships and five consecutive district, regional and sectional championships. She completed her career with a 0.31 ERA, 115-9 record from the mound, and 1,335 strikeouts with more than 20 no-hitters. The Jackson Sun recognized Reed as its 2009 and 2010 All-West Tennessee Pitcher of the Year, 2008 Player of the Year, and 2006 Newcomer of the Year. She was named All-State four seasons, All-District five seasons, and All-District MVP twice. After her senior season, Reed was recognized as the 2010 Gatorade Tennessee Softball Player of the Year, MaxPreps Softball All-American, and ESPN/RISE All-American Second Team.
Upon graduating from TCA, Reed moved across the state to Knoxville to pitch alongside her sister, Ivy, for the Tennessee Lady Vols. She quickly made a name for herself, tallying a 26-7 record with a 1.50 ERA and 259 strikeouts over 201 innings as a rookie. During her time at Tennessee, Reed helped lead the Lady Vols to two Women's College World Series appearances, including a runner-up performance in 2013. Reed finished her career at Tennessee with a 1.65 ERA and a 102-25 record. In her four-year career, she threw 84 complete games, 41 shutouts, two no-hitters and struck out 1,005 batters in over 175 appearances. She is one of three Lady Vols pitchers to win 30 games in a single season, joining her sister Ivy.
Reed was a two-time NFCA All-American (2011, 2012), a four-time NFCA All-Southeast Region pick, a three-time Top 25 Finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year (2012, 2013, 2014), and a three-time All-SEC selection (2011, 2012, 2014). As a senior in 2014, she went 30-8 with a 2.02 ERA and 245 strikeouts. A model student-athlete, Reed was named the 2014 Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for softball and the 2014 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was also a three-time Capital One Academic All-American (2012, 2013, 2014).
In 2014, the Chicago Bandits drafted Reed, and she played for one season before pursuing a career in coaching. She’s had coaching stints at the University of Memphis, Bethel University, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2018, she and her husband, Jon, settled in Morristown, Tennessee, where she currently serves as the head softball coach for Lakeview Christian Academy.
Brandon Rowland is recognized for his outstanding athletic and personal achievements, despite immense adversity he has experienced since childhood.
In 1987 at the age of six, Rowland was diagnosed with a very rare blood condition called disseminated intravascular coagulation or DIC. He was hospitalized – much of the time in extremely critical condition – at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis for more than nine weeks. Within the first two weeks, both legs were amputated below the knees. Afterward, he endured numerous skin graft surgeries and revisions to help his limbs begin to heal. Then his journey toward creating a “new normal” began through physical therapy and other subsequent surgeries. Rowland was determined that his story would not be one of tragedy, but one of triumph.
And indeed, Rowland’s life has been full of personal and athletic triumphs. As a middle school student at the University School of Jackson, Rowland played basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis on his knees. During Rowland’s senior year at USJ, he was honored by being selected to the 1999 USJ Hall of Fame.
Also during his senior year, he was invited to join the Jackson Generals, a wheelchair basketball team sponsored by West Tennessee Healthcare. He led the Generals to two consecutive National Wheelchair Basketball Association championships, and was named to the All-Tournament team in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He was named Most Valuable Player in 2002 when he scored 35 points, had 15 assists and 10 rebounds in the championship game. He averaged a triple double for the season.
Rowland had the unique opportunity to try out for the U.S Wheelchair Basketball team at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2002.He was selected as a “person of inspiration” to be one of 19 torchbearers when the Olympic flame passed through Jackson on its way to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
When it came time for college, Rowland received multiple scholarship offers from Division I wheelchair basketball programs. He decided to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he was heavily involved in intramural sports with his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. He graduated from UTM magna cum laude with his BS and MBA degrees.
After graduating from UTM, Rowland renewed his passion for golf. He was the Canadian National Open Multiple Division Champion in 2005. He won three National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA) national championships in 2013, 2015 and 2018. He has been selected six times to play on the USA International Cup golf team, winning all his matches. The International Cup is the amputee version of the Ryder Cup.
Rowland is the only multiple amputee to qualify for the Tennessee Mid-Amateur Golf championship. In addition to golf, he is also an avid hunter and fisherman.Rowland continues to inspire others, especially new and recent amputees. He also has speaking engagements with civic clubs, church groups, school groups and medical classes. Rowland currently works in sales and marketing for Fourroux Prosthetics, and lives in Jackson with his wife and high school sweetheart, Sara.
A native of Trezevant, Tennessee, Dexter Williams is recognized for his basketball career as a student-athlete at West Carroll High School and Union University, as well as the impact he’s made on our community as a high school coach and education administrator.
As an All-State basketball player for West Carroll, Williams led his team to its first ever state tournament berth in school history for any sport. He received All-District, All-Region, All-West Tennessee, and All-State honors. Ranking seventh in his class, Williams received a full-athletic scholarship to play college ball for the Union University Bulldogs, where he was named All-American Scholar.
Upon graduating from Union in 2000, Williams embarked on an unprecedented coaching career. Most notably, Williams led Jackson to its first ever high school state championship in high school boys basketball in 2006 and 2007 as head coach at Liberty Technology High School. This accomplishment put Liberty in the national basketball rankings for the first time in Jackson-Madison County history. Not only is Liberty the youngest high school to ever win a state championship, Williams is the youngest head coach to ever win back-to-back state championships. Williams received numerous coaching accolades, including District 12-AA Boys Basketball Coach of the Year (2005, 2006, 2007), Tennessee Boys Basketball Coach of the Year (2006, 2007), Tennessee Sports Writers Association Boys Basketball Coach of the Year (2006, 2007), Best of the West Coach of the Year ( 2006, 2007), West Tennessee Boys Basketball Coach of the Year (2006, 2007), On the Ball Magazine Coach of the Year (2007), Southeastern Region Coach of the Year finalist (2007), A.F. Bridges Male Coach of the Year (2006), and District 13 AAA Coach of the Year (2008, 2009). In 2016, Union University honored Williams with the Distinguished Achievement Award in Athletics.
In 2008, Williams transitioned into education administration, serving as assistant principal at Liberty before being promoted to principal at Tigrett Middle School. He later served as head boys basketball coach at Milan High School, Human Resource and Transportation Supervisor for Milan Special School District, and principal and athletic director at West Carroll Junior/Senior High School.
Currently, Williams is the Superintendent for the West Carroll Special School District. He’s heavily involved in the community, serving as president of the Down Syndrome Association of West Tennessee, advisory board member of Union University EDGE program, and district seven representative for the TSSAA Legislative Council.
Williams is married to Amber, a former college basketball player at Lambuth University and current educator and girls basketball coach. Together they have three children, Kayleigh, Karcyn and Kaleb.
A native of Jackson, Jeff Wyatt is recognized for his baseball career at South Side High School and Union University, as well as the impact he’s made on our community as a high school baseball coach.
A three-sport athlete, Wyatt played baseball and golf and ran cross country for the South Side Hawks. On the baseball field, Wyatt made a name for himself as one of the best defensive players, starting at third base or shortstop. On offense, Wyatt often batted third or fourth in the lineup, generally leading the team in batting average, RBIs, and homeruns. He helped lead the Hawks to three district titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Wyatt was a three-time All District, All-Region, and All-State selection, and named Best Offensive Player and District Most Valuable Player.
Wyatt continued playing baseball in college at Union University, where he was honored as an NAIA All-American selection. In summer 1999, Wyatt had the unique opportunity to play with the U.S. Athletes International team. Over his career, Wyatt accumulated multiple Union records, including first all-time with hits in a season (89), hits in a career (316), RBI in a career (249), total bases in a career (556), and second all-time with batting average in a career (.387), home runs in a season (17), home runs in a career (46), and most bases in a season (162). In 2002 after his senior season, Wyatt was named NAIA All-Region, NAIA Region Player of the Year, TransSouth All-Conference, and TransSouth Conference Player of the Year. Wyatt finished his career with a .387 batting average, 316 hits, 180 runs, 46 home runs, and 249 RBIs.
Wyatt’s passion for the game led him to begin a coaching career after graduating from Union. He became an assistant coach at Ripley High School, before returning to his alma mater, South Side.Currently, Wyatt serves as the head baseball coach, where he continues to carry on a tradition of strong baseball programs.