April 26, 2017 Edition

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Rotary inducts first class
into Sports Hall of Fame

Mary Clare Brierley (right), with husband, Bill, of Little Rock represented her family at the Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet. Her father, the late Walter Anthony "Junie" Dowell, was part of the inaugural group of inductees. Rotarian Anthony Pinkston (left) made the presentation at the event on Saturday night at Williams Baptist College. See additional coverage on page 1B.
TD Photo ~ John Bland

John Bland

The first Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet set the bar high for future induction ceremonies. As one person said, the Rotary Club of Lawrence County "hit a homerun" with the event, which was held Saturday night at Williams Baptist College.

Dale Leatherman, Rotary president, served as master of ceremonies, and Dr. Tom Jones, president of WBC, gave the welcome and blessing. An estimated crowd of 175 people attended the banquet, which included a silent auction.

A Hall of Fame golf tournament, scheduled for April 21, was rescheduled for this Friday due to the threat of rain. That event is being held at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Pocahontas.

Leatherman said there is no building to house Hall of Fame memorabilia at this time, but a Hall of Fame plaque will be rotated around the county in public places for the initial years.

Rotary member George Fray presented certificates of recognition of teams and individuals who had outstanding accomplishments in the past 12 months. They included: the 3A State Champion Hoxie Lady Mustang Basketball Team, the WBC Softball Team, the WBC Wrestling Team and Carol Halford, retiring coach of the WBC Lady Eagles Basketball Team.

Larry Treadway, athletic director for the Walnut Ridge School, spoke of the attributes of playing sports. Darlene Moore provided music, including appropriate songs for each inductee. Naomi Mullen provided decorations and centerpieces.

The inaugural class of inductees into the Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame were:

Sammy Weir of Cherokee Village, who made a name for himself in football on the high school, college and professional levels. (Don House was the presenter.)

Dr. Lauren Turnbow of Daphne, Ala., one of the all-time great basketball players at Walnut Ridge High School and Hendrix College. (Lorra Whitmire was the presenter.)

Dan Mullen of Walnut Ridge, football standout in Walnut Ridge and at Arkansas State University. (County Judge John Thomison was the presenter.)

The late Walter Anthony "Junie" Dowell, a former Walnut Ridge resident and an outstanding amateur golfer, who won tournaments locally, nationally and internationally. (Anthony Pinkston was the presenter.)

Coach Bill McCurley of Imboden, who was a longtime successful and well-respected coach at Sloan-Hendrix School. (Bill Maxwell was the presenter.)

The 1961 State Champion Walnut Ridge American Legion Baseball Team. (Lee Turnbull was the presenter.)

Each inductee or inductee representative made an acceptance speech after the presentation.

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