Five names synonymous with Cannon County sports history will become the first inductees into the Cannon County Hall of Fame when they are enshrined during the 2011 Cannon Courier Hall of Fame and All Sports Awards Banquet.
Steve Bullard (athlete), Annie Cox (coach), Robert A. Harris (coach), Julie Powell (athlete) and Arna Smithson (contributor) were unanimous first-ballot selections of the Hall of Fame Committee and will become the first inductees into the Cannon County Sports Hall of Fame May 16 at the Cannon County High School Gymnasium at 6:30 PM.
"The list of nominees was tremendous and to select just five was quite a task," said one committee member (the five-person Hall of Fame Committee remains anonymous). "Going down the list brought back many great memories and reminded us of the great athletes and people who have come through Cannon County. In the end these five great individuals came to the forefront and they are worthy of becoming the first Hall of Fame class in Cannon County. This is long overdue."
The Hall of Fame and All Sports Awards Banquet, sponsored by The Cannon Courier, will take place at the Cannon County High School Gymnasium May 16 at 6:30 p.m. Guest speaker is Hall of Famer Rick Insell, a Woodbury native and Head Women's Basketball Coach at Middle Tennessee State. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased either at The Cannon Courier office or online at cannoncourier.com. Deadline to purchase tickets is May 13 at 5 p.m. They will not be sold at the door.
In addition to honoring the first Hall of Fame class, The Cannon Courier's Players of the Year in each of CCHS' 11 TSSAA-sponsored sports will be named, in addition to the Male and Female Athletes of the Year; the Male and Female Publisher's Cup Winners for top scholar-athletes; the Lions Award and the Inspiration Award.
Presenters will perform the Hall of Fame induction speeches. Hall of Famer Boots Donnelly, highly-successful retired Middle Tennessee State football coach, will present Bullard's induction. Donnelly coached Bullard at Austin Peay, where they won the school's only OVC football championship to date in 1977.
Following are capsules of the first Cannon County Hall of Fame Induction Class:
Steve Bullard (athlete) - Bullard was a three-sport standout at Woodbury Central and graduated in 1975. He starred as a receiver and safety on the gridiron for Woodbury Central in 1974, helping lead the Lions to their first 10-0 season - a feat that has not been duplicated since. He also was starred on the Woodbury Central basketball and baseball teams.
Annie Cox (coach) - Cox taught in the Cannon County system for more than 60 years and had a positive influence on thousands of children both as an educator and a long-time coach. Her impact transcends decades and her memory lives through the countless number of young people she came into contact with through the years.
Robert A. Harris (coach) - Harris compiled more than 500 career victories at Cannon County's girls basketball coach and led the Lionettes to the 1989 TSSAA Class AA State Championship - the only state title in school history regardless of sport. His teams won 11 district titles, four region titles and made seven TSSAA Girls State Tournament appearances. He retired in 1990.
Julie Powell (athlete) - Powell is the most decorated player in Cannon County sports history. She is Cannon County's all-time leading scorer with 2,894 points and a two-time Class AA Miss Basketball Award Winner. She was a four-time All-State selection and went on to achieve greatness at the collegiate level at Vanderbilt, where she was the SEC Freshman of the Year and helped lead Vanderbilt to the Final Four.
Arna Smithson (contributor) - Smithson is a longtime businessman in Cannon County and owner of Smithson's Piggly Wiggly. A longtime supporter of Cannon County, Smithson has made a habit of giving back to his community and, particularly, the schools system. His generosity has enabled various programs to function and provide opportunities for students where it may have otherwise been difficult.
2011 Hall of Fame Nominees
Steve Bullard, Alan Bush, Erin Todd Bush, Annie Cox, Russell Davenport, Tom Dillard, Charles Francis, Terry Gannon, Robert A. Harris, Glenn Higgins, Rick Insell, Karen Todd King, Darlene Taylor Knowles, Benny Dwayne Lance, Mike Mayfield, Bobby Parker, Harold Patrick, Bonnie Patterson, Julie Powell, Ray Robinson, Sterling "Bud" Shirley, Roger Lee Singer, Al Smith, Ronnie Smith, Beth Stewart, Vickie
Todd, Danny Young and Bobby Zumbro.
(Hall of Fame nominees remain on the ballot for five years from the time they were last nominated; student-athletes must be a minimum of five years removed from their prep playing career to be considered).