New class inducted into Elizabethton Sports Hall of Fame
Published 3:05 pm Friday, October 16, 2015
BY IVAN SANDERS
A large group of family and friends gathered in A.L. Treadway Gymnasium Thursday night to witness the induction of seven new members of the 2015 Elizabethton Sports Hall of Fame.
Each inductee was introduced by a Special presenter who informed those present of the accolades each inductee had earned while part of Elizabethton Cyclone athletics.
The new members included Larry Alderson, Kadey Robinson Bailey, James Henry, Randy Lacy, Robert “Rat” Parker, Charles Peters III, and Chris Troutman.
Coach Larry Alderson, who recently passed away, was described by presenter Joe Alexander as someone whose passion for sports never waned. Alderson was a standout athlete at Haysi High School in Virginia who excelled in football, basketball, track, and baseball.
While in school he went to three state basketball championships. After spending four years in the military, he went to East Tennessee State University, where after graduation, he spent 36 years at Elizabethton as a teacher and coach.
He became athletic director in 2002 and held that position for five years.
According to Alexander, Alderson was one of the most honorable people he knew and knew the value of history and tradition.
Alderson was one of the key people who worked behind the scenes to make the Elizabethton Sports Hall of Fame a reality.
His plaque was presented to his wife, Sue Alderson.
Kadey Robinson Bailey
Coach Ken Hardin, who presented Robinson Bailey, said that he knew she was going to be something special from the first time he saw her play in Little League.
Hardin described his former player with one word—dedication. She was an athlete who loved the sport of softball, he said, and he related the story of the day she was playing in the Eastman Softball tournament as a junior and how she tore her ACL sliding into second base.
She worked hard and came back to experience a successful senior career as a Cyclone, he said, all while wearing a brace to protect the knee.
Hardin told the audience about playing in a district tournament championship game against Unicoi Co. with the Cyclones leading by two runs with two outs.
He went out to calm his star pitcher down and when he got to the mound, she looked at him and said, “Where are we eating after we win this game coach?”
Bailey is the all-time winning pitcher at Elizabethton and went on to experience success at Chattanooga State where she was a big part of that program.
Bailey will be an assistant to Hardin this season.
Henry came to Elizabethton from a small British Colony in 1981 and from the time he stepped on campus, his smile stood out the most, according to his presenter Karen Barnett.
Standing 6’7, Henry would be the first to admit he wasn’t the greatest basketball player when he arrived as a Cyclone, but thanks to a lot of hard work and help from his coaches, Henry excelled as a Cyclone and went on to make his mark at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville.
His primary goal was to obtain an education, and he made the most of his opportunity. After graduating from college, he went to work for the United States Bureau of Prisons.
He was named an assistant warden at three federal prisons where he worked until retiring three months ago to battle something completely different.
Henry was diagnosed with lung and adrenal gland cancer and recently found out that he also has brain cancer.
According to Barnett, Henry has never questioned or got angry at God and feels it was his lot to have the battle.
Being his ever jovial self, Henry joked he was ready to play a game of basketball on his home court if anyone wanted to because he had worn his tennis shoes.
Lacy was always to do the same four things before every game according his presenter, Bill Scott.
He would polish his shoes, put on a pair of new socks, add new shoe laces, and then throw up. Lacy was a three-year starter and team captain for the Cyclones on the gridiron. He earned a scholarship to Carson-Newman College.
Lacy was also a very talented musician, Scott said, having been in the Cyclone band for four years playing the tuba.
He was a member of the All-East Tennessee Band for two years and made All-State Band one year. While playing football, Lacy would come out and play the tuba while in his football uniform at halftime, Scott said.
Lacy was a member of the first national championship team at Carson-Newman.
After graduation, he worked three years at Unaka High School, 14 years at Sullivan East, and then returned to Elizabethton where he spent 17 years.
During his acceptance speech, Lacy said one thing still stirs his heart and that is hearing the EHS band play ‘Betsy, as he admitted tears always come to his eyes. He closed by saying that there is something that each one of the inductees had in common – they would always be Cyclones.
Robert “Rat” Parker
Described as the hardest hitting 155-pound person you would ever meet, Bill Carter said that Parker was well-respected by his teammates.
Carter said that Parker was never one to complain at practice and was one of the team leaders.
He played football all four years he was at Elizabethton and was a multi-faceted player running from the Wing-T formation.
According to Carter, Parker could throw the football, run the ball, punt and then return the football on kickoffs.
He was elected the captain of the team as a senior. He intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in a 10-0 victory over Greeneville.
Carter shared that when Parker played that nothing was given to you—you had to earn everything you got.
Parker did that and more.
Charles Peters III
Peters was every coach’s dream according to his presenter Eddie Pless. According to Pless, Peters is one of a dying breed as he was able to play and excel at three sports—basketball, football, and baseball.
Pless said that Peters loved to compete and was a gifted athlete in all three. Not only was he a great athlete but a great student too.
In addition to playing sports, Peters often spoke at local churches and sang with the school chorus.
Pless described Peters as hard-working, dedicated, a team leader, a player with character, and always smiling.
Peters was described by former coach Tony Hardin as being a blue-print for a successful high school athlete.
In his acceptance speech, Peters said that sports had always been a passion. He went on to say that he always knew he had to work to be successful and one always has to have a desire to be successful as well.
He met his wife while at USC and the one thing that Carver said that stood out about Troutman is that he is a true family man.