Cyclones welcome  new class of elite

By Wes Holtsclaw

   An elite group of Elizabethton High School's greatest athletes and coaches were honored Tuesday night at the third annual Cyclone Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
   "It's the greatest night I've been a part of in a long time," said Hall of Fame Chairman Harold Stout. "We had a lot of help with a strong committee: Mrs. Deal, Mr. Perry, and Cot Presnell helped get the state champs together. We had a heck of a crowd."
   The opening induction of the night was the 1938 state championship football team as five members of the squad, including coach E. Niles Brown, were at the event.
   "It's just wonderful," said the team's captain, Cot Presnell. "Everybody would love it. Seeing these people is wonderful. I haven't seen some in 30 or 40 years.
   "Elizabethton was and still is a wonderful place to play football. I remember that we had good ball players, it was a real good group of young men and we had the best coaching in the country.
   The Elizabethton '38 squad was the only team to beat Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett during football legend Bob Suffridge's run with the Indians. Suffridge called the Cyclones the meanest team he had ever seen.
   Two members of the media that attended the state championship game said that each player on the squad was the best at their position in the state of Tennessee.
   The members of the team include: Coaches E. Niles Brown and T.J. Boswell, Walter Maupin, Charlie Maupin, Everett Hayes, Robert Given, Bailey Williams, Ivan Hayes, Francis Childress, John Large, Harold Stevenson, Jess Benton, Wakter Lance, Haywood Elliott, Cot Presnell (Captain), Clarence Hale, John Laws, James Muncey, Ed Chambers, MacDonald Sturgill, Eugene Webb, Frank Crockett, John Dance, Earnest Rasar, Zeb Presnell, Harvey Smith, Colyon Parker, and Luther Boyd.
   Another state champion inducted was Vivian Norwood, who was a stellar athlete at Elizabethton, winning the state title in the shot put. Norwood was an outstanding basketball player, completing her career at Walters State and Lincoln Memorial.
   Travis Johns, a football standout from the late '80's and player at Wake Forest, came to the event from his home in California. Johns was an all-state player at Elizabethton.
   "It's an honor," said Johns. "It's really humbling, I got to be here with my family. It's a privilege and I'm happy to be here."
   Danny Jenkins was a lettermen in the three major sports at Elizabethton, and went on to be the captain of the University of Tennessee football team after being told he was too small for the squad.
   "It's just a pleasure to be recognized by your peers," said Jenkins. "I've traveled the world, and I am proud to say I'm from Elizabethton."
   Dale Fair was an outstanding athlete at Elizabethton, and was one of the state's top running backs in high school. Fair ran over 3,000 yards in high school before going to the University of Tennessee and lettering in his sophomore season with a 4.3 yards per carry average.
   John Holsclaw was a four-sport star at EHS, where he was selected to the Tennessee/Virginia Football All-Star Game. Holsclaw won MVP of the game and went on to letter at Tennessee in football after setting passing records that were eventually broken by Steve Spurrier.
   Billy Bob Garrison also starred in all major sports. He was the captain of basketball, baseball, football and track at Elizabethton. He was an all-conference player and played minor league ball for the Kansas City A's before becoming a TSSAA official.
   Norman "Cotton" Hodge played baseball, football, and basketball for Elizabethton. He played baseball for Milligan and was his team's leading hitter.
   Harry "The Cat" McKesson was an outstanding basketball player for the Cyclones. He was one of the first players to play above the rim, and was an all conference player. He went on to be an assistant coach for the Elizabethton basketball team.
   Dick Ryan played all but two games in baseball during his four years at Elizabethton. Ryan was also an all conference player in basketball before going to Milligan, where he was known as one of the best players for the Buffs.
   Bill Broome was an outstanding performer in track, baseball and football, where he was named all-state.
   Howard Bowers led the 1945 Elizabethton football team to a number four rating in the state, and four straight conference titles. Elizabethton beat the eventual state champion 14-12 his junior season.
   Ron Carver was an all-conference performer in three sports, one of only three from this area at the time. He won a National Award of Excellence for his academics and athletics.
   Carmon Dugger was known for his baseball ability at Elizabethton, where he was all-conference all four years. He moved on to play baseball in Japan and had 129 strikeouts in a stretch of eight games.
   Dugger eventually came back to Elizabethton as the first parks and recreation director, then he built Joe O'Brien Field.
   Don Marshall was a star in basketball, baseball and football at Elizabethton. Marshall became a boxing sensation, holding the 126-pound title for the U.S. Army team. He trained "Big" John Tate to a World Heavyweight Championship.
   Coach John Pansock was inducted after a strong football career with the Cyclones. He was also a good coach at Hampton, where he led the Bulldogs to two conference titles and installed the lights at the football field.
   Congratulations to all of the inductees on stellar careers at Elizabethton, and for presenting memories that many people will cherish forever.