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Tipton County Sports Hall of Fame accepting nominations

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Members of the class of 2013 Tipton County Sports Hall of Fame are, from left, Bob Davie, Earl Billings, Adrian Nathaniel, Tucker Ashford and Johnnie Jones. Courtesy photo

Richard Vandergrift and the staff at Covington Parks and Recreation came up with the idea for the Tipton County Sports Hall of Fame back in 2012. 

The first class – Tucker Ashford, Bob David, Harvey Hendrick, Johnnie Jones, Adrian Nathaniel and Joseph Earl Billings – was inducted last year. 

According to Vandergrift, nominations have been coming in regularly in the past few days for the class of 2014. 

Applications are being accepted through Sept. 1. 

“Reaction has been fantastic,” Vandergrift said. “I received a packet with six nominees enclosed and that came without us getting the word out.”

He has also received nominations for special recognition of five teams dating back to the 1920s. 

“When I sent out a broadcast e-mail last week, I immediately received two requests for nomination forms,” Vandergrift said. “I think that's a great start for this second year.”

The 2013 class is currently displayed at the Covington Sportsplex and there are plans for a glass case to hold the display. 

There are also plans to include donated memorabilia. 

Jones, a standout football player at the University of Tennessee, has donated a signed football and a Tennessee uniform. 

Ashford, a former major league baseball player, has donated baseball cards from his various professional teams. 

Last year, the three members of the hall of fame's board of directors chose the winners from the nominations. This year, the class of 2013 members and the board will be involved in the selection process. To be named to the hall of fame, nominees must receive 75 percent of the vote. 

The 2014 class will be announced in late fall. Winners will be recognized at a gathering to be determined by the board of directors.

“I can see this growing bigger each year,” Vandergrift said. “Some nominees that have already come in are people I had forgotten about, but know once I’ve read through the forms. We are blessed here in Tipton County with some really great people who have excelled in sports and been great contributors back to society. I expect the selection process to be very competitive.”

Nominees must be a native of Tipton County or attended, or coached at, a county school. The minimum age is 40. 

Media members, administrators, team doctors, officials and others associated with athletics  are also eligible. 

For more information, contact Vandergrift at rvandergrift@covingtontn.com or 476-3734.

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