Is Rutherford County forgotten?

Jun. 23, 2013 @ 05:58 AM

During my short time working in this county I've come across countless generations of people that were born and raised inside of the Rutherford County borders.

They went to school here. They met their husbands and wives here. They had children here. And those children followed similar paths.

In talking to these folks I hear stories of their glory days as Cavaliers, Hilltoppers and Trojans.

They tell me how much tougher football players were and how coaches dealt with their players without kid gloves. They speak of broken bones, black eyes, chipped teeth, busted heads, triumphs and failures.

The "old-timers" have memories as clear as crystal, but somehow, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) doesn't find Rutherford County that memorable.

To celebrate their 100th anniversary, the NCHSAA is presenting "100 to Remember" lists that include administrators, coaches and male and female athletes.

A special committee, including school administrators and coaches from across the state as well as sports media, put together the list in a series of meetings.

According to the NCHSAA website, many people made nominations for the lists on the NCHSAA website. Association records and archives were also consulted, as well as members of the committee offering names for discussion.

The NCHSAA released its "100 to Remember" administrators first. The list included athletic directors, principals, superintendents or others involved with the administration of athletics at a local or statewide level.

Upon review, the list didn't include a single person affiliated with Rutherford County.

Next were the coaches. And again, not one from Rutherford County.

Now I'm no Rutherford County historian, but I would think that out of the 200 names released to this point, one would have ties to "small-town friendly"Rutherford County.

I figure a number of reasons led to the lack of Rutherford representation.

Maybe nobody was nominated. Maybe the selection committee doesn't have knowledge of the county's athletic history. Or maybe, the county just doesn't have a figure worthy of the list.

Again, I don't know what names could have been overlooked, but I'm sure some of my readers might. If you do, let me know.

If the state doesn't feel it necessary to acknowledge the accomplishments of this county, maybe we should. Maybe we should compile our own list os memorable figures throughout the history of Rutherford County high school athletics.

Send nominations to my email address, tdurkee@thedigitalcourier.com with a brief description of why this person is worthy of recognition.

I look forward to learning more about the history of this county and recognizing its influential figures.