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Morgan County honors inductees for Class of 2024

PRICEVILLE – Saturday was a night of milestones for the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame.

It started with the 34th induction banquet being held at the Priceville Events Center. All of the previous banquets had been in Decatur.

The 10 inductees include Lorenzo “Sonny” Jackson, the first competitive swimmer ever among the Hall of Fame’s 247 inductees.

“It’s a great feeling to be the first at anything,” Jackson said.

In 1970, Jackson was the first black to ever compete in the Alabama High School Athletic Association state swim meet.

“This honor is a little sweet and sour,” Jackson said. “A lot of people didn’t have the exposure to swimming like I did.

Saturday’s induction included David Chairs, who turns 93 in June. Chairs is the hall of fame’s oldest ever inductee. He goes in for a career in baseball as a player and as an umpire in baseball and softball that lasted over 70 years.

“The good Lord has blessed me with a great life and family,” Chairs said. “This honor makes it even more special.”

The Class of 2024 included former Decatur football coach Jere Adcock, former Decatur Heritage football and baseball coach Steve Meek, former Hartselle star basketball player and coach Gary Orr, All-American softball player Lesley Westmoreland Smothers, Danville basketball player Tim Morgan and Falkville three-sport athlete Randy Nelson.

Two members of the class are deceased. They are Hartselle basketball star Dewain Keel and long-time umpire Arnold Russell.

The new class has some family links to some previous inductees. Jackson’s late father, Lorenzo Jackson, was inducted in 1996. Chairs’ daughter, Tina, was inducted in 2009.

Nelson’s uncle, Rolland “Brownie” Nelson, was inducted in the Class of 1995. “Brownie” Nelson passed away last week and his funeral was held Friday.

The Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame is always accepting nominations from the public. Information on the nominating process is available on the website at mcshof52.com or call Joe Bailey at 256-286-9048.

Proceeds from the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame go to the Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County.


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