TENNESSEE SPORTS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES
2016 CHAMPION WITHIN RECIPIENTS
NASHVILLE. May 10—The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame will host their Champion Within Luncheon, June 18th at the Omni Nashville Hotel. This luncheon gives us the opportunity to celebrate the success of outstanding individuals who display great character and embody the belief that allows them to overcome any and all obstacles to become successful in life. The incredible people that we honor inspire each of us with their dedication and hard work that has led to their success. The 2016 Champion Within Recipients are former UT Vol Inky Johnson, Backfield in Motion member Donald North, women’s basketball pioneer Coach Jim Stockdale and Special Olympic athlete Jason Rogers.
Take the opportunity to see our 2016 award recipient Inky Johnson speak about overcoming challenges in order to strive. Doors will open at 11:00 a.m. and lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $40.00 and must be purchased in advanced by calling Lynn Toy at 615-202-3996.
CHAMPION WITHIN RECIPIENTS:
Inky Johnson- Perseverance Award
September 9, 2006. It started as a normal college football game in Neyland Stadium. If anything, the event was an afterthought, dropped into the schedule at the last minute. For Inky Johnson, though, the game changed everything. A routine tackle turned into a life-threatening injury, and nothing has been normal for Inky ever since. Not with a paralyzed right arm. Not with daily pain. Not with constant physical challenges. His dream had always been to play professional sports. You might think his injury would have destroyed his motivation and crushed his spirit. But that’s only because you don’t know Inky. You’ll see a man who looks in the face of defeat and says, “Am I really failing, or is God prevailing?” And you’ll be inspired by his relentless determination.
Donald North- Character Award
Donald North joined Backfield in Motion in 2010. Donald’s mother, Renee signed him up for academic support and to make new friends. With the help of Backfield in Motion’s teachers and coordinators, Donald excelled in class as an honor student at head Middle School. Donald also excelled in athletics winning a basketball and football championship with his Rose Park Raiders team.
As a senior at East Nashville High School, Donald played quarterback for the Eagles football team and served as Vice-President of the Beta Sigma Club and was a member of the National Honor Society. Donald attends Edmondson Chapel Church where he serves on the Usher Board and the Media Ministry. Donald also works part-time for Kroger’s. Donald will graduate this may with a 3.5 grade point average and a 21 on the ACT. He will attend Middle Tennessee State University as a Hope Scholar. Donald received a scholarship from Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, he will be the first in his family to attend college.
Coach Jim Stockdale- Lifetime Dedication Award
Coach James E. “Jim” Stockdale grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee where he graduated from Bearden High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, after committing two years to the U.S. Army he returned to Knoxville to earn his Master’s degree from the University of Tennessee
Stockdale was a pioneer in women’s basketball, serving as coach of the UT Nurses basketball team for twenty-six years. He was a volunteer coach for the UT Nurses basketball team. They played in the Memphis Nurses League traveling throughout the Southeast and Midwest playing other nursing schools. During his coaching career Jim coached 174 women playing for the UT Nurses and during this time they won 333 games and lost 151 against nursing schools. They also captured seven Cotton States Tournament titles and won the Memphis Nurses League 12 times. Upon his retirement as coach, Jim was inducted into the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame. Jim and his wife, Dorothy Ashford, have been married 63 years. They have three daughters, one son, ten grandchildren, and fifteen great grandchildren and counting.
Jason Rogers- Heart of a Champion Award
Jason Rogers is a true competitor. He competes in numerous Special Olympic sports: track and field, swimming, flag football, volleyball, basketball, bocce and snow skiing.
Jason was named Special Olympics Region 4 Athlete of the Year 2012; State Gold Medalist in Alpine Skiing Slalom 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016; State Gold Medalist in Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom 2012, 2013 and 2014; State Bronze Medalist in Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom 2016; State Silver Medalist in Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom 2015; State Bronze Medalist in Alpine Skiing Slalom 2014; and State Medalist multiple times in the last 12 years in swimming–50 butterfly, 50 breast and 50 freestyle.
In April of this year, Jason will be joining “From Sea to Shining Sea”, a bike ride from San Diego to North Carolina with the Wounded Warriors organization to highlight the adaptive sports available for injured individuals. He will join the team in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the last 1,000 miles.
By not only participating but excelling in numerous diverse sports, Jason has been a huge inspiration to other mentally challenged adults and their families to get out there and try! Jason has proved to the world that just because you are mentally challenged, it doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish your goals, whatever