Author: Wade Littleton / Sports Editor Source: The Rogersville Review
ROGERSVILLE --- Last year’s TSSAA State Tournament run by Cherokee envoked memories of another Hawkins County team which made its own run.The 1956-57 Rogersville High School Boys team, who went 20-10 that season, was honored Monday night by Rogersville Middle School and Principal James Ailshie during halftime of the annual game between Rogersville City and Rogersville Middle.RHS was the first team to ever represent Hawkins County in the State Tournament. The Warriors won the Rotherwood Conference championship beating teams such as Sullivan High, Lynn View, Ketron and Church Hill. They went on to the District tournament held at the Greeneville VFW gym. The Warriors defeated Baileyton, Surgoinsville, Bulls Gap and Greeneville.The next stop for the Warriors was the Region I Tournament held at Brooks Gymnasium on the East Tennessee State University campus. They defeated Sevierville in the first game, then upset Elizabethton, at that time ranked No. 1 in the state under coach John Treadway. After losing in the finals to Blountville, the Warriors advanced to the State Tournament held at Vanderbilt University’s Memorial Gymnasium. Rogersville played Paris Grove, who entered the game 34-1. Paris Grove would exit the game with an upset loss to the Warriors.Linden, the defending state champion, was Rogersville’s next opponent. Linden, who had beaten Dobyns-Bennett the previous year, defeated Rogersville in overtime 56-51 to end the Warriors’ hopes of a state title.McNairy County also played in that state tournament, led by Buford Pusser. He went on to later celebrity as McNairy County sheriff and the subject of the 1970’s movie Walking Tall, starring Joe Don Baker. A sequel was produced, this time with Bo Swenson as Pusser.Most of the members of the 1956-57 Warriors team are still living. Four members of the team were present to receive plaques given by Ailshie. Shooting guard Lewis Mayes lives in Rogersville and Wayne Haun resides in Surgoinsville. Guard Darrell Alvis also lives in Rogersville, while guard Jim Rogan is now living in Church Hill.Other members of the team live in different parts of the country including forward Donald Lane (Atlanta), forward Andy Childress (New Jersey), forward Buddy Price (Rogersville), center Gerald Winstead (Surgoinsville), forward Ron Brooks (Indianapolis), guard Donald Robinson (Arizona) and team manager Doug Price (Johnson City).Joe Davis, assistant coach on that team, still resides in Rogersville. Davisretired as principal of Rogersville Middle several years ago.A number of team members are deceased, including Head Coach Burleigh Davis, Assistant Coach Fred Shanks and Manager Ed Carmack. Jill Price, Carmack’s daughter, was on hand to accept a plaque in his memory.Several members of Cherokee’s state tournament team were also on hand, including Ty Ryans, Tanner Trent and Coach Jeremy Parrott.
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