The Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame has announced its class of new inductees for the year 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional recognition banquet was not held last year, but the board of directors chose to continue with inducting a new class. These 2020 inductees will be officially recognized at the 2021 banquet.
Honored as the Class of 2020 for the Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame are Jimmy Cherry, Jay Heafner, Nick Bazzle, Nancy Little, and Joanne Potts.
Cherry can be heard on Friday nights at East Lincoln High School. He has been the public address announcer for Mustang athletics for more than 25 years and has been a longtime supporter and coach of youth athletics in eastern Lincoln County. He has volunteered many hours supporting East Lincoln High School and East Lincoln Optimist Club, offering his motivation and expertise.
Heafner was a standout baseball player at West Lincoln High School who played collegiately at Davidson College, before being drafted and playing in the Texas Rangers organization. Heafner, who was named Southern Conference Player of the Year in 2005, currently works as a scout for the Rangers and was inducted into the Davidson College Hall of Fame in 2020
Bazzle excelled at football at East Lincoln High School and Guilford College before becoming an accomplished football coach in our area. He has coached at East Lincoln, Newton-Conover, Alexander Central and is currently the head coach at North Lincoln High School. Coach Bazzle led the 2008 Newton-Conover Red Devils football team to a 2A state championship.
Little is the first female from Lincoln County to coach a Division I program. She played sports at Rock Springs High School and then became a coach locally at West Lincoln and East Lincoln High Schools. Little coached basketball at High Point College and became the head coach of the University of Central Florida’s women’s basketball team from 1985-1987.
Potts was a phenomenal basketball star at Maiden High School in the late 1950’s, where she scored 2,121 career points in just 66 games played. After high school, she played professional women’s basketball and was first-team All-World. She later graduated from Appalachian State University, and taught business courses for Gaston and Lincoln County Schools.
The Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame board of directors, along with the Lincoln County Parks and Recreation Department, are now accepting nominations for the Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021. Applications must be postmarked and submitted by mail to Lincoln County Parks and Recreation, P.O. Box 25, Lincolnton, N.C. 28093 by March 1 each year.
Nomination forms are available at the Lincoln County Parks and Recreation office in Lincolnton, located at 206 Gamble Drive, Suite A, and on the Lincoln County Website for download.
Nominees for the Sports Hall of Fame must meet the following qualifications: Nominees must be a resident of Lincoln County for at least four years. Nominees must have been a participant in sports activities for at least four years, as a coach, player, media member, booster, etc. Nominees must be at least 35 years of age, or deceased.
While a resident of Lincoln County, the nominee’s athletic achievements and/or contributions must be recognized throughout Lincoln County as enhancing the sport or activity that he or she represents.
For more information regarding nominations for the Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame, please contact John Davis with the Lincoln County Parks and Recreation Department at (704) 748-1518, or speak with a Sports Hall of Fame board member. (Published January 6, 2021)