Wesley Cash Leads HOF Award Winners

Sunday, February 9, 2014

World and national tennis champion Wesley Cash is one of three to be honored as athletes of the year, while Carolyn Jackson and Warren Barger will receive the Betty Probasco and Walt Lauter awards, respectively, for lifetime achievement  and Joe Smith is this year's selection of the Jim Morgan/Allan Morris Award for distinguished achievement in overcoming adversity at the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame banquet Mon. March 3 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

Hall of Fame Dinner: Tickets for the annual banquet are $35 and can be purchased by contacting Hall of Fame president Dr. John Farr at 423/875-9282. The ticket deadline is Feb. 20.

Cash, along with pro fishing champion Andy Morgan and Ashlen Dewart of the Chattanooga Lady Mocs basketball team, will be tri-recipients of the athlete of the year award.

In 2013, Cash won five age division national championships (four doubles, one singles) and a world doubles gold medal.

Morgan was the 2013 FLW Angler of the Year at the highest level of professional fishing, while Dewart led the Lady Mocs to the 2013 Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles. 

Betty Probasco Award: Carolyn Jackson - coached Brainerd HS girls to a 1984 state championship and had a 982-313 career record ... high school volleyball official for 24 years and state volleyball official of the year in 2000.

Walt Lauter Award: Warren Barger - In Senior Olympics, he has won 120 gold medals and holds 10 records at the state level ... has eight national gold medals and is a national record-holder for the 85-89 age-group high jump.

JIm Morgan/Allan Morris Award: Joe Smith - founder and regional director of the Chattanooga YMCA’s YCAP program for at-risk youth ... has served as chairman of the Tennessee Athletic Commission, president of the Southeastern Association of USA Boxing, a vice president of USA Boxing, president of the USA Boxing Foundation and team manager on multiple occasions for USA Boxing, including at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Before accomplishing all that and more, though, he had to overcome addictive substance abuse and even a planned suicide, for which he credits “divine intervention.” Smith is a licensed drug and alcohol abuse counselor.

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