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LHS honors '71 Devilettes

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The 1971 state champion Lebanon High girl’s basketball team will be among the inductees into the 2009 Class of the LHS Sports Hall of Fame. According to Blue Devil athletic director Jonathan Hall, the ‘71 squad will be recognized in ceremonies planned Tuesday, February 3 between games of a home basketball doubleheader vs. White County High.

Coached by TSSAA Hall of Famer Campbell Brandon, the Devilettes went 30-2, defeating Jackson Central-Merry 56-52 in the tournament finals — the only LHS team to date to capture a state title.

Team members included: Brenda Arnold, Pam Donald, Scheree McCathern, Debbie Winfree, Lynne Rousseau, Gail Barnes, Sherrie Lowe, Judy Hopkins, Lisa Campbell, Marsha Arnett, Susan Donnell, Debbie Grimes, Susan Angus, Mary Bradley, Margie Van Peterson, Donna Gallaher, Peggy Frost and Kathy Forkum.

Other inductees include three LHS graduates who starred in their respective sports.

They include: Claude "Buster" Jennings, Class of 1946. Jennings was the star running back for the only undefeated, untied team in LHS history under the direction of the late Coach Hoyal Johnson.

As a senior he played both ways, was voted All Mid-State, All-State and was second in the state in scoring. He was voted Best All Around at Lebanon High and went on to star at Carson-Newman where he started every game during his four-year college career. He is also a former member of the Wilson County Board of Education.

Bruce Skeen, Class of 1963. Skeen is considered by many as the best natural athlete to have ever worn the Blue and White.

Skeen starred on the football and baseball teams at LHS. He owns the TSSAA record for longest punt return (95 yards) and once picked off five passes in a single game. A two-time All Mid-State pick, he scored 19 TD’s in his career and averaged 18.9 yards per catch for Coach Clifton Tribble.

Signing with Alabama out of high school, he came back to Lebanon where he played centerfield for Cumberland Junior College. He was voted Dixie Conference Player of the Year.

Finishing his education at MTSU, he became an All-OVC outfielder for the Blue Raiders and team Most Valuable Player. He taught for 32 years, including stints under nine different head football coaches and 14-years as head baseball coach. Recent fans remember him for his 11-year run as play-by-play voice for LHS football and basketball broadcasts on local radio.

Danny Watkins, Class of 1973. Watkins was an All District and All Mid-State performer at tailback and linebacker for the Blue Devils under Coach David Petty.

He played in the TSSAA All-Star game and went on to have a distinguished football career at UT-Martin, starring at linebacker. Watkins was voted Gulf South Conference Player of the Year, was a three-time all-conference player and in 1976 was named to the Associated Press All-America team.

In 1977 he signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders. Also starring in track and basketball, Watkins was voted Most Talented as an LHS senior.

Members of the 1971 Devilettes are asked to e-mail confirm their participation in the Feb. 3 ceremonies.

Hall of Fame nominations may be made at any time. Just go online at complete guidelines and a nomination form.

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