FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (3/97)
Contact Christopher Norris, 318-869-5092
SHREVEPORT--LA, Former Centenary Basketball star Cherokee "Chief" Rhone heads the list of six inductees into the Centenary Hall of Fame. Rhone is joined by former football greats Edward "Touchdown" Townson and James "Cotton" Barnes, as well as former hoopster and coach Lenny Fant, long-time booster Mike McCarthy, and women's cross-country pioneer Kathy Nester Bolton.
They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during ceremonies on March 15 at the Petroleum Club in Shreveport. There will be a reception at 6 p.m., followed by a banquet at 7 p.m. The cost of the tickets are $20 and can be arranged by calling (318) 869-5275.
Rhone ranks as one of the most outstanding basketball players to ever don a Centenary uniform. In just three seasons, Rhone amassed 1,255 points, 13th on the Gents all-time scoring list, and was twice named to the First Team All-Trans America Athletic Conference team. After a long career playing professional basketball overseas, Rhone returned to Centenary and earned his degree in 1996.
"Touchdown" Townson played football at Centenary from 1931-32 and again in 1934-35. The Gienmora, Louisiana native played a vital role in the Gent's undefeated season of 1932. Townson's 17 yard touchdown against Ole Miss gave the Gent's victory and capped that glorious 8-0-1 season.
"Cotton" Barnes attended Centenary from 1937-41 on an athletic scholarship after a stellar career at Vivian (LA) High School. He played both quarterback and running back for the Gents and was known for his bullet style passes. He was part of a stellar backfield that included Hall of Famer Weenie Bynum. Barnes was also a standout pitcher on the Gent's baseball team and went on to play professionally.
Lenny Fant played basketball at Centenary from 1946-49. In 1949, Fant led the Gents to a 21-16 record and a second place finish in the newly formed Gulf States Conference. He went on to coach basketball at East Texas Baptist, Louisiana College, and Northeast Louisiana, compiling a 388-253 record, including 18 consecutive winning seasons at NLU. His Indians' teams won eight conference or district titles and twelve tournament championships.
Mike McCathy has been a member of the Ladies and Gents Club for the past 25 years and has provided significant support. It was McCathy's support that enabled the Centenary Softball Complex to be built, made the expansion of the Gold Dome locker rooms a reality, and spear headed the renovation and expansion of the Centenary Soccer Field.
Kathy Nester Bolton is credited with pioneering the addition of women's cross country as a competitive sport at Centenary. She attended Centenary from 1978-82 and during her stay she was the first female runner ever to compete in a number of regional cross country meets. Bolton also competed in several marathons while a student, including a fourth place finish in the 1979 John F. Kennedy 50-mile Ultramarathon.