- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
Saturday Morning Quarterback
Oct 14, 2012 12:00 am
Ms. Rushing should be honored on LHS volleyball gym
I made my long-awaited first entrance into the new Lebanon High School for the District 9-AAA volleyball final on Thursday.
A family conflict kept me from the July 15 open house. But I've been to the football facility a few times now and I know I'll soon be making numerous trips inside the long-overdue academic palace.
I saw the plaques outside the gym honoring legendary basketball coaches Campbell Brandon and Hester Gibbs as their names were transferred from the old school to the new.
Previously, I had seen the names of LHS football greats Clifton Tribble and Danny Watkins adorn the football scoreboard. Ditto for former longtime Blue Devil baseball coach Brent Foster on the field for that sport.
I've even caught a glimpse of the plaques outside the ticket booths leading to the outside sports complex for 1950s football legends Don Franklin and Robert Dedman.
All of those are well deserved. But let's not stop here.
I didn't get a chance to see Lebanon's new volleyball/wrestling gym. But if it's along the same design as Mt. Juliet's, I know it's a great facility.
It also doesn't have a name.
Lebanon wrestling, which I believe was established in the late 1960s, has never really taken hold. If the Blue Devils have been grappling for over 40 years, there's probably been around 30 coaches. Other than Jeff Lester's 1984 state championship and his later tenure as a coach, there aren't many names in that sport which stand out through history.
Volleyball has also seen its ups and downs since, I would guess, the mid-1970s. But there is one name associated with that sport who's remembered and loved by generations of LHS students, and not just volleyball players.
Betty Rushing came to LHS in the 1960s and served as freshman girls' basketball coach and was a fixture at the scorer's table writing down the points for the varsity games. When volleyball was started, she began the program and coached it for the better part of two decades. She also coached tennis for many years.
Through it all, she taught two generations of students in PE out of the small gym at the old LHS.
Her devotion to the school and her students/players was not forgotten.
When she retired in 1995, she was honored during the Region 4-AAA basketball tournament. Brandon presented her with a plaque and was given a standing ovation from Blue Devil Nation. Bill Cook took a classic photo which is still matted inside the old Democrat photo office showing her with her hands covering her face in shock.
I'm told she received quite a surprise the following morning when she retrieved her morning Democrat from her driveway and saw that picture.
Her players have honored her as well. Former tennis players David Howell and Carl Ragland, among others, established the annual Betty Rushing Tennis Clinic held each spring.
Ms. Rushing passed away a few years ago. But she'll never be forgotten by the students and players she came in contact with.
With the nine-decade history of LHS recognized throughout the new campus with some of the great names of Blue Devil history [not to mention the Terry Edwards Auditorium], it's only fitting the volleyball gym be named in memory of Betty Rushing.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 17; or by email at email@example.com