The Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame will hold induction ceremonies for the Class of 2022 at 6:00pm this Saturday, October 1st in the Family Life Center of the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro.
Enterring the hallowed hall will be Ted Reeves and Greg Harrell, who prepped at Jonesboro-Hodge High School, Mark Hale and Ashley Butler McCoy from Weston High and Derickal Saulsberry from the now defunct, Chatham High School.
Also being recognized are Carrell Dowies and Jimmie Davis who will be honored with the Outstanding Acheivement Award. Although serving in different generations, the pair was identical in their ability to reach athletes in their care. Both were not only adept in teaching their players the correct way to play sports but how to conduct themselves while doing so.
As a testament to each, scores of players and students at JHHS during their tenures profusely proclaim how instrumental Dowies and Davis was in assisting with the develop their character. Many also state that they wouldn’t have become the adults they are were it not for the values instilled in them by their beloved coach.
Both had tenures as head coaches in football, but it is primarily during their time as assistant coaches that they are remembered best for. As happens often, it is the assistant who spends most of the time in one-on-one conversations with a player. The good assitant becomees an ally, a friend and a mentor. The great ones, like Davis and Dowies also become a guiding force through not only what they say but the examples they set with how they live.
Carrell G Dowies, Jr., was raised in Homer, LA. He graduated from Homer High School, and upon graduation from high school traveled to Louisiana Tech on a full football scholarship. In 1949 he received his bachelor’s degree in education.
He began his coaching career at Jonesboro/Hodge in 1950, before being called into the armed services for the years of 1952-53. After serving his country, Dowies came back to JHHS where he stayed until 1956. Upon his return Dowies initiated an Eighth Grade Basketball program and was part of the coaching staff for both basketball and track State Championship teams, He was a firm believer in teaching the game of basketball to younger boys to prepare them for their high school days and teaching the game of life to his varsity player to prepare them for adulthood. While in Jonesboro, he married Harriett Michaud, formerly from Hodge.
Jimmie Marvin Davis Sr. graduated from Monticello High School in Mississippi before playing for four years at Alcorn State University. In 1974 the 6’5″ 250 lb. lineman was drafted by the Detroit Lions. An imposing figure on the gridiron in 1979 the students, faculty and staff at Jonesboro-Hodge grew to know him as a “gentle giant” who had a heart of gold. For 16 years, the last two as head coach of the JHHS football team, Davis provided his unique form of leadership, friendship and mentorship to countless numbers who played under him.
It was during his tenure that the Tigers completed the iconic “three peat”, winning three straight state championships in football. Countless additional deep runs in the playoffs were made in other sports as well, all of which Davis contributed to. Current JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship perhaps said it best when he recently described what Coach Davis meant to him and many others who played under him.
“He was a great coach but an even better man,” recalled Blankenship. “No player ever had a better friend and mentor. I can’t tell you how many young boys he helped be the person they are today, including me.”
While his devotion to his players and Jonesboro-Hodge High School was unrivaled it fails in comparision to his dedication to his family and the Lord. Davis not only “talked the talk” but “walked the walk” as well.
Dowies and Davis were two great gentlemen from two totally different eras. Regardless, the lessons of life that each taught, the love and friendship they extended and the character they portrayed, will forever be remembered and heralded for generations to come by the ones they touched.
While both are no longer with us, because of the impact both of the men made on their players, the lessons they taught are certain to be passed on from generation to generation of descendants. Greatness never dies…….
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