Cherokee Sports Hall reveals ’14 class
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
February 13, 2014 04:01 AM | 1756 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame inducts its 12th class in early May, it will be one of the smallest in the history of the organization.

However, what it lacks in quantity it certainly has in quality.

The members of the 2014 class are Helen Dawson, Ellen Dawson Ewers and John Winkler.

Scott Webb, vice-chairman of the hall, said it is one fewer than was inducted last year.

“It’s one different than last year, but it’s a strong class,” Webb said. “That’s just what came out through our voting process and nomination process.”

Webb said the hall has stepped up its nomination process and tried to raise awareness in the community about the existence of the hall of fame and the process for nominating an inductee. Webb hopes that it leads to a larger pool of candidates in the future.

“We know there are a lot of folks that have played and have contributed to sports in Cherokee County that we don’t know about yet, so we have ideas of meeting with current athletic directors and making announcements at football and basketball games,” Webb said. “We are putting it in sports programs and doing everything we can to get the work out.”

When Dawson and Ewers are inducted, it will be just the latest in lifetime of things the twin sisters have done together. Webb confirmed they will be the only twins in the hall of fame.

Both women played basketball at Cherokee High School from 1971-75, where they each won three letters and were named all-region and all-state in 1973-74 and 1974-75. Dawson and Ewers were a part of the 1972-73 state championship team and were co-MVPs of the team in 1974-75. They were both starters on the teams that won 107 consecutive home games.

Still, there are things that set them apart from each other.

Dawson received a scholarship to play at Gainesville Junior College, where she was named all-state during the 1976-77 and 1977-’8 seasons. She was a member of the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association State Championship and national tournament team in 1976-1977.

Following college, Dawson returned to Cherokee High School, where she started the softball program and coached from 1981-84, compiling a 52-3 record.

Winkler, who said he didn’t know that Cherokee County had a sports hall of fame until he was contacted about this induction, wrestled at Etowah from 1984-88, winning four letters and qualifying for state four times.

Winkler said he was nominated by Bob Eddy, a longtime wrestling coach and educator in the county, and a Hall of Fame inductee himself.

Upon learning of the hall, Winkler went online and did some research.

“Wrestling is a sport that doesn’t always get a lot of recognition, so it means a lot to get recognized,” Winkler said. “After I found out I was being inducted, I went and looked at the website and saw some classmates and other wrestling teammates and other guys I knew on the list. It was pretty neat.”

Winkler was a two-time region champion (1987-88) and two-time state champion (1986 and ’88). With a career record of 110-11, he became the first Etowah wrestler to win 100 matches.

Banners that bear Winkler’s name hang in the Etowah gym, proclaiming him as the county’s first two-time state champion and first three-time state finalist.

At the time of his graduation, he held Etowah’s career records in wins, team points, takedowns and pins. Winkler also became the first Etowah wrestler to sign a college scholarship when he accepted an offer from Carson-Newman.

While teams are not inducted into the hall, the 1972 Cherokee football team, which went a perfect 10-0, will also be recognized at the May 2 banquet, along with the top senior male and female athletes from each of the county’s six high schools.

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