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Brown, Ruehling to be inducted in Hall of Fame

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 11:50 am

SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Jody Hargis
Lewis “Bear” Brown
Lewis “Bear” Brown is a 2019 inductee into the GCHS Sports Hall of Fame. Lewis played football from 1952 – 1954, and is a 1955 graduate of Grundy County High School.
Lewis said, “My football career began on a shaky start after getting my uniform as a freshman in 1951, I practiced about two weeks and quit. The next spring Coach Horace Moore wanted me to try again, so I did and made the team.”
Lewis played left tackle his sophomore year of 1952, weighing 165 lbs. The Jackets had a record of four wins and five losses on the year. The team finished second in the Tennessee Valley Conference (TVC).
He played right guard during his junior year of 1953. The team finished with a 6 – 3 – 1 record that season and the TVC championship.
“The highlight of the season was our win over Franklin County 32 – 20, which was the first time Grundy County had ever beaten Franklin County,” said Brown.
During his senior year of 1954, he played right guard as he had the previous year. The team went 7 – 2.
Lewis commented, “Our best game of the year was a 46 – 7 win over Marion County and also holding their fullback, Joe Cash, to no yards gained that night!
“Coach Williamson from the University of the South came to the high school and told me if I would come down and make the team he would help me get a scholastic scholarship that would pay all expenses. I didn’t take the offer, instead I decided to go to work.
“My nickname ‘Bear’ came about when I played on a sophomore/junior FFA basketball team as one of my teammates, Sam Henley, commented that my long hair, at that time, I looked like a little bear running down the court. We beat the high school team and that put an end to the FFA team.”
Lewis began working at a sawmill the age of 12 during the summer. He then worked full time after high school at the sawmill until 1960. He took a job loading chickens until 1966. He drove an EXXON fuel truck until 1972, after that and then did carpenter work until 1976. He then managed Greeter Lumber Company until 1992, when he started his family business at L & L Mart.
Lewis has been married to Lena Mae Sweeton Brown for 60 years. They have three children, five grandchildren, and eight great – grandchildren, with seven of those now attending Grundy County Schools.
Congratulations, to Mr. Lewis “Bear” Brown, for his induction into the class of 2019.
Amanda Ruehling
Amanda is a 1998 graduate of Grundy County High School and a member of the Lady Jacket state basketball championship team of 1998.
Amanda began her basketball career as a third grader at Pelham Elementary School when she got to play in her first game. She later played at Coffee County Middle School where she led her team in scoring and made both all-tournament and all-conference teams in her three years there. She was MVP for her team in her last two years. Amanda praised her middle school coach, Brad Brown, for inspiring her to work hard in basketball.
“He always challenged me and insisted basketball could take me far in life and he was right,” she commented.
After playing at Coffee County High School as a freshman and sophomore, Amanda transferred to Grundy County where she played out her high school career for the Lady Jackets. She made all-district and all-tournament teams during her junior and senior years. She was selected to the state tournament all-tournament team during the team’s championship run in her senior year.
Amanda was named by the AP Sportswriters as Honorable Mention All-State her senior year.
Amanda says, “I want to thank Ricky Richards, Russell Fugate, the late Duper Ladd, my teammates, our scorekeeper, managers, bus drivers, and fans, because every one of them played a part in winning the state championship.”
Amanda played college basketball at Okaloosa – Walton Community College in Florida. She later played Division 1 basketball at Jacksonville State in Alabama. She held the highest three point percentage at Okaloosa – Walton Community College for many years.
Amanda wanted to thank her family for being her biggest supporters throughout her basketball journey. She elaborated, “Bobby and Sheila Gallagher would drive my grandparents, Benton and Cleora Gallagher, and my dad, Jerry Gallagher, to all my high school games and the majority of my college games. I would call my dad right after the games that he wasn’t able to make, because he always wanted me to do well for him, whether it was in basketball or life and I didn’t want to disappoint him. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today and Dad, I want to thank you!”
Amanda is married to Jamie Ruehling, who she says “is the greatest husband in the world and is one of the best athletes to grow up in Grundy County and deserves this honor more than me and is my rock and couldn’t imagine my life without him.”
They have three children, Jaden (16), Jalie (14), and Jeter (10).
She added, “I can only hope to challenge and motivate my children as much as my family, past coaches, and many of you, have helped me. I owe all my success in basketball to all of you for always being there for me and I will be forever grateful.”
Amanda is very honored to be included in the 2019 class of the GCHS Sports Hall of Fame and we congratulate her on the deserving honor!