Shannon J. Allen

Shannon J. Allen

My brother, Jeff, and I attended Roger Hibbs’ funeral service last Sunday at Whitesboro Baptist Church. The legendary Crossville football coach lost his battle with brain cancer March 3.

Alan Hallmark, who has served as Whitesboro’s pastor for 34 years, grew up with Coach Hibbs. They went to school together at Sardis, and Brother Alan shared memories of their lifelong friendship. He also played and sang a song about a coach and the life lessons he teaches that go beyond the game.

Gary Ashley was Coach Hibbs’ pastor at New Beginning Community Church in Gadsden. Brother Gary talked about Coach’s knowledge and understanding of the Holy Bible and the discussions they used to have about the Scriptures.

Brother Gary also shared some things he thought Coach Hibbs might say to those in attendance. The most important thing is he believes Roger would’ve told everyone to be sure they know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

Roger’s youngest brother, Whitt Hibbs, closed out the service. Whitt pastors Union Grove No. 1 Baptist Church in Albertville.

Whitt said Roger was like a daddy to him, because their father died when Whitt was very young. He shared how angry he was with their mother when they dropped Roger off at Jacksonville State to begin his Gamecock football career. Whitt was 6 when that happened.

Whitt praised Roger’s sons, Josh and Jake, for how well they cared for their dad during the final months of his life.

Following Brother Gary’s lead, Whitt said he believes Roger would’ve told everyone to follow God’s call on your life. Whitt revealed that God called Roger to preach when he was 12 years old, and he never answered the call.

After hearing Whitt’s message, I can’t help but think of the words from an old hymn:

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

“To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

Wayne Carr bled black and gold

If there was a Mount Rushmore for supporters of the Crossville schools and Crossville athletics, Wayne Carr’s face would be on there.

A 1954 CHS graduate, Wayne passed away Sunday, March 5 at his home. He was 87.

Mr. Carr was renowned for his love of Crossville. He bled black and gold all his life. If the Lions played football or basketball in China, I believe Mr. Carr would’ve been there to cheer them on.

He was the type of supporter every player and coach appreciates, because he was always positive. He always had an encouraging word, even in defeat or lean times for the Lions.

Anytime I covered a Crossville game, Mr. Carr made a point to find me, shake my hand and say, “Thank you for all you do for Crossville.” I’ll never forget him and his kindness.

Mr. Carr’s daughter, Mitzi Morelock, and I were classmates at Crossville. He was a friend of my late parents, and it hurts to see their generation passing away. Their generation made life better for all of us, for which I’m most thankful.

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