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Top local athletes honored
Hall of Fame inductees make positive contributions on and off fields
James Allen Brown - photo by Photo provided.

The ninth annual Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at Club Stewart on Fort Stewart. Tickets must be purchased in advance for $20 and will not be sold at the door the night of the banquet.

Those planning to attend the banquet should RSVP by Dec. 1 by calling 912-369-4572 or emailing
Meet the 2012 Hall of Fame inductees:

Vicki Verross Devine

Vicki Verross Devine played basketball at Bradwell Institute from 1969-73 and lettered in the sport all four years. She was the co-captain of the team in 1973, was voted MVP in 1973 and was the recipient of the Hokey Jackson Athletic Award after graduation. Devine was selected to the Class A all-state team in 1972 and was named the best offensive player that same year. Devine also made the Bradwell Christmas Tournament all-tournament team in 1970.

According to Devine’s resume, basketball was about the only sport available to women at BI before the passage of Title IX in 1972. During Devine’s senior year, BI added a girls’ tennis team, and she lettered in that sport for a year as well.

Devine was Bradwell’s salutatorian in 1973, a member of the Beta Club, a participant in the Governor’s Honors Program and a recipient of the University of Georgia Certificate of Merit.

At UGA, Devine played on the university’s first women’s basketball team after receiving one of the Lady Bulldogs’ first basketball scholarships. She played from 1973-75 and was the player liaison to the Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Council.

She was a member of UGA’s Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Science Honor Society and graduated with honors, earning a bachelor’s degree in geology. She earned a Master of Arts degree in geology from the University of Texas and a Master of Business Administration degree in finance at the University of Colorado.

After a successful college basketball career, Devine coached a recreation team and later coached eighth grade, freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams at Kent Denver School in Colorado.

In 1999, she participated in the Tara VanDerveer Basketball Shootout, where she was the Denver region and Colorado state champion in the 40-plus category.

Joe Nathan Stevens Sr.

Joe Nathan Stevens Sr. is a 1974 graduate of Bradwell Institute who excelled in football and track. Stevens played one season of basketball for BI but concentrated his skills and athleticism in football and track.

According to his resume, he was named Mr. Bradwell in 1974 based on his academic achievements and athletic talents.

On the track team, Stevens was a member of the undefeated 440 relay team that finished first in the subregion and region and later placed second at the state trials in 1974.

Stevens also competed and won events in the 100- and 200-yard dash, discus throw and shot put.

He captained the football team in 1974 and was voted best defensive player.

He also was selected to the 1973 all-state team by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Georgia High School Athletic Association.

Stevens received an athletic scholarship to attend Savannah State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1979.

Stevens served his country and had a stellar military career with the U.S. Army, earning the Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medals.

A retired police officer and investigator, Stevens served as an adjunct law-enforcement instructor at Central Texas College and the University of Maryland, European Campus, where he was recognized as instructor of the year in 1991 and regional instructor of the year in 1990 at each campus, respectively.

Stevens currently is employed with the Department of the Army as an anti-terrorism officer and physical security specialist at Fort Gordon.

James Allen Brown

In 1937 when Bradwell Institute formed its first football team, known then as the Lions, James Allen Brown was the team’s first quarterback.

It was his senior year and he played only one season, but his touchdown pass to receiver John Collins against Emanuel County Institute was BI’s first touchdown pass in the history books.

Brown, who had a deep passion for sports, also played basketball and ran track.

A notable sprinter, high jumper and pole vaulter, he helped the Bradwell track team earn a second-place finish at the state meet with only five participants.

After graduating from BI in 1937, he attended Georgia Teacher’s College, where he played one season of football.

As notable as Brown was on the field, many Liberty County residents remember him for his off-the-field contributions. Brown helped to form the Harvey Overton Bradwell Institute Booster Club, which provided a foundation for the school’s athletic programs.

He served as a personal advisor and confidant to Hokey Jackson and later Clifford Johnson, both known as legendary football coaches at BI.

As a loyal Bradwell football fan, Brown attended nearly every game until his death in 1987, watching three of his sons start at quarterback and one of his grandsons start for BI.

Brown also coached Little League baseball for several years and later served as a commissioner.

James Brown Park was named after him and was dedicated to his deep devotion to the community and his love of sports.

Brown also served in World War II, worked as a postmaster for more than 30 years and was the mayor of Hinesville for four years.

Charmaine Clark

Charmaine Clark lettered in basketball four times and in volleyball three times.

As the daughter of a military family, Clark moved nearly every two and a half years but managed to remain an honor student throughout high school.

Clark played her freshman and senior seasons of basketball at Bradwell, where she was named to the all-state first team and all-Coastal Empire first team.

She attended high school in Virginia during her sophomore and junior years, where she was named the district player of the year and made the all-district squad.

Clark graduated from BI in 2006 and earned a full scholarship to play basketball at the University of Miami.

During her freshman year, she played in all 30 games and registered 20 starts as a true freshman, including 13 of 14 ACC contests.

She was among six freshmen to rank among the ACC’s top-five freshmen in three or more statistical categories.

She averaged 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game and 8.3 points and 5.4 boards in ACC games.

Clark was named to the UM Thanksgiving All-Tournament Team.

Clark finished her career by playing in 35 games her senior year with 30 starts for a total of 1,029 minutes played, 144 rebounds, 104 assists, 15 blocks, 40 steals and 240 total points.

For her career, she is second in games played with 124 and tied for ninth in blocked shots.

After college, Clark played one season for Team Iceland of the European Women’s Basketball League. During that year, she averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks per game.

Clark is trying out for the U.S. Air Force women’s national team.

Jimmy Martin

Inducted into the Hall of Fame through the at-large category, Jimmy Martin has spent the majority of his life playing and developing sports programs within Liberty County.

As a child, Martin was guided into sports by his father, J. Don Martin, the late county sheriff and a fellow Hall of Fame inductee.
The younger Martin grew up playing multiple sports at the Liberty County Recreation Department and later attended Bradwell Institute, where he excelled in football and baseball.

After graduating from Bradwell, he enrolled in Georgia Southern College where he worked toward a degree in recreation.

With his recreation degree in hand, Martin started working for the Fort Stewart Recreation Department and quickly worked his way up the ranks, serving nearly 20 years with the Fort Stewart Recreation Department.

During the early 1990s, Martin coached his sons, Marty and Cole, in the Liberty County Recreation baseball league.

By the mid ’90s, he and Barney Maley had started one of the first travel baseball teams in the area, the Braves.

He also was actively involved with the Liberty County High School Booster Club through his boys’ high school careers.

In December 1996, Martin was hired as the LCRD director after Charles Shuman announced his retirement.

Martin continues to direct the LCRD and has worked tirelessly to expand all the sports programs.

He has overseen program expansions, the development of new programs and construction of new facilities. Program expansions included new programs for children as young as 4 and large increases in the number of participants in many existing programs.

Martin also introduced the following programs to the LCRD: youth and adult volleyball, flag football, tae kwon do, basketball, cheerleading, spring soccer, fall baseball, summer day camps, after-school programs, summer sports camps, swimming, disc golf, tennis, wrestling and adult fitness.

Martin oversaw the creation of several new athletic facilities as well as the renovation of more than a dozen other facilities.

He was named the Georgia Recreation & Parks Association District 2 distinguished professional in 2007, and Liberty County was named “the agency of the year in 2000.

Of the thousands of kids that came through his programs, hundreds went on to play high school sports, many went on to play collegiate sports and a few went on to very successful pro careers, including Shaquille O’Neal and Eric Zeier.

Throughout his career in recreation, Martin has strived to implement programs that provide opportunities for all participants to realize the benefits that come from recreation and sports competition. He also emphasizes good sportsmanship, integrity and fair play. He has provided leadership and infrastructure for successful sports and recreation programs in Liberty County for more than 30 years.

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