Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame holds annual banquet

Published 3:40 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

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The Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame inducted its 2023 class during the annual banquet held on Monday, February 13.

Four new members were inducted into the hall of fame: Todd Agee, Tom Causey, DaMarcus James, and Sidney Mines. Agee’s award was presented to him by Rusty Nichols, Causey’s award was presented to him by his daughters Anna and Kelsey Causey, DaMarcus James received his award from Tom Causey, and Mines received his award from his brother Roy Mines.

Demopolis Mayor Woody Collins opened the banquet with praises for Marengo County and the resources that make it as great as it is today.

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“Marengo County has been blessed for so many years with natural resources. We have our timber, our waterways, the chalk that’s kept the cement plant running for over 100 years,” said Collins. “But you know it wasn’t until this organization was actually formed that I realized what one of our greatest resources were; it is these kids and sports.”

Collins said it blows him away at how the MCSHOF continues to find inductees year after year.

“You would never think there were enough county-wide to form this organization. I am so proud of this group and what they have done with this organization,” said Collins.

Six awards, including the inductee awards, were presented during the banquet. The first award of the night was the Tre Jones Memorial Scholarship presented to Delayla Poellnitz of Marengo High School. The Tre Jones Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior from a school in Marengo County, and is selected by a committee appointed by the principal of the chosen school. Poellnitz was not in attendance due to being away at a basketball game, so her mother accepted the award on her behalf. The award was presented by Rodney Rowser.

Delayla Poellnitz was the 2023 recipient of the Tre Jones Memorial Scholarship. Poellnitz was unable to attend the banquet due being away at a basketball game. Her mother accepted the award from Rodney Rowser on her behalf. Photo by Andrea Burroughs

Rowser said that Poellnitz excelled in the classroom and in sports. She has been a member of the basketball and track team since she was in second grade.

The second award of the night was presented to the 2009 Demopolis High School Championship football team. Four members of that team were present at the banquet and the award was presented and accepted by Tammy Causey and Marengo County Superintendent Luke Hallmark.

“Football is a sport that requires a lot from a player. It is the only sport where games are played only once a week. What it takes to prepare and the level of play a player must meet to be successful isn’t matched in any other sport,” said Causey.

Causey said the regular season of 2009 wasn’t perfect. The playoffs that year was challenging,  but the players and coaches took it in stride and faced the bumps in the road.

Tammy Causey (right) accepted the Team of the Year award on the behalf of the 2009 Demopolis High School Championship Football team. The award was presented by Marengo County Superintendent Luke Hallmark (left). Photo by Andrea Burroughs

“Winning a state championship is an amazing accomplishment that can never be taken away. Many football players and coaches never win a state championship, let alone have the opportunity to play for one. That football season will always be one of our favorites,” said Causey.

The next first inductee award of the night went to Todd Agee and it was presented to him by Rusty Nichols.

“When I came to Demopolis High School in 1988, a skinny little kid caught my eye. And he won my heart. Todd always had that big smile on his face, and he had a firm handshake.  I noticed that he could take a round back and hit a round ball, turn a double play and even steal home,” said Nichols.

Agee played shortstop at Mobile college and eventually transferred to Livingston University (now University of West Alabama) and graduated from there in 1995. In the same year, he began his coaching career in Demopolis. Afterward, he became a coach at Hillcrest High School Tuscaloosa. In 2003, he was named head baseball coach at Hillcrest. Four years later, he led the Patriots to the class 6A State championship, beating Russell County in the final game 19-4.

Todd Agee (left) was inducted into the Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame on Monday, February 13. His award was presented to him by Rusty Nichols (right). Photo by Andrea Burroughs

After accepting his award, Agee thanked everyone who has supported him over the years, particularly his wife.

“I want to thank my wife because behind every great coach is a great wife. My wife has always been very supportive of me and has loved me unconditionally. She was a rock the whole nine years I was coaching,” said Agee.

The next award was presented to Tom Causey by his daughters Anna and Kelsey Causey. According to his daughter Anna, Causey has coached more than 300 games, has more than 150 wins and 104 losses under his belt, and almost 30 years of coaching experience.

“To some, those numbers are just stats to a coach or a name. But to us, those are our lives,” said Anna Causey. “As we got older, we started to notice and understand how much of the impact our dad truly had, not only on the game of football and the young men he coached, but how much football and those men impacted us as well.”

Tom Causey (right) was inducted into the Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame on Monday, February 13. His daughters Anna and Kelsey Causey presented his award to him. Photo by Andrea Burroughs

Upon accepting his award, Tom Causey said he was honored and humbled to receive the award. He also spoke on how his parents shaped him into who he is today.

“There’s a lot of really good players, a lot of really good coaches who are the reason I’m standing up here tonight. This is an unbelievable, unbelievably humbling experience and I’m grateful for it,” said Causey. “My dad showed me what service looked like. He did three tours in Korea and two in Vietnam. They showed me what honesty looks like. They showed me what service looks like, to serve your fellow man. They taught me that serving is the greatest honor you could ever achieve. Every day I live my life to honor and make them proud.”

DaMarcus James received his award next from Tom Causey. Causey had nothing but praise for James and listed several attributes that made him a great player when he was a DHS athlete. Causey said that he was selfless, fearless, confident, hard-working, had high character, and made his teammates better simply by being present.

“He never put himself first. He had opportunities for all kinds of records and it never crossed his mind. He just went to work every day. He was always about the team,” said Causey.

DaMarcus “Coot” James (left) was one of four members inducted into the Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame on Monday, February 13. His award was presented to him Tom Causey (right). Photo by Andrea Burroughs

James played tailback on the Demopolis High School football team from 2006-2009. He had an incredible high school career for the Tigers as he rushed for 1,100 yards, under Coach Doug Goodwin (MCSHOF 2022) as a freshman and followed that as a sophomore under Coach Tom Causey (MCSHOF 2023) by rushing for 1,652 yards and 23 touchdowns in addition to making two touchdown catches.

His junior year produced an amazing 2,523 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. For all of the success he had in football, his senior year would be something special. While rushing for 1,600 yards, he led the Demopolis Tigers to the 2009 5A State Championship over Russellville 27-14. In the state championship game, James set the Super Six State Records for Most Rushing Yards with 293 and Most Rushing Attempts with 42. His achievements were recognized by being named to the 2009 Super 12, he was awarded the 2009 5A Back of the Year, he was selected 2009 All Southern and was the 2009 Runner-Up for the Mr. Football Award. In addition, he was also selected to play in the 2010 AL-MS All Star Game.

The last award was presented to Sidney Mines by his brother Roy Mines. Mines began his athletic career playing basketball at Amelia Love (A. L.) Johnson High School in Thomaston where he played for coach Frankie Griffin. After high school he walked on and played two years 1976-78 at Alabama Lutheran Junior College in Selma. He chose to continue his college career from 1978- 80 at Concordia University at Seward, Nebraska. While playing for the Bulldogs he earned NAIA All-District honors and was named his teams’ MVP.

Sidney Mines was inducted into the Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame alongside three other inductees on Monday, February 13. Pictured is Mines (right) and his brother Roy Mines who presented his award to him. Photo by Andrea Burroughs

“To all the inductees, past hall of fame inductees, and the hall of fame committee, I really appreciate you for choosing me for this award. This is more to me than just an award,” said Mines. “It’s an opportunity that I got to bring my whole family together for this award. This award has given me another opportunity to help others have more information, more insight on what this award can do to help others achieve their goals.”

The emcee for this year’s banquet was Kenny Freeman, the invocation was provided by Reverend Frank Stiff, and dinner was provided by A Slab and More.

Sponsors for the 2023 Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame were Two Rivers Lumber Company, Fyzical, Loyd and Dinning, Papa’s Foods, Sweet Water State Bank, Trustmark, State Farm, Parr’s Chevron, Naheola Credit Union, and Robertson Banking Company.