The Georgia Northwestern Athletic Department celebrated its 2016-2017 sports season this past Thursday night with its annual banquet on the school’s Gordon County campus and the night concluded with two more inductees into the Bobcat Athletic Hall of Fame.
Former volleyball player and coach Carrie (Hawkins) Powell and Rossville Athletic Center director Carthell Rogers both said they were surprised when they heard their names called by Bobcat Athletic Director David Stephenson.
Powell was a part of the first-ever volleyball team at the school in 2007, back when the school was simply called Northwestern Technical College and the sports teams still used the Mustangs logo and colors. In fact, Powell scored the first point in the history of the program in its first-ever match.
In 2011, she was hired by Oakwood Christian Academy of Chickamauga and guided the Lady Eagles to a conference championship. Stephenson and Georgia Northwestern came calling a year later and the Powell took over as the Lady Bobcats head volleyball coach in the summer of 2012.
“I had absolutely no idea it was coming, but it really means the world,” Powell said. “I couldn’t sum it up in words even if I tried. Coach Stephenson means the world to me, as does this school and this program.”
Powell coached the Lady Bobcats for the next five seasons. She stepped down following the conclusion of the 2016 campaign to focus on her family and a private business, which she owns. Amber Weaver, who assisted Powell for part of the 2016 season, has been hired to fill Powell’s shoes.
“I hope that when people see the future of this program and look back at its past that they can see my heart and soul, “Powell added,” because I truly poured both of them into this program and into each student-athlete I coached over the years.”
“Even when she played for us, Carries always wanted to learn more about college athletics and how it all worked,” Stephenson said. “And she always wanted to help. She’s a person who can always make you laugh or smile, even in the most serious of times.
“In my office, I have a quote that says ‘love your school, love your sport, love your players’. Carrie epitomizes all three of these very much and she certainly symbolizes what this honor is all about. She is a dear friend and it’s my privilege to be able to induct her into the Hall of Fame.”
Georgia Northwestern plays men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball at the Rossville Athletic Center, while the GNTC Cheer Cats also train and practice in the facility.
“I’m just totally shocked,” said the soft-spoken Rogers. “I didn’t know anything like this was going to happen tonight and I’m just really honored.”
Stephenson said he knows he can always count on Rogers, whom he called “a huge supporter of our college, community and student-athletes, as well as student-athletes of all ages everywhere.”
“A lot of people talking about doing things and helping, but for some people it’s just talk,” Stephenson added. “However, Carthell is a person will always do what he says and you can depend on it to happen. No matter what you are doing, he’ll always be right beside you.
“There are very few people you meet in life that you know you can always depend on because they’re just good people. Carthell is one of those few people.
“ I’m proud to call him a friend of mine and of our college and I’m proud to get to induct him in to the Georgia Northwestern Bobcat Hall of Fame.”