January 11, 2018
By: Dwayne Page
DeKalb County High School has set the dates for honoring two former local basketball legends.
During Thursday night’s regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education, DCHS Principal Randy Jennings said that the jersey number of the late Rosa Stokes will be retired between the boys and girls games on Friday, January 19 when DCHS hosts Watertown and that Jerry Foster’s number will be retired between the boys and girls games on Friday, January 26 when DeKalb County hosts Cannon County.
“We have reached out to family and teammates of theirs and we anticipate a big crowd on those nights,” said Principal Jennings.
Last month the Board of Education granted a request from the DCHS basketball program to retire the jersey of Foster. Board member Jerry Wayne Johnson asked that the jersey of Stokes also be retired. The board requested that the ceremonies be held on different nights of basketball at DCHS.
Foster was a basketball star for DeKalb County during the 1970’s and went on to shine as a college and professional athlete. He graduated from DCHS in 1976. After his playing days, Foster became a teacher and high school coach. Foster was head coach of the DCHS Lady Tiger basketball program from the 1993-94 season to 1999-2000. He is now a teacher at Northside Elementary School.
Coach Foster was recently diagnosed with cancer and is being treated.
Stokes was a star athlete for the DCHS Lady Tigers (Tigerettes as they were known then) during early 1980’s. She graduated from DCHS in 1983 and then played collegiate basketball at Cumberland University in Lebanon (1984-89) scoring more than 1,000 points. Stokes was a graduate assistant at the University of Louisville during the 1989-90 season and Murray State University in 1988-89. From 1990-92, she was the assistant coach at Tennessee Tech University. Stokes came to Georgia Southwestern State University as coach after a five-year run with Long Beach State University in which the last two were as the associate head coach. Previously, she served two years with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga as assistant coach.
Meanwhile, DeKalb Middle School Principal Amanda Dakas reported to the Board that last Saturday’s “Battle on the Hill” benefit basketball games between DeKalb Middle School and DeKalb West School raised $5,000 for Coach Foster.
Dakas said she had spoken to Coach Foster prior to the Board meeting. “He said that he was so very humbled and appreciative for the way our community came together (for him) and that the $5,000 raised will cover a large portion of his treatment expenses. He is humbled by the love and support and he wants to thank everyone. He is home and although he can’t have any visitors at the moment, he wanted me to say that things are looking up for him and to ask everyone to please continue to pray for him,” said Principal Dakas.
In other business, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps gave a brief report on personnel moves since last month. Two employees have been granted a leave of absence, Robbie Frazier and Melinda Lattimore at Northside Elementary School.
Principal Jennings mentioned that two more students, Holly Evans and Hannah McBride, both sophomores, have been added to the 29 + club at DCHS after taking the ACT exam in December and earning a 29 or above.
Director Cripps also announced that Tennessee School Board Appreciation Week is coming up January 21-27.
“I would like to thank you (school board members) for your support of me and for our students, our faculty, staff, school bus transportation and drivers, and our aides. Thank you for the time you give outside of our meetings in which you have to answer calls and things of that nature. I appreciate the work that you do,” said Director Cripps.