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McKENZIE, Tenn. - Bethel University honored four former athletic greats and two contributors with inductions into the prestigious Bethel Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, October 20 in the Vera Low …
McKENZIE, Tenn. - Bethel University honored four former athletic greats and two contributors with inductions into the prestigious Bethel Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, October 20 in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment, Crisp Wing.
Prior to this year, eighty-five people and three teams had been enshrined into the hall. The 2008 National Championship soccer team was the first team to be inducted at the 2013 ceremonies. The 1970-1971 Men's Basketball Team was enshrined in 2016. The 1982 Men’s Basketball squad was inducted last year.
Here is a look at the 2018 Athletic Hall-of Fame Class:
Terrance Bell is a 2011 graduate of Bethel. He came to Bethel after graduating from Huntingdon High School in Huntingdon, Tennessee. He was an outstanding player for the Wildcats from 2004-2007. The second all-time leading rusher in Wildcat history with 3, 982 yards was a three-time all-conference performer for the Wildcats. He rushed for a career high 223 yards against Campbellsville in 2006. He is only one of six Wildcats to rush for 200 yards or more in a game. Bell scored 45 touchdowns in his career which is second most in Wildcat history. He and teammate Adrain Smith were one and two in the country in yards per carry two years in a row. He currently resides in Murfreesboro and is a physiotherapist. Former Bethel Coach Dino Kaklis said Bell and fellow Hall of Fame inductees Adrian Smith and Brent Dearmon were building blocks of the Bethel program.
Brent Dearmon is a 2008 graduate of Bethel. He is a graduate of Vigor High School in Prichard, Alabama and played four years at Bethel (03-06), where he re-wrote the school's record book en route to the school's first conference title, first playoff appearance, and first playoff victory. He remains the school's career and single-season record holder in passing yards and touchdowns He finished his Wildcat career with 7, 045 passing yards and 77 touchdowns. Dearmon spent time after college playing in the arena and indoor football leagues as a quarterback. He began his coaching career at his alma mater in 2007, where he served as a student assistant, coaching the defensive backs as the Cats posted an 11-2 record.
After Bethel Dearmon spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Vigor High School before taking the reins of the program at B.C. Rain High School for two seasons. Dearmon won a state championship at Vigor in 2008 as his offense averaged 36 points per game.
In his first year at Arkansas Tech, the Wonder Boys produced the biggest offensive turnaround in college football - including a 360% increase in rushing yards from the previous season. Tech's offense was the second-rated offense in the GAC, racking up 36.5 points and 458.8 yards per game.
Dearmon was on the staff at Auburn University in 2013 and 2014 and served as a Running Back Analyst and Wide Receiver Analyst.
Dearmon is the 11th head coach in Bethel football history.
Hollie Hudson McAfee is a graduate of Dyersburg High School and played for the Lady Wildcat women’s basketball program from 1992-1996. She graduated from Bethel in 1996. Her career records rank her 2nd all-time in points scored with 1,986. She remains second in career field goals made with 613. She is second in rebounds with 968, third in field goal percentage at 54.4 percent. Hudson McAfee was recruited by former Bethel coach and legend Buddy Wiggleton. She led the TCAC averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. In the 1994 season she led the Lady Cats to an upset over NAIA top five ranked Union University scoring 30 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the 104-98 overtime win at Baker Fieldhouse. She currently resides in Hernando, Mississippi.
Adrain Smith is originally from Jasper, Florida and attended Bethel from 2004-2007. He received his degree from Bethel in 2013. Smith’s name appears in the Bethel record book 39 times.
He remains the all-time leading rusher in program history with 5, 275 yards. He rushed for 66 touchdowns which remains No. 1 in Bethel history. Smith rushed for 200 yards or more in a game five times during his Wildcat career. He rushed for 150 yards or more 14 times in his career. Adrain was a three-time MSC All-Conference performer. He was a two-time NAIA All-American and the MSC-West Division Offensive Player of the Year during his tenure for the Wildcats. His career at Bethel is recognized as one of the greatest in NAIA Football history.
Ed and Demetra Perkins “Ed and Demetra are as much Bethel as the Purple and Gold or the Wildcat,” commented Bethel Director of Sports Information Dave McCulley. “Their love and support of Bethel and the athletic programs has been phenomenal.”
Ed has an interesting footnote concerning Bethel basketball. He holds the distinction of being the play-by-play announcer describing the aggressive defensive and smooth offensive skills of Dale Kelley when he was a prime force as a Wildcat. Perkins said, “It all started here Dale.”
Ed was an involved student at Bethel, serving as student body President before he graduated in 1961.
He went on to earn three additional degrees including a doctorate from the University of Kentucky. He then served as the clinical psychologist at the Paris Mental Health Center and wound up as a full-time faculty member at Bethel teaching psychology courses. He ultimately became Bethel’s Vice-President for Development. He is currently serving on Bethel’s Board of Trustees.
Ed worked his way through Bethel working at the local radio station which he later owned. He has also been active in several business pursuits in McKenzie, Carroll County and West Tennessee.
His unwavering support of Bethel Athletics has been strong and continuous since his days as a Bethel student.
Demetra’s love of basketball was cemented when she made the roster of the Gibson High team.
Her connection with Bethel basketball, however, started at age twelve when she came with her parents from Gibson to watch the Bethel men’s basketball team because her brother, Harold was the starting center for the Wildcats for four years. The colorful Coach Casey Vinson left quite an impression on a twelve year old.
When it came to college there was no doubt she was going to Bethel. She was elected “Miss Bethel”. She served as secretary to the student council before graduating in 1960.
Her first teaching job was at Cannon Elementary in Carroll County where she was also the girls’ basketball coach. Demetra said, “We will not discuss the won-loss record.”
Demetra later taught at McKenzie Elementary and was there 28 years.
She received her Master’s from Murray State and did additional graduate work at the University of Kentucky specializing in reading. She set up the remedial reading program at McKenzie Elementary. She later served as adjunct teacher working with student-teachers at Bethel for five years and at Union University for three years.
She sponsors a yearly dinner for the incoming Bethel Lady Wildcat basketball squad to show them the entire community is interested in them and supports them.
Ed and Demetra met at Bethel and have one daughter Dee Ann who is also a Bethel grad. They have one granddaughter, Drew.
Supporting Bethel has and continues to be a vital part of Demetra’s life.