published Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Layne and Fanning to get Hall lifetime honors

Kristen Vredeveld seems just to be taking off with her athletic career, while Joel Bradford just finished an outstanding college football career and now can decide where else his abilities and interests in sports take him.

Then there are Tommy Layne and Rita Fanning, two who have been excelling on the sidelines for decades.

Fanning is getting the Betty Probasco Award and Layne will receive the Walt Lauter Award, both for lifetime achievement, at this year's Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame banquet on Feb. 27 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

The banquet costs $35, and tickets are available through Hall of Fame president John Farr at 875-9282.

Vredeveld, a Baylor School junior swimmer already getting international experience, will be honored as the female athlete of the year. Bradford, a former star football player for McCallie School and now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, is the organization's male athlete of the year.

The Morgan-Morris Award for inspirational achievement is going to two recipients this year, similarly a contrast in ages. They are Carson-Newman College athletic director David Barger from Red Bank and the late Kainen Boring from Pikeville, a 17-year-old Bledsoe County football player who died during the 2011 football season as a result of a condition called arteriovenous malformation.

Not only did Boring continue to live on through organ donations to five people, but teammates, other friends and even opponents repeatedly said how much his life affected theirs.

Barger was diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy when he was 8 years old, but he turned his love of sports and constructive efforts into working as a manager and trainer for the Red Bank track and football teams and was vice president of his 1966 class. He was an athletic trainer for several Carson-Newman sports and then built a career in banking in Chattanooga and Morristown while staying involved in alumni activities at the Jefferson City school.

He returned to Carson-Newman as athletic promotions director in 1980 and became the AD in 1990.

Layne had over 400 victories as basketball coach at Whitwell High School -- directing the boys from 1969 to '92 and the girls from '72 to '74 -- and started the baseball program and helped with softball there. He had 15 boys' basketball seasons with 20-plus wins and made three sub-state appearances with one state tournament, and each of his three girls' teams had more than 20 wins.

He then went into administration and has been Sequatchie County's principal since 1995 and a TSSAA Board of Control member since 2000. He's on the board of directors of the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association.

Fanning considers herself a support person instead of an athlete or coach, but she has been a heavy hitter in her many roles. As the first female president of the Chattanooga Track Club (1991-93), she was instrumental in reviving the city's inaugural triathlon, which now has moved from the Chickamauga Dam area and grown in the downtown waterfront.

She has been a race director for numerous events, including the mammoth Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and an official at track and field events, including with Spring Fling, and she was part of the planning committee for the Southeastern Conference women's basketball tournament when it was held in Chattanooga.

Bradford was a third-team All-American as a UTC junior, when he set the Mocs' single-season record of 1,284 receiving yards and had an all-purpose yards average of 123.9 per game. He played two years as a receiver after beginning his college career as a defensive back and totaled 132 pass receptions for 1.944 yards as a junior and senior. He also punted as a senior, averaging 39.1 yards per punt.

Vredeveld was part of the Baylor girls' program honored as No. 1 in the country last year by Swimming World magazine, and set Tennessee high school records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events at the 2011 state tournament. She also won the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles with meet records at the NCSA Junior National Championships in Orlando, Fla., last March, and was ranked No. 1 in the United States among 15-16-year-old female swimmers.

She represented the U.S. in the FINA World Juniors in Peru in August and finished fourth in the 50-meter freestyle with the best Southeastern Swimming time ever for her age group. She led off the winning 4x100 free relay in Peru and has qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials this year in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyles.

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