At Friday night's home baseball game, three community leaders were awarded recogition as "True Blue Recipients." As defined by Athletic Director Brad Embry, to be recognized as “True Blue “ means to have gone above and beyond the call for the betterment of the Water Valley School District and its Athletic Department.
This year's recipients were Lowell Edwards, Binnie Turnage and Lincoln Shields. Coach Shields daughter, Suzette Ware accepted the award on his behalf.
Lowell Edwards, a 1968 graduate of Water Valley High School, has been instrumental in the building of the Blue Devil Baseball team over the past years serving as Booster Club President numerous times. He also served as Booster Club President for Football and was a member of the Chain Gang for 20+ years.
He recently retired from Borg Warner after 42 years of service and continues to follow the Blue Devils at home and the road. Lowell stated, “I will always bleed Blue and White.”
Binnie Turnage describes himself as a “Blue Devil.” He played football in the mid 50’s and had the opportunity to keep football statistics for 40 years, 1959-1999. He has watched Blue Devil sports for 70+ years and has been a part of the sports programs serving as Booster Club President and a member of the District School Board for six years. He feels most honored to have watch the football team win 2 state championships.
Mr. Turnage grew up in Water Valley and services the town as their local pharmacist at Turnage Drug Store, where he’s scooped ice cream for many Blue Devils over the years. Mr. Turage states “We have the privilege to serve the Lord and the people of Water Valley and going on Mission Trips to Nicaragua to share the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Lincoln Shields, Jr., a native of Noxapater, in Winston County, MS, came to Water Valley in 1965 as the 8th grade Science Teacher and the High School Basketball Coach at Davidson High School. During that first year, Coach Shields won the Big 12 Conference. The following year, 1966, Coach Shields won the State Championship game between Water Valley and Murphy High School, of Carthage, MS. Water Valley Schools integrated in 1970 and therefore, Davidson High School merged into Water Valley Junior High School and Water Valley High School. Three teachers from Davidson High School who were added to Water Valley School staff were Mr. Percy Haywood, Mr. Butler McLeod and Coach Lincoln Shields, Jr. Coach Shields and his 8th grade class won the Science Fair at Delta State University in the last year it was held there.
Coach Shields was known for his impact with his students down throughout the years. When students would come back to Water Valley, they would come visit Coach and Mrs. Shields and family at their home. Those visits were always full of reminiscing and laughter, and declarations that when he used the paddle on them, it made an impact which made them reach higher goals than if he had not punished them - he was well known for that discipline.
Thank you to these recipients for the continuing impact on the Water Valley School District and the Athletic Program.