Class of 2013
Anyone who attends East Limestone basketball games is sure to find Jerome Wagnon perched at center court. Wagnon has been a fixture in East Limestone sports for more than 60 years.
He began his affiliation with the East Limestone community as a youth league baseball player and is now one the most devoted supporters of the Indians sports programs. In between, the 2013 Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame inductee has given his all to the community in varying capacities including as an athlete, coach, youth league
director and support person.
Wagnon has lived in Limestone County all but two years of his life. He and his five siblings helped his dad farm. They worked in the fields picking cotton, chopping cotton, etc. “My family didn’t have a lot of money so I appreciate my Mama and Dad supporting me and giving me the opportunity to play sports,” said Wagnon.
Wagnon was an all-state performer in football and basketball at East Limestone High School. He was the starting quarterback on the Indians first football team and a prolific scorer for Coach Curtis “Bull” Nelson’s basketball teams. Wagnon averaged more than 30 points per game during his final three years. He was named Limestone County Most Valuable Player in basketball after his junior and senior seasons.
Former East Limestone basketball coach Jimmy Drake has seen many players come through the basketball program and says Wagnon is one of the top scorers in Indians history. “Jerome was a very good basketball player. He definitely could score. I would say that Jerome has to be one of the top two or three scorers in the history of the program,” said Drake, a 2004 LCSHOF inductee.
Wagnon once scored 50 points (in three quarters versus Falkville), 49 points (versus Priceville) and 49 points (versus Elkmont) in consecutive games. He scored 50 of the team’s 52 points in a game against Danville. “A lot of my scoring is due to fact I played with a good point guard named Johnny Burgreen. Johnny would find me when I was open and got me the basketball,” said Wagnon.
Wagnon says his fondest memory as an athlete at East Limestone was during the county basketball tournament against Athens. “Coach Nelson took me out to eat at H&H Barbeque before we were to play Athens that night. When we were leaving, we ran into Athens coach Brownie Nelson who was Coach Nelson’s brother. Now we already beat Athens twice that year but Brownie was adamant that they were going to beat us. I hit a shot near midcourt as time expired and we beat Athens by one point,” recalls Wagnon.
Once his playing days were complete, Wagnon became active in the East Limestone youth leagues. He began coaching summer league baseball in 1970 when his oldest son Keith was 7 years old. Wagnon continued coaching until his youngest son Brian was too old to play summer ball.
Wagnon served as president of the East Limestone Baseball Association for several years. During those years, he took the lead and with the help of a few members and their families, took on the task of building a new baseball field for the children. That field is now the varsity baseball field at East Limestone.
Limestone County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee was a high school teammate of Wagnon’s and says his contributions to the community went way beyond his playing days.
“I have known Jerome nearly all of my life. He was a competitor as a player. He was there to win and he was a very good athlete. Jerome’s work in the East Limestone community after he finished playing is just as impressive as what he did as a player. He really worked hard in the youth sports programs,” said Menefee.
Wagnon has followed Limestone County basketball since 1949 when his older brother played and has attended every county basketball tournament since that time. He also attends the district tournaments and state tournaments as well. “ I don’t care who is playing, I just love the game,” said Wagnon.
Wagnon says his life has revolved around sports.
“I’m thankful that I was blessed with athletic talent. Also, that my children and grandchildren are involved in athletics, so that lets me continue my love of sports through them. I have made many friends all over the county and state, most of them through sports. I am honored to be chosen to be inducted into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame,” said Wagnon.