Scholarship $ honor late H of Fame coach, wife
Friends of the late Lendon and Charlotte Welch have responded enthusiastically with monetary donations in their memory — especially the Farragut High School athletic community.
However, the call remains strong for donations to Lendon and Charlotte Welch Memorial Scholarship Fund.
It’s the brainchild of LeAnn Welch Mowery and Mark Welch, children of the FHS Hall of Fame football and track and field coach/teacher and his wife, a highly respected elementary school teacher.
To be awarded during the school’s “Senior Awards” celebration Thursday, May 3, the scholarship [amount still to be determined] annually would recognize one FHS varsity football and one Admirals female or male track and field senior athlete, Mowery said.
She said the siblings decided each recipient “must be a student who has outstanding character, [have] at least a 2.5 [grade-point average], someone who has never been in trouble, never been suspended, and they had to be involved in their sport at least three years.”
“We’re trying to do this each year; hopefully we can keep this thing going for a long time,” Donald Dodgen, FHS athletic director, said about the scholarship.
“I think it’s a great thing to do, to honor Lendon and Charlotte both,” he added. “He’s like Lynn Sexton [FHS Hall of Fame basketball coach] and a lot of these guys: he is Farragut High School.
“They both are missed.”
In the days following the tragic boating-related accident in DeKalb County, Aug. 7, which took the lives of Lendon and Charlotte, “My brother and I felt like there would be a lot of contributions; but there’s not, in our opinion, a whole lot you could do with flowers,” Mowery said. “So we wanted to take people’s memorials and turn them into a contributory facet.
“So we chose St. Jude [Children’s Research Hospital] for mom and Farragut High School athletics for dad,” she added.
“It was almost an immediate response.”
With the donations for coach Welch, “We thought, ‘Hey, with this money we want to turn this into a scholarship,’ not only to memorialize them but give financial aid to deserving student-athletes,” Mowery said.
“I talked to [varsity football head coach] Eddie Courtney and athletic director Dodgen,” she added.
An assistant football coach at FHS from the late 1950s until the early 1990s, Welch “was asked to revitalize” the once-dormant Farragut track and field program, Mowery said.
“When he first started there as track coach, they didn’t even have a track. They would use the track at Webb and sometimes Bearden,” she added. “They had an asphalt track by the time he retired coaching track.”
Building on coach Welch’s revitalized foundation, the girls and boys track and field teams combined to earn eight TSSAA state championships from the early 1990s through 2000.
As for those “doing promotions on Facebook and other social media,” Mowery singled out praise for Natalie Sisk, FHS science teacher, along with Susie Horne and Rena Amerson.
“And I think the [FHS] administration has been supportive of that,” she added about principal Ryan Siebe, his assistant principals and Dodgen.
Scholarship recipients “are going to be chosen by the coaches,” Mowery said.
Recipients were to be chosen “in the next week or two,” Dodgen said late last week.
To donate, mail checks to:
Farragut High School
11237 Kingston Pike,
Knoxville, TN, 37934