Area tournament renamed after former superintendent

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Officials of an area basketball tournament have decided to honor the efforts

of a former school superintendent and his career, by naming their tournament

after him.

It was announced this week that the Tri-County Tournament will be now known

as the Gerald Jennings Holiday Tournament, to honor Jennings and his career

in education in Northeast Arkansas. Jennings, who served in administration

at the former Caraway School District, Riverside and East Poinsett County

for almost 30 years, was an important part in helping to create the

tournament, which originally started with schools in three Arkansas

counties, Craighead, Mississippi and Poinsett Counties. The tournament now

has schools in five counties who participate and four divisions, in junior

boys and girls, as well as senior boys and girls.

Jennings started as Superintendent at Caraway School District in 1975, later

becoming Superintendent of the Riverside School District, when both Caraway

and Lake City consolidated in 1985. While at Riverside, Jennings worked with

others to help create the Tri-County Tournament, which is rotated every year

and is hosted by a participating school. After several years at Riverside,

Jennings replaced Bill Craig in 1993 and became the third superintendent in

the history of East Poinsett County. Jennings retired this past year as

Superintendent at EPC and was replaced by former High School Principal

Mickey Pierce. Pierce told the Tri-City Tribune Monday that naming the

tournament after Jennings was "indeed an honor." Riverside boys basketball

coach Buster Campbell told the Tri-City Tribune Monday that the naming of

the tournament after Jennings helped to honor his work with the tournament.

Campbell said, "It was nice to do, because he was one of those who helped to

start it. Mr. Jennings is one of those people who never say a bad thing

about anyone."

When reached for comment Monday afternoon, Jennings, who has been in bad

health, told the Tri-City Tribune that he was touched by the honor. Jennings

said, "It's an honor. It is a nice tribute and I am proud that they even

considered me for the honor."

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