TriCounty Community Guide 50 Greatest Sports Figures in the Tri-County - Page 17

Travis Allen Freeman Freeman Dr. Travis A. Freeman is a 1999 graduate of Corbin High School, where he was a top 10 student and four-year letterman for the Redhound football team. After losing his sight at the age of 12 due to a severe infection, Travis played backup center for the Redhounds from 1995-1998, as “America’s First Blind Football Player”. In 1999, the National High School Athletic Hall of Fame awarded Travis the fi rst annual Travis Freeman Achievement Award, recognizing his achievements on the football fi eld. After high school, Freeman attended the University of Kentucky, where he served as a football equipment manager and president of the “Fellowship of Christian Athletes”. In 2003, Freeman graduated from UK with a B.B.A. degree in Business Management. From UK, he went on to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree and Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Freeman teaches in the Missions and Ministry Department at University of the Cumberlands. He also serves as President and CEO of The Freeman Foundation, a non-profi t organization, dedicated to promoting the truth that, “disability does not equal inability”. Freeman and his wife, Stephanie, were married on July 25, 2015. The major motion picture 23 BLAST, a feature fi lm “loosely based” on Travis as a blind high school football player, was released in theaters on Oct. 24, 2014, and is now available on DVD. Also, the book ‘Lights Out’: Living in a Sightless World was released in Oct. 2014. Lights Out is the complete story of Travis Freeman that inspired 23 BLAST. Emily Gaines Gaines As a high schooler at South Laurel, Emily Gaines hit safely in 52 consecutive games, a streak that stretched from her junior season through the state playoff s her senior season. Only former University of Alabama All-American Kayla Braud is credited with a longer prep streak (an almost inconceivable 103 games). During her illustrious career at South Laurel which spanned from 2006 through 2010, Gaines set many school and state records. She holds the school records for career hits (349), hits in a season (83), career runs (241), career RBI (200), most RBI in a season (63), career doubles (104), season doubles (27), career home runs (24), home runs in a season (17), and most career wins as a pitcher (66). In 2010, Gaines was named to the fi rst team Academic All State, fi rst team All-State, Miss Kentucky Softball, Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year and was a member of the Kentucky All-Stars who faced Tennessee and the East All Stars for the East-West game. She also made the East All-Stars as a junior. Her 52 game hitting streak is the longest in the state and second in the nation, and as a senior at South Laurel, she batted .634, hit 17 home runs, had 27 doubles and scored 54 runs. Gaines holds the state records in career hits (349), hits in a season (83) and career doubles (104). After high school Gaines signed with the University of Kentucky, where she played all four years, turning in her best season as a senior when she hit seven home runs and drove in 36 runs. In 2015 she was elected into the Kentucky Prep Softball Hall of Fame. 50 GREATEST SPORTS FIGURES | 17