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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Updating the 1963 Football Season

The 1963 Class AA football season started on September 6th with victories for the Dulles Vikings and Rockwall Yellow Jackets.  Dulles defeated Bellville 12-0 in a defensive struggle, and Rockwall waltzed past Wilmer-Hutchins 20-0.
September 13, 1963 - Week 2
Week 2 saw Dulles facing the Alvin Yellow Jackets (a AAA school) and Rockwall going against Lake Highlands.
The Viking's offense struggled against Alvin (note Scarcella's article in The Mirror), but they pulled out a 13-6 win in Sugar Land.
Houston Post Post-Game Article.
Fort Bend Mirror Photo.
Fort Bend Mirror by Leonard Scarcella.
Rockwall suffered its first and only loss of the season to Lake Highlands.  Here's the brief post-game report that appeared in The Dallas Morning News.
I thought I'd provide some additional color for old Vikings.  The first is a short article by school principal, Frank Fisher.  It appeared in The Viking Shield, the school paper which was published as a full-page feature in The Fort Bend Mirror on Thursdays.  The second article is a game report on the freshman football team.  (I think the dates are incorrect in the article -- at least I couldn't figure them out.)

September 20, 1963 - Week 3
The next Friday night matched the Vikings against Dickinson, another AAA team.  The following pre-game article appeared in The Houston Chronicle.
In fact, the Vikings had an easy victory over the Gators, winning 27-6 in Sugar Land.

Rockwall beat Lancaster on the same evening, but The Dallas Morning News headline makes it seem like an upset victory.
Here are a few more nuggets from that week's Viking Shield.  Sounds like the Vikette sponsors wanted to clamp down on the wild women in the pep squad.  I guess they demonstrated too much pep.
Actually, this article appeared in an earlier edition of The Viking Shield.

September 27, 1963 - Week 4
We're almost caught up with the '63 season.  Dulles faced a rugged Katy team, but Sam Carver, sports reporter for The Viking Shield, was optimistic.
The professional pundits (viz., Leonard Scarcella of The Mirror) were a little more circumspect.
Unfortunately, Sam was too optimistic as the Vikings fell to the Tigers in Sugar Land.

Rockwall on the other hand maintained their winning ways with an easy victory over Spruce.
Next week the Vikings face Ganado while the Yellow Jackets go toe-to-toe with Seagoville.

Sugar Land Gator Football in 1953

My last post covered the Gators' opening win over the Katy Tigers on September 14, 1953.  You may recall that Ralph McCord, former star player at SLHS in the early 1940s and 1st cousin of Gator head coach Chuzzy Jenkins, led the Katy team.  Didn't matter because Sugar Land rolled to an easy 40-14 win.

Next on the schedule was arch rival, Missouri City, who had defeated the Gators 12-0 in the previous year.  It was the only loss Sugar Land suffered in their long winning streak during the early 1950s.  Kenneth Hall didn't play in that game due to an injury, but that didn't make the loss any more tolerable.

The Gators avenged their loss with an easy 53-18 victory of the Mustangs.  Hall scored 41 points and pundits began thinking about breaking records.

The following Friday night, September 28th, the Gators played Needville in Sugar Land.  It was an easy 45-7 win with the Sugar Land Express scoring a modest 21 points.  He averaged 30 points per game in the first 3 games of the '53 season.  He needed 129 points to break Dick Todd's state scoring record which was almost 20-years old.

Just a quick plug for the Chautauqua Talk on Thursday, October 17th, at the Sugar Land Auditorium.  Kenneth Hall will talk about his record-setting days at Sugar Land High School.  Admission is free.

Maudie Baker Dance School Recital, 1950s

I don't have a precise date for these photos, but I'm sure they were taken in the mid-1950s.  They show a dance recital presented by Maudie Baker's dance students in the old Knights of Columbus Hall on the 2nd floor of the Salvage building.

I recognize few people in these photos -- maybe someone can help with identifications.  I am also surprised that adult women participated in the program.  The only woman I definitely recognize is Lily Mae Hickey.  I would never have thought she'd appear in public wearing a tutu.


Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Mayfield Park, Sugar Land

I found these photos in the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation archives recently.  They show the 1955 dedication ceremony for Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Mayfield Park.  I don't have the exact date, but it appears to be summer time.  Click here to view a short article about the founding of the church in the lower-right corner of this newspaper page.

Since Imperial lent its support, President W. H. Louviere, Sr. and other company dignitaries participated in the ceremonies.  The last picture shows Mr. Louviere addressing the congregation.

M. R. Wood School is in the background.

An eastward view down Avenue E of congregants walking to the church.

The M. R. Wood School gym is in the background on the right.

W. H. Louviere, Sr., Pres. of Imperial, addressing the congregation.

I think this is Deacon H. L. Smith addressing the congregation.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Sugar Land Gators Defeat Katy 60 Years Ago

I thought I'd track the Sugar Land Gators' '53 football season as it unfolded 60 years ago.  They were going for their 3rd Regional Championship, which was the full extent of Class B football playoffs in those days.

Sugar Land had very high expectations.  I've heard Roland Rodriguez say the first item on  the Quarterback Club's agenda at their inaugural meeting was ordering buses for the playoffs.  Dugan Hightower was a new assistant coach that year.  Roland said, Dugan stood and asked the Club, "Aren't you jumping the gun a little bit?"  One of the old timers piped up, "We're ordering those buses.  We're going to need them for the play offs, or you're going to need them to get out of town."  I assume everybody laughed.

The following newspaper account hints that the Gators toyed with the Katy Tigers.  Notice that a former Sugar Land High great, Ralph McCord, coached the Tigers.  His first cousin, Chuzzy Jenkins, coached the Gators.
Here's a short audio clip about the game from a discussion I had with former players in 2009.  

Dulles High's 1963 Football Season

Fifty years ago a pivotal event occurred.  Nope, I'm not talking about JFK's assassination; I'm talking about another event.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dulles High School's only trip to the AA State Finals.

I thought I'd post newspaper clippings and memorabilia from that football season.  I'm already behind because the Vikings' first game against Bellville was played on September 6, 1963 in Bellville.  I'll stay a little behind for the next couple of weeks, but I'll eventually catch up and post game reports almost to the day they were published 50 years ago.

As an added twist, I'll post results for Rockwall Yellowjacket games.  I've talked with Jerry Anderson, whose younger brother Jackie, was the star halfback on their team.  He's sent me clippings, so we'll track their season as it progress to the championship game in Waco.  I hope Rockwall players (or fans) might send me some anecdotes about the season, so I can post them here.

I want to thank Terry Bates, a friend of Dulles High's Class of '68, for sending me a scan of this promotional item Mr. Womack gave out that year.  You can use it to check who we played next as the season unfolds.
Here's a team photo and article Leonard Scarcella wrote for The Fort Bend Mirror previewing the season on the Thursday before the Bellville game.  I thought his concerns about the team line up and the widely varying opinions about the team's potential were very interesting.  From what I can tell, Dulles was a definite dark horse that season.  They never cracked the top 10 rankings until very late in the season.

As I said, the Vikings played Bellville on September 6th.  I have The Houston Post's account of the game thanks to Rick Kirkpatrick (DHS '67), who has given me a scrapbook he kept his freshman year.  It's a goldmine for items I can use in this series of posts.  I appreciate his donation, which will go to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation after 'the 1963 season has ended.'

 I wasn't aware of this till Jerry Anderson told me, but Rockwall hired a new coach before the '63 season started.  In fact, this article appeared in The Dallas Morning News in February 1963.

They hired Jim Hess, but Jerry has told me most Rockwall fans worried that the '62 season was their year to win the state championship.  The team that lost to Jacksboro, the eventual state champions, was very strong, and there were concerns they couldn't replace graduating letter men.  Sounds a lot like Leonard Scarcella's opinion of the Vikings.

The Yellowjackets had little trouble with Wilmer-Hutchins in their opening game.  Here's an account from The Dallas Morning News.


A SLHS Quarterback Club Meeting in 1954?

I've assumed these pictures were taken in 1954 solely because I can't find Chuzzy Jenkins in attendance.  I see Dugan Hightower -- his first year as head coach began in the fall of '54.  Herb Shelton must have been President, and Don Williams Secretary/Treasurer.

One other thing I like about these pictures is they show the KC Hall in the Salvage Building very clearly.  It was a relatively large hall used for many purposes before the Salvage Building was demolished in the early 1970s.  Some of you may recall that it stood on the north side of the railroad tracks across from today's Windstream building.  The area is now vacant land.