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Monday, December 23, 2013

Gators Get By Magnolia In Hall's Last Game

The first chapter in Sugar Land High's golden age of football ended 60 years ago with a 13-7 win over the Magnolia Bulldogs in Rosenberg.  As the newspaper account indicates, it was a tough game.  Magnolia 'stacked the box' in modern parlance and held record-setting Kenneth Hall to a mere 143 yards rushing.  (He's not mentioned in the game reports, but Buddy Dial, Rice All-American and NFL great, played in the game, too.)

I like the closing paragraph of The Houston Chronicle's article:

The readers from the plains of West Texas to sandy loams of East Texas, from the Gulf Coast to Red River, may in another year forget the story of the fabulous Kenneth Hall, but the town of Sugar Land never will.

In fact, the early 1950s was a golden age due to several factors.  Of course, Ken was the dynamo, but as he would be the first to admit, Sugar Land was home to an unusually large number of talented players for such a small town.  There was a was a lot of team speed, plus an unusual offensive scheme -- the Notre Dame Box.  Mix in a young coach the players genuinely liked and a smart, organized school administrator who instilled fundamentals in the team's preparation, and you had a winning combination.

It's important to realize that except for a couple of down years, the Sugar Land Gators were a renown powerhouse in Class B high school football all through the 1950s, winning additional bi-district and regional championships.  

And we shouldn't forget that M. R. Wood, which began playing football in 1953, became a football power winning 8 straight district championships from 1957 to its last season in 1964, when integration closed the high school.

Sugar Land was quite a football town back in the old days.