MIDLAND HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, 1961 by Bill Wood

Written by Bill Wood

     The first year Midland ever had two high Schools was 1961. Austin and about two thirds of San Jacinto Junior High were assigned to Midland High and Alamo and about a third of San Jacinto went to the “new School”- Lee High School. Neither school had very many seniors but there were some good ones. I remember Carl Schreiner at Lee and at MHS, among others we had Steve Thomas, Ferrell Davis, Jeff Edwards and the head coach’s son, quarterback Mike King. I was one of three sophomores on the team with Quentin Remy and Bill Sallee and Ross Montgomery was the only freshman. Splitting the schools like that made both teams weak that first year and we just weren’t very competitive. I think we finished 3-7 and it certainly didn’t help that Mike broke his collar bone after the first game and was gone for the season. It resulted in me getting to start three years at quarterback. I always thought Coach King liked me. We improved as a team and gained confidence as the year went on.
     One of the best memories is that first game against Lee, which we won 15-6. This would never happen today, but there I was, barely 15 years old, calling every play we ran. The coaches just didn’t do much play calling in those days. Poor Steve Thomas, I ran him off tackle probably 25 times that day, and occasionally would call Ferrell Davis’ number on a reverse or an option. I think Quentin caught four or five passes that day plus one I threw to him for the two point conversion. 
     Remember I said I thought Coach King liked me? Here is one reason why. His son Mike had to wear a weird cast on both shoulders all year after his injury. Of course he couldn’t play or practice. He wanted desperately to get into that Lee game, however. After we scored the first touchdown, he talked his Dad into letting him come in to kick the extra point, which he had been working on a bit in practice. I was the holder. Mike kicked and it was good, but just after the ball left his foot, Sammy Flornoy  came in to try to block it, flew past me and the tee and cut Mike’s feet out from under him. Mike flipped over and He and Sammy were in a pile. Without any hesitation as they hit the ground, I dove into Sammy and threw a punch (probably my first ever)  into his chin. The refs didn’t call any penalties. A few days later when the team gathered to review the film, and many times after that, Coach King would get to that part and then run it back over and over again. I can still hear the click and the whir of the projector. Coach King was the kind of man ( as were Sam Cox, Stan Cobb and other coaches we had) that all of us just wanted to please. I was sure glad to have had that opportunity. 
     Thinking back on it now, I realize that there was, of course, no time to think about whether to do that or not- it was just a reaction. I think it must have been “something in the water!”

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