FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

Dedicated to John Tom Williams (RIP) , Jean Starr Lewis       

MHS

REMEMBER, REMEMBER, REMEMBER, “Precious memories”

Midland High School was erected in 1928, for a price of $150,000.  Carver High School was established in 1932. A new Midland High School started construction in 1948, and the Class of 1950 was the first to graduate from the new school.  The “CATOICO” student yearbook derived its name from the combination of: Cattle, Oil and Cotton.

Children could sing the Bulldog Fight Song Pre-Kindergarten. Games were broadcast via radio.  Attendance at the games were heels, sportscoat/ ties, cigars and flasks (pinkies), popcorn and cokes.  Friday Night 1949, was a social event.  Wahoo, special trains to Abilene, Chuck Moser’s Mighty Eagles, and Lynn Gregory.  MHS Monday Night “Booster Club Meetings” donuts/cokes for kids, laughed each time Coach Tug Boat ran game films backwards and the players ran backwards.

Fall Season always began on Thursday nights with large crowds for Carver games. The 1961 Carver Team, coached by Johnny Williams, won the State (First State Championship for Midland) and again in 1963.  Carver teams brought speed, excitement and entertainment not seen on Friday nights

Early Saturday mornings, Dewayne Casbeer(RIP)  I, and others road bicycles to the stadium finding pennies, nickels and dimes dropped under the stadium stands.

Remember, Saturday afternoon radio broadcast of SWC (Game of the Week) with Kern Tipps.  Humble Oil and other gas stations gave Bulldogs and SWC banners, ribbons, and cups for the purchase of “Full Service” gas approximately 15 cents per gallon (cheaper if station versus station gas war)

Remember 9th grade: Midland School Board had begun a new high school questionnaire was sent to all junior high and high school students asking for suggestions for 1. school name (soon to be changed) 2. mascot (soon to be changed) 3. flag (soon to be changed) and 4. color.  The question here was that a Board Member , Mr. Younger,  was an Aggie grad and had prearranged that  maroon and white would be the colors. Arm twisting tactics, West Texas politics, trading oil and gas leases, etc.  the boundary line was established between MHS and LHS.

Remember Spring of 9th grade Monday thru Friday old yellow school bus transported students to stadium for Bulldogs and LHS football try outs. A period of two weeks of DRILLS, DRILLS, DRILLS, that each player show his best.  Final Player selection for reporting in August for 2 a days was made by LHS Head Coach Grissett.

Remember 2 a days in August. Team comprised of 13 seniors, 11 juniors,32 sophomores, and 5 freshman.  Alan Henderson, Junior FB/LB and Brother, Stan, sophomore, had moved to California. Two team members known for their career achievements were Tommy Franks (Commanding General) and Tommy Lee Jones (Harvard,  Some say that it is difficult to know when Tommy is acting or just being Tommy Lee)

Selected to start game #1 LHS History were: 1. Charles KuyKendall, Senior Quarterback, Don Weems, Senior HB Halfback, Sammy Flourndy, Senior HB, Carl Schreiner, Senior Guard, Ronnie Merritt, Senior Tackle, Ben Howell, Senior N, John Miller, Senior Tackle, Dick Taylor Junior Center David Dennis Junior Guard, Chester Watkins Junior N

Remember your first week at LHS? The doors first opened, first classes, morning announcements, first meetings of organizations, clubs, activities (during and after school, recreation and sports.  For many activities, organizations and activities had started at MHS.  Buying school supplies and selling ribbons many Confederate flags (no more).  First Friday, pep rally with 105 member band, (Wemus playing the fight song on Dixie), cheerleaders: Nancy Smith, Shirley Dorff, Carole Scrivner, David White, John Waid, Jim Bobbitt, Twirlers: Charlotte Campbell, Gloria Walton, Sandra Griffith.  Drum Majors were Johnny Young and Bob Meadows.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS FIRST GAME IN HISTORY. 1961: suit up at LHS fieldhouse/old yellow school bus to the stadium, stomach butterflies and dry heaves

Remember arriving at the stadium and seeing a packed stadium, Student section packed with students, band  and  a huge Confederate flag in front of student section. Attendance was the band members, parents and friends, Students parents and friends, and fans and in the North endzone were the elementary students (playing), South end Zone were Junior High students (girls)

Remember warm ups beautiful green grass with white chalk marked yard lines, the smell of the cigar smoke from the stands, electricity in the air, the band playing, the student yells and our opponent (El Paso High School)  warming up on the other end of the field.  After warm ups were back to the stadium Bulldog locker room for pep talk and continuing to dry heave.

Back to the field lined up on the sidelines for the Star Spangled Banner (no one kneeled) School Alma Mater and coin flip ( First Friday night kick off): MHS wins the toss and chooses and receive the kick off, offense takes the field, the first four plays were scripted by the coaches. In the huddle Quarterback KuyKendall calls “80/trap” (a running play behind guards Schreine (OU) and Merritt (SMU) “on one”.

Snap of the ball a huge hole opens up in the line and ball is carried for 25 plus yards, First Play (History) first “First down” (History) Drive stalls, a field goal missed.

Game, back and forth for first half. No scores, Third quarter LHS drives to the El Paso  one yard line play is call 80/Trap First Play  no yardage gained  2nd play fake the 80/trap and gave the ball to halfback Sammy Flourndy around the left end. First Touchdown in LHS history, followed by First Extra point (History), John Moore.

Stopped El Paso each TIME thereafter. LHS 7 El Paso nothing

“TURN OUT THE LIGHTS” THE PARTY’S OVER

(Don Merrith/Monday Night Football)

Ted Bastles Sports Reporter, Midland Reporter Telegram “Lee Wins First Game in History”

Trivia facts 1. Name Robert E Lee ( soon to be changed) Flag, Confederate (soon to be changed) 2. After first 6 years finally beat the Bulldogs 3. 1965 Team: 14 Division I Scholarship players (Team Record 5 and 5 ) (Coach fired- sells life insurance) 4. History-LHS Coaches 15,  1998, 1999, 2000 state record Cedric Benson (RIP) UT, Chicago Bears , 6. National Champions 1999

REMEMBER,  REMEMEBER, REMEMBER

WE ALL DRANK THE WATER.

6 thoughts on “FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

  1. Shirley Sloan July 24, 2020 / 9:07 am

    Wonderful article! Great memories… at least they can’t be changed!

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • Linda Mills Wofford July 24, 2020 / 10:26 am

      Loved this!! You’re right, Shirley, our memories can’t be changed or erased!

  2. John McElligott July 24, 2020 / 11:09 am

    Need a story about John Tom!. Met him once at a reunion and was very impressed. Check your email today from the Blogger AKA Juanito. Get ready to Zoom.

  3. John McElligott July 24, 2020 / 11:25 am

    Wish we could find all the guys mentioned on that team and all the others. WOW what a memory!!!

  4. Lynda Bethel July 24, 2020 / 8:54 pm

    Loved your article, Scott. Great times , Great memories!!

  5. jmcelligottohswestcom August 5, 2020 / 9:55 am

    Keep up the good work. We need more stories and if you see a picture any place in the book without a name and you know who it is please email Dana.

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