The Nautilus Publishing Company Oxford, Mississippi
The History of West Point Football 1906-2018 was published through a joint venture between The Nautilus Publishing Company and Caroline Harrell. All Rights Reserved. © Copyright, 2018, Caroline Harrell, Nita Keys Wyman and Linda Taylor Campbell All materials, written or photographic, submitted by other contributors or media outlets remains the copyright of the submitting entity. All proceeds from the sales of The History of West Point Football 1906-2018 will go to support the West Point High School athletic department or the Bryan Public Library. Publishers: Caroline Harrell and Neil White Managing Editor: Beverly Harrell Luttrell Contributing Editors and Feature Writers: Nita Keys Wyman, Linda Taylor Campbell Production Managers: Sinclair Rishel, Carroll Moore Cover Design: L’Herman Payton Interior Design: Wil Oakes, Oakes Copy and Creative Services Some photographs, rosters, and newspapers contain inaccurate information. For historical context, the publishers have reprinted the materials without modification or correction. The publishers and editors wish to thank the following individuals and corporations for their invaluable assistance: Louise Campbell Kim & Paul Caskey Velma Caskey Chris Chambless Elisha Chambless Kyle Chandler Grathan Christian Harold Clark Cathy Cockrell Charles Coggins Donna Coker David Owen Cole Bobby Mac Cox Richard Cox JC Craig Robert Craig Billy Crawford Bubba Davis Cathy Davis Willie Davis Nina Mae Davis
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Dedicated to the memory of Robert Donald Harrell, Sr.
West Point Football Features
Foreword by Caroline Harrell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Bombers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 William Earl Taylor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 GW The Mascot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Coach Bubba Davis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Bud Bowen Voice of the Green Wave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Coach Chris Chambless . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Spanky Bruce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Coaches’ Biographical Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Coaches’ Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 West Point Players in College . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 West Point Players in the Pros . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Home of the Green Wave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 The Leonard Glenn Field House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 Reflections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
The Seasons: 1906-2018
The Early Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1930-1939 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 1940-1949 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 1950-1959 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 1960-1969 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 1970-1979 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 1980-1989 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 1990-1999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 2000-2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 2010-2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Foreword & Acknowledgements Caroline Bryan Harrell
For over 70 years, I have followed West Point High School football. It In March 2015 my husband of 58 years, Robert D. Harrell (1937is one of my life’s passions, though I am not sure why. Perhaps I inherited 2015), passed away. that enthusiasm from my father, John H. Bryan (1908-1989). He was a I put the book project on hold. lifelong sports fan and a 1926 graduate of West Point High School. ••• In 1943, when I was six years old, I met Robert Harrell. He was visiting In the fall of 2016, West Point High School Football Coach Chris his friend, my cousin, Jimmy Bryan (Class of 1955). Our small town of Chambless invited our family to the dedication of the Robert Harrell West Point, Mississippi, was divided by the railroad tracks. I lived on the Green Wave Team Room in the new field house. I was asked to say a west side, and Robert lived on the east side; consequently, we went to few words at the dedication to thank everyone for the honor they had different schools for the first four years. bestowed on my husband. In the excitement of the moment, I told the One of my earliest memories of Robert was when we would go to crowd about the book. They all seemed excited. When I got home, I the football games at Memorial Fields off College Street. Our thought: What have I done? I had said it out loud — and for friends would meet under the stadium hoping to collect a few the first time I went into a state of panic. coins that the fans might accidently drop. I also remember I knew I could never write this book on my own. So, in thinking the stadium was the tallest I had ever seen — and January 2017, I called Nita Wyman. Nita is a retired English there was no way I could make it all the way to the top. teacher that I had long admired. She had been married to a Robert and I started the fourth grade together at what former teacher and basketball coach, Tommy Keys (Class of is now called Central School, I still have the page from my 1959), until his death in 1988. Her son and grandsons were diary that year where I wrote, “Today I fell in love with Robert excellent Green Wave athletes. After discussing the book Harrolld.” Bad spelling!! with Nita, I knew she would have the passion. She has been I began watching the football games seriously in the late a valuable leader, wonderful writer and researcher, and this 1940s when Robert’s brother, Jimmy (class of 1951), played. book could not have been written without Nita. He was a good fullback nicknamed “fireball.” My daughter Beverly (Class of 1982) showed interest in Robert played in the early 1950s. He was listed as a the book from the beginning. All of my children had ideas 108-lb half back. He also marched with the band during and were supportive, but Beverly took over. She had always halftime while I marched and cheered on the field. The loved sports and, like her daddy, loved statistics and records. other players loved Robert and made him feel special. She was the point person with the publishers. Certainly this His teammates were an important part of his high school book would not have been published without Beverly. memories. I also knew we needed a publisher. With my limited We both graduated in 1955 and married three years computer skills, I found Nautilus Publishing Company from later. We raised seven children, Catherine (class of 1978), Oxford, MS. In March 2017, Beverly, Bob, Helen, Nita, Frances (class of 1979), Beverly (class of 1982), Caroline Coach Chambless, Coach Davis, and I met with Neil White, (class of 1983), Bob (class of 1986), Helen (class of the owner and editor of Nautilus, along with his team, Wil 1989), and Bryan (class of 1991). Many of our twenty-six Oakes and Sinclair Rishel. Neil encouraged us and made us grandchildren attended and graduated from West Point feel good about the story we wanted to tell. We began to feel High School. The eight youngest are in grades 5-11 now. comfortable about the direction we were going, and I sensed Caroline Bryan and Over the years, Robert and I talked about writing a we had a great team. Robert Harrell in I will forever be grateful to Linda Campbell. She’s the book about the history of West Point High School football. 1955 daughter of Mr. West Point Sportsman, William Earl Taylor Every time we had a reunion or gathered with classmates, we would tell football stories. We knew if we enjoyed those memories, (1944), and Jeanette Taylor, a dear family friend. I knew Linda would have and our children did too, there had to be others who could share their a lot of information since her family had been involved with sports in West stories. We started saving programs and newspaper articles. We met with Point for many years. Linda’s brother and nephew had played high school and friends and family about our desire to write a book. We received lots of college football. Little did I know Linda would become our chief investigator. She tracked down many stories, interviewed players and coaches, and wrote encouragement.
many of the biographies. She shared her wealth of I figured if it didn’t bother me in 1989, it would not knowledge before it went to press. bother me now. We also wanted every young man who Danny Shelton (class of 1966) was a walking played for West Point Green Wave to be listed in this encyclopedia of West Point football. He kept great book. hand-written records of scores, players, and positions We researched and recorded dozens of the collegiate played. Tim Fowler (class of 1978), Carl Middleton players from West Point, as well as 12 men who played (class of 1982), and Lewise Jackson (class of 1969) professional football. We hope we have not overlooked each worked on many of the years we featured. anyone. Thank you all for your help. Our book records the history of West Point High I know Coach Bubba Davis well. He had coached School football. It is a combination of pictures, facts, my two sons in football. I was also the president of scores, articles, memories, and records. Our sources the Booster Club and School Board Member for were mostly scrapbooks, newspapers, interviews, many of the years he coached. programs, and yearbooks. We thank you all for sharing I know Coach Chris Chambless well also. He your memories. Errors surely make their way into the had coached three of my grandsons, William book. For that, we apologize. But I hope you will find Harrell (2012), Samuel Harrell, and John Facella this book interesting and perhaps even useful in the (2019). Chris had been Robert’s friend, and his years to come. family is close friends with my children. I hope Let me also thank my brother-in-law, Kenny Coach Davis and Coach Chambless know Dill, and my brothers, George Bryan and how much we appreciate their assistance and Johnny Bryan, who gave me encouragement encouragement. They have not only proven and financial support for the publication of this their coaching skills, but they are also great book. Kenny is a 1959 graduate of West Point mentors for these young players in West Point. I High School and certainly one of the most have watched and loved the way these respected celebrated football players in the history of West coaches treat these young men. And we all Point. George is a 1962 graduate of West Point enjoyed listening to their stories. High School, and Johnny graduated in 1954. Emily Braddock Jones (class of 1965) was While my husband, Robert, was alive, we a valuable writer for this book. Emily wrote cherished going to West Point football games several of the biographies. Thanks to Lewis together. He inspired me to make The History of OdNeal and his friends for telling their story. West Point High School Football a reality. The book These players from North Side (later known as is dedicated to Robert. I’m 80 years old now, and Fifth Street) represented West Point on the field I still rarely miss a home game. My season tickets with pride. are at the very top of “the tallest stadium I’d ever At one of our first meetings, we all agreed seen.” that our goal was to find a program from each As you turn the pages of this book, I hope year. We would not retype the program as there you can relive many pleasant memories of was something nostalgic about the fact that cheering, marching, coaching, managing, or players and fans from that year had actually playing for West Point High School. Enjoy your Friday nights, and Go Green Wave. held the same programs. If there were errors in Front Row (L to R): Bryan Harrell, Caroline the book, we knew they were errors from that Harrell, Bob Harrell. Back Row (L to R) Catherine year. Ironically the first error we found was the Morehead, Beverly Luttrell, Helen Facella, Caroline spelling of my son, Bryan. In the 1989 program, Atkins, Frances Smith they had mistakenly spelled his name Brian.
The Early Years 1906 - 1929
The American Game One editorial proclaimed, At the turn of the 20th “The once athletic sport has century, college football games degenerated into a contest that drew thousands of spectators for brutality is little better than and rivaled professional baseball the gladiatorial combats in the in fan appeal. One of the biggest arena in ancient Rome.” draws was the sheer brutality American football was in of the game. Players used their danger of extinction until helmetless heads as battering one of its biggest proponents rams. Players were allowed to stepped in — President pile onto buried ball carriers. Theodore Roosevelt. In 1905 alone, eighteen Roosevelt believed football people died and more than 150 contributed to the strenuous were injured playing football. life. According to the Washington “In life, as in a football Post, at least forty-five football game,” the President wrote, “the players died between 1900 principle to follow is: Hit the and October 1905 from line hard; don’t foul, and don’t internal injuries, broken necks, shirk, but hit the line hard!” He concussions, or broken backs. added, “I believe in outdoor “Nearly every death,” a games, and I do not mind in the 1905 Washington Post story least that they are rough games, noted, “may be traced to or that those who take part in ‘unnecessary roughness.’ Picked them are occasionally injured.” up unconscious from beneath In December 1905, a mass of other players, it was Roosevelt (fresh off mediating generally found that the victim a settlement in the RussoPresident Roosevelt mediated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, but had been kicked in the head or Japanese War) summoned stomach, so as to cause internal Americans were skeptical that he could make football safe. coaches and athletic advisers injuries or concussion of the from Harvard University, Yale brain, which, sooner or later, University, and Princeton ended life.” University. He encouraged Most of these deaths and them to institute new rules to injuries took place during improve the game — especially prep school games. Obituaries by reducing the element of of young players ran almost brutality in play. weekly during the season. And Many were skeptical that though the brutality appealed Roosevelt could tame the sport to fans, mainstream America that a Harvard University was appalled. Newspapers and president described as “more educators called on colleges and brutalizing than prizefighting, high schools to banish football cockfighting, or bullfighting.” outright.
10 Mississippi’s first high school game The very same week President Roosevelt met with the most influential American football coaches to save the sport, Mississippi hosted its first high school football game in Yazoo City. The inaugural game had been arranged between the principals of the schools in Yazoo and Winona — both of whom had seen the game played in Oxford. In the early morning hours of December 9, 1905, eleven young men from Winona, Mississippi, boarded a train to make the trip south. The Yazoo team won the contest 5-0 (in 1905, touchdowns counted only five points). The extra point was missed.
Point Times Leader story described Powers as “a strapping fellow with a silver tongue, rated as a gentleman capable of using his fists, and rowdy students (who had used a stove poker on a preceding superintendent) quickly learned the rudiments of good conduct.” High school student Dabney Thomas (whose father, Rev. John Evans Thomas, had accepted a call to the West Point Methodist church) had seen football played in Oxford. Young Thomas had seen highs and lows of college gridiron action. The Ole Miss team he followed in 1904 defeated Southwest Baptist 114-0, but also lost to Vanderbilt 69-0. The 1905 Ole Miss team was so miserably bad they couldn’t find a coach and lost every game. The 1906 Proliferation But Thomas knew enough about football The American Intercollegiate Football Rules to teach the other boys in West Point. Powers Joseph Neely Powers Committee, at Roosevelt’s direction, instituted asked Thomas to serve as “coach” of that first a massive overhaul of football team. rules in the spring of 1906. But there was one problem. They introduced penalties for No one owned a football. tripping, hurdling, holding, Thomas met a boarding foul play, unnecessary school student from roughness, unsportsmanlike Montpelier — the son of conduct, and tackling below Montpelier physician William the knee. They changed the Van Buren Saul — who length of the game to sixty agreed to use his allowance to minutes (with a ten-minute purchase a football. half time) and added a In addition to Thomas and requirement for four referees. Saul, members of the first team They instituted the fair catch, included Henry Hardy (who the ten-yard first down, and, later served as West Point’s most importantly, the forward fire chief) and Tom DeZonia pass. (who went on to serve as vice Roosevelt touted football president of Greyhound Bus as a way for young American The winless 1905 Ole Miss football squad that young Dabney Thomas followed Lines). The team competed men to preserve the nation’s during the 1906 season — first hardy pioneer virtues. full year of organized high school football in Mississippi. The President’s endorsement of the sport, combined with lore of the Winona-Yazoo City game spreading through the state, The 1910s spurred on a proliferation of Mississippi high school football The Lynch High School football team had a great deal of teams. In 1906, the Mississippi High School Football League success between 1910 and 1916. An October 1917 edition of the was formed in the Jackson area. It included teams from Jackson, student newspaper The White and Green reported, “Not a game has Yazoo City, Meridian, Greenville, and Canton. been lost on home ground in six years.” Not to be outdone, visionary West Point schoolmaster Joseph The 1917 team was led by Coach Hume, who played quarterback Neely Powers (who went on to be state superintendent of schools at Ole Miss during the 1916 season. The ’17 schedule included in 1907 and chancellor at Ole Miss in 1914) wanted to make these games against Amory, Columbus, Macon, Eupora Agricultural “virtues” available to his boys at Lynch High School. A West School, and Aberdeen.
11 The White and Green also reported that the 1917 squad would wear blue and white suits during the season “on account of not being able to buy green and white ones.” Though no explanation was offered in the report, the problem apparently wasn’t financial. The paper also noted that ten local businesses donated $7.50 each to help buy suits for the football team. Those businesses listed included Coca-Cola Co., Smith Clothing Co., Semmelman, Ivy-Deanes, Paslay-Lindsay, West Point Cotton Co., West Point Motor Co., Clay County Hardware Co., and Chero-Cola Co.
In 1929, the new school was officially named West Point High School. That is also the year the Daily Times Leader started regular coverage of the football program. In fact, on November 26, 1929, a team photograph was published on the front page. The 1929 team, coached by Dodenhoff, started with thirty young men, but only four lettermen. The more promising players included Luther Fuller at quarterback, Norwood Linbarger and Thomas Teasley at halfback, and Eddie Nash at fullback. Others
Clips about West Point football from The White and Green from the 1910s.
The 1918 team lost most of its experienced players to graduation and the war effort. A reporter for The White and Green wrote, “The eleven will be lighter this year on account of the larger boys going to war and colleges.” The 1919 team captain was Henry Brogan. The 1919 team photograph is believed to be the oldest existing West Point football team photo. The 1920s Little is known about West Point football teams of the 1920s. The newspaper did not cover local high school football from 1920-1928. On March 2, 1928, Lynch High School burned beyond repair.
vying for backfield positions included Jep East, Harry Robertson, John Beach, Frank Critz, and “Teeny” Carothers. End men included Jack Lee, Dal Clark, Harold Crump, Pete Botes, and Joe Hamlin. Russell Coleman was the starting center. Other linemen included John Turner, “Scratch” Russell, Charles Steadman, C. Cross, Foster Gates, and Willis Sauls. The first-year players who showed potential included Frank Campbell, James Dart, Edwin Grantham, Cragin Nobles, Billy Staggers, Lawrence Wells, and James Murphy. A September Leader article reported, “the team is light this year and will depend more on speed than on weight. The backfield will average about one hundred and fifty pounds, and the line around one hundred and sixty pounds.”
The 1919 Lynch High School Football Team
1919 Lynch High School team captain Henry Brogan
The 1929 schedule included Pheba, Brooksville, Macon, Okolona, Aberdeen, Winona, Columbus, and Starkville. Toward the end of the 1929 season, a headline read: West Point Team Scored 47 Points Opponents Only 15. Prior to the season finale against Starkville, the team had a record of 2-2-2. The Leader sports editor wrote, â€œWest Point has a brilliant record up to this time, and no member of the team will mar it by laying down Wednesday.â€?
The 1929 West Point High football team as featured on the front page of the November 26, 1929, Daily Times Leader.
Work to be done. Life in the 1930s was very different from life today. The country was coming out of The Depression, and people just tried to get by with whatever they had. Many people lived on farms, and the children had to help with the work. There wasn’t a lot of time to play. Medicine and medical treatment were limited, and polio was a major concern in the ‘30s and ‘40s. In 1931, a clinic sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of West Point made possible the free treatment of “lame kiddies.” (History of Clay County, 1996). Progress was being made in West Point in the ‘30s. Highway 45 was completed, and the new Henry Clay Hotel was ready for business. The Ritz Theater was built and was the only theater in North Mississippi that was designed just for talking pictures. Bryan Brothers erected their first building, and Miller Brothers opened a Grade A Dairy. Little Shirley Temple was a box office hit, and America saw the premiere of The Wizard of Oz, and Gone With the Wind. The slapstick comedy of The Three Stooges provided hilarious entertainment. Teens listened and danced to the Big Band sounds of the orchestras of Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway. In 1938, Louis Armstrong introduced “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The great Babe Ruth retired in 1935. Americans were saddened to hear of Lou Gehrig’s passing from ALS two years after he announced, “I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Bailey T. Schumpert, superintendent of the West Point School District (1919-1936) retired and was replaced by B. D. McCallister (1936-1964). Mr. McCallister was a huge supporter of athletics and was especially interested in strengthening the football program. He organized and coached the Peewee Football Program for boys in grade 5- 7, and in 1938-39, his young “Macaroons” were known as one of the strongest teams in Mississippi, being undefeated for two seasons. Several of those boys went on to be football stand-outs at WPHS. Lights were put up on huge poles on the field behind the school for night games. Until 1936, most games were played on the property of the old Corinth Sawmill, which had closed in 1928. It was located between Main Street and College Street. Games were often played in the afternoons, and both baseball and football were played next to “piles of sawdust.” (DTL) In 1931, the “Big Ten Conference” which included West Point as one of the ten teams, was organized. By October, the name was changed to the “Little Ten Conference.” Players from the 1930s who were named to All Little Ten were Foster Gates (1931), Claude Lasley (1933), Hughlon Grisham, and James Taylor (1937). Honorable Mention: Charlie Steadman (1931), James Dukeminier (1933), Bob Campbell (1933), John A. McClure, Lawrence Seery, Franklin Helms, and Russell Kahl (1937). The Green Wave of the ‘30s didn’t have a lot of early success on the gridiron. However, the guys were tough. By 1933, WPHS teams were getting stronger. Football at West Point High School was on the rise!
Coaching Staff Head Coach: David Ivy Dodenhoff
Game Scores Pheba 2-0 (L) Manager Tupelo LOSS Amory 13-6 (W) Kenneth Wilkie Aberdeen 13-0 (W) Cheerleaders Starkville 6-6 (T) Annie Kate Lee, Beth Columbus 21-0 (L) Pontotoc 6-0 (W) Murphy, Billy Walton, Marion Graham, Joe Ruble, Suzanne Duke, Wilbur Hamlin
Name John Beach Bill Blalock T. Botes Russell “Drag” Coleman Chaillos Cross James Dart Jim Dukeminier Foster Gates Jr. Joe Hamlin Wilbur Hamlin “Happy” Jack Lee N. Linbarger Roy McClure Teddy Robertson Harry Robertson Wendell South Billie Staggers Thomas “Uncle” Teasley John T. Turner
Pos. LE Q RG FB LT RE LG LT RH LE LH LG G G G C LH C
The football team of 1930 was small in size but huge in enthusiasm and talent. Most players played both offense and defense. After suffering two losses in the beginning of the season, the WPHS team was hungry for a victory. Their opportunity to strike came in the third game against Amory. Coach Jenkins, Amory’s coach, was a bit too confident about this game and started his second string team. He soon realized that this West Point team wasn’t the same team who had lost to Pheba and Tupelo, so he started the second half with his first string. By then, the Green Wave was tasting victory, and they weren’t about to give in to Amory. The game ended 13-6, giving West Point their first win of the season. The following week, the WPHS team was fired up to play Aberdeen. A f t e r scoring in the first five minutes of the game, West Point never let Aberdeen get into the game. The game ended with another WPHS “W” (130). They held their own against Starkville to end in a tie. Their last victory came against Pontotoc, ending the season with a 3-3-1 overall record.
Head Coach: David Ivy Dodenhoff Assistant Coach: Gene Williams
Name Pos. Gd. Grisham LE W. B. Halliday E James Lipscomb LE 12 Edward Pearson E Reid E Charles Steadman RE 12 John Egger RT 12 Foster Gates T 12 Gosa RT Wendel South LT Clardy C Wilbur Hamlin C 12 Robert Bridges G Bob Campbell RG
Cook G Red Denton G Claude Lasley LG Roy McClure LG Harry Robertson RG James Dart B Jim Dukeminier B Russell Coleman QB Raymond Ellis B Joe Hamlin HB Billy Staggers B Thomas Teasley FB John Turner FB Durley West RB
Record Overallâ€”4-5-1 Game Scores Columbus Starkville Lee Hi Aberdeen Pontotoc New Albany Tupelo Aberdeen Amory Maben
39-0 (W) 7-0 (W) 6-0 (W) 14-12 (L) 7-0 (L) 39-0 (L) 31-6 (L) 20-7 (W) 51-0 (L) 0-0 (T)
12 12 12 12 12 12 12
Head Coach: David Ivy Dodenhoff Assistant Coach: Junior Vanlandingham
Cheerleaders John Abbott, Elizabeth Kornegay, Cragin Knobles, Elaine Coleman Name Pos. Robert Bridges RE Grisham LE Edward Pearson RE Charles Southern E Bob Campbell RT Lewis Chandler T Dart T H.M. Ivy T Robert Reid T Walter Simmons T Wendell South LT Clyde Turner LT Claude Lasley C Wilsford Chandler G Lytle Cook RG Walter Critz G Harold Clark G Norris Denton G
Henry Foster LG Robert Foster G William Simmons G Crawford FB Fred Dagget B Jim Dukeminier QB Jep East B Edward Granthan B W.B.Halliday HB Thad Moseley III B Harry Robertson FB John L Buck Thomas Ethridge Bernard Green Bill Lasley Edward May A.J. Moceri Joe Ruble Emmett Smith
Record Overallâ€”3-6 Game Scores Tupelo Starkville Houston Okolona Artesia Lee Hi Macon Amory Aberdeen
40-0 (L) 13-0 (L) FORFEIT (W) 21-0 (W) 6-0 (L) 28-0 (L) 13-0 (W) 73-0 (L) 6-0 (L)
Head Coach: Claude E. “Squarehead” Russell Assistant Coach: Edwin Cromwell
Cheerleader Marion Graham
Name H. M. Ivy Ed Pearson Johnny Wells Bob Campbell Henry Foster Jack Dalton Spec Cook Red Denton Claude Lasley Clyde Turner Robert Bridges Wilsford Chandler
Pos. Wgt. RE E 167 LE LT RT 157 C 170 RG 134 LG RG 156 LG RH 142 B 125
Bobby Crawford RH Jim Dukeminier QB Jep East LH W.B. Halliday FB Buck Swain B Jonah Chenault Graham Hamlin Raymond McClure Thomas McCormick Thad Moseley Wesley Redus Emmett Smith
Record Overall—5-3-2 Game Scores Baldwyn Columbus Tupelo Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Starkville Meridian New Albany Macon
37-0 (W) 14-7 (W) 26-6 (L) 30-0 (W) FORFEIT (W) 6-6 (T) 41-0 (W) 24-6 (L) 13-2 (L) 6-6 (T)
140 160 160 139 132 120 155 157 120 139 156
Record Overallâ€”6-2-1 Game Scores Macon 7-0 (W) Pheba 6-0 (W) Amory 26-0 (W) Columbus 26-0 (L) Starkville 20-0 (L)
Shuqualak 25-0 (W) Houston 13-13 (T) Tupelo 18-6 (W) New Albany 14-0 (W)
1934 Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Claude E. Russell
Clara Frances Clisby, Lois Harriet Miller, Jimmie Coleman, Sara Roberts
Head Coach: Claude “Squarehead” Russell Assistant Coach: Cy Parks
Managers Sam Wilhite
Cheerleaders Richard Montgomery, Ruth Howton, Carolyn Justice, Erline Snyder, Lucy Townsend, Beth Web Name Pos. Lewis Chandler LE H.M. Ivy RE Thad Moseley RE John Jackson LT DeWayne Moceri T Bonner Shinn LT Aycock C Jack Eason C Robert Reid C Stokes C Norris Denton G Grissom G
John Helms John Landin Ed Pearson James Taylor John L. Buck David Chenault Russell Cliett R.B. Foster Graham Hamlin Robert Hamlin Mancel Higginbotham Clarence “Buck” Swain George Lee
RG LG G RG FB LH QB RH FB B B B B
Record Overall—5-4-1 Game Scores Pheba 21-0 (W) Leland 6-0 (W) Amory 0-0 (T) Columbus 24-0 (L) Houston 12-7 (W)
Starkville Macon Tupelo Okolona Aberdeen
39-0 (L) 7-6 (W) 7-0 (L) 13-2 (L) 25-0 (W)
Head Coach: Claude “Squarehead” Russell Assistant Coach: Cy Parks
Cheerleaders Bess Campbell, Dot East, Mary Ivy, Lucille Snyder Name Pos. Lewis Chandler LE Jack Eason LE Lawrence “Dude” Seery RE Irvin Moceri LT Mac Portera LT John Jackson RT Robert Reid C John Robert Helms RG Jagger G John Landin LG Dave Chenault HB Russell Cliett QB Graham “Buddy” Hamlin B R. “Yank” Hamlin FB Franklin Helms B J. Helms QB Charles “Buck” Swain B
Record Overall—5-5 Game Scores Meridian Leland Aberdeen Artesia Tupelo Houston Starkville Okolona Hattiesburg Louisville
38-0 (L) 6-0 (L) 12-6 (W) 37-0 (W) 7-2 (L) 19-0 (W) 12-6 (W) 12-0 (W) 31-0 (L) 6-0 (L)
Head Coach: Cy Parks Assistant Coach: H.C. England, L. C. Brasfield
Manager Charles Swain Name Pos. Billy Andrews RE Roy Bridges LE Sterling Harrell RE Franklin Helms LE Irvin Moceri RE Bobby Murphy LE Homer Staggs LE Bart Clisby LT Ed Davis LT Jack Eason RT Hughlon Grisham LT John Arthur McClure RT Mac Portera T Rawlings LT C. Weathers RT Bernard Weems LT Billy Andrews RG Louis Chandler G Blair Goza G
Franklin Helms LG James Holder G “Pat” Howard G Homer Staggs LG Swain RG “Foots” Thomas G Joe Campbell C Henley C Lawrence Taylor C Graham Hamlin FB Russell Kahl HB Billy Roberts B Lawrence Seery FB James Taylor FB “Popeye” Allen Coleman Richard Heard H. Weathers Robert Boyd”Tubby” Foster
Record Overall—4-7 Game Scores Fulton 7-0 (L) Tupelo 20-0 (L) Aberdeen 7-0 (L) Starkville 12-0 (L) Okolona 16-6 (L) Artesia 40-0 (W)
Pheba Amory Louisville New Albany Columbus
27-0 (W) 19-0 (L) 6-0 (W) 26-0 (W) 20-6 (L)
Head Coach: Homer Catledge
Bess Aycock, Dorothy Hamlin, Elizabeth May, Jean Robinson, Doris May, Grace Campbell
Assistant Coach: Bill Brassfield
Manager Sterling Harrell Name Neil Bogan Jr. George Lee Arthur McClure Irvin Moceri Howard Coleman Carl Duncan Jack Howard O.L. Rawlings Howard Weathers Bernard Weems Joe Campbell Felix”Doc” Henley O.B. Fulton
Pos. Gd. E 9 LE 12 LE 11 RE 11 T 10 T 10 RT 12 T 10 T T 11 C 12 C 10 G 10
Blair Goza LG Foots Thomas G Roy Bridges RB Robert Edwards HB Graham”Buddy”Hamlin QB Bill Jordan B Claude Russell B Homer Staggs FB Woolbright B George Booth Barrett Clisby Richard Heard James Smith Harry Terrell
12 9 12 12 12 12 10 12 10 11 11 9 11
Record Overall—5-4-1 Game Scores Noxubee AHS 14-0 (L) Fulton 6-0 (W) Aberdeen 13-0 (W) Starkville 26-0 (L) Tupelo 40-0 (L) Okolona 14-13 (W) Amory 20-13 (W) Corinth 0-0 (T) Mathiston 44-6 (W) Columbus 34-19 (L)
Head Coach: Homer Catledge
Bess Aycock, Dot Barkemeyer, Iris Marie Hall, Doris May, Monette Morris, Jean Robinson
Assistant Coach: A.C. Williams
No/Name Pos. Gd. 20 Foots Thomas G 10 21 Jim Coleman B 11 22 Doc Henley C 11 23 Creighton Chandler HB 12 24 Claude “Buck” Russell QB 11 25 Billy Coleman E 12 26 Neil Bogan JR E 10 27 B. Lee B 10 29 Harry Terrell G 12 30 Blair Goza FB 12 31 Arthur “Red” McClure E 12 32 Irvin “Mojo” Moceri RE 12 33 James Smith C 10 35 Joe Gable T 11 38 Howard Weathers T 39 Ancel Higginbotham HB 10 40 Carl Duncan T 11 41 Bernard Weems 12 43 O.B. Fultom G
Record Overall—6-3-2 Game Scores Eupora 19-0 (W) Tupelo 26-0 (L) Aberdeen 21-0 (W) Starkville 7-7 (T) Kosciusko 6-2 (L) Okolona 13-7 (W) Amory 45-0 (L) Corinth 32-0 (W) Houston 19-6 (W) New Albany 39-7 (W) Columbus TIE
1940s A rising tide.
West Point High School football continued to become more popular in the ‘40s. Squads were usually small, but most guys were tough enough to play both sides of the ball. In October 1941, WPHS celebrated the very first homecoming, and Queen Grace Campbell was selected by the team. The Greenies lost the game, but homecoming became an anticipated annual affair. Floats were added to the homecoming parade in 1947. On December 8, 1941, everyone heard the legendary words from President Roosevelt…. “a day which will live in infamy.” Americans were outraged. Many young men, including WPHS football players, joined the fight. Some would return after a stint in the military and go out for the team. Women went to work outside the home and learned to bake sugarless cookies and eggless cakes and to prepare meatless meals. Everyone had a “Victory Garden.” Children learned to play with simple things. Sometimes youngsters would hide in the drug store while they read comic books until somebody ran them off! The antics of “Road Runner and Coyote” gave them a chuckle, and the “Green Lantern” usually saved the day. Many movies were centered on the war, but classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Pinocchio debuted. “White Christmas” won the Oscar for “Best Original Song.” Equipment for sports was limited to “a little piece of leather” for a helmet and flimsy shoulder pads. They wore no face masks, so guys were often snaggle-toothed by the end of the season. Trains often sped through town carrying prisoners hanging out of the windows, glad to be out of the war zone, and “Doodlebugs”(engine plus one passenger car) took the place of taxis since gasoline and tires were in short supply. In 1943, WPHS’s new Head Football Coach Howard Shook brought in the Notre Dame T-formation. The tough mentor advised the boys, “No obscene language would be tolerated on or off the field,” and morals and teamwork were more important than winning. When the war was over in 1945, West Point celebrated but also grieved for those who never came home. People were war-weary and ready to put the struggles of war behind them. By 1946, games were played on the new Memorial Field. The team of 1948 won the District 1, Class A Championship. Excitement that Friday night turned to shock on Saturday when they learned of a teammate’s untimely death. Peter Burrous died unexpectedly from meningitis while attending an Ole Miss game after scoring two TDs in the championship game. Losing Peter is still a painful memory for those who knew him. Children growing up in the 1940s understood hardship, fear, and patriotism. Football, and all sports, provided a source of fun and recreation. West Point High School football had gotten stronger, and the Greenies had proved that they were going to be among the contenders for top honors.
It was West Point all the way in the 1940 season opener, which ended in a victory over a rugged Vardaman team. Scoring two TDs, Quarterback Claude “Buck” Russell was outstanding on offense and defense. In the second week of play, a fired-up Greenie Eleven held Tupelo until the second half, when the Golden Wave went into action racking up 20 points. O. B. Fulton, Jim Coleman, and Doc Henley were responsible for the scoring in the 12-0 win over Aberdeen. The next opponent was to be the Starkville Yellowjackets. An ugly game with the Jackets left the Greenies with key injuries and a 38-0 loss. One more win and five more losses ended what started as a promising season for the WPHS Green Wave. Outstanding players who were named to All Little Ten were Claude”Buck” Russell and O.B. Fulton.
Record Overall—4-6 Game Scores Vardaman Tupelo Aberdeen Starkville Kosciusko Okolona Amory Houston New Albany Columbus
23-0 (W) 20-0 (L) 12-0 (W) 38-0 (L) 41-0 (L) 6-0 (W) 6-0 (L) 13-0 (L) 6-0 (W) 12-0 (L)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Homer Catledge Assistant Coach: A.C. Williams
Manager Bobby McClellan
Cheerleaders Dorothy Barkemeyer, Tessie Mae Fulton, Vance Harper, Eleanor Converse, Louise Gideon, Ernest Smith Coleman, Sara Roberts
A young, inexperienced West Point team met a powerful Tupelo team for the first game of the season in 1941. Even with the strength of Sut Smith and Neil Bogan on defense, Tupelo struck a hard blow and went home with a win, 27-0. This was the beginning of a disastrous season for the Greenies. At the close of the season, Superintendent McCallister praised the team saying, “Our boys have played good, clean, honest football, regardless of the fact that they have not been able to register a victory or even a touchdown.” All Little Ten honors went to “Sut” Smith, first team. Named to Honorable Mention: John Bruce.
Record Overall—0-8-1 Game Scores Tupelo 27-0 (L) Aberdeen 0-0 (T) Starkville 32-0 (L) Baldwyn 14-0 (L) Okolona 13-0 (L)
Gulfport Oxford New Albany Columbus
64-0 (L) 25-0 (L) 13-0 (L) 37-0 (L)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Homer Catledge
Managers Charles Clilett, Henry Harris
Cheerleaders Grace Campbell, Mary Curtiss Ivy, Grace Evans Justice, Rose Marie Kennedy, Marie Kilgore, Kathryn Reid
No./Name Wgt. Pos. Neil Bogan(Co Capt) 160 E Joe Holmes E James “Sut” Smith(Captain) 158 LE Billy Weathers E J. A. Williams RE Billy “Jug”Calvert 190 T Joe Gable 179 RT Caulis Odom LT Mac Portera T Sonny Coleson C Julian Crowell C Buster Mays 150 C Homer Burrous LG
J.W. “Bruiser” Cantrell 155 Bill Carpenter 158 Billy Isaacs John Bruce Aron “Scooter” Gaines 142 Neil Harris 125 Wallace Klutts Tootie Lee Hugh “Moon” Mullens 129 Jack Russell Gordon Stafford Russell Fancher Howell McBride Clyde Elliott
G G RG HB B QB B HB FB B B
Only 20 “scrappy, husky, eager youths” answered the grid call to the first practice for the 1942 season. In spite of their inexperience, the fired-up “Cadets” began the season with a win over Brooksville. The first conference game saw the Green Wave losing to Aberdeen 18-9. Then the Greenies had to face a strong Starkville eleven, who handed another defeat to the locals. The Wave’s only score came late in the game when Captain John Bruce tossed a long heave to Billy Weathers, who walked into the endzone. Baldwyn was next on the Green Wave schedule, and the West Point boys were able to hold their own in the first half. Their strong defense paralyzed the Green Wave in the second half and gave them the win with a score of 47-0. Key injuries and no reserves handicapped the Greenie eleven as they met the powerful 1942 Okolona team, who crushed the locals with a score of 37-0. Julian Crowell, Kisses Cantrell, Homer Burrous, and Busbin all looked good for West Point. More defeats at the hands of Eupora, Oxford, Houston, New Albany, and Columbus left the young WPHS locals with a losing 1-9 season.
Record Overall—1-9 Game Scores Brooksville 7-0 (W) Aberdeen 18-9 (L) Starkville 33-6 (L) Baldwyn 47-0 (L) Okolona 37-0 (L)
Europa Oxford Houston New Albany Columbus
26-0 (L) 13-6 (L) 13-6 (L) 32-7 (L) 66-0 (L)
Head Coach: A.C. Williams
Tom Neeley Miller, James Blankenship
Assistant Coach: Howard E. Shook
The first outing for the 1943 season saw Coach Howard Shook’s “Shookmen” take a 27-0 win over Pheba. Johnny Bruce, ace quarterback, scored twice and passed to Billy Weathers for another score, with Wallace Klutts adding one more. West Point tacked on another win against the Aberdeen Eleven when Johnny Bruce, William Earl Taylor, and Victor Dearing led the scoring to take the win, 19-7. Looking strong on offense and defense, 12 fearless Greenies were edged out by Starkville in a close one, 13-6. The mighty Green Wave continued on the road to victory and took down Ackerman, Okolona, Eupora, Houston, New Albany, Columbus, and Macon. Oxford came up to the Greenies’ challenge and ended that contest with a 6-6 tie. The Greenies of ‘43 had an outstanding season, 8-2-1, and proved they could play with the “big boys.” All Little Ten: K.C. “Sut” Smith.
Head Coach: Howard E. Shook
Peggy Colbert, Margaret Russell, Nell McEachin, Harriet Seitz
Managers J. R. Savage, Langdon Unger
Record Overall—8-2-1 Game Scores Pheba 27-0 (W) Aberdeen 19-7 (W) Starkville 13-6 (L) Ackerman 58-0 (W) Okolona 33-7 (W) Eupora 27-0 (W)
Oxford 6-6 (T) Houston 26-18 (W) New Albany 43-0 (W) Columbus 13-6 (W) Macon 12-7 (L)
No./Name 30 Ellis Rich 31 James Booth 33 Billy Sorrells 35 Jake Bennett 37 Kelly Unger 40 Clyde Pearson 41 Leonard Barton 42 Wallace Faulk 46 John Bruce 47 Billy Smith 48 Greer George 52 Victor Dearing 55 W. Busbin 58 Tom Neely Miller 60 Earnest Clenin 61 Jack Russell 62 Homer Burrous 63 William Earl Taylor 64 Billy Isaacs 65 Ed Miller 66 Captain Weathers 67 Wallace Klutts Billy Holmes Ed Sorrels
Pos. C G B FB B E FB T QB B B C T E E T G B G T E B T LH
Wgt. 122 135 130 131 129 134 138 141 163 108 106 150 162 126 150 170 143 155 142 151 155 145
The 1944 Greenies met Pheba for the season opener and scored almost at will, with Jake Bennett getting four TDs, Leonard Barton one, and K.C. Smith one. Final tally, 39-0. Playing the Aberdeen Bulldogs the next week, the mighty Wave outplayed them all the way for a final 13-7 win. Next up were the Starkville Yellowjackets. The local boys fought hard for this one, and the Jackets left with a 7-0 win. Adding to their “W” column against Baldwyn, a charged-up WPHS bunch went to Okolona, and that contest ended with a final score of 32-6. Outstanding on defense were Jack Russell, “Preacher” George, and K. C. Smith. The West Point boys had another excellent season, which ended with an overall record of 8-3 and 3rd place in the All Little Ten Conference.
Record Overall—8-3 Game Scores Pheba 39-0 (W) Aberdeen 13-7 (W) Starkville 7-0 (L) Baldwyn 33-0 (W) Okolona 32-6 (W) Eupora 52-0 (W) Name Pos. Greer “Preacher” George RE K. C. Smith LE Calvin Walker E Harold Vaughn LE Leslie McKee LT Jack Russell(Captain) RT Simmons T Carl Wilson T James “Sleepy” Booth LG Roger O’Hara RG
Oxford Houston New Albany Morton Columbus
6-0 (L) 19-13 (W) 7-0 (W) 40-0 (W) 19-0 (L)
George Smith G Victor Dearing C Edgar McDonald C Leonard Barton QB J.W. “Jake” Bennett HB Bill Holmes FB Henley QB D. Murphy HB Fred Pennington FB Ed Seitz HB Durley Bean Taylor HB
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Howard Shook
In the season opener of 1945, the Green Wave got their first victory again Pheba, 41-0. The first conference battle was against Aberdeen, and Coach Howard Shook’s Green Wave line was “sensational.”(DTL) Leonard Barton was outstanding as quarterback, with his tricky maneuvers and punt blocking. Jake Bennett led the attack with two tallies, and West Point took home a Little Ten win. The next week had the Greenies meeting the Starkville Yellowjackets. K.C. Smith, just back from Camp Shelby, and Roger O’Hara at the guard position were outstanding in the contest, which ended in a loss for the home team. Next on the agenda were the mighty Warriors from Corinth, who got the “W” in a slippery sea of mud. Moving on to the match with Okolona, West Point proved to be too much for the chiefs and took a smashing victory, 60-0. The Big Green scored almost at will against Houston, who just couldn’t keep up. Jake Bennett, Leonard Barton, Ed Seitz, and Jim Holmes were credited with the scores in the game, ending with a final tally of 33-7. Tacking on consecutive wins against Amory and New Albany gave the Greenies a winning season. Columbus took the final match, but West Point still ended the season with a 7-3 final record.
Name Pos. Captain Leonard Barton QB Greer “Preacher” George LE Sam Hudnal E Billy Smith E Harrold Vaughn E Calvin Walker RE Bobby Blankenship T George Campbell T Don Simmons LT Carl Wilson T Buddy Cook G Jimmy Gardner G Hal Hill G Roger O’Hara G K. C. Smith LG
Name Pos. Edgar McDonald C Fred Roberts C Phillip Alexander HB J.W. “Jake” Bennett HB Graham “Buddy” Hamlin FB Bill Holmes FB Buddy McCharen LH Ed “Dawg” Seitz HB Durley Bean Taylor RH James Cagle Wayne Cockrell Harrod McGibboney Sammy Rolfe Carlos Sanders Bobby Steadman
Record Overall—7-3 Game Scores Pheba 41-0 (W) Aberdeen 21-0 (W) Starkville 28-8 (L) Corinth 13-0 (L) Okolona 60-0 (W) Oxford 12-6 (W) Houston 33-7 (W) Amory 19-0 (W) New Albany 25-13 (W) Columbus 66-0 (L)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Howard E. Shook
Cheerleaders Mary Emma Seitz, Georgianne Burrous, June Crawford, Mary Guinn Hamlin, Carolyn McCharon, Thomasine Miller
Name Bobby Blankenship Ernest Clenin Carlos Sanders Don Adams Thomas Pettit Don Simmons Walter “Crow” Simmons Billy Cook James Coggins Jimmie Gardner Roger O’Hara K.C. Smith Ellis Rich Bobby Wooten J.W. “Jake” Bennett James “Speedy” Cagle Buddy Hamlin Kenneth Henley Bill Holmes Thomas Keller Buddy McCharen Ed Seitz Durley Bean Taylor Bill Burney Doug Calvert John Dobson Thamon Elliott William Vaughn
Pos. RE LE E T T LT RT G G G LG RG C C HB HB QB FB FB QB HB RH QB
155 150 160 155 205 160 145 140 145 155 140 145 150 150 135 160 170
This was one of the very few years that West Point opened with a Little Ten Conference game. The Greenies got their first victory (22-0) when they went up against Aberdeen. Stellar play by the backs, Bill Holmes, Durley Taylor, Jake Bennett, and Nub Henley, was responsible for the home team’s points. The dedication of the new Memorial Football Field was announced to be on Friday, September 27, when the Green Wave would entertain the Starkville Yellowjackets. A proud moment ended in disappointment as the Yellowjackets walked away with the win, 19-0. As the season continued, the Greenie Eleven overtook Okolona, Baldwyn, University Hi, and Houston. The West Point locals ended their season with a 6-5 record and 3rd place in the conference. Named to All Little Ten Team: Jake Bennett, Ernest Clenin, K.C. Smith. Honorable Mention: Roger O’Hara, Don Simmons, Ed. Seitz, Bill Holmes.
Head Coach: Howard E. Shook
Ann Bryan, Georgianne Burrous, Mary Gwin Hamlin, Carolyn McCharen, Mary Emma Seitz, Virginia Stevens
Assistant Coach: Charlie Cliett
Manager Tom Neely Miller
Record Overall—6-4 Game Scores Aberdeen 22-0 (W) Starkville 19-0 (L) Corinth 13-6 (L) Okolona 14-6 (W) Baldwyn 34-6 (W)
Oxford Houston Amory New Albany Columbus
19-0 (W) 26-7 (W) 38-20 (L) 21-8 (W) 42-17 (L)
The 1947 season began with a loss to Macon, 35-6. Bill Holmes(QB) scored the only TD, while Bobby Steadman, Don Simmons, and L.C. Brasfield did good jobs on defense. Key injuries really hurt the local boys, who suffered defeats at the hands of Aberdeen, Starkville, and Booneville. The following week, the Greenie Eleven met Okolona on their own turf. Holmes accounted for two TDs, then a TD pass to Bobby Blankenship in the final quarter sealed the deal, and the hometown gridders had their first win. The Green Wave was evenly matched with Houston, and the final tally in that contest was a 14-14 tie. The spirited Greenies played hard, and fans witnessed some outstanding plays. It just wasnâ€™t enough to bring home the wins. Losing the contests with Baldwyn, University Hi, Amory, New Albany, and Columbus finished the season 1-9-1. Named to All Little Ten: Bill Homes. Honorable Mention: Don Simmons, Bobby Blankenship.
Head Coach: Howard E. Shook
Bobbie Jean Stanley, Ann Bryan, Carolyn McCharen, Georgianne Burrous, Grathan Brigance, Mary Emma Seitz
Manager E.C. Foster
Record Overallâ€”1-9-1 Game Scores Macon 35-6 (L) Aberdeen 24-6 (L) Starkville 39-0 (L) Booneville 27-0 (L) Okolona 19-12 (W) Baldwyn 7-0 (L) University Hi 33-6 (L) Amory 40-0 (L) Houston 14-14 (T) New Albany 34-6 (L) Columbus 31-0 (L) Name Bobby Blankenship Hal Hill Bud Vest Walter Newell Joe Rodgers Don Simmons Wilbur Satterwhite L.C.Brasfield Bobby Steadman Harrod McGibbony Bobby Wooten Bill Burney Bobby Wooten Speedy Cagle Wayne Cockrell Thamon Elliott Curtis Fulgham Bobby Goza Buddy Hamlin Bill Holmes, Captain Herbert Barnes David Owen Cole
Pos. E E E T T T T G G G G C C B B B B B B B
Head Coach: Howard E. Shook
Miller Rae Rambo, Carolyn White, Mary Clyde Mills, Sara Beth Robinson, Grathan Brigance, Frankie McKinney
Assistant Coach: Johnny Bruce
Manager Dewitt Vickers No/Name Gd. 20 Curtis Fulgham 12 21 Jimmy Harrell 10 22 Harrod McGibbony 11 23 Peter Burrous 10 24 Davis Jennings 11 25 Johnny Dob10n 12 26 Max Colbert 11 27 Wayne Cocklrell 12 28 Thanon Elliott 12 29 Billy Pyle 10 30 Bobby Blankenship 12 31 Buddy Hamlin 12 32 Joe Rodgers 10 33 Bill Holmes 12 34 Ervin Williams 12 36 Paul Pennebaker 9 37 Millard Vaughn 12 38 Wilbur Satterwhite 12
39 Walter Newell 40 James Cagle 41 Calvin “Bud” Vest 43 Charles McCharen 44 Henry Key Doug Calvert Bobby Gosa David Cole Willie Higginbotham Bob Montgomery Jack Redwine
11 11 12 12 12 11 11 10 8 10 11
Record Overall—8-3-1 Game Scores Macon 7-0 (W) Aberdeen 6-6 (T) Starkville 32-20 (L) Grenada 6-0 (L) Okolona 33-3 (W) Baldwyn 21-8 (W) Oxford 6-0 (W) Houston 35-6 (W) Amory 25-7 (W) New Albany 7-6 (W) Columbus 26-6 (L) Aberdeen 19-7 (W)
The West Point Green Wave claimed their first victory of the 1948 season on the road when they invaded Macon. When the last whistle blew, the score was 7-0. With one win under their belt, the Greenies marched on to the contest with the Aberdeen Bulldogs, which ended in a tie. The first home game against the Starkville Yellowjackets was billed as the highlight of the Clay County Fair. About 3,000 fans witnessed a see-saw battle that gave the Yellowjackets the win. A fired-up Green Wave team overtook an undefeated Grenada team 6-0. The West Point boys went on to thrill local fans with a winning streak against Okolona, Baldwyn, Oxford, Houston, Amory, and New Albany. Before the final game against Columbus, Bill Holmes, star QB, had to have an appendectomy. The Greenies lineup had to be rearranged before they took on the strong Columbus team. They came away with a loss, but Coach Shook commended the team effort. Because of their excellent record, West Point was invited to the play-off game for the District 1, Class A Championship. In another exciting game, West Point came from behind to take the win against Aberdeen with a final tally of 19-7. With a final record of 8-3-1, the 1948 team was declared the “best in WPHS history.”
Before the 1949 season began, the WPHS Green Wave was predicted to be “the one to beat” in the Little Ten Conference. The season opener was a contest with a larger Macon squad. A dazzling running game by Thamon Elliott, Curt Fulgham, and Speedy Cagle thrilled the capacity crowd and the Big Green took that win, 40-20. Aberdeen took the next win, then it was on to arch rival, the Starkville Yellowjackets. Taking the second-half kickoff, Thamon Elliott cut loose and galloped down the field, running 85 yards for the TD, which was called back for off-sides. A “big discussion” ensued, but it didn’t change the call. “Bear” Newell played one of his best games that night, and his toss to Bob Montgomery was the only West Point score. The only other wins that year were against Baldwyn, Houston, and New Albany, which capped off a disappointing season for the Greenies with a 4-6-1 record.
Head Coach: Howard E. Shook
Martha Land, Mary Clyde Mills, Joan Reid, Sara Beth Robinson, Jeanette Steadman, Erin Faye Young
Assistant Coach: John Bruce
Manager Billy Parker
Record Overall—4-6-1 Game Scores Macon 40-20 (W) Aberdeen 18-0 (L) Starkville 12-7 (L) Grenada 21-6 (L) Okolona 13-13 (T) Baldwin 24-0 (W)
University Hi 13-0 (L) Houston 13-12 (W) Amory 14-13 (L) New Albany 19-13 (W) Columbus 21-6 (L)
Name 19 Captain Bud Vest 17 Walter Newell 18 Curt Fulgham 20 Henry Ivy 21 Jimmy Harrell 23 Dewitt Vickers 25 James Fowler 26 Max Colbert 27 Ellis Hill 28 Thamon Elliott 29 Billy Pyle 30 Spanky Bruce 31 Claude Fulgham 32 Harold Hughes 34 Bill Burney 35 Bobby Goza 36 Paul Pennebaker 37 Judson Hamlin
Wgt. Pos. Gd. 185 RE 12 160 RT 12 135 RH 12 140 G 11 135 LH 11 130 G 9 130 E 9 150 G 12 130 T 11 150 LH 12 155 C 11 175 C 9 180 T 10 145 G 11 155 QB 12 145 C 12 155 QB 10 135 E 12
38 40 42 43 44
Joe Rodgers 175 Speedy Cagle 150 Bob Montgomery 180 David Hale 160 John Gable 190 James Fuller 130 Davis Jennings 130 Winthrop “Red” Mitchner 135 Hugh Valentine 140 David Owen Cole 150 Herbert Edwards 135 Buddy Hamlin 160 Brice Hawkins 145 Buddy Reid 130 Bob Shirley 145 James Fuller 130 Jimmy Helms 135 Harrod McGibbony 155 Charlie Newell 140
LT FB E T T E E E E B HB FB B B FB G RG RG C
11 12 11 12 9 10 12 11 11 11 11 12 11 8 11 10 12 12 11
The Greenies never quit. The 1940s had been a difficult time for the citizens of West Point dealing with the effects of war. Now men were called again to go into the military to serve in the Korean Conflict, 1950-53. Still the city was returning to normalcy and making progress. Babcock-Wilcox built a 2.5 million-dollar plant, and Bryan Brothers expanded, providing much-needed jobs. The new fifty-bed Ivy Memorial Hospital opened, and doctors still made house calls. Children played outside after school and rode their bikes into the smelly fog that floated from the mosquito trucks. Schools dismissed early for “Children’s Day” at the fair, and football games were a highlight of the festivities. Girls swooned and screamed as they saw Elvis Presley shake his hips singing “Come On and Be My Teddy-Bear,” and more people were buying TVs. Charlie Brown was introduced in the comics, and “In God We Trust” was adopted as the national motto. Pony tails, saddle oxfords, and poodle skirts were the fashion of the day for girls, and teens were bopping to a new kind of music called “rock and roll.” Coach Howard Shook, who had been named to the head football position in 1944, took the first team in 1948 to the District 1 championship, but the next few years were not very kind to WPHS football. However, the desire and enthusiasm for football never died. A new P.A. system was installed at Memorial Field in 1952, and a reluctant Superintendent McCallister took the mike to announce the play by play. The West Point Green Wave put on a spectacular show of strength which earned them bragging rights in 1952 as they overtook the Starkville Yellowjackets for the first time since 1936. The 1954 team was proclaimed the “Best in West Point History” when Harper Davis took them to a 9-1 record and second place in the conference behind the Starkville Yellowjackets. Johnny Green and Carey Henley were called “the most powerful one-two punch in the history of WPHS football,” and Johnny Green was “the best quarterback in the history of West Point High School.” History repeated itself as the Greenies again placed second in the conference with a 9-1 record. In 1958-59, Coach Charlie Newell and Bradley Sanders established a junior high football program and revived the Peewee Program, with the help of varsity players. There had been a Peewee program and discussion about a junior high program in the past for most of the ‘50s, but the “feeder program” was on and off for junior high boys. A few 8th graders made the varsity team. (Bill Holmes (‘49), William “Bulldog” Drummond (‘57), and Charles “Bulldog” Coggins (‘63), each earned five letters at the end of their senior year.) This “feeder program” not only gave more boys the opportunity to play football, but also gave them experience and groomed them to play at a higher level. WPHS football teams in the 1950s gained a reputation of fair play and sportsmanship, whether they had thrilling victories, or agonizing defeats. And the ‘50s also produced some of the “best players and teams in the history of West Point High School.”
Before the 1950 season ever started, Coach Howard Shook had praised the spirit of his “Shookmen” and announced that they were capable of good football. However, he also stated that even though they had good size, they were young and lacked experience. That spirit and size did a lot to help the Green Wave give Macon a 25-6 whipping in the season opener. Riding high, the Greenies prepared to take on their rival, the Starkville Yellowjackets. Going into the game, West Point was the underdog, but at the end of the game, Starkville knew they had been in a battle, winning by only a single TD. It was a year of ups and downs as the WPHS team ended the season with an overall record of 4-5-1. Still some credited West Point as having the best defensive unit in the conference. There were quite a few outstanding players on 1950 team, some of whom received conference honors. Named to the All Little Ten Conference Team were Charlie Newell, powerful offensive and defensive guard, and Jimmy Harrell, who kept the offense clicking all year and could run with “the crushing force of a small tank.” Honorable Mention Players were Bob Montgomery, Joe Rodgers, and Billy Pyle.
Record Overall—4-5-1 Game Scores Macon Starkville Grenada Okolona Aberdeen
25-6 (W) 7-0 (L) 12-7 (L) 26-7 (L) 19-6 (W)
University Hi (Oxford) Houston Amory New Albany Pontotoc
20-0 (L) 6-6 (T) 27-7 (L) 27-0 (W) 37-6 (W)
Head Coach: Howard E. Shook
JoAnn Reid, Doris Steadman, Erin Faye Young, Tommie Jean Smith, Jeanette Steadman, Ruth Archer
Assistant Coach: Kenny Curtis
With only thirty-one boys on the 1951 team, including six seniors and five returning lettermen, Coach Howard Shook knew his small team couldn’t let down their guard if they were to have a winning season. Predicted to be 6th in conference play, the veteran coach announced his plan to “play a variety of formations to try to better their placement.” Okolona provided an exciting game as the fired-up Greenies crushed them in a 28-0 second half licking. DeWitt Vickers (Mr. Automatic Toe) had an outstanding game after catching a TD pass, blocking two punts, and “splitting the uprights” with four conversions. The rest of the season was difficult, with consecutive losses suffered to Aberdeen, Oxford, Houston, Amory, and New Albany. Despite claiming a second win in the season finale against Pontotoc, West Point finished off the disappointing season with a 2-8 overall record.
Record Overall—2-8 Game Scores Macon Starkville Grenada Okolona Aberdeen Oxford Houston Amory New Albany Pontotoc
26-0 (L) 63-7 (L) 6-0 (L) 28-0 (W) 12-0 (L) 3-0 (L) 21-16 (L) 38-7 (L) 6-0 (L) 12-7 (W)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Howard E. Shook Assistant Coach: Bruce Evans
Cheerleaders Jane Cox, Doris Steadman, Barbara Ann Hill, Patsy Valentine, Barbara Ann Hunter, Erin Faye Young
19 22 23 24 31 32 33 34 36 37 39 40 41 42 43 44
Stanley Gregg 155 Frankie Colbert 142 Arlon Fulgham Gene Neal Dewitt Vickers 155 Travis Jennings Bobby Mac Cox(Captain) 143 Buster Orr 142 Paul Pennebaker 165 Jesse”Scoot” Davidson 138 Billy Smith 187 Noel Malone Jr. 158 Orville Putt 208 Carrol “Doc” Hughes 156 Roy “Spanky” Bruce 186 John Clifton Gable 200 James Fowler 147 Earl Henley 142 Harold “Red” Hill 134 Milford Williams Ted Higginbotham 144 Ellis Busby Herb Edwards William “Bulldog” Drummond 167 Thomas Holley
FB G B QB E E G HB RB G T G T E C FB E E E E G B T
Record Overall—5-6 Game Scores Macon Starkville Grenada Okolona Columbus Amory Aberdeen New Albany Houston Pontotoc Winona
13-6 (W) 18-0 (W) 14-12 (L) 40-0 (W) 27-9 (L) 1-0 (L) 7-6 (L) 24-19 (W) 26-7 (L) 21-0 (W) 27-0 (L)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Howard E. Shook Assistant Coach: Edwin Reed
Cheerleaders Doris Steadman, Jackie Fatherree, Maxine Winters, Barbara Hill, Exir Wooten, Frances Marie Bryan
The 1952 West Point Green Wave will forever be known as “The team who broke the Starkville Jinx!” For years, the Starkville Yellowjackets, the Greenies’ bitter rival, were able to conquer the WPHS team. But all that changed when the powerful Yellowjackets met the fired-up Greenies on Memorial Field. Not since 1936 had a WPHS Football Team been victorious over the Yellowjackets. But this was the year. WPHS beat their rival soundly with a final score of 180! Superintendent of West Point Schools, B.D. McCallister, who promised every year to parade downtown in his nightgown the day that West Point beat Starkville, was thrilled to keep his promise! True to his word and to the delight of the Green Wave student body, as well as the whole town, Mr. Mac, clad in a flannel nightgown with big red dots, strutted down Main Street, followed by a host of ecstatic players and fans. Starting the season with a victory over Macon, the streak continued with the Starkville win. Grenada barely slipped by the Greenies 1412, and fans became quite enthusiastic when sophomore Johnny Green passed for 200 yards. The Green Wave dominated the Okolona Chiefs and never even allowed one first down. Grenada handed the Wave their first loss. Other teams who overpowered the Greenies were Columbus, Amory, Aberdeen, Houston, and Winona. The season ended with an overall record of 5-6, placing West Point 4th in the Little Ten Conference. All Little Ten honors went to John Gable, Spanky Bruce, and Doc Hughes. Honorable Mention included Buster Orr, Buddy Reid, and Noel Malone.
The 1953 WPHS football season welcomed new coaches Harper Davis and Edwin Reid. Davis, coming as a head coach for the first time, planned to launch the Split-T formation, and he wasted no time putting his squad to work. One of his former players recalls that Coach Davis told them that they had to run backward as well as forward, and he really had to work on that! The season opened with a victory against a very strong Macon team. Next on the agenda was Starkville. The Green Wave Eleven was in high gear for that one and made good on a fumble to put points up first. However, the Jackets weren’t going to allow that, and a different Jacket team came back on the field, and West Point came out on the short end, 19-6. West Point was the underdog for the undefeated Grenada eleven, but headlines following the game declared, “Greenies Maul Grenada.” In an upset, the “Wearers of the Green” triumphed. Final score, 32-13. Aberdeen was highly favored as leaders in the conference that year and handed the Greenies a loss in one of the hardest fought battles of the year. Decisive wins over Okolona, Pontotoc, Amory, and New Albany, and a bitter defeat from Lee High finished the Green Gridders’ season with a record of 7-3. All Little Ten: Buster Orr, Harold Hill, Frankie Colbert.
Record Overall—7-3 Game Scores Macon Starkville Grenada Okolona Aberdeen Pontotoc Columbus Lee Amory New Albany Houston
25-6 (W) 6-19 (L) 32-13 (W) 34-0 (W) 6-33 (L) 47-20 (W) 7-39 (L) 20-14 (W) 48-7 (W) 37-18 (W)
Head Coach: Harper Davis
Kay Bivens, Caroline Bryan, Bonnie Bradshaw, Arlene Fields, Ann Stevens, Frances Marie Bryan
Assistant Coach: Edwin Reed
Managers Jimmy Jackson, Kenneth Taylor
00 10 11 26 27 33 35 44 50 51 52 53 54
Buddy Reid Bob McCormick Buck Harmon Carey Henley Marion Cockrell Gerald Bennett Jimmy Shirley Bobby Dill John Mullins Robert Harrell Josh Millard Speck Cook Tommy Medlock
LHB RHB B FB G B B G B B B G C
Record Overall—9-1 2nd Place in Little Ten Game Scores Macon 37-0 (W) Starkville 14-13 (L) Grenada 33-0 (W) Okolona 40-13 (W) Aberdeen 54-14 (W) Pontotoc 40-6 (W) Eupora 39-13 (W) Amory 38-14 (W) New Albany 54-0 (W) Houston 46-7 (W)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Harper Davis Assistant Coach: Ben Ruscoe
Grisham, Doyle Bradshaw
152 160 148 165 150 136 135 157 135 125 140 148 145
55 59 64 66 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 99
Harold Keller Bill Taylor Duke Lippincott Jim Drummond Junie Cunningham Thomas Goode James Legg John Wilson Mel Blankenship William Drummond George Barry Johnny Green Red Hill Charlie Portera
E G E G B C T T T T E QB E B
150 143 130 173 154 185 190 165 190 183 155 176 166 154
Head Coach: Harper Davis
Frances Marie Bryan, Ann Miller, Ann Stevens, Evan Carty, Kay Bivens, Jane Fatherree
Assistant Coach: Ben Ruscoe
Managers Leroy Grisham, Doyle Bradshaw
“Wave Closes Out With Brilliant Record.” That was the headline in the local DTL following the last game of the 1954 football season. “The real power and greatness of this team is very evident to every fan who witnessed a local game.” Referred to as the Greatest Football Team in West Point’s history, the 1954 team ended the season with an overall record of 9-1 and placed second in the Little Ten Conference. . The staggering statistics for the 1954 season pretty much say it all, with an offensive total of 3812 yards, 126 first downs, and 61 passes completed. Another fact revealed by the statistics was the effectiveness of the Wave line. They held their opposition to only 848 yards rushing for an average of 84 yards per game. The 1954 team made history as they were the only team in the history of WPHS football to place more than three players on the All Conference Team. Named this year were Johnny Green, Carey Henley, William Drummond, Mel Blankenship, Bobby Dill, Red Hill, and Thomas Goode. Honorable Mention: Marion Cockrell, Gerald Bennett, Junie Cunningham, George Barry, and Buddy Reid. Johnny Green, Carey Henley, and Thomas Goode went on to play professional football.
The team of 1955 was an outstanding team, ending the year with a 9-1 overall record. Their only loss came from their rival, the always tough Starkville Yellowjackets. Still they outscored their opponents 285-26.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Ben Ruscoe Assistant Coaches: Jack Ethridge, Bob Barrett
Cheerleaders Kay Bivens, Mavis Stanley, Ann Stevens, Patsy Peace, Mary Helen McClure, Mary Stephenson
No./Name 00 Jimmy Shirley 10 Bobby McCormick 11 Buck Harmon 25 Andy Naugle 26 Eddie Todd 44 James Lippincott 50 Josh Millard 51 Lyndel Byrd 52 Harold Brown 54 Tommy Medlock 59 Hubert Watson 61 Jerry Smith 65 Sandy Sams 67 Harold Keller 68 Billy Saul 69 Tony Portera 70 Junie Cunningham 71 Tom Goode 73 Billy W. Davis 74 Mel Blankenship 75 William Drummond 76 Jimmy Drummond 77 Terry Anthony 78 John Wilson Clarence Wiley
Pos. LH LG C RG LH LE FB RE FB LG RH LT QB RE LE LE RH FB C LT RT C RT RG FB
Wgt. 145 180 160 145 160 150 150 140 150 165 140 180 140 160 150 170 155 194 185 200 150 180 175 190 150
Record Overallâ€”9-1 2nd Place Little Ten Game Scores Bruce Starkville Grenada Okolona Aberdeen Pontotoc Amory New Albany Oxford Houston
39-7 (W) 26-0 (L) 27-7 (W) 33-0 (W) 26-7 (W) 41-0 (W) 39-0 (W) 6-0 (W) 40-6 (W) 34-19 (W)
No./Name 00 J. C. Craig 11 Otis Bean 22 Sandy Sams 25 Billy Terry 26 Eddie Todd 27 Anthony Portera 33 Billy Dell Burgess 39 Billy Joe Files 44 Kenny Dill 50 Jimmy Ellis 51 Theo Weed 52 William Millard 55 Matthew Lauter 56 Fred Yeats 60 Johnny Cantrell 61 Doyle Bradshaw 62 Laymon Watson 63 Boyce Davis 64 Max Hinshaw 65 Bobby Smith 66 Harold Keller 68 Mickey Burgess 69 Jimmy Drummond 70 Hubert Watson 71 Thomas Goode 73 Billy Wayne Davis 74 Milton Benson 75 William Drummond 77 Terry Anthony 78 John Wilson 85 Jimmy Shirley
Pos. FB RH QB LE RH HB LH C C LG T HB G E HB LH HB LT RG RE RE HB RG LH FB LE RT RT LG LT HB
Record Overall—6-2-2 Game Scores Bruce 6-6 (T) Starkville 7-6 (L) Grenada 19-6 (L) Pontotoc 13-7 (W) Aberdeen 18-13 (W)
Amory New Albany Oxford Houston Louisville
28-6 (W) 7-7 (T) 26-0 (W) 37-0 (W) 33-6 (W)
As the opening game of the 1956 football season approached, spirits and expectations were high! However, the Bruce Trojans came for a fight and stunned the highly regarded Greenies with a 6-6 tie. Next on the schedule were the always tough Starkville Yellowjackets. Before 4,000 wildly cheering fans, the Greenies were able to put 6 points on the board after being tied at the half. A very determined Jacket squad got to work and in a nail-biter, took a 7-6 win. Grenada handed the Wave another loss. A crippled Greenie eleven was able to rack up more wins against Pontotoc, Aberdeen, and Amory . A tie and three more wins ended the season and placed the West Point boys 3rd in the conference. Some very pleased fans knew they had witnessed some of the “greatest defensive shows” ever played on Memorial Field. Named to the All Little Ten Conference First Team were Sandy Sams, Tom Goode, and John Wilson. Honorable Mention were Billy Wayne Davis, Jimmy Drummond, and Otis Bean.
Head Coach: Ben Ruscoe
Assistant Coach: Bob Barrett
Pattie Peace, Pat Parker, June Edwards, Norma Todd, Mary Frank Griffith, Marilyn Winfield
With only five lettermen returning to the 1957 WPHS team, Coach Ruscoe knew their work was cut out for them. The Greenies’ season got underway with a 21-0 victory against a strong Calhoun City team. Then they put up a valiant fight against Starkville, who powered their way through the mud to take a 12-6 decision. Losses had stalked the Greenies when the flu bug started biting, but the decision was made to go on and face the Aberdeen Eleven with the remaining 20-member squad. With another loss, the Greenies now had to face the Bruce Trojans. After a slow start, the “Biggest Little Man” in the conference, Clyde “Babydoll” Pierce invaded the field and delighted the fans with a dazzling show, scoring three TDs plus an extra point. With this “shot in the arm,” the mighty Wave was eager to keep it going. Three more wins and a loss to Oxford finished the Green Wave season with an overall record of 5-5 and put them in sixth place in the Little Ten Conference. Named to All Little Ten First Team: Boyce Davis, Kenny Dill, and Clyde “Babydoll” Pierce.
Record Overall—5-5 No./Name Wgt. Pos. Gd. 7 Hershel Milsaps 140 FB Sr 10 Johnny Cantrell 160 QB Sr 11 Otis Bean 144 HB Sr 12 Carl Duckworth 132 G So 21 Mickey Burgess 140 QB Jr 22 Raymond McClure 140 G Jr 25 Sam Hollingsworth 27 John Fulgham HB Sr 36 J.C.Craig 140 FB So 44 Kenny Dill 170 C Jr 50 Billy Joe Files 180 C Jr 51 Dickie Bryan Fr 52 Willie Millard 120 HB So 55 Matt Lauter 140 G 56 Bud Yeats E So 61 John Moore 145 C 62 Lamon WatSon 120 HB Jr 65 Max Hinshaw 140 G Jr 66 Scott Murrah 150 FB G 70 Bob McHaney 140 E Sr 71 Boyce Davis 192 T Sr 72 Clyde Pierce 120 HB Jr 74 Milton BenSon 200 T So 77 Terry Anthony 164 E Sr 81 Bobby Smith 155 E Sr 99 Andy Portera 150 HB Jr Mac Pate 180 T So Ken Barkley 154 T Sr Hoss Thornton 140 E So Theo Weed E Jr
Game Scores Calhoun City Starkville Grenada Pontotoc Aberdeen Bruce Amory New Albany Oxford Houston
21-0 (W) 12-6 (L) 26-6 (L) 20-6 (L) 20-0 (L) 21-12 (W) 26-6 (W) 25-13 (W) 27-0 (L) 13-0 (W)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Ben Ruscoe Assistant Coaches: Bob Barrett, Bob Griffin
Cheerleaders Kitty Bryan, Ginny Todd, Cathy Colbert, Rose Marie Todd, Patsy Peace, Marilyn Winfield
No./Name 10 Vest, Jimmy 36 Craig, J. C. 72 Pierce, Clyde 99 Portera, Andy 33 Murray, Scott 22 Wooldridge, Jerry 22 Dickerson, Eddie 12 Millard, William 11 Watson, Lamon 66 Hollingsworth, Sam 33 Waldrop, Thomas 66 Cox, Richard 21 Burgess, Mickey 81 Thornton, James 56 Yeats, Fred 55 Lautar, Mathew 55 Hinshaw, Max
Pos. Wgt. Gd. B 165 12 B 160 11 B 130 12 B 165 12 B 170 11 B 145 10 B 145 10 B 145 11 B 145 12 B 150 9 B 150 10 B 150 10 E 155 12 E 155 11 T 175 11 T 170 12 G 165 12
Record Overallâ€”3-7 Game Scores Calhoun City Starkville Grenada Pontotoc Aberdeen Bruce Amory New Albany Oxford Houston
18-14 (W) 7-0 (L) 13-0 (L) 26-0 (L) 13-6 (L) 19-13 (W) 6-0 (L) 12-6 (W) 13-0 (L) 25-6 (L)
No./Name 61 Moore, John 44 Dill, Kenny 52 Duckworth, Carl 71 Hill, William 74 Bishop, Jimmy 50 Files, Billy Joe 81 Hamlin, Billy 78 Wilkey, Terry 76 Higgenbottom, Huey 62 Weed, Theo 71 Coggins, Charles 77 Troupe, Joe 76 Shirley, Eddie 78 Clanton, Charles 77 Cox, B. W. 77 Portera, Joe Tony
Pos. Wgt. Gd. G 160 11 C 180 12 G 150 12 G 150 10 G 150 11 T 195 12 T 150 10 E 150 10 E 140 8 E 155 11 C 155 8 C 150 11 E 150 10 B 155 8 G 150 10 T 165 11
A thrilling comeback victory to overtake Calhoun City for a 18-14 final score got the Green Wave 1958 season off to a great start. Still pumped up from their first triumph, the Greenies prepared to take on their archrival, the Starkville Yellowjackets. The Jackets took advantage of a first quarter fumble and put up 7 points. A bruising battle ensued on the mudsoaked field, and the game ended in a 7-0 final score. Injuries plagued the West Point boys, and their first victory came against Bruce after four losses. Four more loses against Amory, New Albany, Oxford, and Houston ended the West Point season with a disappointing 3-7 record.
Head Coach: Bob Barrett
Kitty Bryan, Rose Marie Todd, Pat Southern, Peggy Southern, Catherine Colbert, Marilyn Winfield, Ann Goodson, Marg Hicks
Assistant Coaches: Bob Griffin and Brad Sanders
Players from the 1959 WPHS team now laugh about their “perfect season!” However, at the time, a 0-10 overall record was no laughing matter. The first contest ended with a loss at the hands of the highly touted Wildcats. Moving on to the “grudge game” against the Starkville Yellowjackets, the lighter Greenies hoped to break the “Starkville Jinx,” but no such luck. Grenada took the next contest, then the Big Green had to move on to meet the super-charged Pontotoc Warriors, led by the great Jimmy Weatherly (QB who went on to lead the Ole Miss Rebels to their only National Championship in 1962). Losses continued to plague the Greenies against Aberdeen, Amory, New Albany, Oxford, and Houston. Even though conference standings put West Point in the “Bottom of the Cellar,” the fans knew they had witnessed some great performances from a bunch of spirited boys.
No./Name Pos. Wgt. Gd. 10 Jerry Wooldrige 140 QB Jr 11 Gerald Taylor 145 QB Jr 12 Bill Doughty 125 QB So 20 Willie Millard RH 21 David Duke HB 22 Edde Dickerson 150 HB Jr 23 Sam Hollingsworth 155 HB So 25 Gary LaRose 130 HB So 30 Scott Murrah 180 FB 31 Doug Vickers 140 HB So 32 Jimmy Dale Crow 140 HB So 50 Jerry Keenan 160 C Sr 51 Joe Troupe 145 C Jr 60 Willie Hill 160 G Jr 61 Jimmy Bishop 160 G Sr 70 Bud Yeats 200 FB Sr 70 J.C. Craig HB Sr 72 Joe Tony Portera 185 T Sr 75 Tommy Staggs 180 T Sr 75 Roger Montgomery 143 E So
Record Overall—0-10 GameScores Louisville Starkville Grenada Pontotoc Aberdeen Bruce Amory NewAlbany Oxford Houston
33-6 (L) 25-0 (L) 39-0 (L) 48-0 (L) 25-13 (L) 27-7 (L) 27-0 (L) 33-0 (L) 34-0 (L) 25-13 (L)
No./Name Pos. Wgt. Gd. 80 Terry Wilkey 165 E Jr 81 Charles Coggins (Bulldog) 175 E Fr 82 Huey Higginbotham 150 E So 83 Phillip Crawford 150 E 85 D.A. Williams 150 E So 85 Eddie Shirley 150 E Jr Billy Wayne Cox 150 G Jr Richard Cox 150 G Sr Thomas Holley Jr John Moore 185 G Sr Jay Pelote 150 G Jr Bob Adams 175 T Jr Sam Byrd 175 T Jr Charlie Ivy T Jr Bob Moak 160 T So Joe John Portera 150 T Sr Bobby Farr 140 E So Ray Langford E Jr Robert Mullins(Moon) HB So
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Bob Barrett Assistant Coach: Charlie Newell
Managers John Daggett, Jimmy Anderson, Bob Duncan
Cheerleaders Kitty Bryan, Linda Mullens, Rosalyn Flowers, Linda Shurden, Margaret Hicks, Peggy Southern, Marianna Littlejohn, Donna White
Change was in the air. The decade of the ‘60s was a time of many changes in this country. Our military was involved in the Vietnam War (which was never declared) for the entire decade. A very popular John Kennedy was elected president in 1960, only to be assassinated three years later on a November Friday in Dallas, Texas. Elvis Presley was the king of rock ‘n’ roll, but a group from Liverpool known as the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 and took this country by storm. The British Invasion continued with groups such as the Animals, the Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones, and many more. Segregation of schools came to an end, first with freedom of choice and then court-ordered desegregation. After being housed in Central School for decades, West Point High School moved to a new building on the corner of Churchill and Eshman Avenue. The class of 1962 was the first to graduate from the new high school. In the spring of 1962, Coach Charlie Newell got the ninth grade football players out of class for a couple of days to plant grass on the new football field; and in the fall of 1962, McCallister Field saw the first of many great games played at the new location. The Little Ten Conference was strong, and Starkville, Aberdeen, New Albany, and West Point were the giants of the conference. The first two years of this decade were very lean for the Greenies, but that all changed with the 1962 season. The Green Wave posted winning seasons for the next four years, beating rival Starkville three of those four years. In 1962, Supt. B. D. McCallister again told the team that if they beat Starkville, he would parade down Main Street in his nightshirt. He made good on his promise as the Green Wave beat Starkville for the first time in ten years! The 1964 team was the co-champion of the Little Ten, sharing the title with Starkville. Many said the 1963 and 1964 teams were the best that had ever played in West Point. The second half of the decade showed mixed success in the win-loss column, but a number of athletes went on to play at the next level. In 1967 Sylvester Harris became the first African-American athlete to wear the green and white. Harris broke the color barrier under freedom of choice and made the transition easier for those who followed under court-ordered desegregation, and West Point High School football entered a new era.
No./Name 61 Richard Cox 42 Butch Bryan 11 Jerry Wooldridge 55 Anthony Holley 83 Phillip Crawford 12 Eddie Dickerson 80 Terry Wilkey 60 Billy Wayne Cox 84 Eddie Shirley 70 William Hill 28 Robert Mullins 33 Charles Coggins 82 Melvin Smith 25 Larry Baird 40 Sam Hollingsworth 30 Johnny Portera 44 9ank Portera 35 Alan Flowers 20 Kyle Chandler 10 Doug Clark 63 Glen Taylor 72 Roger Montgomery 74 Charles Ivy 64 George Martin 62 Robert Cook 75 Bobby Foster 73 Billy Pierce 65 Robert Craig 71 D.A. Williams 87 Johnny Bedford
Pos. Gd. G 12 HB 12 GB 12 C 12 E 12 QB 12 E 12 G 12 E 12 T 12 HB 12 HB 10 G 11 FB 10 G 11 HB 11 HB 9 FB 9 HB 9 QB 9 G 10 T 11 T 11 T 10 G 11 T 11 T 11 T 10 E 11 E 10
88 85 50 51 83 86 84
Robert McClure Huey Higgenbotham Bob Moak Robert Collier Phillip Crawford Travis Langford Eddie Shirley
E T C C E C E
11 11 11 11 9 9 12
The 1960 Green Wave had a tough year on the gridiron with only two victories to their credit with a win over the Bruce Trojans by a score of 20-13 and a victory over New Albany 18-6. The bright spots for Coach Russell Reid and his staff were All Little Ten performers Eddie Dickerson and Charles “Bulldog” Coggins.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Russell Reid Assistant Coaches: Wayne Tatum, Skinner King
Cheerleaders Anita Chandler, Donna White, Sally Kate Winters, Rosalyn Flowers, Carole Keys, Linda Mullens, Marianna Littlejohn, Peggy Southern
Record Overall—2-8 Game Scores Louisville 35-18 (L) Starkville 34-0 (L) Grenada 28-7 (L) Pontotoc 29-6 (L) Aberdeen 35-19 (L)
Bruce Amory Oxford New Albany Houston
20-13 (W) 20-0 (L) 25-0 (L) 18-6 (W) 20-7 (L)
The 1961 season was marked by three victories for the Green Wave with wins over Pontotoc 13-7, 21-0 over Bruce, and 48-6 over Houston before they were beaten by rival Starkville 33-6. The bright spots for the boys in green and white were seniors Eugene “Boomer” Bailey, Gary LaRose, Doug Vickers, Sam Clark, Bob Moak, Robert Collier, Robert Cook, Sam Hollingsworth, Johnny Portera, Roger Montgomery, Bobby Foster, Billy Pierce, Charles Ivy, and Huey Higginbotham.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Russell Reid Assistant Coaches: Brent Johnson, Jack Frost
Managers Billy Joe Ayers, David Replogle, Jimmy Wood
Cheerleaders Ros Flowers, Donna White, Carolyn Hinshaw, Ellen Littlejohn, Linda Andrews, Louise Mitchell, Grace Strickland, Sandra Glass
Record Overall—3-6 Game Scores Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Bruce Houston Corinth Starkville
47-12 (L) 7-6 (L) 13-7 (W) 24-19 (L) 40-14 (L) 26-0 (W) 48-6 (W) 13-6 (L) 33-6 (L)
No./Name Pos. Gd. 11 Eugene”Boomer” Bailey K/P 12 12 Doug Clark QB 10 20 Gary LaRose HB 12 21 Kyle Chandler HB 10 22 Doug Vickers B 12 23 Tommy Burns G 10 24 Sam Clark B 12 25 Richard Teasley B 10 30 Marion Fulgham B 11 31 Alan Flowers FB 10 32 Larry Baird B 11 40 Rodney Fulgham HB 10 41 Bobby Mac Robinson B 10 42 Charles “Bulldog” Coggins HB 11 43 Jimmy Waide B 10 50 D. A. Williams E 11 54 Willie Dale Bean C 10 55 Bob Moak C 12 56 Travis Langford C 10 Robert Collier C 12 60 Donald Dexter G 10
No./Name 61 Robert Earl Cook 62 Sam Hollingsworth 63 Johnny Portera Homer Blansett 65 Steve Harmon 70 Billy Pierce 71 Charles Ivy 72 Huey Higginbotham 74 Robert Craig 75 Conley Cox 80 Harold Clark Roger Montgomery 80 Larry McHaney 80 Melvin Byrd 81 Harold Clark 81 Ronnie Crawford 82 Charles Lippincott 82 Bobby LaRose 83 Swaine Angle 84 Pudgie Smith 85 Johnny Bedford
Pos. Gd. G 12 G 12 G 12 G 11 G 10 T 12 T 12 T 12 T 10 T 10 T 11 T 12 E 10 E 10 E 11 E 10 E 11 E 10 E 11 E 11 E 11
Record Overallâ€”7-3 Little Ten 2nd Place Game Scores Quitman Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Bruce Houston Corinth Starkville
13-6 (W) 17-6 (W) 14-7 (L) 6-0 (W) 14-6 (W) 13-10 (L) 45-0 (W) 41-0 (W) 20-7 (L) 14-7 (W)
The 1962 season saw the return of Harper Davis as head coach. His first season back was marked by seven wins and ended several losing seasons. The highlight of the season was a victory over arch rival Starkville 14-7 at McCallister Field with senior Charles Lippincott catching the winning touchdown pass. This was the first win over Starkville in ten years, and once again Superintendent B.D. McCallister walked down Main Street in his nightshirt. The offense was led by Doug Clark, Larry Baird, Charles Coggins, Richard Smith, George Martin, and Harold Clark. West Point generated 174 points on offense and 17.4 points per game. Defensively the Green Wave gave up 72 points with 7.2 average per game. The defense was led by Kyle Chandler, Chuck Friend, Alan Flowers, Tommy Burns, and Steve Harmon.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Harper Davis Assistant Coaches: Charlie Newell, Brent Johnston
Managers Jimmy Wood, David Replogle, Billy Joe Ayers
Cheerleaders Linda Andrews, Pat Hazlewood, Vickie Shurden, Sandra Glass, Louise Mitchell, Rolene Renicker, Grace Strickland, Ellen Littlejohn
With seventeen lettermen and seven starters returning, what could Coach Harper Davis do to improve on the ‘62 season? After eleven weeks, the 1963 Green Wave squad had a 10-1 record and had gained sole possession of second place in the Little Ten Conference. Coach Davis’ crew made history with the Wave’s second victory in a row over the Starkville Yellowjackets. It was the first time the Wave had been able to defeat the Jackets in Starkville. In the regular season, the Greenies gained 2,883 yards of offense, while the defense scored 248 points for an average of 22.5 per game. The defense allowed only 26 points all year for a 2.4 average per game. The offense, led by Doug Clark at QB and Alan Flowers and Rodney Fulgham running behind Travis Langford, Robert Craig, Steve Harmon, Melvin Byrd, and Tommy Burns, allowed the Wave to average 288 yards a game rushing the football. The defense, led by Jimmy Waide, Donald Tedford, Kyle Chandler, Leslie Walls, Stanley Tollison, Larry McHaney and Garland Hunt, were hard to score on all season. Coach Davis’ squad was invited to play in the Grenada Lake Bowl and defeated East Tallahalchie High School 10-0 in a hard fought battle. With a 10-1 record, the Green Wave ended the year ranked 12th in the state. The 1963 Green Wave team left their mark on West Point football -a high one.
Pos. Gd. Wgt.
Record Overall—10-1 Game Scores Quitman Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Bruce Houston Shaw Starkville
3-0 (W) 27-0 (W) 6-0 (L) 41-7 (W) 59-0 (W) 27-0 (W) 27-0 (W) 21-13 (W) 26-0 (W) 7-0 (W)
Grenada Lake Bowl Charleston 10-0 (W)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Harper Davis Assistant Coaches: Charlie Newell, Larry Arrington
Managers Billy Joe Ayers, Gary Hudson, Carlisle Campbell
Cheerleaders Grace Strickland, Emily Braddock, Brenda Cordle, Linda Hazlewood, Ellen Littlejohn, Vicki Shurden, Judy Moseley, Emily Watson
The 1964 Green Wave football team looked to improve on their second place finishes in 1962 and 1963 as new head coach Charlie Newell took over the program. After losing the season opener to Quitman 13-7, the Wave bounced back, scoring 186 points in their next seven games and giving up zero points! The final game of the season was a 0-6 loss to the Starkville Yellowjackets which gave them a share of the Little Ten Championship. West Pointâ€™s share of the Championship was its first in the 33 year history of the league. The senior players, Bentley, Friend, Ellis, Taylor, Hankins, Cheairs, Martin, Moore, Lawson, Mitchell, Tiffin, Hinshaw, Davis, Herring, Dingus, Campbell, Coggins, and Putt, ended their high school career with a 25-6 record, two second place finishes, and one Little Ten Championship. The class of 1965 left WPHS as the best football team in the history of the school.
Record Overallâ€”7-2 Game Scores Quitman Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen
13-7 (L) 36-0 (W) 14-0 (W) 12-0 (W) 12-0 (W)
Amory Houston Bruce Starkville
32-0 (W) 40-0 (W) 40-0 (W) 6-0 (L)
Head Coach: Charlie Newell
Vicki Shurden, Emily Braddock, Linda Hazelwood, Linda Murrah, Jodie Strickland, Sharon Flowers, Jeanette Ford, Betty Lynn Webber
Assistant Coaches: Larry Arrington, Johnny Cantrell
Managers Gary Hudson, Carlisle Campbell, Howard Brown
The 1965 season for the Green Wave under second-year Head Coach Charlie Newell turned out to be a successful one. The Greenies had six victories and suffered two losses, along with two games that ended in a tie. At the end of the opening game against Quitman, the scoreboard read 0-0. Going into the final game of the season against neighboring Starkville, the Greenies had a record of five wins. They ended the season with a 21-3 victory over their arch rivals, the Yellowjackets. Seniors included Merle Angle, Kevin Bennett, Bobby Bounds, David Clark, John Durrett, John Ed Freshour, Johnny Gilliland, David Hill, Dunie McClure, William Osburn, Charlie Portera, Billy Poss, Dewey Putt, Robbie Robinson, Ronnie Robinson, Robert Earl Smith, and Buddy Turner. Johnny Gilliland and Merle Angle were named to the All Little Ten first team and David Clark and Buddy Turner to the second team.
Head Coach: Charlie Newell
James Young, Nathan Wright, Joe Pollard
Assistant Coaches: Johnny Cantrell, Larry Arrington
No/Name Gd Pos
10 Robert Earl Smith 11 Bobby Sams 14 Bobby Bounds 24 Johnny Gilliland 33 Tommy Henley 34 Tim Judson 35 Gary Duncan 40 Mike Baird 42 David Hill 43 Kevin Bennett 54 Walter DeLoach 55 Reggie Dill 56 David Clark 60 Robbie Robinson 61 Merle Angle 63 Jim Chandler 64 Jimmy Clark 65 Dunie McClure 66 Billy Buck Staggers 67 Ronnie Kisner 68 Charles Smith 69 Billy Poss 70 Carl Cook 71 Buddy Turner 73 Ronnie Robinson 75 Charles Simmons 77 Chet Gregg 78 Charlie Portera 79 Sam Savage 80 William Osburn 81 Joe Brazil 83 Mark Hazard 84 Tommy Miller 86 John Durrett 87 John Ed Freshour 88 Dewey Putt
12 11 12 12 11 10 11 11 12 12 10 10 12 12 12 10 10 12 11 11 11 12 11 12 12 10 11 12 11 12 11 10 11 12 12 12
QB QB QB HB FB E FB HB HB HB C C C G G G G C G G G G T T T T T T T E E E G E E E
Cheerleaders Judy White, Mary Carr McGlohn, Elizabeth Campbell, Marty Southern, Janette Ford, Carolyn Tedford, Sharon Flowers, Jody Strickland
Record Overallâ€”6-2-2 Game Scores Quitman Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Bruce Houston Clarksdale Starkville
0-0 (T) 14-6 (L) 13-7 (L) 5-0 (W) 6-0 (W) 35-0 (W) 28-7 (W) 0-0 (T) 9-0 (W) 21-3 (W)
Record Overallâ€”3-8 Game Scores Louisville Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory No/Name
14-0 (L) 10-7 (L) 19-14 (W) 22-0 (L) 20-6 (L) 13-0 (L)
Wgt. Gd. Pos.
Bruce Houston Clarksdale Starkville Eupora No/Name
13-12 (W) 20-6 (L) 20-6 (L) 25-7 (L) 6-0 (W) Wgt. Gd. Pos.
The 1966 season was a disappointing one for West Point coaches and players, ending with three wins and eight losses. The wins came over New Albany, Bruce, and a shutout against Eupora in the final game. The most disappointing loss of the season was to rival Starkville 25 to 7. The Green Wave leaders included seniors Chet Gregg, Larry Henley, Kenny Hudson, Ronnie Kisner, Tommy Miller, Steve Sanders, Billy Buck Staggers, Billy Wayne Anthony, and Bobby Sams.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Charlie Newell Assistant Coaches: Johnny Cantrell, Jay McKinney, Larry Arrington
Managers Robert Neal Anderson, Maurice Duncan, Nathan Wright
Cheerleaders Sharon Flowers, Jodie Strickland, Carolyn Tedford, Judy Murphy, Susan Hood, Judy Combs, Kaye Young, Jane Hooker
The Green Wave, coached by Charlie Newell and staff, rebounded from a 3-8 losing season and posted a 7-3 record with victories over Oxford, New Albany, Pontotoc, Aberdeen, Bruce, Houston, and Eupora, with the final game a disappointing 37-6 loss to rival Starkville. The Greenies were led by All Little Ten performers Reggie Dill, John Burt Wooten, Jimmy Harmon, Tim Judson, Edwin Mitchell, James Watson, and R. B. Davis. Other senior players included Ronnie Hardin, Richard Walls, Murray Tubb, Mark Hazard, Walter DeLoach, Jim Chandler, Albert Henderson, Charlie Simmons, Sylvester Harris, and Larry Barton. Harris broke the color barrier as the first African American to put on the green and white. 1967 was a good year for the Green Wave.
Overallâ€”7-3 Game Scores Louisville Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Bruce Houston Eupora Starkville
13-7 (L) 6-0 (W) 20-7 (W) 19-0 (W) 7-0 (W) 19-7 (L) 60-0 (W) 19-14 (W) 26-22 (W) 37-6 (L)
Assistant Coaches: Johnny Cantrell, Eddie Dickerson
Managers Coaching Staff Head Coach: Charlie Newell
Andy Lofton, Bill Young, Bubba Klutts, David Hipp
Cheerleaders Kaye Young, Patsy Christian, Marianne Mullens, Betsy McGlohn, Ann Gardner, Lynn Bivens, Jane Hooker, Judy Combs
Record Overallâ€”3-7 Game Scores Louisville Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Bruce Houston Eupora Starkville
28-13 (L) 21-0 (W) 13-0 (L) 6-0 (L) 38-19 (L) 28-20 (L) 21-7 (W) 10-9 (L) 19-14 (L) 14-0 (W)
The 1968 Green Wave saw a season with three wins and seven defeats, with decisive wins coming over Oxford 21-0 and Bruce 21-7. The final game of the season was marked by an outstanding victory over Starkville in one of the greatest upsets in the Little Ten Conference. All Little Ten performers for Coach Newellâ€™s Fighting Greenies included Jimmy Hudson, Edwin Mitchell, and Kenny Watkins. Other seniors playing their last games for the Wave included David Anderson, Tony Parks, Charlie Rodgers, Roger Hill, Billy Joe Dye, Charles Elliot, Alan Dearing, Steve Hazard, and Lonnie Peeples.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Charlie Newell Assistant Coaches: Johnny Cantrell, Eddie Dickerson
Managers Bubba Klutts, Kenny Ramsey, Jeffrey Dew
Cheerleaders Jane Hooker, Lewise Randle, Donna Powell, Ann Gardner, Debbie Murphree, Lynn Bivens, Edna McFadden, Andrea White
The 1969 season at West Point High School started a new chapter, as this was the first year of total integration in West Point. The players who moved over from Fifth St. High were new to West Point High School, so there were players who had never played together. The Little Ten Conference was strong, as usual, and the Green Wave struggled in a number of games. Several players sustained injuries that kept them out for some games. Mike Walker was the starting quarterback throughout the year and had some great players who stood out for the Wave all season. Probably the most exciting game was against the heavily favored Aberdeen Bulldogs. The Green Wave showed great tenacity in the game and led the Bulldogs until the 3rd quarter, when Aberdeen pulled ahead to keep the lead for the final score of 23-16. Several players from this team went on to play college football.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Charlie Newell Assistant Coaches: Johnny Cantrell, Travis Langford
Managers D.P. Baird, Ralph Weems, Chuck Newell, Kenny Ramsey, and Bubba Klutts
Cheerleaders Edna McFadden, Sue McGlohn, Beverly Florreich, Bobbie Tedder, Karen Elliot, Carol Hill, Jona Moore, Jene Moore
Record Overall—4-6 Game Scores Louisville Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Bruce Houston Eupora Starkville
38-6 (L) 12-7 (W) 13-0 (L) 14-6 (W) 23-16 (L) 21-7 (L) 27-0 (W) 28-6 (W) 39-6 (L) 42-15 (L)
Football, Integration, and The Two Sylvester Harrises In 1911, Tuskegee Institute defeated Atlanta Baptist College 6-0 to win the “Negro Championship of the South.” That same season, Jackson College (later renamed Jackson State University) established the first black football team in Mississippi. In 1913, after a hard-fought 7-6 victory over Rust College in Holly Springs, the Jackson eleven, along with the Rust team, were invited to play a rematch during the Mississippi State Fair. The Jackson Daily News ran a front-page story touting the spectacle. At 3:00 pm on November 7, 1913, a crowd of over four thousand gathered at the fairgrounds for the contest. Over two thousand of those in attendance were white. It was the first time in Mississippi that a large number of white citizens watched a football game featuring black players. In the 1920s and 30s, the number of black football teams in Mississippi proliferated. Beginning in 1938, thousands of spectators gathered in Pike County to watch their local team play the Louisiana state champion in a charity match commonly known as the annual “Chocolate Bowl.” In 1939, Lanier High School fielded an undefeated squad that was said to rival any high school team the state has ever produced. In 1942, West Point Elementary School was reclassified as Northside High School. The school’s first principal — a gentleman the students called Professor James and who rode a horse to school each day — decided the school needed a football team. He asked a teacher named Mr. Powe to coach the first team. They called themselves the Northside Bombers. The Northside Bombers (1942-1959) John Tucker played running back and linebacker for the bombers in the mid-50s. He wore number 11. Tucker’s cousin R.C. Tucker played running back for Northside from 1947-1950. His brother Dave Tucker played running back
from 1951-1952. “I played the position from 1953-1957,” Tucker said, “so a Tucker played running back for the Bombers for nearly a decade.” Tucker’s teammate Lewis OdNeal played tackle and guard for the Bombers from 1955-1958. He wore number 1. “The whites could come see our games,” OdNeal said, “but we couldn’t go watch their games.” Tucker and OdNeal said the Bombers had eleven matching uniforms for the starting lineup (those players generally played both ways). The remainder of the team wore a ragtag combination of used equipment and hand-me-downs. Tucker had a new uniform. OdNeal said he inherited his equipment from items passed along from West Point High players. “We’d get socks, shoes, even jock straps,” OdNeal said. “We’d boil ‘em and wear ‘em.” OdNeal added that the Northside Bomber colors were blue and gold, but he wore a Green Wave helmet during his time on the team. In many respects, the Northside Bombers had typical seasons. They played the all-black schools from Starkville, Columbus, Ripley, Tupelo, Aberdeen, Amory, Macon, Corinth, and New Albany. Tucker and OdNeal both remember fondly their days playing with the Bombers; however, they admitted that some of their games were unusual . . . if not terrifying. “If you ran out of bounds on the opposing team’s sideline,” OdNeal said, “they’d beat you up!” With no stands or fences separating players from supporters, the sidelines were lined with rabid fans. Tucker added, “You did not want to run out of bounds on your opponents’ side.” Out of town games were also rough. Even after the game was over, players had to watch their backs. “If we beat the home team,” OdNeal said, “their fans would want to whoop us af1949 story from the ter the game.” Daily Times Leader Tucker noted that Tupelo’s fans were
some of the worst. “One night we had to lie down on the floor of our O.C. Lee, Robert Lee, Ervin Webb, Abraham Washington, Charles bus and be escorted out of town.” Caruthers, Henry Billups, Robert Fleet, Robert “Yank” Harris, Webber The two also recalled ferocious conditions. Some fields had shallow Quinn, Henry Everson, and Billy Crawford. John Miller Coleman was ponds full of water. Others had grasses so thick and sharp that players the head coach in the 1950s. would get cut when they fell. The Daily Times Leader often reported on the Bombers in the 40s Tucker and OdNeal remembered one particularly harsh day in Rip- and 50s. They especially encouraged white citizens in Clay County to ley. attend the games. Interestingly, the newspaper referred to the team as “It was snowing,” OdNeal said. “It was so cold that the referees the Atomic Bombers, but within the Northside community, the word wouldn’t take their hands out of their pockets. They pushed the football “atomic” was never used. around with their feet until it was rolled to the appropriate spot.” Tucker said the officials were so cold they Sylvester Harris announced that “the team that scores first While OdNeal and Tucker were still playing for the Bombers in the 1950s, young Sylwins” so everyone could go home. Poor conditions and combative fans vester Harris was living in a three-bedroom weren’t the only difficult issues players faced house in Clay County with his mother and in the black football leagues. Tucker said twelve siblings. teams would recruit athletic players regardless Sylvester was the seventh of thirteen Harris children. His single mother, Mary Harris, of age and school enrollment. was a Christian lady with strong moral valTucker said, “Grown men with families ues. She taught her children how to survive in would be playing against us boys.” But Tucker tough times. also admitted that the Bombers weren’t above Mary Harris Witherspoon, Sylvester’s oldoccasionally recruiting an athletic adult from er sister, said, “Growing up on a farm, we the West Point area to level the playing field. pretty much raised our food, and we always At least four Northside Bombers from the had a cow for milk, and we had pigs and 1950s went on to play college football. Henry chickens. My mother gardened. If there were Townsend, Franklin Webb, Eddie Johnson, two things Mary Harris could do, it was raise and Lewis OdNeal all played at Mary Holmes children and gardens.” College. John Tucker was offered scholarships Ms. Harris would tell her children, “We from a number of colleges, including Jackson may be poor, but you can still maintain your State, but he chose to work at Bryan Foods dignity and integrity. God will make a way after high school. for you. You don’t have to stay down because Due to budget constraints, football programs, yearbooks, and photography were people look down on you. You can always get scarce, but Tucker and OdNeal remembered up. Because you are somebody!” some of the other players on the 50s BombWitherspoon remembered the spring all Northside Bombers Homecoming circa 1955. the Harris children whitewashed the house. er teams — Bobby Dixon, Stuart Spraggins,
63 Many in West Point, in part “All the children had brushes. since two historically black colThe owner of the house, Homer Tumlinson, came by and said, leges were located nearby, were ‘My, my, you children really got it supportive of integration and looking good around here.’ And wanted the best education posof course, that just encouraged sible for all citizens. But that us.” wasn’t true for everyone in the Respecting your belongings region. was something the single mother drilled into her children. “You 1967 might not have but one piece of In the spring of 1967, when cloth to wear,” Ms. Harris reHarris and his girlfriend, Minminded her offspring, “but keep nie Matthews, were juniors at it clean!” Fifth Street School, Mississippi Witherspoon said the older was still a dangerous place for Harris children weren’t able to civil rights activists. On Febgo to college, but by the time the ruary 27, 1967, state treasurer younger children arrived at adoof the NAACP Wharlest Jacklescence, things began to change. son was killed by a car bomb in “Mother encouraged them to alNatchez, and the killers of civil ways try to go to college, to furrights activists Chaney, Goodther their education, and be the man, and Schwerner had not Sylvester Harris running with the 1967 team. best they could be,” Witherspoon yet been convicted. Yet Sylvester said. Harris completed an application Sylvester’s father left the family when Sylvester was a toddler, but his to attend all-white West Point High School in the fall in 1967. His girluncle Howard Walker, a sharecropper from Whites Station, was a role friend, Minnie Matthews, applied, too. model for the young man. He told Sylvester: Do the best you can and Sylvester also tried out for the West Point football team. life won’t be so hard for you. Lewis OdNeal recalled the black community’s response. “We were It was advice Sylvester took to heart. afraid for him. Afraid for Sylvester.” And for good reason. The Fifth Street Bombers & Freedom of Choice Mark Hazard, a white teammate of Harris’s, said, “There was talk Northside High School operated from 1942-1959. In 1960, the about it around town. A lot of people didn’t think he should play.” school moved into a new building on Fifth Street. From 1960-1969, the The first day of practice, Hazard and fellow teammate Jimmy Harfootball team was known as the Fifth Street Bombers. mon took it upon themselves to welcome Harris to West Point High At the Bomber game, fans cheered — School football. “We tried to hurt Sylvester,” Hazard said. “Jimmy and I hit him so Clap your hands! hard the first day, he came out of his high top shoes.” Stomp your feet! After the hit, Harris couldn’t get up and was transported to the hosThe Fifth Street Bombers! pital. Can’t be beat! Matthews went to the hospital to be with her boyfriend. She saw, first hand, the brutality Harris endured. “They bruised his kidney,” she Mississippi essentially ignored the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision said. After that day, Matthews swore she would never attend another Brown v. Board of Education. A full decade later, after passage of the football game during her lifetime. Civil Rights Act of 1964, Mississippi reluctantly adopted a freedom of Despite his girlfriend’s disdain for the sport, Harris remembered his choice method of school desegregation. mother’s words. You can always get up. Because you are somebody. Across the state from 1964-1967, black parents who attempted to enHe was released from the hospital the following day and returned roll their children in white schools faced intimidation. And when black to practice. students did enroll, they often faced the wrath of unsympathetic teach“I couldn’t believe it,” Hazard said. “After that hit, Sylvester was ers, administrators, and fellow students. right back out there with us the next day.”
64 and Scooba, Harris endured the same kind of intolerance and brutality he did during his early days on the West Point squad. “But these players were huge . . . and mean,” Watson said. “We had some men in their mid-20s who were Vietnam veterans playing. One of them weighed 240 pounds. It was tough on Sylvester.” Watson added, “But Sylvester never complained.” The infamously tough Coach Sullivan — a man who had his team scrimmage in a pond and block pine trees to toughen them up — had a soft spot for Harris. “Bull Sullivan had a nickname for Sylvester,” Watson said. “He called him Sealed Beam. All of the rest of us thought, ‘Coach didn’t give us nicknames!’” Coach Sullivan believed his 1969 team could win the national championship. Watson and some other players overheard him say, “Next Harris with Davis and Barton in 1967. year, we’re going to win it all.” It is true that Sullivan had a fantastic crew of returning athletes. What no one realized was Sullivan had enlisted Harris’s help to recruit some of the top black athletes in the state to attend East Mississippi. Harris convinced several exceptional athletes, including All America player Johnny Fisher and Jackie Ball to attend EMCC for the 1969 On to Scooba and MSU In a feature story about legendary Northeast Mississippi Junior Col- season. lege coach Bull Sullivan, Sports Illustrated reported: As the talented recruiting class signed on, President R. A. Harbour “In 1968, Bull Cyclone brought a black player onto the team. Now out-maneuvered Coach Sullivan and convinced the board to terminate that may not sound especially progressive, but it was three more years Sullivan’s contract. The talent of the 1969 team, coupled with Sullivan’s before Bear Bryant integrated his Alabama squad and a year before any offensive genius, would have surely captured the title. of the major Mississippi teams welcomed blacks. And Kemper County But Sullivan’s days as coach had come to an end. was the deepest part of Dixie. Harris played on the 1969 team that went 9-1, in spite of Sullivan’s “Sylvester Harris wasn’t just the first black player on the Scooba absence. He transferred to Mississippi State to finish his degree. team; he was the first black to attend the college. In fact, East Mississippi had lost a lot of federal funds because President R. A. Harbour hadn’t 1970 let in blacks. Sullivan’s action made a good many people around Scooba In 1970, West Point fully integrated the schools. Under court order mad; Kemper wasn’t called Bloody Kemper for nothing. One of the big and expedited in a fashion that caught the school district off guard, shots in the county offered the coach $500 to run Harris off.” students at West Point attended school in shifts. The students from the Coach Sullivan ran the big shot off and kept Harris. Sullivan knew county attended one shift; the students from the city attended another. Harris held the key to winning a national championship. Not because Although there were some issues, integration at West Point was relativeof Harris’s talent, but because of his personality. ly smooth. According to James Watson, a teammate of Harris’s at West Point A group of minority students were expelled for making demands of During the first weeks of summer practice, Harris endured isolation, verbal assaults, and hit after hit after hit. But he never waned. When the team prepared to pack for an away game to play Louisville High School, players were told to find a partner — a teammate with whom to share a duffle bag. As teammates paired off, Hazard noticed Harris standing alone. No one on the team wanted to share his duffle. “I’ll share the bag with you,” Hazard said. West Point lost the game to Louisville, but on the ride home Hazard and Harris sat on the bus together and talked. ••• The 1967 Green Wave team — among the first integrated teams in the state — went a respectable 7-3 on the season. At the end of the school year, each student was asked to list their favorite person at West Point High. Sylvester Harris chose Mark Hazard. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.
The Other Sylvester Harris
the administration. The conflict was ultimately resolved by the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. These were tumultuous times, for certain. But nothing could have been better for the football team. In 1971, one year after integration, the Green Wave team won its first Little Ten Championship (in 64 they had shared with Starkville). In the forty-seven seasons since the schools combined, West Point has won a total of nine state titles — the second-most in the modern history of Mississippi high school football. ••• John Tucker attended every Bombers game through 1969. He now attends every West Point High School football game. “We can all forget our differences on Friday nights,” Tucker said. “There is no black or white. Just green.” All five of Lewis OdNeal’s sons played football at West Point. His daughter also graduated from WPHS. OdNeal is actively involved in local politics, as well as the Northside High School Alumni Association. Minnie Matthews married Sylvester Harris. They had six children. She kept her promise and has never attended a football game. Sylvester Harris went on to be a coach, a newspaper publisher, a delegate to the National Democratic Convention, and president of the local chapter of the NAACP. Mr. Harris died on May 15, 2016. Mark Hazard spoke at his funeral.
In 1934, at the height of the Depression — and one year after President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched his New Deal — Mississippi black farmer Sylvester Harris traveled twelve miles on his mule to Columbus, Mississippi, to telephone the President. It took Harris over ninety minutes to get the President on the phone. Harris told Roosevelt he could not make the mortgage payments on his cotton farm. The President agreed to help stop foreclosure on the farm. The Associated Press picked up the story from a front-page report in the Columbus Dispatch, and the story became national news. Harris’s story was featured in a Hearst International Newsreel, dozens of editorials, at least one editorial cartoon, and hundreds of newspapers across the country, including the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Harris functioned as an inspiring folk hero in a time of the New Deal. In 1935, Blues singer Memphis Minnie recorded a single titled “Sylvester And His Mule Blues.” In addition to international media coverage, Harris was asked to come to Chicago as a stump speaker for an African American candidate running for the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois. Harris was lauded by thousands for his gumption and tenacity. Those traits were embodied by West Point’s Sylvester Harris who was born forty-five years later than — and just few miles away from — the famous Sylvester Harris who called the President. Though no records link the relationship between the two, two trailblazing Sylvester Harrises from the same region seems too much to simply be coincidence. Whether or not these two remarkable men from East Mississippi were related by blood, it is certain they were kindred in spirit.
William Earl Taylor (1924-1988)
By the middle of the last century, the name William Earl Taylor had become a household word in church, community, and civic service. But his driving passion was always sports — especially when it involved the young people of West Point, Mississippi. He attended West Point public schools from the age of six, and developed into a star athlete, lettering in football, track, basketball, and baseball. He attended the University of Mississippi, followed by a tour of duty in Korea with the US Army. (1946-47) He returned to his hometown and was named head basketball coach and baseball coach for the Trades Training Institute located in Prairie. This program was offered for returning veterans and was under the auspices of Mississippi State University. Under his leadership, the school captured three state championships, followed by being named third in the nation and runner-up to national champions. John Stroud, his most wellknown player, went on to play for a barnstorming professional team known as the Whiskered Wizards, whom Taylor secured fairly often to help with fundraisers for the local teams. In 1952, Taylor was instrumental in the creation of the West Point Quarterback Club, whose goal was to provide support and generate enthusiasm for the local football team. Because they wanted to support all high school sports, the name was changed to the Sportsman Club the following year. A number of years later the club was reorganized and named the Booster Club. Taylor served as president in 1952, 1953, and 1960 and was an active member for many years. To boost enthusiasm for the games, William Earl, who was very artistic, frequently made posters for the school and banners for the team busses to give the Greenies a peppy send-off. Following Taylor’s death in 1988, the “William Earl Taylor Volunteer Award” was presented in his memory by the Booster Club to Jeff “Pedro” Henry for outstanding contribution to the WPHS Athletic Department in 1989-1990.
Taylor was named as West Point’s first full-time tax assessor, but evenings and weekends were occupied with working with youth sports. His dedication would lead him to be appointed the city’s first director of parks and recreation. He founded and served as national commissioner of the Dizzy Dean Youth Baseball program from 1979-1988. From 1954-1964, William Earl served as a correspondent for the Memphis-based Commercial Appeal, where he was consistently named among the top ten of the 100 reporters for the regional newspaper. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, he compiled reports of football games from the Little Ten coaches to put together “The Little Ten Round-up” weekly broadcast on WROB Radio Station in West Point. Taylor has been called the Green Wave’s most ardent fan. A special service Taylor performed for years was the filming of WPHS football games. From 1953 until a few weeks before his death in 1988, William Earl could be spotted in the press box capturing the action on Friday nights, or even perched atop an opponent’s press box filming in the rain or freezing temps. Filming was a rather new idea for high school football, so many of the stadiums did not have a place for anyone to film. The team viewed the films following the games, and the coaches used them for instruction. The WPHS baseball field was named in Taylor’s honor in 1985. He was named to the West Point Hall of Fame in 1986, representing one of the first winners of the prestigious award. He was married to the former Jeanette Cummings of Ruleville, and the couple had three children: William Earl (Skip) Taylor, Linda T. Campbell, and Jennie Taylor. William Earl died on October 24, 1988, at North Mississippi Medical Center after a lengthy illness, but he will forever be remembered for his strong leadership and character building activities among the young people of Clay County.
The competition was fierce. January 1, 1970, ushered in a decade like none that had gone before. The seventies was a decade of change — of pet rocks, water beds, incense, lava lamps, and mood rings. It was an age of progressive social values, increasing political awareness, feminism, and steps toward racial equality. Hippies were on the news and protest music on the radio. The young, and not so young, wore tie dye shirts, capri pants, and bell bottoms, sported afros, played video games, and danced to disco. Yes, change was in the air, and change was also evident at West Point High School. The football teams of the 1970s were the first fully integrated teams of the lower South, and West Point was on the cutting edge. The contributions of a growing number of black athletes changed the game. In 1971 the Green Wave, for the first time, were undisputed Little Ten Champions. The bicentennial year of ’76 was another especially good year. Except for a one-point loss to Tupelo in the second game of the season, the Greenies were undefeated and were 1976 South Division Champions. Like the decade in which they played, the ‘70s Wave teams experienced ups and downs but ended on a high note with a record of 8-3 in 1979. One ‘70s WPHS yearbook put it this way: “Perhaps our fierce spirit of competition and our drive to win in sports was spawned by the traditional Southern position of underdog. But for whatever reason, football aggressively played is still the king of sports in the South. The South is known for the good football players we produce.” In the ‘70s West Point produced a number of outstanding athletes such as Henry Tillmon, John Jackson, Arcelious Townsend, Bob Bailey, Charlie Miller, Bob Hughes, Paul Daniels, James Otis Doss, Timbo Baird, Jay Golson, Lamar Williams, and Elmer Robertson, to name a few. With one exception the teams of the seventies were coached by former West Point athletes: Athletic Director Johnny Cantrell, Head Coach Travis Langford, and assistants Jimmy Wood, Tommy Keys, Walter Newell, Kenny Hudson, Bubba Davis, and Jerry Davis. Terry Brumley was the only non-West Pointer of the decade.
Record Overall—5-5 Game Scores Louisville 28-0 (L) Oxford 26-6 (L) New Albany 42-27 (W) Pontotoc 32-14 (W) Aberdeen 14-6 (W) Amory 21-14 (L) Bruce 46-0 (W) Houston 44-12 (W) Tupelo 35-16 (L) Starkville 41-6 (L)
Managers Keith Christopher, Donnie Kisner, David Raines
Cheerleaders Karen Elliott, Donna Davis, Ella McGee, Jene Moore, Anita Walker, Etta Kay Ervin No/Name
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
West Point High School football fans got a “new look” when the Green Wave opened the 1970 season. That new look included a new head coach, former Green Wave player Travis Langford, and a “new offense and defense.” Langford switched from a pro to a slot offense (Ellis Andrews, DTL). With only twelve returning linemen, the team would depend heavily on juniors. For the first time the Greenies had permanent team captains elected by the squad earlier in the fall: Jerry Davis, Johnny Littlefield, and Roy Mitchell. The new Wave lost its first two contests before posting three wins in a row. In the first of those wins, West Point defeated New Albany “in a demonstration of offensive fireworks seldom seen on a high school football field” (Andrews). The underdog Greenies, led by quarterback Vance and backs Davis and Smith, posted a convincing win. The Greenies finished the season with an even record of five wins and five losses—the final loss coming against perennial Little Ten powerhouse Starkville. The season ended with many returning players and the promise of good things to come.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Travis Langford Assistant Coaches: Jimmy Wood, Johnny Cantrell
The 1971 football season would have to be called the most rewarding in West Point history. For the first time the Green Wave was the sole owner of the Little Ten Conference Championship. Once before, in 1964, the Green Wave shared the title with Starkville. Five Greenies were named All Little Ten, four received Honorable Mention, and six more received at least one vote. The season started with a close loss to Louisville, then the Greenies reeled off seven straight LTC victories, including an outstanding 22-7 victory against Amory in the Waveâ€™s best effort. After a close loss to Tupelo the Green Wave traveled to Starkville in the showdown for the championship. After 48 minutes of hard fought football the score stood as it had in the beginning, 0-0. However, Starkville had lost to Amory, so West Point became the 1971 LITTLE TEN CHAMPIONS. (Taken from the Green Wave, WPHS Yearbook)
No./Name 10 Donnie Walker 11 Jimmy McNutt 12 Buddy Vance 15 Steve Shumpert 21 Edward Walker 23 Marion Bratton 24 Ray Golson 30 John Jackson 31 Kenny Sizemore 33 Joe Henley 34 Franklin Koonce
40 41 42 43 44 51 53 54 60 62 63 64
Charles Edwards Tommy Donahoo D. P. Baird Ken Walls Carl Griffen Dan Golson Charles Burges Harrod McGibbony J. T. Rhea Doug Jolly Chuck White Wyatt Hazard
Record Overallâ€”7-3-1 Game Scores Louisville Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Bruce Houston Tupelo Starkville Caldwell
13-7 (L) 14-6 (W) 28-0 (W) 35-13 (W) 21-14 (W) 22-7 (W) 32-0 (W) 40-26 (W) 26-13 (L) 0-0 (T) 26-20 (L)
66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 77 78
Bob Hughes Bob Cook George Hinnant Glen Allen` Charlie Miller Arcelious Townsend Doug Ladd Willie Roby Billy Tiffin Dan Cash George Simmons Wayne Ray
80 Hershel Manley 81 Jesse Pulliam 82 Isaac Edwards 83 Eddy Edwards 84 James Wofford 85 Tommy Edwards 86 Robert Rupert 87 Edward Johnson
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Travis Langford Assistant Coaches: Tommy Keys, Walter Newell
Managers Marvin Yates, Charlie Davis, Bud Matthews
Cheerleaders Debi Cliett, Rosemary Coleman, Donna Davis, Karen Elliot, Sandra Mattix, Diane Thompson, Anita Walker
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Record Overall—2-7-1 Game Scores Louisville 28-6 (L) Oxford 13-0 (L) New Albany 22-13 (L) Pontotoc 0-0 (T) Aberdeen 7-0 (L)
Amory Corinth Lee High Starkville Caldwell
12-6 (W) 28-6 (L) 7-6 (L) 21-0 (W) 3-0 (L)
John Otis Cox
LB 140 Sr.
The Green Wave had this to say about the football season: “Jubilant moments of victory… serious discussions – these were all a part of Football ’72. Although the Big Green Machine often met what seemed like insurmountable odds, they managed to come through with victory.” There were many “real tests of skill… Corinth…Oxford…finally victory…Amory and Starkville. The work pays off.” The victory over rival Starkville has always been sweet. In a season that had many disappointing moments, there were also outstanding performances. John Otis Cox made All Little Ten, with Honorable Mention going to flanker Carl Griffen, (who also made All Little Ten in basketball), halfback Tommy Donahoo, and split end Charles Edwards.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Travis Langford Assistant Coaches: Walter Newell, Terry Brumley
Managers Anthony Deans, James Brown, T. Davis, F. Edwards
Cheerleaders Donna Davis, Rita Gibson, Vesta Gillis, Sarah Ivy, Okemah Jack, Sandra Mattix, Rebecca Milican, Carol Millsaps
Head Coach Travis Langford had the job of replacing both the offensive and defensive backfields, so the season opened with what sportswriter Nate Wright of the DTL called “many new faces in the 1973 lineup.” Wright quoted Langford as saying, “We will be bigger than last year, . . .but still small when compared to two years ago,” when the Green Wave won the first undisputed Little Ten Championship. The good news was the return of a strong line anchored by Bob Hughes, David Gibbs, and Willie Roby. The Greenies lost their opener to a strong Corinth team, but followed with wins over Oxford and New Albany and tied Pontotoc before losing to Aberdeen in a heartbreaker, 19-18. They posted a win over Amory, which moved them into second place in the Little Ten, before losing to Corinth, the “undefeated leaders and defending champs of the conference” (DTL). The last three games of the season were the Golden Triangle competition, Lee and Caldwell of the Big Eight Conference and Starkville of the Little Ten. The Green Wave defeated Lee but lost to Starkville and Caldwell to close out the season.
Head Coach: Travis Langford
Lee Anna Gibson, Rita Gibson, Carol Ann Millsaps, Carol Sanders, Faye Walker, Sharon Wilkerson, Robin Young
Assistant Coaches: Walter Newell, Kenny Hudson
Managers Anthony Deanes, James Brown, R. Dismuke, Wes Wells
Record Overall—4-5-1 Game Scores Louisville Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Corinth Lee Starkville Caldwell
34-6 (L) 6-0 (W) 6-0 (W) 8-8 (T) 19-18 (L) 9-0 (W) 14-7 (L) 13-7 (W) 14-0 (L) 24-6 (L)
No./Name 10 Donnie Kisner 11 Cy Phyfer 12 Ray Keel 15 John Wofford 20 Ike Walker 21 Mark Hamlin 22 Floizell Wilson 23 Marion Bratton 24 Anthony House 25 Jimmy Taggart 30 J. Clay 31 David Cox 34 B. Wilson 35 James Ewings 40 Halbert Swift 41 Eddie Pippens 42 Paul Daniels 43 Johnny Chandler 44 Darnell Butler 45 Joseph Collins 48? Lester Moore 50 S. Scott 51 Dan Golson 54 Randy Nash
55 Keith Stepp 60 Robert Rhea 62 Adolphia Tolliver 63 Larry Golson 64 Wyatt Hazard 66 Bob Hughes 67 Frederick Lash 68 Dennis Holliday 69 Tony Watkins 70 R. Brooks 71 James Sanderson 72 E. Swift 73 Willie Roby 74 Bobby Larry 75 Willie Melton 77 David Gibbs 78 Jeff Peeples 80 Charles Johnson 81 James Brooks 82 Ricky Young 83 Floyd Deanes 84 James Wofford 85 Jeff Ellis 86 Murphy Evans 87 Roy Swift
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Overall—7-4 Game Scores Louisville Oxford New Albany Pontotoc Aberdeen Amory Corinth Caldwell Lee Starkville
20-6 (L) 13-7 (W) 20-14 (W) 7-6 (W) 33-8 (W) 41-18 (W) 13-7 (W) 39-16 (L) 13-0 (W) 15-6 (L)
Golden Triangle Civitan Bowl Shannon 20-0 (L)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Travis Langford Assistant Coaches: Kenny Hudson, Bubba Davis
Managers Chip Ingram, Keith Bennett,
Cheerleaders Robin Young, Minnie Manning, Liz Harmon, Sharon Wilkerson, Diane Ivy, Gail Edwards, Kay Griffin
“The 1974 Green Wave Football team had a successful season after a mediocre record in 1973” (Green Wave Yearbook). West Point lost the opening game of the season to Louisville, but rallied to win the next six games before losing to Columbus Caldwell in game 8. The Greenies bounced right back and defeated Columbus Lee by a score of 13 to 0. “The climax of the season, the Starkville game, was a disappointment with the Green Wave losing to the Yellow Jackets by a score of 15 to 6” (Yearbook). The regular season record of seven wins and three losses earned the Green Wave an invitation to compete in the Golden Triangle Civitan Bowl, which they lost to Shannon. James Otis Doss, Cal Johnson, Paul Daniels, and Timbo Baird were named to the first team All Little Ten, with Randy Nash and Willie Melton earning honorable mention. Coach Travis Langford was named Coach of the Year.
In 1975 the Green Wave returned six offensive and seven defensive starters, including All Little Ten quarterback Timbo Baird, but Coach Langford was faced with replacing the Little Ten’s most valuable player, Paul Daniels, and Cal Johnson, all-conference fullback and linebacker. All in all, however, preseason hopes were high. In spite of their talent, the Greenies lost the first two contests to Louisville and Oxford, playing well for two quarters but failing to maintain momentum after the half. Sportswriter Danny Davis wrote of Game 3 against New Albany, “…Friday night the Green Wave came to play the whole game, and picked up 21 points in the second half.” He called James Otis Doss’s 67-yard scamper “one of the best runs from scrimmage that we have ever seen.” A Green Wave player credited the complete game to Coach Langford’s telling “us what we better do in the third quarter. And he sounded like he meant it.” The Wave (4-4-1) went into the final game against Starkville (8 -1) a decided underdog and “scrapped the heavily-favored Starkville Yellowjackets to a 7-7 tie.” Davis went on to say that “the Wave didn’t play like they were second-runners to anybody. Instead they played like we thought they were capable of playing all year long.”
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Travis Langford
Dianne Ivy, Sheila Harvey, Lee Anna Assistant Coaches: Bubba Gibson, Robin Young, Liz Davis, Kenny Hudson Harmon, Donna Managers Griffin, Kay Charles Quinn, David Griffin Estes, John Stewart
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Record Overall—4-4-2 Game Scores Louisville 13-0 (L) Oxford 13-7 (L) New Albany 30-7 (W) Pontotoc 14-14 (T) Aberdeen 19-14 (L) Amory 21-7 (W) Corinth 6-0 (W) Caldwell 7-6 (L) Lee 14-0 (W) Starkville 7-7 (T)
Record Overall—9-1 Little Ten Champs Game Scores Aberdeen 19-0 (W) Tupelo 14-13 (L) Pontotoc 21-0 (W) Lee 34-0 (W) Grenada 21-0 (W) Starkville 12-7 (W) Caldwell 14-12 (W) Fulton 47-13 (W) Louisville 21-7 (W) Oxford 48-20 (W)
No./Name 7 Rocky McGarity 8 C. Johanson 9 E. Mitchell 10 Rusty Iles 11 Steve Yarbrough 12 Dennis Lyles 15 Freddie Coleman 17 Timbo Baird 18 James Otis Doss 20 Bill Munka 21 Bobby Ewings 22 Andrew Walker 23 Frederick Spight 24 Kenneth Gibson 25 H. Cannon 30 Michael Allen 31 T. Clay 32 Lamar Williams 33 Roger Price
34 40 41 41 42 44 45 48 50 51 54 55 56 60 62 63 64 65 66 67
Tony Gordy Steve Copes Robert Young A. Collins Phil Ingram M. Davis J. Shelton B. Walker Brian Roy T. Ford J. Posey Ray Keel Ben Chandler Steve Neal Joe Jolly D. Jackson David Caskey Michael Watkins Danny Clardy Greg Cooke
Head Coach: Travis Langford
Assistant Coaches: Jerry Davis, Bubba Davis
69 70 71 72 73 74 75 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 86 87 88 80 81
Tony Hannah Larry Collins Tony Brand Robert Griffin Kip Brewer Bob Bailey W. Evans Larry Tolliver Kyle Bennett Brad Seawright Elmer Robertson Calvin Clark Earl Clardy D. Shelton Joel Kilgore H. Davis Jay Golson M. Jefferson J. Brown
Hellen Coleman, Annie Moore, Liz Harmon, Annie Gibson, Mary Ann Miller, Kay Griffin, Betsy Young, Gayle Kisner
West Point faced “an upgraded schedule brought on by the realignment of the Little Ten Conference earlier this year,” according to the preseason edition of the Daily Times Leader. The Green Wave now added Fulton, Tupelo, and Grenada, which made for a tough schedule. The Green wave had several top college prospects going into the season: James Otis Doss, Bob Bailey and Elmer Robertson. 1976 was a year for celebrating two hundred years of United States history. And in the fall of that year the West Point High School football team also had a lot to celebrate. The yearbook declared — “Greenies Hit the Road to Victory.” In the second game of the season West Point lost 14 to 13 to Tupelo and never looked back. That one-point game was the only spoiler in an otherwise perfect season. “The season begins…The coaches talk of a championship…Then come the real tests of skill — Starkville and Caldwell. The Green Machine met some tough competition, but they managed to come out on top!” (Yearbook) At the end of the season the Greenies were 1976 South Division Champs. The Greenies placed six members on the All Little Ten first team: Timbo Baird, Mike Watkins, Tony Hannah, James Otis Doss, and Bob Bailey. Baird also made second team, along with Lamar Williams, Ben Chandler, Elmer Robertson, Bill Munka, and Greg Cooke. Cooke, a soccer style Aussie kicker, added an international flavor to the team.
This year the Green Wave gridders had a disappointing season. They worked very hard with high hopes of matching last year’s championship record but victories were hard to come by! The name “Charger” brought good luck—both Grenada’s and Oxford’s Chargers fell to the Green Wave. Any other name was a jinx for West Point, however, and the Greenies chalked up no other win. (Yearbook)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Travis Langford Assistant Coaches: Bubba Davis, Jerry Davis
Managers R. Brand, D. Finch, J. Sanders, R. Witherspoon, D. Cotton
Cheerleaders Julie Horner, Gloria Edwards, Jane Munka, Annie Gibson, Teri McWilliams, Rhoda Shaffer, Pearl Davis, Betsy Young
Record Overall—2-8 Game Scores Aberdeen 28-13 (L) Tupelo 17-0 (L) Pontotoc 7-6 (L) Lee High 21-6 (L) Grenada 13-12 (W) Starkville 33-7 (L) Caldwell 18-0 (L) Fulton 25-0 (L) Louisville 35-2 (L) Oxford 13-0 (W)
No./Name 7 Rocky McGarity 8 Ricky O’dneal 9 Ossie Doss 10 Rusty Iles 11 Steve Yarbrough 12 Avery Young 15 Freddie Coleman 17 Brian Ingram 18 Norris Davis 20 Bill Munka 21 Bobby Ewing 22 Willie C. Cox 23 Harvey Cannon 24 Steve Cope 30 Mike Allen 32 Terry Clay 33 James Shelton
34 41 42 43 44 48 50 51 54 55 56 60 62 63 64 65 66 70
Tony Gordy Vince Dixon Phil Ingram Rocky Young Marc Davis Smitty Walker Brian Roy Charles Johnson Gary Collins Mike Poss Paul Caskey Steve Neal Joe Jolly Donny Jackson David Caskey Terry Coggins Danny Clardy Larry Collins
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88
Tony Brand James Randle Billy Barnete Johnny Pittman William Evans Earnest Randle William Malone Doug Walker Bruce Seawright Andrew Lenoir Sammie Poe Earl Clardy Danny Shelton Raymond Smith Mark Christian Joel Kilgore Earl Wynn Jay Golson
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Overall—6-4 Game Scores Independence Aberdeen Tupelo Noxubee Lee High Grenada Starkville Caldwell Louisville Oxford
20-0 (W) 21-6 (W) 14-10 (W) 13-6 (W) 10-0 (W) 20-13 (L) 20-14 (L) 10-6 (L) 14-7 (L) 34-0 (W)
Cheerleaders Rhoda Schaffer, Gloria Edwards, Annie Lee Gibson, Teri McWilliams, Julie Horner, Jane Munka, Jackie Hannah, Nita Barham
The 1978 Green Wave, under head coach Travis Langford, opened the season with a five game win streak, including shutouts against Independence and Lee. Other teams who fell during that auspicious opening were Aberdeen, Tupelo, and Noxubee. The opening game showed the power of West Point’s defense when they held the Wildcats to -21 yards. In the win over Tupelo Rusty Iles replaced injured quarterback Avery Young, and sophomore Wallace Jones showed the talent that was a sign of things to come. The Noxubee game was scoreless at the end of three quarters, but two Wave touchdowns to one for Noxubee was the story of the game in the fourth quarter. After blanking Lee, the boys in green and white fell on tough times, losing to Grenada, Starkville, Caldwell, and Louisville. Then, in the final game of the season, the Greenies found their groove again, “drubbing” the Oxford Chargers 34-0. Four West Point players made the first team All-Conference of the South Division Little Ten, with five named to the second team. Named to the first team were the following: Earnest Randle (G), James Randle (IL), Bill Munka (DB), and Willie C. Cox (PK). Frankie Neely (RB), Charles Johnson (G), Larry Collins (E), Ricky OdNeal (LB), and Johnny Pittman (DB) rounded out the second team. A salute to Larry Collins, who had perfect attendance for twelve years of school — Grades One through Twelve!
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Travis Langford Assistant Coaches: Bubba Davis, Jerry Davis
Managers Jim Sanders, Brian Finch, Dewayne Finch, Dan Cotton
The West Point Green Wave began the year with a surge and kept rolling over opponents to finish the season with an impressive 8-3 record. The Columbus Magnolia Bowl proved to be a jinx for the Green Wave as we lost two games there: a close game against Caldwell and a controversially officiated 3 point loss to Lee. Proof of West Pointâ€™s football superiority was given at the end of the season when they were invited to play in the Mississippi Jaycee Bowl. They ended their season with a heartbreaking last minute 11 point loss to the number six team in the state. Like all other games, though, the Green Wave dominated. (Yearbook)
Head Coach: Travis Langford
Mary Evevard, Leslee Paulk, Brenda Chandler, Tina McCotry, Sondra Wright, Macheta Grays, Amy Washington, Vanessa Quinn
Assistant Coaches: Jerry Davis, Bubba Davis, Skippy Taylor
Managers Jim Sanders, Robert Weed, Kenny Summerall
Overallâ€”8-3 Game Scores Independence Aberdeen Tupelo Noxubee Lee High Grenada Starkville Caldwell Louisville Oxford
26-0 (W) 7-0 (W) 14-13 (W) 27-6 (W) 14-13 (L) 20-7 (W) 34-18 (W) 12-7 (L) 15-8 (W) 28-7 (W)
Mississippi Jaycee Bowl Clarksdale 8-7 (L) No/Name
Here Come the Champions! In the 1980s it all came together for West Point High School football. This was the decade of champions—four state championships, the first ever for WPHS in 1982, with an amazing three in a row to close the decade. State championships, however, do not fully show the strength of the teams of the 80s. In this ten-year period the Greenies had only one losing season, posting a 5-6 record in 1981. This decade also saw a reclassification of Mississippi schools, based on student numbers. The 1982 team defeated Gulfport for the AA state championship, at that time the top classification in the state. Then in 1984 schools were reclassified from 1A through 5A. West Point’s student population usually put them on the bubble between 4A and 5A. Following the state championship in 1982, the Green Wave were Red Carpet Bowl Champs in 1983; North State Champs in 1984, losing to McComb 22-19 for the 4A championship title; and District 1 4A Champs in both ’85 and ’86. The fighting Greenies closed out the decade with an unprecedented three-peat in ’87, ’88, and ’89. Both the ’82 and ’89 teams were undefeated, with only one loss in ’88. Raymond Reeves of the Commercial Dispatch called the ’87-’88 school year “A Year to Remember.” “It’s probably the best year we’ve ever had overall,” Athletic Director Bubba Davis said of the achievements in all sports. Both football and baseball teams won the state title. “Winning breeds winning,” Davis said. “It’s peer pressure—if football does well, then basketball wants to be competitive and so on. Any little thing like that helps.” Basketball Coach Walter Newell agreed. The basketball team was runnerup in North State and advanced to the state tournament. The track team was runner-up in the North Half and finished third in the state. The tennis team also sent players to the state tournament. All in all, it was an amazing year. The 1980 Green Wave football team was coached by a quartet of former West Point athletes, Head Coach Travis Langford and assistants Bubba Davis, Jerry Davis, and Skip Taylor. The following year, Bubba Davis was named head coach when Langford left, and another Green Wave athlete, Edward Walker, joined the ranks. In fact, a total of nine West Point alums coached the Wave during this run: Langford, the Davis brothers, Taylor, and Walker, as well as John Burt Wooten, Randy Hamblin, Leonard Glenn, and Floizell Wilson. They were ably assisted by newcomers Dennis Allen, Steve Montgomery, Jim Hamilton, and Anthony Hart. This decade saw numerous outstanding players don the green and white and demonstrate leadership on and off the field. Bubba’s boys were known for their discipline, and that discipline paid dividends. GW, the now-familiar Green Wave mascot, made his debut in the fall of ’83. Enthusiastic fans followed the Greenies’ progress at home and on the road, often bringing standing room only crowds to visitors’ bleachers. Those forced to stay at home followed every play with the Voice of the Green Wave, the one and the only Bud Bowen—“Woo Hoo Mercy!” Fall in West Point indeed brought on football mania amid a sea of green.
5 Garry Coleman 6 Bruce Wooten 7 Wallace Jones 8 Greg Robertson 9 John Bacot 10 Lyndon Robertson 11 Joey Wray 12 Bryan Tait 15 Billy Iles 17 Pete Hodo 18 Tim Morgan 19 Todd Michel 21 James Collins 22 John Williams 23 Charlie Ledbetter 25 Dewayne Bell 30 Jerome Gill 31 Robert Brand 33 Dennis Ewing 35 Quentin Adams 42 Lee Dismuke 43 Keith Watts 48 Harry Shelton 50 Allen Simmons 54 Fanasial Quinn 55 Don Roy 56 Rob Christian 62 Mike Farr 63 Richey Hudspeth 64 Greg Gordon 66 Larry Dismuke 67 Anthony McClenton 69 Kevin Kilgore 70 Mark Winter 71 Huey Frederick 72 Carl Middleton 74 Roger Petty 75 Joe Hall 77 Bruce Halbert 78 Bob Edwards 79 Clyde Hopkins 80 Marvin McFarland 82 Donnell O’dneal 84 Jeffrey Pittman 85 Vincent Bell 86 Steve Carter 87 Anthony Allen 88 Craig Keys 89 Don Bell
POS WGT GD
B WR B WR WR QB QB QB QB QB QB QB B WR B B WR B B B B WR WR C C C C G G G G G G T T T T T T T T E E WR E E E E E
141 132 150 148 144 150 131 156 160 148 154 126 120 123 153 146 155 145 138 132 151 143 137 134 192 156 161 159 176 200 160 175 215 202 219 197 200 225 226 225 207 153 156 148 154 201 210 198 147
11 10 12 12 11 10 12 11 10 11 12 10 10 11 12 11 12 11 11 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 10 11 11 10 12 12 10 11 12 11 11 10 10 12 12 12 11 12 10 12 11 10 11
Record Overall—6-4 Game Scores Aberdeen Tupelo Fulton Columbus Lee Grenada Starkville Columbus Caldwell Amory Louisville Oxford
8-7 (W) 22-15 (W) 27-0 (W) 14-7 (L) 12-7 (L) 19-7 (W) 7-0 (W) 13-0 (L) 17-8 (L) 26-0 (W)
The WPHS Green Wave had a successful football season this year with six wins and four losses. The losses were due in part to the fact that there were only two returning starters on offense and two on defense. The Greenies played vigorously and with all the strength of Goliath. (WPHS Yearbook) A number of sophomores from the undefeated freshman team of the preceding year were in the starting lineup.
COACHING STAFF Head Coach (kneeling): Travis Langford Assistant Coaches (L to R): Skip Taylor, Bubba Davis, Jerry Davis
Managers Arthur Williams, John Caskey, Tommy Redus, Tim Christopher
The 1981 football season began The Bubba Davis Era. It was a season of highs and lows but definitely laid a foundation for future success. The Green Wave began the season with a 19-2 victory over Aberdeen, giving Coach Davis his first win as head coach. The Green Wave started the season off 3-1 but suffered a disappointing 7-0 loss on homecoming to Grenada. West Point had to play several top ranked Mississippi teams and finished 3rd in the district with a 5-6 record. After back to back 14-7 losses to Amory and Louisville, West Point did, however, have a huge upset win over district champ Shannon that earned them a trip to the Calhoun City Orange Bowl.
Head Coach: Bubba Davis
Arthur Williams, John Caskey, Tim Christopher, Paul Johnson
Assistant Coaches: Skippy Taylor, Jerry Davis, Edward Walker
Cheerleaders Macheta Grays (Captain), Amy Washington, Vanessa Quinn, Karen Gibson, Susan Shirley, Amy Lee, Rose Shields, Leslee Paulk
No/Name 5 Garry Coleman 6 Duke LippIncott 7 Heath Wray 8 James Collins 9 John Bacot 10 Lyndon Robertson 11 Frederick Shelton 12 Bryan Tait 18 Derwin Harris 19 Todd Michel 20 Craig Keys 21 Keith Young 22 John Williams 30 Curtis Swift 32 Michael Bilbo 33 Dennis Ewing 34 Robert Smith 35 Quentin Adams 36 Willie Strong 41 Tommy Redus 44 Shawn Sykes 45 Alvin Carter 48 Harry Shelton 50 Allen Simmons 51 Raymond Shelton 54 Fanasial Quinn 55 Vincent Bell 56 Rob Christian 60 Don Roy 62 Mike Farr 63 Richey Hudspeth 64 Greg Gordon 65 Rodney McKnight 66 Kevin Donahoo 69 Kevin Kilgore 70 Mark Winter 71 Andrew Brown 72 Carl Middleton
Pos B QB QB HB HB QB SE QB QB SE TE SE SE FB SE FB FB FB TB FB TB SE HB C T C G T C G G G G T T T T T
Wt Gd 145 12 132 10 150 10 129 11 144 12 152 11 120 10 163 12 137 10 131 11 215 11 145 10 138 12 181 10 149 10 145 12 180 10 145 11 141 10 129 12 163 10 138 10 148 12 136 12 171 10 202 12 160 11 180 11 153 12 166 12 182 12 192 11 166 10 198 10 231 11 210 12 266 10 200 12
Record Overall—5-6 Game Scores Aberdeen Tupelo Fulton Lee High Grenada Starkville Caldwell Amory Louisville Shannon
19-2 (W) 22-0 (L) 29-0 (W) 28-17 (W) 7-0 (L) 25-7 (L) 19-7 (W) 14-7 (L) 14-7 (L) 27-7 (W)
Calhoun City Orange Bowl New Hope 10-0 (L) No/Name 74 Roger Petty 75 Reid Carter 76 Bobby Johnson 77 Bruce Halbert 78 Maverick Eaton 80 Pattricl Cannon 81 Mark Townsend 82 Donnell Od’Neal 87 Anthony Allen 88 Bruce Wooten 89 Don Bell
Pos T T G T T TE SE TE TE TE TE
Wt Gd 221 12 202 10 168 10 245 12 221 11 145 10 160 10 164 12 200 12 134 11 151 12
The summer of 1983, Caroline Harrell and I thought of how much fun it would be for the Greenies to have a mascot like the big colleges. We got approval from the school and called Tulane University to see where they got their mascot suit. After receiving the green and white suit, we had the school organize a contest to name the new mascot. GW won and is still used today. My son, Critz Campbell, was the first official Green Wave mascot (GW). The Green Wave played Amanda Elzy High School from Greenwood in the first game of the 1984 season. It was a home game, and GW made his first appearance with the cheerleaders. West Point was victorious 52-6. When I asked Critz what was his favorite part of being GW, he smiled and said â€œthe cheerleaders.â€? Go Greenies! Louise Campbell
Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: Edward Walker, Skippy Taylor, Dennis Allen, Jerry Davis, Leonord Glenn, Randy Hamblin
The 1982 Green Wave football team played in the rain; they played in freezing cold; but whatever the weather, this team came to play. In fact, they painted the town in green and white. It was the dawning of football mania. Whatever the weather, the fans turned out in record numbers, always surpassing the opposing crowd, even on the road. And, rain or shine, the Green Wave had Thunder and Lightning, junior running backs Robert Smith and Shawn Sykes. “When practice for the 1982 football season began, Coach Bubba Davis had a dream—a dream that would soon be a reality. His dream was to make this team of well-disciplined young athletes the best team in the entire state.” (The Green Wave) The seniors that year had posted an undefeated junior high season three years earlier under coaches Walter “Bear” Newell and Randy Hamblin. A number of standouts from that squad, including Bell, Christian, Keys, Kilgore, and Robertson, would be three-year starters for the Wave. The high school yearbook described the season in this way: “The Greenies began the 1982 season by shutting out Aberdeen 21-0. After that, Tupelo, Fulton, and Lee proved to be no challenge to the surging Wave. Then the games
Karen Gibson, Amy Lee, Ginger McGarity, Kim Witherspoon, Carla O’Brian, Katrina Hughes, Sherry Ellis, Cindy Sizemore
John Caskey, Paul Johnson, Andy Murray, Harold Kilgore
Record Overall—13-0 Game Scores Aberdeen 21-0 (W) Tupelo 34-22 (W) Fulton 27-0 (W) Columbus Lee 28-14 (W) Grenada 40-7 (W) Starkville 21-16 (W) New Hope 28-0 (W) Columbus Caldwell 21-12 (W) Louisville 23-0 (W) Shannon 42-21 (W) Greenville 7-0 (W) Olive Branch 28-7 (W) Gulfport 21-14 (W)
85 became tougher, and winning became an obsession.” (WPHS yearbook) October also turned out to be a winning month as the Green Wave roared past Grenada, archrival Starkville, and the New Hope Trojans. Caldwell and Louisville also fell in that month. On November 5, Coach Davis’s birthday, the first step of the dream became a reality. The Greenies downed the Shannon Red Raiders 42-21 in bitter cold weather to capture the District Title.” “This one is the greatest,” proclaimed the Daily Times Leader headline. “What can you say? The word ‘great’ keeps coming up. ‘Great’ game, ‘Great’ win, ‘Great’ night, and most of all ‘Great’ team. “We think we’ve probably seen as many West Point High football games as anybody over the past 40 years, and we never saw anything like Friday night in Shannon.” (Spanky Bruce) “Then, the games became tougher, and winning became an obsession.” The Wave traveled to Greenville to play the Hornets in the first semifinal game of the state playoffs. Coach Davis recalls Skip Taylor saying, “It’s
5 6 8 9 10 11 12 15 18 19 20 21 22 23 25 26 30 31
Thomas Hosey Duke Lippencott James Collins Jerry Randle Lyndon Robertson Frederick Shelton Lorenzo Fears Henry Cherry Derwin Harris Todd Michel Craig Keys Keith Young Michael Head Kenny Wilkerson Larry Davidson Kenneth O’Neal Jeffrey Cannon Bradford Moore
FB QB FLK SE QB QB QB QB FLK SE TE FLK FLK TB FB QB SE SE
155 141 138 158 170 136 145 159 149 140 225 149 138 140 150 145 102 154
10 11 12 11 12 11 10 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 10 11 10 11
32 34 35 36 42 43 44 47 50 51 52 54 55 56 60 61 63 65
going to rain. I think we’ll throw it up and see if Randle can run under it.” The surprise play worked! When Lyndon Robertson threw on the first play from scrimmage, Jerry Randle caught it and ran for an 80-yard touchdown. That would be the only score in the game on another rainy night. The Greenies added one more trophy to their collection by blasting Olive Branch 28-7 for the North State title and a chance to play for the state title. The Commercial Dispatch quoted the Gulfport coach before the championship game: “They have to have a good team. They’re ranked fourth and are the best team in north Mississippi. Just because nobody heard of West Point doesn’t mean they don’t have a good team…” Well, Coach Davis’s dream was finally completed on December 3, 1982, at Wray Stadium in Meridian. That night Gulfport found out where West Point was, when the Wave defeated the Admirals 21-14 for the State AA Football Championship Title. The Greenies compiled a perfect overall record of 13-0 and became the first undefeated West Point Squad ever.
Jeffrey Ewing Robert Smith Quentin Adams Willie Strong J. D. Clayton Dennis Dale Shawn Sykes Andre Ryland Ricky Davis Raymond Shelton Heath Wray Jeff Wilson Vincent Bell Rob Christian Robert Farr Anthony Gates Curtis Swift Rodney McKnight
FB FB FB TB FLK FLK TB FLK G G C C G C G G G G
128 198 160 156 128 130 170 141 191 188 179 169 170 188 164 150 190 166
10 11 12 11 10 10 11 11 12 11 11 10 12 12 10 12 11 11
66 67 68 69 71 73 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 84 86 87 88 89
Kevin Donahoo Vincent Tubbs Gene Shields Kevin Kilgore Andrew Brown James Allen Bobby Johnson Bruce Halbert Maverick Eaton David Sistrunk Patrick Cannon Darrell Harris Timothy Green Matt Miller Greg Posley Jessie Anderson Bruce Wooten Eric Marble
T G G T T T G T T T FB TE SE TE FB TE TE SE
210 175 153 244 277 192 171 250 239 178 162 156 150 165 157 169 155 137
11 11 11 12 11 10 11 12 11 10 11 10 10 11 10 10 12 10
Coming off a perfect 13-0 performance ending in a state championship the previous year, the 1983 edition of the Green Wave opened the season with a resounding win over South Panola. Weather allusions came into the discussion early and would continue throughout the season. The Voice of the Green Wave said it early, and Spanky Bruce of the Daily Times Leader called it too good to ignore: “There was no rain in sight, but lots of Thunder and Lightning” (for anyone totally unfamiliar with Green Wave football, Smith and Sykes, the dynamic duo in the backfield). Unfortunately, Tupelo put an end to the fourteen game win streak in the second game. That would be only one of two games the talented team would lose; the other was to archrival Starkville. The other games were decisive wins, with five shutouts and outstanding individual performances. After closing the regular season with a record of 8-2, the Greenies defeated Vicksburg 48-0 in the Red Carpet Bowl, a spectacular end to a very good season. Seniors who played their last game for the Green Wave were Kenneth O’Neal, Jerry Randle, Derwin Harris, Greg Posley, Bradford Moore, Robert Smith, Shawn Sykes, Andre Ryland, Raymond Shelton, Heath Wray, Curtis Swift, Rodney McKnight, Kevin Donahoo, Vincent Tubb, Gene Shields, Andrew Brown, and Patrick Cannon.
Record Overall—8-2 Game Scores South Panola Tupelo Fulton Columbus Lee Aberdeen Starkville New Hope Columbus Caldwell Louisville Corinth
26-0 (W) 28-6 (L) 32-0 (W) 20-7 (W) 34-0 (W) 19-12 (L) 23-7 (W) 27-0 (W) 34-10 (W) 47-13 (W)
Red Carpet Bowl Vicksburg 48-0 (W)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: Jerry Davis, Skip Taylor, Edward Walker, Dennis Allen
Managers Paul Johnson, Tim Christopher, Andy Murray, Harold Kilgore, Frank Galloway, Lee Henley
Overall—9-4 Game Scores Amanda Elzy 52-6 (W) Tupelo 35-6 (L) Fulton 19-6 (W) Columbus Lee 34-22 (W) Aberdeen 27-0 (W) Starkville 51-26 (L) Eupora 19-0 (W) Columbus Caldwell 38-2 (W) Louisville 14-13 (L) Corinth 39-21 (W) Olive Branch 28-7 (W) Louisville 27-0 (W) McComb 22-19 (L)
Cheerleaders Tina Donald, Veronica Harris, Sue Lynn Kirby, Renee Moore, Amy Moore, Jeannie Fields, Carol Cooper, Angie Atkinson, Mary Tate, Falester Thomas
The Green Wave ended the ‘84 regular season with an 8-3 record, losing only to Tupelo, Starkville, and Louisville, while posting a number of lopsided wins and securing a chance to avenge their loss to Louisville in the North Half Title tilt. When Coach Bubba Davis got up on game day, he found a funeral wreath in his front yard. According to the local paper, Coach Davis interpreted that as a sign that some prankster thought that Louisville would “bury” West Point that night. “Even today, no one is sure where the wreath came from, but there’s little doubt where it ended up. The Wave tore it to shreds in the dressing room at halftime and then went out and buried the Wildcats 29-0.” (James Sugg, DTL Staff Writer and WPHS grad) He called it a “David and Goliath” battle, as Louisville was heavily favored coming into the game, which put the Greenies in the state championship game. The coach praised the hard work of his team, assistants, and junior high staff. Another factor in the Wave favor each game was the strong support each week by the local fans. West Point ended the 1984 season with a 2219 loss to McComb in the state championship game. Sugg said “Winning is not everything— but making the effort to win is. And that’s just what the West Point Green Wave did the entire season. . . . West Point ended its year of play as state runner-up in Class 4A with an excellent 9-4 season. . . .” The Green Wave scored 347 points and allowed 186 for the season.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: John Burt Wooten, Dennis Allen, Randy Hamblin, Steve Montgomery,
Jerry Davis, Skip Taylor, Edward Walker, Leonard Glenn
Managers Harold Kilgore, Brian Hyde, James Johnson, Frank Galloway
The 1985 edition of the Green Wave had a mission. The 1984 team had been state runner-up in 4-A. The Greenies opened the season with Columbus Lee, the first of seven opponents from the previous year, along with Fulton, Tupelo, Starkville, Columbus Caldwell, Aberdeen, and Louisville. New additions were Booker T. Washington and Noxubee County. The ’85 Greenies were primarily a running team. Quarterback Pierre Baker was playing the position for the first time since junior high, but was always a threat as a runner, along with Johnny B. Morton and Greg Keller. The fall started well, with four wins, before losses to Tupelo and Starkville, ranked No. 1 in the state. DTL editor Spanky Bruce put it this way: “Probably nothing will soothe the wounds for Coach Bubba Davis’ boys for a while. But someday they’ll remember with pride that they took part in a real football classic.” The Green Wave won the next two, although the Aberdeen game was dampened by a visit from Hurricane Juan, which limited practice, but lost the final game of the regular season to Louisville. The 6-3 season made them playoff eligible, and they got ready for the “second season” and the possibility of retribution against Louisville.
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Record Overall—7-4 Game Scores Columbus Lee Booker T Washington Fulton Noxubee County Tupelo Starkville Columbus Caldwell Aberdeen Louisville Cleveland Louisville
21-17 (W) 49-0 (W) 28-0 (W) 39-6 (W) 28-21 (L) 13-6 (L) 21-17 (W) 15-7 (W) 22-13 (L) 20-13 (W) 21-0 (L)
Shelia Peeples, Felecia Witherspoon, Head Coach: Helen Harrell, Bubba Davis Tonya Weaver, Mary Assistant Coaches: Margaret Dill, Jeannie Skip Taylor, Fields, Renee Moore, Edward Walker, Jim Wanda Wardell, Lisa Hamilton Powell, Sharlene Storey, Falester Managers Thomas, Andrea Carr Harold Kilgore, Frank Galloway, James Johnson, Brian Hyde, Raymond Kendricks
Pos Wgt Gd
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 26 30 32 33 34 35 41 42 44 48 50 51 52
FK K SE QB K SE QB TB QB FK SE SE QB FK TB FK TB K SE QB FB FB FB K FK FB TB G T C
Mechell Holder Henry Howard Fred Ward Chris Kilgore Tommy Stockton Darick Moore Grady McCluskey Zackary Crawford Jessie Randle Robert Young Willie Ivy Tony Webb John Cantrell Scottie Fowler John Clardy Johnny Bennett Marius Williams Shawn Taylor Tye Gillespie Kelly Martin Reggie Williams Dewayne White James Stewart Andy Murray Eric Bradshaw Brandon Moore Leonard Vance Keith Amos Lonzo White Arley Gibson
155 163 148 176 195 151 155 141 164 158 149 150 180 !61! 155 127 176 145 138 137 194 167 16 4 155 139 130 141 270 210 222
11 11 10 12 12 10 11 11 11 10 11 10 10 11 12 10 12 9 10 JO 12 10 II 10 IO 10 10 1O 12 10
No/Name Pos 53 W.F. Edwards G 54 Phil Whitt K 56 Larry Benson G 57 Anthony O’dneal G 58 Cal Hill C 59 Horner Blansett T 61 Mike Smith G 62 Stephen Jamison T 63 Perron Fair T 64 Dennis Clark G 65 Everett Quinn G 66 Larry Brassfield G 67 Anthony Lairy G 68 William Handcock T 69 Anthony Dale G 70 Shea Bell T 71 Tony Smith T 72 Hal Smith T 73 KurusJarnison T 74 Jerry Ewing T 75 Tim Moss C 76 Curtis Virges G 77 John Bishop T 78 Rohert Moye G 79 Frank Randle T 81 Charles Bennett FK 82 Garnett O ‘dneal SE 83 Keith Quin TE 84 Sammy Jefferson FK 87 Treddis Anderson TE 90 Robert Wicks T 99 Gerald Williams TE
Wgt Gd 164 10 183 11 228 12 180 12 160 10 243 10 190 II 218 10 215 10 217 11 190 12 154 10 198 10 288 10 205 10 263 10 260 12 278 10 218 II 250 II 248 10 270 9 250 II 211 II 229 12 162 12 146 II 186 10 150 II 199 II 328 10 165 10
6-0 (W) 40-0 (W) 28-7 (L) 50-14 (W) 41-14 (W)
Starkville Amory Columbus Caldwell Aberdeen Louisville Louisville
The 1986 football season began with Head Coach Bubba Davis seeking his fifth winning season in a row, a goal which he reached with a record of eight wins and three losses. The Daily Times Leader used words like stuns, rips, pounds, and dominates to describe the many one-sided wins. After closing the regular season with a convincing win over Louisville, the 1986 Wave season ended in an overtime loss to the Louisville Wildcats in the North State 4A playoff game. The Greenies scored 306 points and allowed 131 points for the season.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: Skip Taylor, Edward Walker, Jim Hamilton
Managers Gary White, Jimmy Bell, John Murray, Raymond Kendricks, Anthony Cummings
Overall—8-3 Game Scores Columbus Lee Memphis Westwood Tuscaloosa Central Noxubee County Tupelo
14-13 (W) 24-22 (L) 34-7 (W) 47-7 (W) 32-9 (W) 15-13 (L-OT)
Cheerleaders Rosezella Binder, Felecia Witherspoon, Helen Harrell, Carolyn Ellis, Sherie Swindol, Renee Moore, Wanda Wardell, Falester Thomas, Mary Margaret Dill, Tonya Weaver
Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: Jim Hamilton, Floizell Wilson, Anthony Hart, Dennis Allen, Skip Taylor
Managers Raymond Kendricks, Jon Murray, Jarrod Blair, Chad Smith, Chuck Sanders, Ben Davis, Calvin Burnett, Chris Henley
Spanky Bruce of the Daily Times Leader christened it “Bubba Ball” — “a game that West Point football fans have grown to love and expect over the past six years.” “What is ‘Bubba Ball’? It’s football, but played with a wild and unpredictable frenzy that has no real pattern. The defense is rock hard and coming toward the opposition from all angles, all the time. It’s a reckless and crazy offense that changes its methods from year-to year, but one thing never changes. It’s the unpredictability of the attack. They’ll run when they should throw. They throw when they should run. Like the defense, they come from every angle. The architects of this organized mayhem are head coach Bubba Davis, who handles the defense, and offensive coordinator Skip Taylor, who calls the plays. They have been together through those six years and under their direction West Point has compiled an amazing 56-16 record. . . .” Whatever you call it, it works! Coach Davis and his staff led the Green Wave to its second state championship of the decade. He later said that the season was the most exhausting one he had ever been through. Davis realized the potential of this team early, and in a most uncharacteristic move told the press and several civic clubs that “the Green Wave has the material to win the state title this year.” And win it they did, in spite of several losses early in the season. After the early losses, Davis continued to emphasize to his squad, “The team is more important than an individual.” The team, which possessed both speed and size, continued to improve, dominating opponents in the last eight games of the season. And the Green Wave faithful filled the stands to see their Greenies take home the trophy. The Wave scored 448 points and allowed 103 for the season.
91 No/Name Wt Gd 1 Fred Ward 155 11 2 Acye Swift 145 10 3 James Walker 145 10 4 Chris Jefferson 170 9 5 Henry Howard 180 12 6 Curtis Vasser 137 10 7 Joey Myers 185 9 8 Chris Washington 159 10 9 Darick Moore 162 11 10 Grady McClusky 160 12 11 Fred Walker 160 9 12 Jessie Randle 170 12 15 Robert Young 164 11 17 Willie Ivy 151 12 18 Tony Webb 160 11 19 John Cantrell 185 11 20 Scottie Fowler 170 12 21 Tillman Robinson 137 10 22 Danny Sherrod 157 10 23 Andre Hoskins 150 9 24 Robert Hammond 148 10 25 Donnie Ewing 142 12 26 Shaun Taylor 150 10 31 Wavie Davenport 180 9 32 Kelly Martin 144 11 33 Kim Robertson 134 10 34 Bobby Walker 136 10 35 James Stewart 167 12 36 Rodney Clark 131 11 41 Andy Murray 165 11 43 Eric Bradshaw 149 11
No/Name Wt Gd 44 Brandon Moore 139 11 45 Avis Shelton 165 10 47 Willie Harris 158 10 48 Leonard Vance 142 11 50 Keith Amos 282 11 51 Larry Ewing 140 10 52 Arley Gibson 225 11 55 W. F. Edwards 171 11 54 Phil Whitt 210 12 55 Homer Ryland 167 10 57 Anthony Cooperwood 160 10 58 Cal Hill 174 10 59 Ricky Melton 185 9 60 Jourdan Johnson 190 10 61 Mike Smith 200 12 62 Stephen Jamison 242 11 63 Perron Fair 218 11 64 Dennis Clark 241 12 65 Ricky Pierce 200 9 66 Larry Brasfield 160 11 67 Antonio Larry 206 11 68 Keith Coggins 200 9 69 Anthony Dale 207 11 70 Shea Bell 277 11 71 Scott Milican 208 11 72 Terry Saul 142 11 73 Kurus Jamison 213 12 74 Jerry Ewing 271 12 75 Tim Moss 266 11 76 Michael Hogan 218 9 77 John Bishop 270 12
No/Name 78 Robert Moye 79 Tommy Peoples 81 Chris Wilson 82 Garnett O’Dneal 83 Keith Quinn 84 Sammy Jefferson 85 Curtis Collins 86 Elroy Davis 87 Treddis Anderson 89 Derrick Brantley 90 Robert Wicks 91 Tom Galloway 99 Homer Blansett
Wt Gd 215 12 251 10 155 9 150 12 201 11 155 12 154 12 124 10 201 11 140 9 324 11 233 12 240 12
Overall—11-3 Game Scores Columbus Lee 17-7 (W) Tuscaloosa 17-14 (L) Neshoba Central 16-0 (W) Noxubee County 41-0(W) Tupelo 10-7(L) Starkville 21-14 (L) New Hope 36-6 (W) Columbus Caldwell 34-7 (W) Aberdeen 63-13 (W) Grenada 48-3 (W) Playoff Games Fulton Neshoba Central Louisville
43-0 (W) 51-0 (W) 29-12 (W)
AAAA Championship Game South Jones 35-7 (W)
Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: Skip Taylor, Jim Hamilton, Floizell Wilson, Anthony Hart
Managers Raymond Kendricks, Jon Murray, Jay Criddle
Cheerleaders Stacy Townsend (captain), Rachelle Smith(co-captain), Manesha Blake, Pamela Carter, Natasha Chandler, Roshell Harris, Karen Keller, Christy Morgan, Amanda Sanders, Trish Sharp, Katina Spight, Amy Thompson
“The Wave Painted the State Green for 2 Straight Years!” proclaimed a headline in the Daily Times Leader special edition dedicated to the 1988 state champs. “In a repeat of his optimism before the 1988 season opened, [Coach] Davis put extra pressure on his defending state titlists by noting that the team was the most talented of any he’d had practicing on McCallister Field in the 13 years he’s been at the school. That team started with 12 returning lettermen. “The Green Wave responded to that pressure, posting a 13-1 record, accomplishing the rare feat of back-to-back state crowns with a 3-0 victory over Laurel in the title tilt and earning the No. 1 ranking in The Clarion Ledger/Jackson Daily News final Super 10 poll… “The Wave closed out the season with nine straight victories after a 22-21 loss to Tupelo knocked it from No. 1 in the Associated Press poll. The Green Wave’s first-team defense registered seven shutouts, allowing only 4.8 points per game, and did not permit a touchdown in the final seven games. “The ‘presidential backfield’ of wingback Chris Washington and quarterback Chris Jefferson, along with fullback Dannie Sherrod, fueled an offense that averaged 29.6 points per game.” (DTL 1988. . .THE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON) The Mean Green Machine won the championship with an overtime field goal by Shaun Taylor on third down.
Overall—13-1 Game Scores Lee High 44-6 (W) Austin East 15-0 (W) Neshoba Central 24-0 (W) Noxubee County 43-0 (W) Tupelo 22-21(L) Starkville 31-14 (W) New Hope 21-14 (W) Caldwell 48-0 (W) Warren Central 12-2 (W)
Playoff Games Neshoba Central Olive Branch Louisville
39-3 (W) 44-0 (W) 28-0 (W)
Championship Game Laurel 3-0 (W)
93 No/Name Wt Gd l Fred Ward 171 12 3 James Walker 147 II 4 Chris Jefferson 160 10 5 Chad Wilder 155 10 6 Curtis Vasser 150 11 7 Jimmie McNuckle 160 10 8 Chris Washington 170 II 10 Orlando Robertson 137 10 l l Fred Walker 150 10 12 Marshall Robinson 132 10 15 Robert Young 165 12 17 Tim Davidson 185 12 18 Tony Webb 164 12 19 John Cantrell 195 12 20 Rod Bobo 135 10 21 Johnny Bennett 140 12 22 Dannie Sherrod 161 11 23 Andre Hoskins 135 10 24 Robert Hammond 148 11 26 Shaun Taylor 154 11 32 Kelly Martin 148 12 33 David Edwards 149 10 41 Andy Murray 165 11 42 Eric Bradshaw 153 12 45 Avis Shelton 171 11 48 Leonard Vance 145 12 50 Keith Amos 297 12 51 Larry Ewing 152 11 52 Arley Gibson 220 12 55 Homer Ryland 186 11 58 Cal Hill 192 12 59 Ricky Melton 185 10 60 Jourdan Johnson 197 11 61 Henry Bailey 167 11 63 Perron Fair 218 12
No/Name 64 Stephen Jamison 65 Ricky Pierce 66 Larry Brassfield 67 Anthony Lairy 68 Keith Coggins 69 Anthony Dale 70 Shea Bell 71 Scott Millican 72 Terry Saul 73 Ricky Pierce 74 Wavie Davenport 75 Tim Moss 76 Michael Hogan 78 Daniel Randle 79 Tommy Peoples 81 Chris Wilson 82 Brian Harrell 83 Keith Quinn 84 Jerald Williams 86 Elroy Davis 87 Reginald Poole 89 Derrick Brantly 90 Robert Wicks
Wt Gd 251 12 237 10 167 12 220 12 215 10 225 12 278 12 211 12 153 12 243 10 175 10 260 12 223 10 245 10 264 11 165 10 128 10 215 12 175 12 130 11 154 10 145 10 329 12
Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: Skip Taylor, Jim Hamilton, Floizell Wilson, Anthony Hart, Dennis Allen, Leonard Glenn
Managers Jay Criddle, Jon Murray, Steve Cannon, Marcus Williams, Scott Hinnant, Brian Hinnant, Ron Matthews
Cheerleaders Monika Davis, Denise Davenport, Rachelle Smith, Christy Morgan, Katina Spight, Natasha Chandler, Natasha McGee, Anitra Shelton, Jennifer Odom, Kim Brown, Katye Hinshaw, Freda Gandy
Who says thirteen is an unlucky number? Certainly no West Point Green Wave Fan! For the second time in the decade of the 80s, 13-0 described the perfect season. “The Wave always finds a way to win” proclaimed the headlines of the hometown newspaper on Sunday, December 3, after the Greenies claimed their fourth (and third straight) state title. The Jackson Clarion Ledger pronounced the West Point Green Wave Mississippi’s dominant football team of the 1980’s. According to DTL Editor Spanky Bruce, the facts are “irrefutable; four state titles in three classifications, three straight state titles, playing in five title games and missing the playoffs in only two of nine years since that system began in 1981.” According to Coach Davis, “No matter how many times this happens, it never gets old.” The Green Wave opened the season with a “Bubba Davis/Skip Taylor-era record for total offense with a 523-yard production” and went on to fulfill that early promise. Danny Sherrod at 5’4” rushed for 1,782 yards and was named Mississippi player of the year. Names such as Swift, Shelton, Hoskins, and Sherrod were familiar to opponents. The defense answered the challenge as well with a dozen West Point High players who registered 37 or more tackles during the season. Safety Ayce Swift led the team in tackles. The 1989 football season was an amazing end to an amazing decade— bookended by a 13-0 season in 1982 and in 1989.
Record Overall—13-0 Game Scores Columbus Lee 48-7 (W) Starkville 34-7 (W) Louisville 20-9 (W) Noxubee Country 58-0 (W) Neshoba Central 14-13 (W) Jackson Lanier 14-12 (W) Rosa Fort 48-6 (W) Tupelo 24-14 (W) Grenada 52-12 (W) Vicksburg 17-10 (W) Southaven 35-7 (W) Greenwood 7-0 (W) Hattiesburg 24-21 (W)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 15 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 29 30 34 35 40 44 46 50 51 52 53 54 55 56
Thad Hall Acye Swift James Walker Chris Jefferson Tarance Owens Michael Edwards Chris Washington Ike Washington Orlando Robertson Matt Miller Clifton Bishop Andre Hoskins Derrick Brantley Kee Banks Rod Bobo Marshall Tallie Dannie Sherrod Jeremy Goins Aracy Elliott Timothy Bowen Shaun Taylor Danny Collins Jerome Walker George Elliott Jonathan Doss Henry Bennett Gerald Bush Ken Stewart Adaryl Brooks Larry Ewing Corey Donald Keith Dean Avis Shelton Homer Ryland Earnest Hogan
SE QB RB QB CB SE RB RB SE K CB SE SE QB SE RB FB SE FB SE K DB RB LB FB SE FB DE G LB LB DT DE G LB
155 155 162 165 165 157 180 125 145 160 175 150 150 160 151 145 164 145 140 140 172 135 164 180 191 180 188 190 185 152 185 180 188 195 190
10 12 12 11 10 10 12 10 11 9 12 11 10 9 11 10 12 9 10 10 12 10 10 10 9 9 11 12 10 12 11 10 12 12 9
57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 78 80 81 82 83 84 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 95 99
Orlando Bobo Xzell Taylor Ricky Melton Jourdan Johnson Thurman Fuller Sean Britt Ramirez Williams Michael Butler Ricky Pierce Gill Craig Bill Holliday Keith Coggins Jermaine Moore Antonyo Hunter Shadrick Wilson Terry Saul Joe Johnson John Harris Patrick Winter Michael Hogan John Edwards Troy Gandy Chris Wilson Bryan Harrell James Cockrell Byron Smith Elroy Davis Tony Shelton David Evans O’Hara Sykes Michael Hervey Paul Brand Drew Bounds Antoyne Adams Henry Bailey
C T DE T K LB OG G DT G T C T T G LB C T T T DE SE SE SE T SE SE SE TE SE T LB LB LB LB
235 165 189 209 175 175 186 190 257 191 198 219 220 318 194 161 186 245 202 222 170 130 146 145 205 155 157 165 230 165 230 180 182 155 185
10 10 11 12 9 10 10 10 11 10 11 11 9 9 9 12 9 10 11 11 11 9 11 11 9 10 12 9 9 10 9 9 9 10 12
Coach Bubba Davis WPHS state championship football became a reality during the tenure of William T. “Bubba” Davis, head coach from 1981-1992. Davis reminisced about his eleven seasons (1981-1991) as head coach, underscoring that those remarkable years were the result of the perfect combination of great coaches at every level of the program and a long line of players with skill, talent, strength, and speed. That great team of coaches and players had a dedicated and inspired leader in Bubba Davis. Davis started his football career playing junior high football under Coach Charlie Newell. Bubba says, “I decided in the 8th grade that I wanted to be a coach like Coach Newell.” Davis never veered from that career goal. He moved up to play football at WPHS, finding his perfect fit as a defensive player. Davis played college football at EMCC under legendary “Bull” Sullivan and at Delta State for Coach McCool. Davis believes that his personal style of coaching was shaped by the lessons he learned from Newell, Sullivan, and McCool. Davis’ coaching career began in Georgia in 1969. He returned to Mississippi in 1974 to work on his master’s degree. When an assistant coach’s position opened unexpectedly at WPHS, he applied for the job—something he had never planned to do. “In college they said, ‘Don’t ever go back home to coach; it won’t work!’ but I needed a job.” He spent the next seven years as assistant coach for Travis Langford. In 1976 the coaching team developed a free weight program, one of the first in the state. Davis believes the lifting regimen, directed by his brother Jerry Davis, was a strategic addition to WPHS football, which transformed the players and laid the foundation for program success: “They [the players] were already fast. Now they were strong.” Davis took the reins as head coach in 1981. Davis himself took charge of the d-line, and his friend and “co-head” Coach Skippy Taylor was in charge of offense. Davis believes that “Skippy [was] the best football coach I have ever been around. The big part of the reason we had the success here was because of Skippy.” And success they had. After the first season with five wins and six losses, they went 13-0 the next year and won the MHSAA Football State Championship, defeating Gulfport. Winning the state championship in 1982 changed the culture of the program. “Seemed like after we won in ’82, [the] kids said, ‘This is possible,’” Davis mused. That experience impacted him too. When asked about his most special memories of his time at WPHS, he includes, “winning it all in 1982.” Davis led the Green Wave to four state championships (1982, 1987, 1988, 1989) and one runnerup (1984). The Green Wave was the Clarion Ledger #1 ranked team in both ’82 and ’89, and Davis was named MS Association of Coaches Coach of the Year in 1988.
Davis attributes his success to the group of coaches who worked by his side and the great players who just kept coming year after year, many of whom went on to play college football. There were great assistant coaches who were West Point natives; coaching alongside his brother Jerry was a highlight in Davis’s career. In addition to the local men, Davis recruited excellent coaches from other places. He recognizes especially the significant contributions made by Dennis Allen, Anthony Hart, Jim Hamilton, and Rob Likens. Clearly, the community and the state recognized Bubba’s excellence, as evidenced by the many awards and honors he received during these years: MS All Star Football Game, Assist. Coach (83); MS/AL All Star Classic Assist. Coach (87); VP of MS Coaches Assoc. (87); Scholastic Coach Bronze Award (87); Scholastic Coach Silver Award (88); MS/AL All Star Classic Head Coach (88); National HS Athletic Coaches Assoc. Region 5 Director (88); West Point Hall of Fame (89). Davis left West Point for Wayne County and later spent ten years coaching in Jasper, AL, where he was inducted into the Walker High School Hall of Fame and was named Alabama Sportswriters 6A Coach of the Year (1995). Back in Mississippi, Davis coached at Petal HS, New Albany HS, Columbus HS, and Immanuel Christian School. Davis was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Now in his 49th year of coaching, Bubba Davis spends his mornings working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and his afternoons as a coach at Starkville Academy, where they won the State 3A Championship in 2017. Davis and his wife Cathy live in West Point. He has two daughters, Jama and Sara Kate, and three stepsons, Tim, Daniel, and Richard.
The Rebuilding Years Anything short of a state championship would be a disappointment coming off the three previous years. Riding the crest of those victories, the football program made an addition to the field house in readiness for the 1990 season. The Green Wave had established a tradition, and the first game of the season was covered by ESPN. Although the Greenies posted a winning record, it was not a state championship year. Head Coach Bubba Davis would leave at the end of the 1991 season, after twelve years as head coach. During his tenure Davis had only one losing season and a 6-6 record in 1993. Assistant Coach Skip Taylor, also a former West Point High School athlete, then served as head coach for two years before joining Davis in Alabama. Those years and the rest of the decade were lean years, with the Green Wave posting losing seasons each year. It was a decade that saw five different head coaches: Davis, Taylor, Lynn Moore, Tom Goode, Jr., and, in 1999, Dennis Allen, who would take the mighty Greenies to the 4A North State championship in 2002 and their next state championship in 2005. In the ‘90s, former WPHS athletes again played an important role. In addition to Davis and Taylor, Leonard Glenn, Kenny Hudson, Walter Newell, Floizell Wilson, Tim Fowler, Antonio Lairy, and Ricky Melton were familiar faces on the sidelines for the green and white. Sadly, Green Wave players and fans would say a final goodbye to former head coach Skip Taylor, who died suddenly in 1997. The West Point football program of the ‘90s continued to prepare outstanding athletes who performed at the next level. Names like Orlando Bobo (1974-2007), David Evans, Jermaine Moore, Nick Dimino, Albert Robertson, Larry Gillard, Willie Gillard, and many others were familiar to fans and teammates. The Green Wave in the ‘90s played hard and played the game well, and the final game showed the character of the team. West Point ended the season and the decade with a well-deserved win against New Hope by a score of 8-6 and the promise of good things to come.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 40 42 44 45
Thad Hall Kee Banks Antoyne Adams Chris Jefferson Terence Owens Michael Edwards Eric Campbell Norvis Blair Ike Washington Orlando Robertson Fred Walker Anthony Fair Andre Hoskins Derrick Brantley Drew Bounds Paul Brand Rod Bobo Marshall Tallie David Walker Jeremy Goins Aracy Elliott Timothy Bowen Jay Criddle Danny Collins Brice Brown Chris Wilson Jon Murray Cantrell Ivy George Elliott Jonathan Doss Steve Cannon Marvin Cox Gerald Bush Marvin Pernell
RB QB LB QB CB SE RB SE RB SE RB CB RB CB LB LB CB SE SE SE SE SE K SE SE CB K CB FB FB LB DE FB S
166 163 160 177 175 171 156 189 135 150 184 144 148 160 174 177 159 145 150 155 154 150 160 135 142 158 150 155 193 .:: 180 190 195 167
Record Overall—6-4 Game Scores Columbus Lee Starkville Louisville
47-21 (W) 31-0 (L) 25-21 (L)
11 10 11 12 11 11 10 10 11 12 12 10 12 11 10 10 12 11 12 10 11 11 12 11 11 12 11 12 11 10 10 12 12 10
47 48 49 50 51 52 53 55 56 58 59 60 61 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 74 75 76 78 80 81 82 84 85 87 88 89
Peter Collins Kevin Bailey Lamartail Dupree Adaryl Brooks Shadrick Wilson Marcus Cox Keith Dean Orlando Bobo Earnest Hogan Exzell Taylor Ricky Melton David Evans Hosea Lairy Ramirez Williams Michael Butler Ricky Pierce Gill Craig Bill Holliday Keith Coggins Jermaine Moore Antonyo Hunter Travis Johnson Michael Hervey John Harris Patrick Winter Michael Hogan John Edwards Troy Gandy Henry Bennett Chris Randle Myron Terry Byron Smith Tony Shelton Jamie Perkins Ohara Sykes
Noxubee County Neshoba County Jackson Lanier Amanda Elzy Tuscaloosa County Tupelo Grenada
C LB CB DT DT LB DE DT G DE G OT LB G G T G C C G DT DT OT OT DT LB DT SE DE CB SE SE SE SE SE
150 161 177 197 211 160 190 232 193 218 197 252 192 198 191 264 200 185 230 215 333 242 265 240 207 220 185 102 188 160 157 170 161 180 167
46-8 (W) 31-6 (W) 14-7 (W) 42-12 (W) 24-20 (L) 26-0 (L) 39-7 (W)
10 11 10 11 10 10 11 11 10 12 12 10 10 11 11 12 11 12 12 10 10 11 10 11 12 12 12 10 10 12 11 11 10 11 11
The 1990 Green Wave team opened their season with a new addition to the field house and a real responsibility to carry on the winning tradition set by the three previous years. The first football game of the new decade was covered by ESPN. Students and faculty were excited by the chance to shine on national television. The coverage proved to be disappointing as it “shared a prejudiced and oldfashioned view of life in the South” (Green Wave Yearbook). Although the 6-4 season was disappointing in many ways, it was the ninth winning season for the Greenies under Coach Davis. An article in the Daily Times Leader pointed out that the strength of the program was affirmed by the number of former Green Wave athletes currently on scholarship at the college level: “Some quick addition indicates that there are 17 players currently playing at a higher level.”
Head Coach: Bubba Davis
B. Audrea, Jay Bowen, Assistant Coaches: Dennis Allen, Allen Brown, Leonard Glenn, Jim Hamilton, Beretta Smith, Kenny Hudson, Walter Newell, and Marcus Skippy Taylor, and Floizell Wilson Williams
Cheerleaders Natasha McGee, Kim Brown, Jennifer Odom, Natasha Townsend, Anitra Shelton, Katye Hinshaw, Monika Davis, Shemetric Ivy, Robbie Davenport, Mia Smothers, Sheila Harris and Cheryl Chandler
The 1991 Green Wave again had a winning season, the tenth in a row for head coach Bubba Davis. Once again, the team posted six wins against four losses in the regular season. They finished the regular season with a win over Madison Central in frigid temperatures. A bonus was an invitation to play in the first Shriner’s Bowl, a game in which they defeated Madison Central 14-13. The school yearbook called this win their “most classic moment,” and it gave them an overall record of 6-4 and Coach Davis’ 100th victory.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: Dennis Allen, Jim Hamilton, Rob Likens, Skippy Taylor, and Floizell Wilson
Managers Bo Aldridge, Allen Brown, Barron Davis, Beretta Smith, and Marcus Williams
Cheerleaders Cheryl Chandler, Robbie Davenport, Katye Hinshaw, Anitra Shelton, Monika Davis, Laura White, Samantha Shelton, and Sheila Harris
Record Overall—6-4 Game Scores Columbus Lee Columbus Caldwell Louisville Starkville Oxford Tuscaloosa Co. Noxubee Tupelo Grenada Madison Central No/Name
33-6 (W) 27-0 (W) 10-7 (L) 23-10 (L) 25-10 (W) 27-20 (L) 40-0 (W) 35-6 (L) 22-15 (W) 14-13 (W) Wgt. Gd.
1 Chris Gunn 175 2 Kee Banks 196 3 Darwin Gandy 181 4 Jermaine Lane 183 5 Anthony Fair 150 6 Jeremy Goins 185 7 Eric Campbell 170 8 Narvis Blair 195 9 Reavis Fair 222 10 Troy Gandy 125 11 Tremayne Webber 135 12 Lantrell Boyd 170 13 Chris Banks 150 14 Jerome Collins 149 15 Tyrone’ Ben 175 16 Earnest Hogan 220 17 Wilbur Bobo 150 18 Drew Bounds 210 19 Jeremy Whittington 149 20 Chris Hogan 175 21 Mike Gunn 155 22 Johnny Dismuke 186 23 Jacob Hudson 140 24 Tyrone Davis 164 25 KeithBrabah.am 165 Tl Henry Pernell 150 28 Sam Marshall 170 29 J.C. Jordan 150 30 Chris McOain 126 32 Marvin Pernell 175 34 Carlton Smith 192 35 Matt Miller 170 42 Tywone Dyson 170 44 Marvin Samuel 175 45 Jarvis Davis 172 50 Steve Cannon 230
10 12 11 11 12 12 12 12 11 12 10 11 10 10 11 12 12 12 11 11 10 10 10 11 10 10 10 10 10 12 10 12 10 10 10 12
LB QB RB LB WR RB RB RB RB WR WR RB DB DB RB RB DB LB WR LB LB OT DB DB RB DB LB DB P RB RB P RB PE LB C
51 Shadrick Wilson 230 54 Falkwiskie O’ dneal 215 56 Earnest Hogan 220 S’7 J.D . Whitt 162 58 William Collins 225 60 David Evans 280 61 Hosey Cairy 220 62 Frank Cunningham 195 63 Antonyo Hunter 340 64 Chris Teny 280 65 Byron Shelton 230 66 Roosevelt Gibbs 225 67 Chris Craven 192 68 Chris Lang 190 69 Jermaine Moore 215 70 Jeremy Wilbmn 270 72 Michael Hervey 295 75 Dewell Fears 221 77 Torrey Fair 190 81 Jarvis Wilson 155 83 Montrell Johnson 145 84 Ouis Laster 175 86 Michael Britt 215 87 Tony Shelton 190 92 Eddie Robinson 195 95 Preston Tallie 206 99 Manus Jackson 240
12 11 12 10 11 12 12 12 12 10 11 10 11 11 12 11 12 10 10 10 10 10 11 12 11 10 10
Record Overall—7-3 Game Scores Jackson Murrah Columbus New Hope Louisville Starkville Neshoba Central Jackson Lanier Noxubee Tupelo Grenada
49-7 (W) 27-0 (W) 49-0 (W) 31-24 (L) 23-22 (L) 26-9 (W) 36-34 (W) 25-0 (W) 28-6 (L) 31-10 (W)
G T C OG OT LB OT DE OT OT OT LB OG OG DE OG OT DT OT WR WR RB K WR DE DT OT
Prior to the opening game of the ’92 season, Wayne King of the Daily Times Leader said that the season was starting off like a mystery novel as West Point, preseason pick as third in the state, took on Jackson Murrah, a game which the Green Wave won by a decisive 49-7. Coach Davis and his staff quickly figured out the “whodunit.” The Greenies lost only three games, to state powers Louisville and Starkville and to Tupelo, while posting seven wins. Although the loss to arch-rival Starkville was one of the most disappointing moments of the 1992 season, Coach Bubba Davis continued his 12-year tradition with another winning record. In the spring, Davis resigned after eighteen years at WPHS, and veteran assistant coach Skip Taylor was named head coach and athletic director.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Bubba Davis Assistant Coaches: Skip Taylor, Floizell Wilson, Sam Blaylock, and Brett Keller
Managers Greg Collier, Chris Davis and Marcus Williams
Cheerleaders Jama Davis, Tamika Collins, Laura White, Cheryl Chandler, Samantha Shelton, Mia Smothers, Tonya Tillman, Sheila Harris, Heather Creely, Valerie Rhoden, Angie Harris, and Nicole Gardner
New Green Wave head football coach Skippy Taylor promised good football with a team that was smaller but faster than last year’s team. In its first year under Taylor the Green Wave was able to advance to the second round of the 5A playoffs with a victory over Jackson Provine before losing to South Panola. The Green Wave ended the 1993 season with six wins and six losses.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Skip Taylor
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 25 26 33
Chris Gunn Jerome Collins Lantrell Boyd Jermaine Lane Charlie King Henry Pernell Tyrone Davis Reavis Fair Twyon Dyson Lee Chester Sykes Tremayne Webber James Dent Torrence Young Tyrone Bell Calvin Townsend Marvin Samuel Jarvis Davis Cleo Strong Chris Hogan Kenrick Bradshaw Keith Branham Chris Cunningham Marcus Ward
WR-LB WR-DB RB-DB RB-DL WR-DB WR-DB WR-DB QB-LB RB-DB WR-DB WR-DB WR-DB QB-DB RB-DB WR-DB OL-Dl RB-LB WR-DB RB-LB WR-DB RB-DB WR-DB RB-DB
Assistant Coaches: Bill Thomas, Tim Fowler, Floizell Wilson, Ken Chandler, and Edward Walker
Cheerleaders Beverly Pernell, Ginger Buskirk, Cameka Rhoden, Amy Buskirk, Samantha Shelton (captain), Allison Thompson (co-captain), Sherri Fullen, and Stephanie Fulgham
11 11 12 12 12 11 12 12 11 12 11 12 10 12 12 11 11 11 12 10 11 10 10
34 35 41 42 50 52 54 55 56 58 62 64 65 67 69 70 72 75 78 81 82 83 86
Carlton Smith Carlos Temple Tyrone Larcholey Chris Laster Dashun Swift Floyd Lockeridge Falkowski Odneal Eddie Robinson Roosevelt Gibbs William Collins John Fields Jamie Denny Byron Shelton Chris Craven Johnny Hamblin Jeremie Wilbourn Derrick Harris Dewell Fears Thomas Johnson Jarvis Wilson Jason Moore Montreal Johnson Michael Britt
RB-LB RB-DB RB-LB RB-DB OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL OL-DL WR-DB K WR-DB K
Record Overall—6-6 Game Scores Neshoba Central Starkville Louisville Greenville Tupelo
2-0 (L) 20-6 (L) 20-0 (L) 19-0 (W) 26-18 (L)
5A District Playoff Games Provine 28-17 (W)
Greenwood Southaven Clarksdale South Panola Columbus
12-6 (W) 25-0 (W) 20-2 (W) 34-12 (L) 41-14 (W)
11 10 12 11 10 10 12 12 11 12 10 10 12 12 10 12 12 11 12 11 11 11 12
Record Overallâ€”2-9 Game Scores Amory 24-21 (L) Neshoba Central 27-14 (L) Starkville 19-0 (L) Louisville 13-10 (L) Greenville 14-7 (W) Tupelo 28-6 (L) Greenwood 14-0 (L) Southaven 20-14 (L) Clarksdale 35-16 (L) South Panola 28-21 (L) Columbus 16-3 (W)
Wgt. Pos. Gd.
Head Coach Skippy Taylor and his fighting Greenies had a tough fall in 1994 with a disappointing record of two wins and nine losses. As usual, the Green Wave faced a difficult schedule with foes like Louisville, Starkville, and South Panola. They were able to end the season with a win over neighboring Columbus.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Skip Taylor Assistant Coaches: Edward Walker, Andy Wood, Floizell Wilson, Tim Fowler, Keith Manning, and Kenny Hudson
Managers Al Cummings, Kendrick Herman, Brent Walker, Clay Bailey
Cheerleaders Allison Thompson, Cameka Rhoden, Rebecca Bailey, Demonica Baldwin, Sheri Fullen, Chrissie Gibson, Danielle Hall, Tameka Mitchell, Charla Neely, Robyn Newton, Contina Quinn, Olinka Temple
The 1995 Green Wave football team improved on last yearâ€™s record but fell short of their expectations. A number of players turned in fine individual performances, and the team was able to close out the season with a three-game win streak. The final game against Noxubee County was played before a hardy crowd who endured 30-degree weather to see the Green Wave win.
1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 17
Michael Poston Scottie Davis Torrance Young Chris Cunningham Chris Jenkins Marcus Ward Bucky Cox Anthony Duke Jamie Denney Courtney Hoskins Greg Young Kelvin Strong Ken Britt
18 19 20 21 23 24 26 33 34 35 44 51 53
Mario McCann Marchene Hatchett Anthony Johnson Jeremy Bell Albert Robertson Antonio Young Keither Perry Ken Poole Patrice Gresham Darvis Davidson Damon Williams Elden Daily Cedrick Vance
Head Coach: Skip Taylor Assistant Coaches: Kenny Burton, Edward Walker, Keith Manning, and Floizell Wilson
Gil Hughes, Chris Harris, Michael Young, Willie Gillard, and Will Richey
Chris Donald Earnest Young Dejuan Davis Jay Jackson Kendrick Harmon Johnny Hamblin Tony Coleman Chris Fears Chris Gaskin Larry Gillard Michael Matthews John Odom
54 55 60 61 64 69 71 76 78 79 80 81
Cheerleaders Mary Caradine Millard, Candice White, Sarah McTaggart, Betsey Mathews, Veronica Williams, Amy Andrews, Allison Thompson, Lynn Smith, Contina Quinn, Temeka Mitchell, Tiffany Perry
Game Scores South Panola Columbus Starkville Tupelo Aberdeen Neshoba Central Louisville Kosciusko Houston New Hope Noxubee County
39-7 (L) 27-12 (L) 40-0 (L) 21-7 (L) 13-6 (W) 16-0 (L) 35-7 (L) 34-0 (L) 12-0 (W) 19-14 (W) 31-16 (W)
Wgt. Pos. Gd.
1 Michael Poston 165 2 Scottie Davis 161 3 Bucky Cox 160 4 Gavin Wilson 153 5 Jerrell Smith 175 6 Mario McCann 166 8 Billy Dent 190 9 Derry Hammond 205 10 Lamont Fitzpatrick 152 14 Kevin Strong 150 17 Collins Hughes 150 18 Chris Smith 170 19 Nick Dimino 172 20 Anthony Johnson 147 21 Jeremey Bell 165 22 John Jefferson 176 23 Albert Robertson 210 24 Antonio Young 192 26 Keither Perry 175 27 Calvito Hogan 165 33 Frederick Townsend 151 34 Patrice Gresham 172 40 Chris Nelson 190 43 Antonio Johnson 156 44 Terrance Coggins 225 45 Jeremy Moore 150 51 Elden Dailey 309 52 Sammy Randle 210 53 Cedrick Vance 206 54 Chris Donald 191 55 Earnest Young 279
WR 11 DB 12 DB 12 DB 10 RB 12 WR 12 LB 12 RB 11 LB 12 RB 12 QB 10 FB 12 QB 10 DB 12 QB 11 RB 10 L B 11 DL 11 DB 11 RB 12 RB 10 DL 12 DL 11 DB 10 TE 10 DL 10 OL 11 DL 12 OL 12 LB 11 OL 12
56 Al Cummings 60 Dejuan Davis 61 Jay Jackson 71 Tony Coleman 76 Chris Fears 77 David Henley 79 Larry Gillard 81 Frank Strong 82 Alvin Deans 80 Michael Mathews 90 Tim Love 92 Kendrick Herman
Wgt. Pos. Gd.
288 242 305 303 235 209 317 211 240 150 275 240
OL 10 OL 12 OL 12 DL 12 DL 11 OL 11 DL 12 DL 12 DL 11 WR 11 DL 10 DL 11
Record Overall—5-6 Game Scores South Panola Columbus Starkville Tupelo Aberdeen Neshoba Central Louisville Kosciusko Houston New Hope Noxubee Co.
28-0 (L) 6-3 (L) 56-25 (L) 14-3 (W) 17-12 (W) 20-14 (L) 28-26 (L) 25-14 (L) 41-14 (W) 17-0 (W) 17-0 (W)
Jason Moore, John Raymond Pitre, Terrance Sykes, Jonathan Wray
Candice White-Captain, Lynn Smith-Co-captain, Shontondrea Cox, Krystal Garnett, Danielle Hall, Rasheeda Macon, Sarah McTaggart, Mary Caradine Millard, Candice Moore, Sonia Ward, Veronica Williams
The West Point Green Wave welcomed new head coach Lynn Moore after Skip Taylor moved to Alabama. Moore brought a number of years of experience in several programs, including Aberdeen. The Green Wave opened the season with a loss to powerhouse South Panola. After a competitive season with several tough losses, it was déjà vu for the Green Wave at the end of the season as they battled the Noxubee County Tigers on a cold November night and came away with a big victory, once again giving them a three-game win streak. They ended the season with a 5-6 overall record and 4-3 in the district against their usual tough schedule. DTL sports columnist Brock Turnipseed called the season “. . . in many ways, very positive for the Wave players and coaching staff . . . . If you had to describe the character of this fiery bunch of football players, it would have to be that they never quit. . .but went onto the field every Friday night and battled their hardest every down for four quarters.”
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Lynn Moore Assistant Coaches: Shea Taylor, Keith Manning, Steve Robinson, Paul Dees, Edward Walker, Floizell Wilson, Kenny Burton, and Duke Denton
The ‘97 Green Wave football team began the season under the direction of second-year head coach Lynn Moore. The ‘97 Greenies were a much smaller team than that of the previous year, with Al Cummings the only returning starter on offense. After losing the first four games, WP rallied to beat Neshoba Central in an away game. They posted another win against Itawamba and finished strong with wins over Tishomingo County and New Hope. A really bright spot in the season was the play of senior Albert Robertson. DTL sports editor Brandon Mann called Robertson “something of a phenomenon” saying that the linebacker “roamed the field like a drill sergeant.” Robertson met his preseason goal of 200 tackles, including several sacks.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Lynn Moore Assistant Coaches: Kenny Burton, Keith Manning, Steve Robinson, Shea Taylor, Edward Walker, and Floizell Wilson
Managers Chris Dean, Jason Moore, Cody Shows, Thomas Lenoir, and John Raymond Pitre
Cheerleaders Ayofemi Ward, Haley Habel, Sonia Ward, Shericka Nance, Shatondrea Cox, Lashonda Carr, Lynn Smith, Angel Blake, Krystjan Jackson, Krystal Garnett (Co-Captain), Rasheeda Macon, Veronica Williams (Captain)
Wgt. Pos. Gd.
Record Overall—4-7 Game Scores Noxubee County Columbus Starkville Tupelo Neshoba Central Louisville Houston Itawamba
6-0 (L) 32-3 (L) 20-10 (L) 28-0 (L) 22-8 (W) 38-3 (L) 33-7 (L) 21-0 (W)
Aberdeen 25-23 (L) Tishomingo County 23-0 (W) New Hope 14-0 (W)
Wgt. Pos. Gd.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 17
Tim Love Quinton Belk Hal Thompson Gavin Wilson Alex Dobbs Chris Rice Keith Starks Ricky Wilson Renaldo Deans Collins Hughes Ken Wooten Avery Young Nick Terry Jason Lyons C.K. Foster
Wgt. Pos. Gd.
280 175 145 174 140 150 170 195 175 178 165 155 155 150 180
DE DE WR WR WR DB LB TB TB QB WR DB DB DB QB
Record Overall—1-10 Game Scores Noxubee County Columbus Starkville Tupelo Neshoba Louisville Houston Itawamba Aberdeen Tishomingo New Hope
28-0 (L) 21-10 (L) 26-0 (L) 33-6 (L) 17-3 (L) 41-3 (L) 12-2 (L) 17-16 (L) 40-34 (L) 28-0 (W) 27-14 (L)
SR JR SR SR SR SO JR JR SO SR SR JR JR JR JR
19 20 21 22 23 24 27 28 31 32 33 37 40 43 33 35 38 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 60 61 62 64 73 78 79 80 85 88 89
Nick Dimino 175 Decatur Robinson 187 Curtis Smith 170 Eric Sherrod 150 Andre Quinn 180 Larry Carter 140 Brent Walker 195 Terrell Mathews 230 Greg Henderson 130 Tim Townsend 235 Frederick Townsend 150 Ben Earnest 180 Niko Edwards 155 Antonio Johnson 160 Terrance Coggins 230 Juvon Sykes 155 Zaccaria Smith 145 Montrell Cummingham 195 Anthony Washington 245 Adam Holt 210 Wilse Dimino 203 Brandon Mcclenton 265 Al Cummings 280 Frankie Doss 265 Eric Stamps 315 Gil Hughes 185 Bryon Fair 225 Keith Ford 217 Chad Lee 28S Dewayne Smith 255 Kevin Brownlee 280 Willie Gillard 220 Denoval Cannon 160 Victor Melton 160 Courtney Bonner 135 Chris Pruitt 186
QB WR DB TB LB WR FB FB DB FB DB LB DB LB TE DB WR OL OL LB OL O1 OL OL OL OL DE OL OL DL DL OL WR DB WR WR
SR SO SR SO SR SR SR SR SO JR SR JR SO SR SR SO SO SO JR JR SO JR SR SR JR SO JR SO JR JR SO SO SO SO SO JR
In the fall of 1998 the Greenies once again took the field with high hopes and a new head coach, Tom Goode. Goode explained his decision to leave Texas Southern University to coach at WPHS, “I wanted the challenge of establishing a winning team.” Despite the hard work of the Green Wave players, WPHS did not have a good season. Although their offensive output improved in the second half of the season with several close games, they managed only one win against Tishomingo. The Green Wave players, however, demonstrated character in the face of disappointment. The yearbook quoted two Wave stalwarts. “A score does not determine the goodness of the team,” said Al Cummings. Timothy Townsend added, “We’re good, but with so few players and many positions to fill, it’s hard to get the job done.” An interesting side note — the photographer for this season was Jermaine Taylor, a WPHS graduate, now principal of West Point High School.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Tom Goode Assistant Coaches: Edward Walker, Steve Robinson, Eric Dotson, Ashley Kuhn, Antonio Lairy, and Will Robinson
Rasheeda Macon, Falynda Hall, Krystjan Jackson, Nadia Dale, Nicki Stout, Channie Bell, Lindsey Gaskin, Candice Walker, Charlotte Sinko, Natasha Casley Hayford, Haley Habel, Shericka Nance, Ayofemi Ward
Jesse King, Ray Holliman, Roosevelt Cunningham, and Bobby Cockrell
Head Coach Dennis Allen and the new West Point Green Wave made their debut on Friday night, August 27. Ranile Robins of the DTL wrote, “Allen rallied the troops and headed for Columbus with high hopes. But Columbus had other plans, turning back the Wave 41-14.” Unfortunately, that opening game was the sign of tough times to come. The Wave got their first win in game four and went into the final game against New Hope with only one win. Mark Beason of the DTL summed up the general expectations for the game: “With a 1-9 record everybody expected West Point to get rolled over by New Hope, who came within an eyelash of making the playoffs. Everybody except West Point. In a shocker, the Green Wave defense stymied the Trojan offense, as they held on for an 8-6 win.” Beason titled his article following the game “The Green Wave got what the team deserved.” He told about asking Coach Allen how he “liked his chances, and he looked at me with a smug grin and said, ‘If we’re playin’, we’ve got a chance.’” Beason wrote that the result was one of the biggest upsets he had seen in a while: “West Point beat New Hope because they deserved it; they beat New Hope because they earned it.” The 1999 season, disappointing in many ways, ended on a high note. It was indeed a game that showed the character of the team and coaches.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 14 15 18 19 22 27 31 34 40 42 43 44 45 48 52 53 54 55 56 58 61 62 63 66 71 75 78 79 80 89
Wgt. Pos. Gd.
Adam Hornej 153 Thomas Harris 175 Renaldo Deans 178 Niko Edwards 163 Avery Young 153 Chris Rice 153 Brent Walker 205 Walt Bounds 200 Josh Lee 135 Keith Ford 195 James Shelton 142 Nicholas Terry 162 Brad Andrews 137 Kenneth Thomas 160 Courtney Bonner 146 Sedrick Walker 177 Tygia Young 176 Gregory Henderson 136 Antwon Neal 155 Timo Hellwig 143 Eddie Malone 135 Mecos Coggins 225 Johnathon L Moore 140 Cedrick Moore 167 Adam Holt 225 Anthony Washington 270 Gil Hughes 205 Wilse Dimino 202 Brandon McClenton 250 Montrell Cunningham 208 Er ic Stamps 295 Byron Fair 253 Jamar Richardson 250 Chad Lee 270 Corey Brooks 203 Navas Wells 233 Rodrick Virges 180 Corey Ellis 250 Willie Gillard 224 Denoval Cannon 163 Chris Harris 170
K WR WR LB RB RB QB TE WR RB RB QB K RB WR LB WR LB LB WR WR OL RB LB RB OL LB C OL OL OL OL OL OL C OL DE KL OL WR TE
12 10 11 11 12 11 11 12 10 11 10 12 10 12 11 12 10 11 10 12 10 10 9 11 12 12 11 11 12 11 12 12 11 12 10 11 10 11 11 11 10
Overall—2-9 Game Scores Columbus Houston Starkville Winona Neshoba Central Noxubee Co. Louisville Lafayette Kosciusko Aberdeen New Hope
41-14 (L) 42-21 (L) 41-0 (L) 19-13 (W) 21-14 (L) 20-0 (L) 36-6 (L) 27-12 (L) 30-12 (L) 26-0 (L) 8-6 (W)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Dennis Allen Assistant Coaches: Chris Chambless, Eric Spann, Ricky Melton, David King, Chad Davis, and Cedrick Herby
Managers Tim Townsend, Roosevelt Cunningham, Jr., Tony Lathon, Rashal Holliman, Jr., and Brad White
Cheerleaders Haley Habel, Natasha Casely-Hayford, Shericka Nance, Robin Terry,Candice Walker, Ayofemi Ward, Lindsey Gaskin, Nadia Dale, Stephanie Soto, Genikia Griffin, Pamela Henley, Whitney Jennings, Taisha Johnson
The Greenies Are Back! In spite of ominous Y2K warnings, most computers successfully made the transition, and in large part life went on as usual. And life as usual at West Point High School meant football in August. For the first five years of the new decade, the Green Wave team was led by Dennis Allen, who had taken over head coaching duties in 1999. It did not happen overnight, but Allen and his staff were able to turn the program around. Two assistant coaches in this decade were former West Point High School athletes, Floizell Wilson and Ricky Melton. The first two years would be the only losing seasons of the decade. In the first decade of the twentyfirst century, the Green Wave made the playoffs eight times and played for the championship twice. The 2002 team ended its run with a record of twelve wins and three losses and played for the 4A State Championship. In 2003 West Point moved to 5A classification and played as one of the smallest schools in the largest division, yet managed to win nine games while losing only four. Their season ended in the second round of the playoffs against South Panola, who would go on to win the 5A championship. The Greenies made the playoffs again in 2004, losing to Madison Central in the first round. Then all the hard work paid off. With only one loss to long-time nemesis Starkville, the Green Wave won it all in 2005, defeating Wayne County for the 4A State Championship. At the end of the year Coach Allen stepped down as head coach, and Chris Chambless, who had been an assistant since 2000, took the reins. And the story goes on! The 2006 team again returned to the 4A championship but lost to Clarksdale. Both the 2007 and 2008 teams made the playoffs. Then in the fall of 2009, it all came together for the Mighty Green Machine. Once again the school on the bubble moved to 5A and again faced Wayne County. And once again the result was the same. West Point Green Waveâ€”5A State Champions! Woo-Hoo Mercy!
Record Overall—3-8 Game Scores Columbus Houston Starkville Winona Neshoba Central Noxubee Louisville Lafayette County Kosciusko Aberdeen New Hope
24-7 (L) 28-7 (L) 30-0 (L) 34-3 (W) 28-7 (L) 41-6 (L) 35-9 (L) 21-20 (L) 28-21 (L) 19-6 (W) 34-27 (W)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Dennis Allen Assistant Coaches: Chris Chambless, Eric Spann, Ricky Melton, Bobby Permenter, Lee Grisham, Floizell Wilson
Cheerleaders Nadia Dale, Nish Davis, Penny Davis, Chime Edwards, Lindsey Gaskin, Genika Griffin, Joneeta Head, Whitney Jennings, Antwanette Jones, Keytric Lane, Courtney Moore, Brandi Randle, Stephanie Soto, Latisha Strong, Candice Walker, Courtney Walker
The West Point Green Wave under second year Head Coach Dennis Allen hoped to avenge last year’s loss in the opening game to Columbus. The Green Wave was led by Brent Walker, whose performance as a junior held great promise. Unfortunately, two special team errors led to a loss. The good news was the last game of the season, when West Point beat New Hope in what sports writer Chan Davis of the DTL dubbed an “overtime thriller.” Quarterback James Shelton, who replaced the injured Walker, scored three touchdowns, but, according to Davis, “. . . none was as important as [the one] he scored when the clock wasn’t running.” At the end of regulation time, the score was tied 20-20. Shelton’s overtime TD decided the game. Coach Allen was proud of his team: “. . . tonight we may have found out how to win. . . .” He went on to praise his team: “. . . tonight we really showed a lot of character.”
Coaches and fans of the Green Wave felt good about the 2001 season in spite of a losing record. The school yearbook put it this way: “This season was the best that the Varsity Football Team has had in years. The team’s true dedication enabled them to have the best season since 1994.” Coach Allen “remarked that next year will be even better than this.” (The Green Wave) The team practiced hard all season and met Shannon in the first round of the playoffs. Jarrod McDaniel of the Daily Times Leader pointed out that the 2001 team competed in the postseason “for the first time since the early nineties.” Although the game ended in a loss for the Greenies, the young team gave fans a lot to cheer about and the promise of good things to come.
Head Coach: Dennis Allen
Brittany Jefferson, Chime Edwards, Courtney Walker, Penny Davis, Joneeta Head, Carnetta Cook, Latisha Strong, Antwaunette Jones, Stephanie Soto, Brittni Tallie, Brandi Randle, Shaquilla Randle, Nish Davis, Keytric Lane, Whitney Jennings
Assistant Coaches: Chris Chambless, Ashley Kuhn, Floizell Wilson, Ricky Melton, Lee J. Grisham, Eric Spann, Grady McCluskey
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 14 15 18 20 21 22 23 24 27 29 30 32
Tavoris Carter T.C. Harris Marco Davidson Sylvester Shelton Rico Collins David Webber N.J. Tillman John Pitre Scott Hughes Cedrick Wells Patrick Thompson Michael Shelton Chris Stamps Cedric Hughes Derrick Humphries Jonathan Tucker Fred Oats James Shelton Neandre Hoskins Tygia Young Taurrence Pierce Vernon Morton Damien Mitchell
33 36 42 43 52 54 55 57 58 59 60 62 64 66 67 70 72 74 75 77 78 85
Carl Doss Josh Lee Charlie Brown Jermaine Eacholes Antonio Nicholson Louis Vaughn Michael Young Kevin Pugh Jeremy Davidson James Edwards Thomas Eckers Brooks White Devin Robinson Kevin Fowler Miles Baird Chris Black Kenny Davis Vacarrick Witherspoon Marcus Rowe Carlos Daniels Leonard Howell Victor Jones
Record Overall—4-7 Game Scores Columbus Oxford Starkville New Hope Aberdeen Neshoba Central Houston Louisville Kosciusko Noxubee County
34-6 (L) 17-14 (W) 33-13 (L) 29-17 (W) 21-18 (L) 33-7 (W) 21-14 (W) 7-0 (L) 12-7 (L) 12-0 (L)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 27 28 30 31 32 33 34 42 43 44 45 48 50 52 53 55 56 57 58 60
Tavoris Carter Marcus Ewing Marco Davidson Sylvester Shelton Rico Collins David Webber N.J. Tillman Jarian Chandler John Raymond Pitre Scott Hughes Cedrick Wells Patrick Thompson D.D. Young Rich Lindsay Cedric Hughes Kymario Cannon Derrick Boyd Justin Wofford Josh Dent Cliff Bailey Neandre Hoskins Jeremy Lewis Taurrence Pierce Vernon Morton Jonathan Shelton Damien Mitchell James Ewings Louis Vaughn Terrell Lenior Julian McCrary Terrance Gunn Nekyo Davidson Henry Jackson Darron Head Antonio Nicholson VonShay Vance Michael Young Ahmad Cox Kevin Pugh Jeremy Davidson Thomas Eckers
DB QB DE LB DB QB DE WR LB TE RB WR WR WR DB DB DB DB DE QB DB DB DB RB DB DL LB TE DL DB LB FB WR OL DL DL OL DL TE OL OL
160 165 165 185 175 170 170 160 190 175 165 160 155 150 135 165 143 160 150 150 195 150 175 185 135 185 195 230 165 170 160 160 165 215 215 245 210 211 190 225 290
10 10 11 11 12 12 11 10 12 11 11 11 10 10 11 9 9 10 9 9 12 10 11 11 9 12 9 12 10 12 9 9 10 11 12 12 12 10 11 12 12
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Overall—12-3 Game Scores Columbus Oxford Starkville New Hope Aberdeen Neshoba Central Houston Louisville Kosciusko Noxubee County
14-7 (W-OT) 42-0 (W) 17-9 (L) 30-0 (W) 17-0 (W) 21-0 (W) 35-7 (W) 17-7 (W) 44-0 (W) 20-7 (L)
Class 4A Postseason Jim Hill 26-8 (W) Provine 6-0 (W) Louisville 6-0 (W) Grenada 10-3 (W) D’Iberville 33-7 (L) 62 66 67 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 78 80 88
Brooks White OL Kevin Fowler OL Miles Baird OL Fred Robinson DL Chris Black OL Carey Edwards DL Kenny Davis DL Kris Keel OL Vacarrick Witherspoon OL Marcus Rowe DL Lemarcus Witherspoon OL Ryan Brown OL Deaushay Watts WR Demarcus Carrothers TE
260 200 215 300 250 190 250 220 280 305 280 230 155 185
12 10 11 9 11 9 11 12 11 12 9 9 12 9
When Dennis Allen became head coach in 1999, he was convinced that the only way to rebuild the winning tradition of the West Point Green Wave was to begin the process at the junior high level. Meanwhile his 1999 team went 2-9, then 3-8 in 2000, and 4-7 in 2001. Finally, in 2002 Coach Allen was coaching only his players, boys who had been schooled exclusively under his own rebuilding plan and his own coaching style. A few days before the 2002 State Championship game, Allen told the West Point, Mississippi, Daily Times Leader, “The kids know when I get on their tails, I’m trying to get them better. A lot of kids don’t understand that. It’s taken me a while to get these West Point kids to understand that, but they do now.” Although the Green Wave came up short in its bid for the state championship trophy in 2002, according to the Jackson, Mississippi, Clarion Ledger, the Green Wave, led by Allen and his staff, had possibly the “biggest turn-around in Mississippi.” And West Point had done it with its defense, allowing only 69 points with seven shutouts. As Allen told reporters, “We just don’t have any superstars on defense. We’ve got a bunch of hard-nosed kids. They don’t let the other guy down.”
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Dennis Allen Assistant Coaches: Chris Chambless, Ashley Kuhn, Lee Grisham, Ricky Melton, Floizell Wilson, Michael Brown, Chad Davis, Keith Manning
Cheerleaders Nish Davis, Keytric Lane, Courtney Walker, Chime Edwards, Penny Davis, Paige Hampton, Erika Edwards, LaPorsha Ewings, Brittany Jefferson, Carnetta Cook, Shekia Ewing, Angeleca White, and Shequita Powell
After playing for the 4A State Championship in 2002, West Point moved up to the largest classification (5A) for the 2003 season. Playing as the smallest school in the largest classification did not dampen the Green Wave’s competitive spirit. West Point finished the regular season with an 8-3 overall record, 4-3 in the division. After defeating Vicksburg 31-0 in the first round of the playoffs the Green Wave fell 21-0 to eventual state champion South Panola to finish the season at 9-4, ranked number 8 in the final Clarion Ledger Super 10 Poll, number 5 in Class 5A.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Dennis Allen Assistant Coaches: Ashley Kuhn, Chris Chambless, Lee Grisham, Floizell Wilson, Michael Brown, Ricky Melton, Chad Davis
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 18 19 21 22 23 24 27 28 30 31 32 33 34 36 40 43 44 45
Tavoris Carter Marco Ewing Marco Davidson Sylvester Shelton Keymario Cannon Derrick Boyd N.J. Tillman Jarian Chandler Cliff Bailey Scott Hughes Cedric Wells Patrick Thompson D.D. Young Reshun Randle Eldrick Hogan Chris Matthews Justin Wofford Jimmy Reed Jonathan Shelton Antron Davis Jeremy Lewis Taurrence Pierce Vernon Morton Courtney Brooks Terrell Lenoir James Ewing Nekyo Davidson Barry Pernell Shimon Quinn Zack Brown Terrance Gunn Dachavis Daniels
DB DB LB LB DB DB LB WR QB WR RB WR WR WR WR RB DL DB WR DB DB DB RB WR DL LB RB RB DB LB LB DB
11 11 12 12 10 10 12 11 10 12 12 12 11 10 10 10 11 10 10 10 11 12 12 10 11 10 10 10 11 10 10 10
48 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 70 72 73 74 76 77 78 79 82 85 86 88
Henry Jackson WR Darron Head OL Flentress Murdock LB Roderick Walker OL Virgil Ross LB Alex Hill LB Kendrick Franks LB Ahmad Cox DL Jerell Ross LB Zack Jones DB Greg Deans OL Lamarcus Witherspoon DL Roosevelt Cunningham OL Desmond Cooperwood DL Tucker Millard OL Davis Manning OL Jeff Hairston OL Kevin Fowler OL Miles Baird OL Jon Lane OL Chris Black OL Kenny Davis DL Demarcus Walker OL Vacarrick Witherspoon OL Kedrick Rush OL Carlos Daniels DL Damien Randle DL Ryan Brown DL Neo Lenoir DB Brent Mills WR Quinton Cox WR Demarcus Carrothers WR
Cheerleaders Sheena Dean, Erika Edwards, Shekia Ewing, Laporsha Ewings, Paige Hampton, Brittany Jefferson, Rickeisha Morton, Shequita Powell, Jessica Soto, Brittni Tallie, Alishia Walker, C. J. Walker, Keanna Ward, Angeleca White
Record Overall—9-4 Game Scores Noxubee County Canton Louisville Drew Starkville Horn Lake Olive Branch
42-6 (W) 42-0 (W) 10-7 (W-OT) 38-6 (W) 28-16 (L) 44-9 (W) 27-24 (L-2OT)
Columbus Tupelo Southaven South Panola Vicksburg South Panola
10-7 (W) 28-21 (W) 21-7 (W) 48-7 (L) 31-0 (W) 21-0 (L)
10 12 10 10 11 10 11 10 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 12 12 10 12 12 10 12 10 12 10 10 11 10 10 10
Bud Bowen “The Voice of the Green Wave”
One fateful night a local West Point establishment gave birth to a household voice. Bud Bowen, now better known as “The Voice of the Green Wave,” was enjoying fellowship with a true friend, Jack King. It was King’s vision to have West Point football live on the radio airwaves. In this idea, Bowen, known as the “Woo-Hoo Mercy Man” in many parts of town, was the man for the job behind the microphone and was hired to fulfill the role. From the “best seat in the house,” since 1979, Bowen has delivered play-by-play in a colorful manner to the green-and-white faithful for nearly 40 years. Through the blood, the sweat, and the tears of West Point players and coaching staffs, Bowen, who served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, has called the action on the field straight and fair. His dialogue leaves his followers hanging on every word and wanting more Green Wave football. Along with assistance from King, Bowen credits his knowledge and sense of the game to Skippy Taylor. Taylor, Bowen’s best friend, spent numerous hours with Bowen, teaching the long-time radio broadcaster the game. Without his tutelage, Bowen says, he would not have been able to accurately describe the intricacies on the gridiron. Another important driving force for Bowen was Harper Bowen Orman, one of his grandsons. Orman, who was handicapped and now deceased, gave and continues to give Bowen strength to climb up the stairs to his perch on Friday nights. Orman was a constant light during his life on earth, according to Bowen. Influenced by his surroundings, Bowen
electrified his audience using an old catchphrase of Bill Goodridge, a former Ole Miss football radio broadcaster. Having heard Goodridge deliver the phrase during the Rebel football games, Bowen inserted it into his broadcast during an unmemorable game. It caught on like wild fire and remains in his repertoire for big West Point plays. Though Bowen felt guilty for using the quote, Goodridge’s son gave Bowen the blessing to continue using the phrase in a letter. So now, in some neighborhoods of West Point, Bowen is simply known as the “Woo-Hoo Mercy Man.” Not only does Bowen have fond memories of coaches, head and assistants, he also will never forget the players. If you donned the green and white, Bowen has probably read off your name on live air. He loved all West Point football players. Whether they were the superstar Dandy Dozen or the third-stringer who saw field time on mop up duty, the Voice has constantly made sure all on the roster made an impact in his career. Even off the roster, Bowen’s roots in the West Point community have led to a personable touch to the broadcast, giving shout outs and homages to fans at the game and those unable to attend. In retrospect, Bowen has always felt that he has called the game straight and fair. He even said that he has given opponents credit when it was due for giving the Greenies all they could handle. Bowen was born October 26, 1947, in Aberdeen (Miss.) to parents Howard and Doris Bowen. The Voice is married to Betty Jo Bowen. He is father to twins, Rodney and Ronald McKnight, and Brooke Bowen. Along with Orman, his grandchildren are Briggs, Molly, and Neely Claire McKnight, and Caroline Eaves.
Left: Bowen with Coach Skip Taylor. Right: Bowen in the announcer’s booth with Alan Leonard, public address announcer.
The Wave kicked off the 2004 season with a 6-0 win against Noxubee County and played their first home game the following week on the revamped McCallister Field in Hamblin Stadium, which was expanded to hold 8,000 fans. The Greenies held both Canton and Louisville scoreless and posted a 59-3 victory over Drew. Then it was time for the annual rivalry with Starkville. Brandon Walker sets the stage: “Fourteen years. That is how long it has been since the West Point Green Wave pulled out a victory over Starkville. It has been fifteen years since a Green Wave team had a 5-0 record. . . .Ranked fifth in the latest poll, West Point has been on quite a roll. . . .Boasting the stingiest defense in the state, the Green Wave has only allowed 3 points . . . in four football games.” And the Wave was up to the task, defeating Starkville 20-13 before a standing-room only crowd of approximately 10,000, one of the largest ever to see a game in Clay County. The scoreboard stayed on all weekend long. In Game 11 West Point hosted top-ranked South Panola, a game that Walker called “simply a classic.” The Green Wave played the perennial powerhouse to a 14-14 tie before losing in overtime. Coach Allen and the Greenies turned their attention to the playoff game at Madison Central, who came into the contest with a three-game shutout streak. “It started three months ago against Noxubee County. It traveled through places like Horn Lake, Southaven, and Columbus, and it was filled with many more ups than downs. And Friday night, it ended at Madison Central. “West Point’s 2004 season came to an end…in the first round of the 5A playoffs, but not without a fight” (Brandon Walker, DTL)—final score Madison Central 24, West Point 15.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Dennis Allen Assistant Coaches: Ashley Kuhn, Lee Grisham, Ricky Melton, Floizell Wilson, Chris Chambless, Brent Miley, David King
Cheerleaders Ceriedra Owens, Annalisa Carter, Alysa White, Tasha Brown, Ashley Simmons, Kimeka Watkins, Laporsha Binder, Alisha Walker, Quita Powell, Shardae Walker, Ashley Brown, Erika Edwards, Paige Hampton, Angelica White, Laporsha Ewing No/Name Gd. Pos. Wgt.
Record Overallâ€”8-4 Game Scores Noxubee County Canton Louisville Drew Starkville Horn Lake
6-0 (W) 39-0 (W) 22-0 (W) 59-3 (W) 20-13 (W) 51-15 (W)
Olive Branch Columbus Tupelo Southaven South Panola Madison Central
21-14 (L) 28-13 (L) 20-13 (W) 22-6 (W) 21-14 (L) 24-15 (L)
2005 STATE CHAMPS
Head Coach: Dennis Allen Assistant Coaches: Chris Chambless, Ashley Kuhn, Lee Grisham, Ricky Melton, David King, Floizell Wilson, David Ruffin
Cheerleaders Ashley Brown, Jasmine Campbell, Analissa Carter, Savannah Cutrer, Brittany Johnson, Ceriedra Owens, Jessica Pruitt, Andrea Reives, Ashely Simmons, Achante Smith, Joi Spraggins, Kurtida Swift, Alishia Walker, CJ Walker, Keanna Ward
After West Point’s opening win against Noxubee County, Hurricane Katrina paid a nasty visit to the Magnolia State and pushed the entire slate of MHSAA football back one week, and West Point met Columbus in the second game of the season. Brandon Walker of the DTL praised the team approach of the Green Wave: “Perhaps more than any other, football is a team sport, a sport in which individual glory should take a backseat to team success.” That line of thinking led to a number of position changes on the Green Wave team and resulted in a big victory over the Falcons, payback for the previous year’s loss. West Point and Starkville were both ranked in the top ten in Mississippi when they met in the third game of the season. The two undefeated teams played before an overflow crowd. Even though West Point outgained Starkville 224 yards to 154, the final score read Starkville 13, West Point 9. Coach Allen blamed turnovers for the loss, which dropped the Greenies from No. 2 to No. 4 in the 4A ranks. After that, the Wave never looked back. Walker called the opening district game against Louisville “one of the most physical outings of the year for the Green Wave.” The result of that physical effort was a resounding win, 35-12. The final score came when Jamar Shelton fielded Louisville’s onside kick and returned it for a touchdown. The 2005 season saw West Point post six shutouts against Noxubee, New Albany, Itawamba, Tishomingo, Pontotoc, and Noxubee again.
Record Overall—14-1 Game Scores Noxubee County Columbus Starkville New Albany Louisville Itawamba County Tishomingo Co. Shannon
19-0 (W) 38-11 (W) 13-9 (L) 41-0 (W) 35-12 (W) 34-0 (W) 36-0 (W) 21-6 (W)
Pontotoc Saltillo Canton Noxubee County Clarksdale Oxford Wayne County
34-0 (W) 49-3 (W) 54-6 (W) 20-0 (W) 14-7 (W) 24-14 (W) 17-15 (W)
119 According to Brandon Walker, things returned to “normal” in the first playoff game against Canton. After passing for 300 yards against Saltillo, the Green Wave running attack was “business as usual,” and that “business” netted a season-high 574 yards and produced a “surprisingly easy” 54-6 victory. Opposing teams at that point had scored “one touchdown or less in nine of eleven games.” “We play defense here in West Point,” Allen told the DTL. A 14-7 win over Clarksdale the following week sent the Greenies to the North Half against Oxford. The headline in the DTL on December 5 proclaimed “West Point secures seventh North State Championship with convincing 24-14 win over previously-unbeaten Oxford.” The victory secured the Wave’s seventh trip to the state championship, and the Voice of the Green Wave has been there every time. After a hard-fought battle, the final score read West Point 17, Wayne County 15. “Woo-hoo mercy, Greenies win it all!!!” declared the DTL in the inimitable words of Bud Bowen.
No./Name Gd. Pos. Wgt.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31 33 34 36 38 39 40 41 42 43
Davidson, Antron Ewing, Chicosy Bailey, Cliff Hogan, Eldrick Cannon, Mario Boyd, Derrick Walker, Travis Brooks, Courtney Shelton, Jamar Matthews, Chris Ward, Perrance Shelton, Jonathan Lenoir, Teddy Randle, Rechion Cannon, Cory Ewing, Xavier Foster, C.J. Domino, Phillip Atkinson, Britton Davidson, Charlie Bascombe, Devin Saul, DeQuontis Hoskins, Marvin Shelton, Dexter Reed, Jimmy Gordon, Thomas Cox, Mario Virges, Terrell Owens, Rod Ewing, James Chandler, Antonio King, James Williams, Trave Rupert, Chris Tollison, David Larry, Rafeal Mitchell, Rasheet Brown, Zack
12 11 12 12 12 12 11 12 11 12 10 12 11 12 11 11 11 10 12 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 10 11 11 12 10 10 12 11 11 12 11 12
DB RB QB WR DE DB DL WR WR RB WR WR DB WR DB DL DB QB RB RB LB DL DB DB DB WR LB LB DE LB DL DB WR DL WR WR DE LB
160 180 170 170 165 165 180 130 160 185 180 150 150 150 140 160 160 140 180 145 150 150 150 145 140 145 155 180 155 210 215 150 165 185 160 155 150 150
No./Name Gd. Pos. Wgt.
44 Rush, Kaleb 11 45 Hart, Darren 10 47 Harris, Cornelius 10 48 Travis, Justin 12 50 Andrews, Todd 12 51 Shelton, Avis 11 52 Walker, Roderriek 12 53 Hopkins, Lashaun 10 54 Hill, Alex 12 55 Jones, Jeremy 11 56 Cox, Quartney 10 57 Heard, Michael 10 53 Johnson, Charles 10 59 Hamby, Preston 10 60 Witherspoon, Lamarcus 12 61 Cunningham, Roosevelt 12 62 Gandy, Trevail 10 63 Doss, Demarius 11 64 Smith, Jimmy 10 65 Mitchell, Lemareus 10 66 Devine, Cornelius 11 67 Heard, Maurice 11 68 Lane, Jon 12 69 Smith, Chris 12 70 Clay, Tavoris 11 71 Murdock, Flentrus 12 72 King, Andrew 11 73 Walker, Demarcus 12 74 Brand, Josh 12 75 Edwards, Martin 12 76 Rush, Kedrick 12 77 Jensen, Melvin 11 78 Gaston, Robert 11 80 Cole, Carlos 10 82 McFarland, Chris 10 86 Manning, Davis 12 88 Berry, Austin 10
LB WR WR DL DL OL OL LB LB DL OL DL LB LB DL OL DL LB DL DL DL DL OL OL OL DL OL OL OL DL OL DL DL DB DB OL DB
200 155 140 220 250 235 180 165 170 160 250 250 135 155 280 275 185 165 165 210 215 225 230 275 175 180 250 200 260 265 315 160 270 140 170 130 155
The Green Wave yearbook showed the pride of the 2006 players. After winning it all the previous year, the team felt that they were underestimated at the beginning of the season. And the Greenies proved their point, accumulating a sixteen-game winning streak dating back to the previous season before losing by one touchdown to Louisville. That game would be their only loss during the regular season, which ended with two fortyplus shutouts of Pontotoc and Saltillo, which gave the boys in green and white the district title, always a point of pride and a step toward the ultimate goal. The season included wins against arch-rival Starkville and neighboring Columbus. Logan Lowery of the DTL credited the Greenies’ success to “a potent rushing attack and a stingy defense.” That “same recipe” and great senior leadership proved successful in playoff games against Northeast Lauderdale, Oxford, and Lafayette County. Quarterback Travis Walker and running back Jamar Shelton continued to rack up yards. The amazing season came to an end against Clarksdale as the two teams battled for the 4A State Championship. The loss of leading rusher Shelton hampered the offense, as did numerous turnovers, which put tremendous pressure on the defense. Coach Chambless praised the Clarksdale team and felt that his players did not play to their usual standard. All in all the 2006 Green Wave team had much to be proud of, posting a record of twelve wins and two losses and a return to the state championship along with outstanding individual performances.
Record Overall—12-2 Game Scores Noxubee Columbus Starkville New Albany Louisville Itawamba Tishomingo County
10-8 (W) 37-6 (W) 23-21 (W) 35-0 (W) 20-14 (L) 39-19 (W) 24-14 (W)
Shannon Pontotoc Saltillo NE Lauderdale Oxford Lafayette Clarksdale
27-18 (W) 45-0 (W) 41-0 (W) 39-14 (W) 27-23 (W) 20-13 (W) 0-33 (L)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Lee J. Grisham, David King, Floizell Wilson, Rickey Milton, Casey Welch, Loray Jordan
Managers Clarence Moore, Lamont Randle, William Tiffin, Curtis Virgis, Seth White, Jacorey Walker
Cheerleaders Kelci Armstrong, Laneisha Deans, Kristen Ewing, Shamaya Ewing, Bobbi Ewings, Audria Guines, Cierra Hodo, Santana Ivy, Brandee Richardson, Rayvin Robinson, B. J. Wofford
“Two years removed from a state championship, the 2007 edition of the West Point Green Wave are as thirsty as ever to return to Jackson,” according to Logan Lowery of the DTL. And second year head coach Chris Chambless was “excited about his offensive prospects…” Lowery goes on to say, “West Point will look to continue one of the most successful runs in the state.” That run included five state titles, seven appearances in the championship game, fourteen playoff games, and nine division titles (DTL). The quarterback position was up for grabs, with Scott, Dimino, Carr, Cannon, and Ward taking snaps behind a strong offensive line anchored by Quartney Cox and Avis Shelton as the Greenies traveled to Shannon for the opening game. After a hard-fought contest with a touchdown by Cannon and two by Scott, a 9-yard touchdown run by Sophomore Michael Carr put West Point up 35-28 with 1:49 to go, but Shannon answered in the final seconds to win 36-35. The rest of the season was a memorable one as the Green Machine posted eleven straight convincing wins, including a decisive 40-6 win over Coach Chambless’ former team, Caledonia. The only really close games were a 16-13 victory over Starkville and a 17-14 defeat of Kosciusko. The Green Wave had a good playoff run with wins over Vicksburg and Oxford before losing a rematch with Kosciusko in the third round. All in all, it was a stellar season bookended with the only two losses of 2007.
Record Overall—11-2 Game Scores Shannon Columbus Starkville New Hope Gentry Noxubee County Kosciusko No./Name
36-35 (L) 27-7 (W) 16-13 (W) 36-6 (W) 39-6 (W) 22-0 (W) 17-14 (W) Pos. Wgt. Gd.
West Lauderdale Neshoba Central Caledonia Vicksburg Oxford Kosciusko
28-21 (W) 44-8 (W) 40-6 (W) 24-14 (W) 28-13 (W) 42-28 (L)
Pos. Wgt. Gd.
Head Coach: Chris Chambless
Sierra Binder, Jasmine Campbell, Chanda Edwards, Shamaya Ewing, Errolyn Gray, Sierra Hosey, Jasmine McNairy, Antoinette Pernell, Andrea Reives, Lakeisha Robertson, Brittany Strong, Kurtida Swift, Marqueta Tallie, B. J. Wofford
Assistant Coaches: Lee J Grisham, David King, Floizell Wilson, Rickey Melton, Casey Welch, Kendall Pickens, Robert Tomlinson
Coach Chambless and staff started the fall with a relatively inexperienced team and “a lot of question marks for the Green Wave” (DTL). Chambless praised the team’s speed, tackling, and execution, saying that the players were “real good listeners and retain what’s being taught,” and said that they would need all those qualities with the difficult schedule they faced (DTL). In the opener the Green Wave avenged last year’s single digit loss to Shannon and went on to defeat Columbus (coached by former Green Wave Coach Bubba Davis), Starkville, New Hope, and Indianola Gentry at homecoming. Their luck ran out against Noxubee County— final score 42-0. Junior quarterback Michael Carr saw limited action because of an injury. The Wave rebounded to beat a strong Kosciusko team 27-17 before losing to West Lauderdale. Shutout wins against Neshoba Central (35-0) and a total demolition of Caledonia finished the regular season. According to Jason Browne, the second period of the Caledonia game “may have been the best single quarter of football in West Point history as the Wave held the Feds to negative four yards and ran just three plays, all for touchdowns” (DTL). At the buzzer the scoreboard read 66-0. Unfortunately, the 2008 season ended on December 5 as West Point lost in the first round of the playoffs to Lafayette. The opposing team had two quick scoring drives in the first quarter, and the rest of the game was a “defensive stalemate” (DTL) with turnovers contributing to the lack of Green Wave offense. It was a season of extremes with the Green Machine shutting out Starkville, Gentry, Neshoba, and Caledonia and being shut out by Noxubee County and Lafayette.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Lee J. Grisham, Floizell Wilson, Rickey Melton, Casey Welch, Kendal Pickens, Roger Burton
Managers Kwame Williams, Dachristopher Johnson
Managers Errolyn Gray, Rayven Robinson, Niesha Lee, Chanda Edwards, Shamaya Ewing, Delta Humphries, LaShauntay Bennett, Sierra Binder, Jasmine McNairy, Brianna Wofford, Elizabeth Robison, JaQuay Brooks
Record Overall—8-3 Game Scores Shannon Columbus Starkville New Hope Gentry Noxubee County Kosciusko West Lauderdale Neshoba Central Caledonia Lafayette
21-14 (W) 42-7 (W) 34-0 (W) 21-12 (W) 14-0 (W) 42-0 (L) 27-17 (W) 17-7 (L) 35-0 (W) 66-0 (W) 13-0 (L)
Pos. Gd. Wgt.
Pos. Gd. Wgt.
Pos. Gd. Wgt.
2009 STATE CHAMPS
Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Lee J. Grisham, Floizell Wilson, Rickey Melton, Casey Welch, Kendall Pickens, Roger Burton, Brett Morgan
Cheerleaders Tamara Jefferson, Christina Robinson, Jaquay Brooks, Brittany Davis, Delta Humphries, Alexis Thompson, Shanice Strong, Elizabeth Robison, Latorsha Deanes, Alexis Thompson, Ashley Gibson, Victoria Harris, Shamaya Ewing, Brianna Wofford, Beyonca Houston, Megan Gwathney, Alexia Walker
The 2009 football season saw West Point move to Class 5A, and Jason Browne of the DTL wrote in preseason that “anything less than a ring is unacceptable. The gang in green is reloaded and ready to run all the way to Jackson.” Coach Chambless said that he scheduled “tuff ” games early to prepare his team for competition. The mindset was there, and so was the preparation, but Shannon shocked the Green Wave with a 27-20 victory in the first game of the season. The Greenies learned their lesson early, and they never looked back, with only one close game against Oxford, which the Green Wave won 33-30. In a late season game, the dominant Greenies held opponent Clarksdale to -7 yards. On Friday, November 20, Kenneth Mister of the Daily Times Leader declared in an arresting headline: “The best football team in the state is in your backyard.” Mister wrote, “West Point has outscored opponents 171-19 over the last five games . . . allowing a league best 135 points over 12 games. Need another reason to come watch West Point destroy Pearl tonight?” he queried. And destroy they did, 34-7. Early in the season the 2009 team was compared to the 2005 state champions, and both teams ultimately faced Wayne County in Photo by Chris Evans/MaxPreps.com the state championship game. On the way to the championship West Point rushed for nearly 4,000 yards “behind a dominating front line” (DTL). Junior Ladenderic (Ken Ken) Thomas had gained 1,119 yards. Seniors like Carr, Virges, Hogan, and Lewis provided talent and leadership. At the end of the game the scoreboard read 35-14, West Point over Wayne County. The West Point Green Wave were 2009 Mississippi 5A state champions.
Record Overallâ€”14-1 Game Scores Shannon Columbus Starkville Noxubee County Indianola Gentry New Hope Oxford Lake Cormorant Saltillo Clarksdale Hernando
27-20 (L) 24-6 (W) 33-13 (W) 20-12 (W) 39-20 (W) 35-8 (W) 33-30 (W) 43-0 (W) 28-12 (W) 27-0 (W) 37-7 (W)
Playoffs Canton Pearl New Hope
36-0 (W) 34-7 (W) 42-21 (W)
Class 5A State Championship Wayne County 35-14 (W)
Coach Chris Chambless West Point’s long history of championship-level coaching was bolstered in 2006 when Chris Chambless was promoted to head coach, succeeding Dennis Allen. Chambless, who joined the West Point coaching staff in 1999 as defensive coordinator, served in that capacity for seven seasons before being moving up to become West Point’s next coach. In his twelve seasons as head coach, Chambless has compiled a sterling 134-31 record, winning four state championships and eight district championships while making the playoffs twelve seasons running. Since his debut, Chambless has won at least 10 games in a season eight times, and he has coached three MHSAA Class 5A Players of the Year (Michael Carr in 2008; Aeris Williams in 2013; Marcus Murphy in 2017). His first win came on Aug. 18, 2006, in the form of a 10-8 road win at Noxubee County to open the season. After winning 31 games over his first three seasons, Chambless broke through for his first state championship in 2009. After losing its season opener at Shannon, West Point reeled off 14 straight wins to end the season, including a 35-14 blowout over Wayne County to win the program’s sixth state title. The second championship would come one year later in 2010, when West Point once again finished with a 14-1 record. This time, the Green Wave would punctuate the state title run with a 21-3 win over Brookhaven in Jackson. In 2016, West Point won its third title under Chambless, eighth overall, with a convincing 29-8 win over Laurel to cap off
another 14-1 season. The “Grind for Nine” in 2017 ended with an outstanding performance, defeating Hattiesburg 41-15 for the ninth state championship for the Green Wave. In four state championship games, Chambless’s teams are 4-0 and have outscored opponents 126-40 along the way. Chambless earned his 100th win as West Point’s coach on October 16, 2015, with a 47-21 win over District 1-5A opponent Lake Cormorant. A defensive coordinator before becoming the head coach, Chambless also helped West Point win the 2005 state title by leading a defensive unit that led the state of Mississippi in turnovers and points allowed. The 2005 defense, behind players like Kymario Cannon and others, posted six shutouts on the season and allowed just nine points in six district games, as West Point outscored District 1-4A opponents 221-9 on the year. Bolstered by his defense’s incredible season, Chambless was named head coach three months after the 2005 season ended. While defense has remained his calling card, Chambless has also fielded a prolific offense during his tenure, as eight of his twelve teams have averaged at least thirty points or more per game for a season. He has also coached three members of the (Jackson) Clarion Ledger’s Dandy Dozen (Carr in 2009, Williams in 2013 and Marcus Murphy in 2017). A graduate of Haleyville High School in Haleyville, Alabama, Chambless graduated from Mississippi State University in 1996, three years before he was hired as an assistant coach at West Point. He lives in West Point with his wife, Elisha; and their three children, Jake, Bo, and Loxley.
Still Champions! The Green Wave made the playoffs every year between 2010 and 2017. The Greenies played in the rain, the cold, and occasionally the heat. They played at home, and they played on the road, but always they played before an enthusiastic crowd of Green Wave supporters. And as a perennial contender for a crown, the guys in green and white were often on the road. Will Nations of the DTL made some interesting observations about road games. Nations said “never has it been easy to play on the road, especially during the postseason. . . . “From entering a different locker room to acclimating to a new field or stadium, it’s a difficult task when a team goes on a road trip. Trips on the yellow dog (school bus), earlier meal times, and an opposing crowd that wants to see you get crushed are some elements that make nobody want to be on the road. A win away from home is typically a victory a team proudly displays in its overall record. Teams that win on the road are simply regarded as better. “The playoff road is never pretty either. It is always gritty. Your jersey gets a little more muddy and dirty. There’s a bigger chip on your shoulder that sometimes resembles a boulder. Overall, you want to shut up their fans and make their drive home feel longer that it actually is compared to yours.” In 2010 the Greenies were riding the crest of a state championship and were determined to keep the streak going. Their last losing season had been in 2001, with championships in 2005 and 2009 and a mission to repeat in 2010. Once again the 2010 Green Wave brought home the gold—defeating Brookhaven for the 5A Championship and claiming the first back to back championship since 1989. In each succeeding year the Green Wave made the playoffs. Then in 2016 the Greenies once again went all the way. The fourteen-win, one-loss season ended in Championship 8 for the West Point Green Wave and whetted the appetite for a repeat. The 2017 team was touted early on as the most talented ever to wear the colors, and they proved it week after week, victory after victory, ending in a perfect season and back to back championships, making it the ninth overall for the Green Wave team and their proud supporters. And the future looks bright. It’s not over yet!
Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Lee J. Grisham, Floizell Wilson, Rickey Melton, Casey Welch, Kendall Pickens, Roger Burton, Brett Morgan
Delta Humphries, Kenya Gibson, Jaquay Brooks, Elizabeth Robinson, Ashley Gibson, Alexia Walker, Taylor McCrary, Jamecia Gibson, Alexis Thompson, Temara Jefferson, Cortesha Garth, Carlitta Poston, Rayonna Deanes, Daphne Wofford, Leardrenice Walker, Aaliayah Strong, Brittany Davis, Aleshia Shambry, Tyneshia Shelton
Photos: Chris Evans/MaxPreps.com
The headlines screamed “Back-to-back:” West Point cruises to seventh state championship. The mighty Greenies posted a record of fourteen wins to only one loss, to long-time nemesis Starkville. The loss was a heartbreaking one which left fans and players stunned. The Wave went into the dressing room at halftime up 20-0. Starkville came out in the second half and scored 21 unanswered points— final score 21-20. Brandon Walker of the Daily Times Leader pointed out that “as seventh graders, West Point High School’s current seniors watched as the 2005 seniors ended a 16-year state championship drought…Five years and two state championships later, those young seventh graders have left an indelible mark on West Point High School football. ‘What can you say about these seniors?’ said Coach Chambless. ‘They were our leaders this season…’” These seniors could boast a 28-2 overall record, eight straight playoff wins, fourteen straight division games, and two state championships. The win made them the first team to win back to back titles since 1989. Sportswriters called it “smashmouth” football. In the championship game, West Point ran 29 straight running plays. Quarterback Justin Cox and running back LaKenderic Thomas benefited from a “bruising” offensive line composed of Taylor, Hall, Wilson, Swift, Jones, Eckers, and tight end Bush. Lemus was again perfect with his kicks. Two members of the team, Keys and Cox, earned National Championship rings the following year with Alabama and EMCC, and Vontarrius Dora is currently playing with the Denver Broncos.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 28 29 30 32 34 35 36
Justin Bobo Justin Cox Jamarius Tallie Jaquille White Li’erick Walker Kendrin Thompson Michael Bush Nelson McIntosh William Harrell Stefon Branham Anthony Johnson Stephen Burnett Jason Burnett Eric Lemus Dequinten Spraggins Adrian Smith Steve Vance Tommy Keys Mario Virges Jacoby Lee Chaddrick Chandler Aries Williams Lakenderic Thomas Deismon Robinson T J Minor Tez Pulliam Delintez Lane Stephon Ivy Jamal Petty Brandon Edwards Eric Johnson Jerry Randle Chris Glover
Pos. Gd. Wgt.
LB QB WR DB DB WR WR QB WR WR DB WR QB K DB WR DB DL RB RB TE RB RB DE TE RB RB DE DE LB DL WR DB
12 12 12 12 12 11 12 10 11 12 10 11 9 10 11 12 10 12 10 12 11 9 12 12 10 10 10 10 12 11 11 11 11
205 185 160 191 150 170 200 150 170 165 140 155 135 190 160 155 155 251 195 180 170 150 200 175 205 150 160 175 190 210 200 150 160
38 39 40 41 42 44 45 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 61 62 63 65 66 69 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 80 81
Willie Collins Makarios Sears Mark Minor Ryan Melton Kris Pernell Freddie Reed Javaris Quinn Romia Wilson Willie Swift Lederrius Taylor Demondtae Donald Josh Price Antreon Bennett Ed Brown Keidrick Samuel Octavius Doss Ronald Matthews Carson Miller Leandrew Hampton Chris Fuller Vontarrius Dora Monty McIlwain Thomas Tiffin Riley Morton Fredricus Mickens Alex Hall Nadarrius Eckers Jonathon Jones Martavius Jefferson Jordan Johnson Kwame Williams Cody Brown
Pos. Gd. Wgt.
DB 11 RB 11 DB 11 FS RB 10 LB 10 LB 10 OL 11 OL 12 OL 12 OL 10 DL 11 LB 10 DL 11 OL 11 DL 12 OL 10 DL 11 OL 10 OL 10 DL 12 DL 12 OL 10 OL 10 OL 11 OL 11 OL 10 OL 11 DL 10 OL 11 K 12 WR 12
160 150 150 145 155 285 180 260 251 225 225 200 190 225 235 225 225 265 190 240 240 255 225 200 280 207 240 265 200 230 155 155
Record Overall—14-1 GameScores Shannon 39-14(W) Mainland (FL) 14-0(W) Starkville 21-20 (L) Noxubee 28-13(W) Gentry 34-8(W) NewHope 24-14(W) Oxford 22-20(W) LakeCormorant 28-27(W) Saltillo 49-0(W) Clarksdale 26-17(W) Hernando 21-14(W) Playoffs JacksonProvine 36-14(W) Oxford 27-12(W) Ridgeland 47-0(W) Class 5A State Championship Brookhaven 21-3(W)
Once again, the football season opened with a group of young players who had something to prove. They set out to bring home the third straight state title, repeating the accomplishment of the late 80s. The young team fielded a seasoned offensive line, returning four starters, the most experienced group on the team. Brandon Walker of the DTL summed it up: “The experience of the offensive line will be a boon for West Point this season as the Wave adjusts to being young at almost every other position. Still, with that kind of strength and muscle paving the way up front, the future looks bright for West Point’s hope this season.” West Point, a team known for its defense, had to replace ten starters. On offense, the Green Wave would also be young, but the talent was there. Juniors Mario Virges, a name familiar to Greenie fans, and Tez Lane were joined by sophomore tailback Aries Williams. The 2011 Green Wave, though young, was not short on talent. The DTL headlines read— “Long Time Coming: State’s top two programs meet to open season.” West Point and South Panola played before a crowd of approximately 10,000. South Panola pulled away late in the game for the win: 37-17. The Greenies then lost to Columbus before defeating Starkville 33-12. The 7-4 season put West Point into the playoffs, where they defeated Neshoba Central by a decisive 43-14 margin. The rematch with nemesis Starkville would end the 2011 season in the second round of the 5A State Playoffs.
Head Coach: Chris Chambless
Ashley Binder, Christina Bradshaw, Ashli Coggins, Brittany Davis, Rayona Deanes, Cortesaha Garth, Ja’Meisha Gibson, Te’Mara Jefferson, Tempestt Mills, Carlitta Poston, Tyneshia Shelton, Ta’China Starks, Aaliyah Strong, Alexis Thompson, Aaliyah Townsend, Deja Wade, A’lexia Walker, Leadrenice Walker, Cierra Wilson, Daphne Wofford
Assistant Coaches: Lee Grisham, Kendall Pickens, Floizell Wilson, Ricky Melton, Casey Welch, Joshua Pulphus, Brett Morgan, Brian Sellers
Record Overallâ€”8-5 District 1 5A Runner Ups Game Scores South Panola Columbus Starkville Noxubee Lake Cormorant Hernando Clarksdale Saltillo Center Hill Oxford New Hope Neshoba Central Starkville
37-17 (L) 35-27 (L) 33-12 (W) 22-17 (L) 42-14 (W) 33-22 (W) 37-19 (W) 47-7 (W) 30-29 (L) 31-21 (W) 56-20 (W) 43-14 (W) 20-14 (L)
In 2012 West Point and South Panola, two of the top football programs in Mississippi, again met in the opening game of the season. Green Wave fans filled the visitors’ stands in Batesville as the teams squared off. A tenacious Greenie defense never allowed the home team to cross the goal line. It took four field goals to give South Panola the 12-10 victory in an atmosphere so charged that Bryan Davis said, “It felt like the playoffs on Saturday night” (DTL). Another road game found the Green Wave triumphant over Columbus and set the stage for the rivalry game with the Yellowjackets in Starkville. The victory was sweet, Wave 47, Jackets 22, before a packed and appreciative visitors’ stand on a balmy night. DTL headlines called the Noxubee County game a “defensive gem at home.” Unfortunately, West Point lost 6-0, and came away with a record of two wins and two losses after the first four games. Then the Green Wave went on a seven-game rampage, with the only close game a 23-17 victory over Lake Cormorant. In the last six games of the regular season, West Point put up an average of almost 42 points a game, while holding opponents to a little more than nine points per game. Local headlines used terms like “heating up,” and “rolls,” to describe wins over Clarksdale and Saltillo, then described Quarterback Tez Lane’s game as “life in the fast lane” for his success against Center Hill, 55-7. Then old foe the Oxford Chargers arrived in Hamblin Stadium unbeaten, but left with a loss, and the Green Wave were District champs. Against New Hope the formula was “Score early, score late and dominate all four quarters on defense” (Bryan Davis, DTL). The Wave had made the playoffs. In Round 1, 5-A the Greenies overwhelmed Canton 38-0. In Round 2, for the second year in a row, the road ended in Starkville in a heartbreaking 29-28 loss.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Lee Grisham, Kendall Pickens, Josh Pulphus, Brett Morgan, Casey Welch, Floizell Wilson, Rickey Melton, Matt Snow
Cheerleaders Leadernice Walker, Jessica King, Tachina Starks, Jamia Webber, Kaitlyn Taylor, Deja Wade, Ashley Binder, Jasmine Chewe, Tyneshia Shelton, JaMiesha Gibson, Rayona Deanes, Carlitta Poston, Kierra Haughton, Jonesa Montgomery, Ashni Coggins, Mahailya Dearing, Sara Farr, Tempestt Mills, Shatondra Johnson, Cortesha Garth No./Name
1 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 31 33 34 35 36 38 39 40
Pos. Gd. Wgt.
Kaelon Collins WR Ladarius Patterson WR Josh Ewing QB Dvante Randle CB Tyler Logan LB Tarrance Orr DE Jayson Burnett QB Peair Howard WR Jeffery Drake CB Dason Thomas QB Anthony Johnson DB Donquenta Ewing WR Lagaris Wordlaw WR Javontae Harris WR Eric Lemus K Woodrow Price WR Reshard Deanes DB Rashad Jones DB Steffon Moore WR Davion Bradshaw LB Mario Virges LB Johnathan Patterson DB Aeris Williams RB Quincy Starks RB Roger Thomas RB Tyshun Fields WR Antreon Bennett LB Terence Minor TE Delentez Lane RB Demontae Rush RB Jauquinnton Brownlee DB Roger Price TE Nelson Mcintosh DB Steve Vance DB Tyler Witherspoon DB Anias Walker DB Devonte Harris DB Miller Keys DL
10 12 10 11 10 11 11 12 12 10 12 10 11 10 12 12 11 11 10 11 12 12 11 10 11 11 12 12 12 10 11 11 12 10 11 11 12 10
190 145 190 150 195 180 160 170 145 160 150 135 145 190 165 165 160 135 175 245 165 217 150 230 225 205 160 155 150 185 160 165 160 195
41 42 42 43 44 45 48 50 52 53 54 55 56 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 64 65 66 67 69 70 71 72 75 76 77 78 79 80 80 81 88 90
Ryan Melton Kris Pernell Chris Cokrell Bradley Ewing Freddie Reed Cortez Young Tavaris Hawkins Josh Birchfield Kadarius Forside Demondtae Donald Jaylan White Deion Shelton Eddious Webb Ed Brown Antonio Dent Bradley Ewing Ronald Matthews Lexus Ware Ericson Marble Jesse Sullivan Josh Coggins Chris Fuller Tyler Jefferson Andre Morton Omar Lemus Lyndon Johnson Demindita Brown Riley Morton Marcka Davis Donald Wesley Martavius Jefferson Dominick Clark Chris Humphries Woodrow Wilson Ronald Carter Deitric Shelton Michael Cannon Lederrius Gallion
Pos. Gd. Wgt.
FS RB 12 WR 11 FB 12 DT 12 TE 12 LB 11 OL 10 OL 10 G 12 DL 10 OL 11 LB 11 DL 12 DT 12 MLB 12 OL 12 DL 10 DL 10 OL 10 OL 10 T 12 DL 11 OL 10 DL 10 DT 12 LB 10 G 12 DL 10 OL 10 NG 12 DL 10 OL 10 WR 12 WR 11 WR 10 DL 10 DL 11
145 160 160 195 285 215 195 245 210 235 206 230 185 185 285 200 205 180 195 285 220 195 215 220 255 225 240 280 155 150 130 180 290
Record Overallâ€”11-3 District 1 5A Runner Ups Game Scores South Panola Columbus Starkville Noxubee County Lake Cormorant Hernando Clarksdale Saltillo Center Hill Oxford New Hope
12-10 (L) 26-19 (W) 47-22 (W) 6-0 (L) 23-17 (W) 49-14 (W) 42-0 (W) 31-7 (W) 55-7 (W) 35-21 (W) 38-7 (W)
Football Playoffs MHSAA - 5A Canton 38-0 (W) Ridgeland 56-21 (W) Starkville 29-28 (L-OT)
At the beginning of the 2013 season many football prognosticators thought that West Point had the best backfield in the state, with Mississippi State commit Aeris Williams, “strong-willed Roger Thomas and a bruising Quincy Starks” (DTL). The football edition of the Daily Times Leader proclaimed “Football Lives Here,” attesting to the popularity of the sport in West Point. Will Nations set the stage for the first game: “The Titans of Missisisppi football will square off at 7 p.m. Thursday night” (DTL). In spite of a second-half comeback by the Green Wave, South Panola posted the decisive win, 55-33. Ironically, in Game Two, played before a packed house in Hamblin Stadium, West Point defeated Starkville by the same score, 55-33. The headlines read “Wave Washes Away Jackets” (DTL). The celebration was short-lived, however, as Columbus upset the Greenies the following week by a score of 41-14, followed by a West Point win against Noxubee County and a loss to district foe Oxford, which snapped a nine-game winning streak in the district for the Wave. In the next game Clarksdale ruined West Point’s homecoming with a close 3934 victory. The Green Wave would go on to win the rest of their regular season games, most by decisive margins. Coming off the five-game winning streak and hoping to go all the way, the Green Wave traveled to Pearl to take on the Pirates in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs but lost the game 3320. Mistakes and turnovers made the difference, but Coach Chambless praised the performance of his senior players and talked about the promise of the young players who would be returning.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Lee Grisham, Kendall Pickens, Josh Pulphus, Brett Morgan, Casey Welch, Floizell Wilson, Rickey Melton, Matt Snow, Roger Burton
Managers Tyler Gall, Xavier Baldwin, James Smith
Cheerleaders Ashley Binder, Ashli Coggins, Khiante Falls, Kierra Haughton, JeQuallia Huggins, Tempest Mills, TaChina Starks, Deja Wade, Kyle Hicks, Landon Horton, Jasmine Chewe, Jessica King, Kaliyah Loggan, Shamaya Lyles, Jonesa Montgomery, Kaitlyn Taylor, Whitley Walls, Jamia Webber, Bennie Jones, Tyler Anderson, Taylor Avant, Tia Binder, Tori Boatner, Titiana Brown, Caitlyn Dora, Chantal Edwards, Jessica Farr, Ashley Johnson, Taylor Lairy, Chelsea Landon, Brinkley Livingston, R’Najee Matthews, Ja’Bria Richardson, Kimberly Walls, Presley Wilkerson
Record Overallâ€”7-5 Game Scores South Panola Starkville Columbus Noxubee County
L W L W
55-33 (L) 55-33 (W) 41-14 (L) 14-6 (W)
Oxford Clarksdale Center Hill Lake Cormorant
L L W W
30-20 (L) 39-34 (L) 69-41 (W) 24-21 (W)
Saltillo New Hope Lewisburg Pearl
W W W L
43-22 (W) 76-50 (W) 62-34 (W) 33-20 (L)
West Point High School football fans were greeted by a new scoreboard when the 2014 season opened. The 16-by-9 video screen displayed the score and live action for fans in Hamblin Stadium. Preseason standings found the Green Wave in an unfamiliar position this fall—possible dark horse. With its storied past, seven state titles, 13 district championships, 20 playoff appearances, 13 of which were consecutive, and 22 winning seasons since 1982. Known for its tough non-district schedule, the Greenies won their opening contest against Grenada. Nations noted before the second game, “. . .two of the most storied programs in Mississippi will meet for the fourth consecutive year when West Point takes on South Panola.” The two teams have combined for 17 state championships and have made a tradition of not playing each other on Friday night, meeting on Thursday or Saturday instead. The hotly contested game again ended in a victory for South Panola. Then rival Starkville handed West Point their second loss in three games. The only other losses in the regular season were to Oxford and New Hope on Senior Night. The Wave finished the season with a high-scoring road game against Lewisburg, 65-51. Leading Germantown 21-14 with six minutes to go in the game, the Green Wave went for it on fourth and nine on the Germantown 30 yard line. Dason Thomas’s pass to Steffon Moore was good, and the Wave went on to win 28-14. Then for the second time this season, the Wave prepared to face Oxford and, for the second year in a row, were ousted from the playoffs by the Chargers.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Lee Grisham, Brett Morgan, Casey Welch, Roger Burton, Charles Herron, Matt Snow, Floizell Wilson, Rickey Melton
Cheerleaders Jonesa Montgomery, Jessica King, Kaitlyn Taylor, Jasmine Chewe, Kaliyah Loggan, Jamia Webber, Tori Boatner, Taquanta White, Taylor Lairy, Ja’Bria Richardson, Tia Binder, Tyler Anderson, Chelsea Landon, Lindsay Reid, Morgan Kelley, Brianna King, Shamia Robinson, Shamaya Lyles, Titiana Brown, Derrica Brantley, Andrea Brown, Bennie Jones
Record Overall—9-5 Game Scores Grenada South Panola Starkville Columbus
21-16 (W) 14-10 (L) 34-3 (L) 35-7 (W)
Noxubee County Oxford Clarksdale Center Hill Lake Cormorant Saltillo New Hope Lewisburg Germantown Oxford
33-19 (W) 43-22 (L) 35-0 (W) 56-21 (W) 35-6 (W) 49-20 (W) 20-15 (L) 65-51 (W) 28-14 (W) 42-14 (L)
The West Point Green Wave opened its 2015 season against the Louisville Wildcats with a lopsided win and prepared to meet long-time rival Starkville, always a challenge. Sophomore Marcus Murphy took snaps behind an offensive line anchored by seniors Scott Lashley and Devin Morton. And this time the Jackets shut out the Wave. One week later on a very wet night, the Greenies rallied against Columbus and went on to defeat Noxubee County before losing to Oxford in the opening regional game. The West Point eleven then posted three impressive wins before closing out the regular season with shutouts against Saltillo, New Hope, and Lewisburg. The Wave averaged 47 points per game on offense in those last six games. Later in the season Murphy showed the strength of his arm as the Greenies, in the quarterback’s words, “surprised some people by putting the ball in the air,” thus balancing a strong running game. The first playoff game against Ridgeland was an impressive 46-7 victory for the Green Machine. Ridgeland had also fallen to West Point in 2012. Will Nations of the DTL pointed out that it has never been “easy to play on the road, especially during the postseason. West Point found that true at Grenada in the second round game. The offense “had its woes,” but “the defense was impressive behind enemy lines” (Nations) and the Greenies were again victorious with a final score of 16-9. Then it was time to meet Oxford for the second time, in the contest for the North Half Championship. And once again the Chargers defeated the Green Wave and dashed their hopes for a chance to play for another state title. DTL editor William Carroll summed up the situation after the loss: “While the season ended on a somewhat sour note, the team has a bright future ahead.” He noted the “wealth of talent on the offensive side” as well as “young playmakers ready to take over on defense.” Carroll’s words would prove prophetic in the following seasons.
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Roger Burton, Alex Williams, Brett Morgan, Casey Welch, Charles Herron, Matt Snow, Floizell Wilson
Cheerleaders Raven Davidson, Tia Binder, Taquante White, Jabria Richardson, Tyler Anderson, Tayler Lairy, Chelsea Landon, Shamia Robinson, Morgan Kelly, Lindsey Reid, Rakema Fisher, Jada Webb, Chantal Edwards, Jessica Farr, Tatiana Brown, Brianna King
Record Overallâ€”11-3 Game Scores Louisville Starkville
46-7 (W) 16-0 (L)
Columbus Noxubee County Oxford Clarksdale Center Hill Lake Comarant
13-3 (W) 21-6 (W) 50-28 (L) 53-16 (W) 54-13 (W) 47-21 (W)
Saltillo New Hope Lewisburg Ridgeland Grenada Oxford
50-0 (W) 44-0 (W) 34-0 (W) 46-7 (W) 16-9 (W) 35-7 (L)
Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Roger Burton, Alex Williams, Brett Morgan, Casey Welch, Jerry Fremin, Charles Herron, Matt Snow, Ricky Melton, Seth Stillman
Record Overall—14-1 GameScores Louisville Starkville Columbus Noxubee County Oxford Clarksdale Center Hill Lake Comorant Saltillo New Hope Lewisburg Holmes County Ctl. Oxford Lake Comorant Laurel
33-13 (W) 28-6 (L) 17-13 (W) 47-6 (W) 22-8 (W) 20-17 (W) 56-6 (W) 39-17 (W) 48-6 (W) 34-20 (W) 53-17 (W) 41-7 (W) 41-0 (W) 40-7 (W) 29-8 (W)
Cheerleaders Kiara Collins, Taylor Tucker, Raven Davidson, Lanesha Temple, Shamia Robinson, Alicia Cherry, Jessica Sullivan, Lindsay Reid, Mya Powell, Rakema Fisher, Jada Webb, J’Shunna Calvert, Niya Selvie, Morgan Kelley
145 Collin Brister of the Daily Times Leader summed up the attitude of local fans about their favorite sport: “I’ve watched high school football in this state for a long time. I’ve never seen people more passionate about their high school football team that I did this season at West Point.” The 2016 Green Wave started the season with the determination to bounce back after losing the North Half Championship game in 2015. The opening win over Louisville 3313 seemed like a sign of good things to come. Then perennial troublemaker Starkville came to town and left with a 28-6 victory. That loss was obviously an eye-opener. West Point won the rest of their scheduled games, most by impressive margins. In the last game of the regular season the Greenies traveled to Lewisburg and in a show of strength No./Name
took the game 53-17. The next assignment was preparation for the playoffs. West Point hosted Holmes County Central to begin “its run toward the state championship” (Brister). Holmes was no match for the hometown boys, who won the contest 41-7 and prepared to meet Oxford on their home turf. It would not be the first time the teams would meet twice in a season, once in a regularly scheduled game and again in the playoffs. The Greenies went into this game determined to get revenge on the team that had ended their playoff run the two previous seasons. “The Green Wave victory over the long-time rival in September ended a curse, sure, but Friday night’s 41-0 victory over Oxford in the second round of the MHSAA playoffs exorcised demons” (Brister). On a rainy night the Wave prevailed and got ready to meet Lake Cormorant for the North Half, No./Name
which the Green Wave won 40-7. As they prepared to meet Laurel for the state title, West Point had scored 34 points or more in their last eight games and had a defense that was “ridiculously good in the postseason” (Brister). The Wave was led by Cherry on defense along with Murphy, Lane, and Calvert on offense. Then at Davis Waide Stadium in Starkville, once again in the pouring rain, it was championship time again—number eight for the Wave, three under Chambless. The 29-8 victory over Laurel was West Point’s first state championship in football since 2010. As always, Chambless emphasized the role that the community and the school play in WPHS football. Collin Brister summed it up this way: “I thought I understood how big high school football was in this area coming in. I was proven wrong on Saturday.” No./Name
Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Roger Burton, Alex Williams, Brett Morgan, Casey Welch, Jerry Fremin, Matt Snow, Seth Stillman, Ricky Melton, Charles Herron
Managers Carson Taylor, John Michael Farr, Markel Walker, Shelton Binder, Bo Chambless, Henry Harrell, Brody Glucencamp
Cheerleaders Jada Webb, Mya Powell, Kiara Collins, Raven Davidson, Jessica Sullivan, Destiny Matthews, J’Shunna Calvert, Taylor Tucker, Laneshia Temple, Niya Selvie, Sinead Smith, Ahnihya Nesbitt, Trinity Eacholes, Lauren Lairy , Tonia Randle, Hannah Klutz, Destiny Jones
Record Overall—15-0 5A State Champions Game Scores Columbus Louisville Starkville Noxubee County Lafayette
42-14 (W) 27-7 (W) 28-3 (W) 47-14 (W) 49-14 (W)
Center Hill Lake Cormorant Olive Branch Grenada Saltillo Lewisburg Callaway Grenada Olive Branch Hattiesburg
56-0 (W) 47-5 (W) 51-7 (W) 48-0 (W) 62-0 (W) 63-3 (W) 56-0 (W) 32-13 (W) 39-6 (W) 41-15 (W)
Photo by Logan Kirkland
147 West Point players and coaches came into the 2017 season with goals set: “to win another state championship and raise a gold ball . . . in December” (Collin Brister, DTL). This edition of the team boasted a very stingy defense and a potent offense led by quarterback Marcus Murphy, 5A Mr. Football. Early in the season many seasoned followers of the green and white were calling this the most talented team ever to don the colors. The Green Machine opened the season on August 17 with a commanding win over Columbus, 42-14; and the guys in green never looked back, finishing the season 15-0. The Green Wave met neighboring Starkville in the third game of the season, and Marcus Murphy went “wild”—final score West Point 28, Starkville 3. After game 3 the Columbus Dispatch called West Point “near flawless” and No./Name
said that all Coach Chambless could “fret about” was “possibly peaking too early.” That did not happen. The Greenies lowest point total came in game two when they scored 27 points to Louisville’s 7. The offense often put up scores in excess of forty, fifty, and sixty points. A national poll rated West Point High School the top team in the state of Mississippi. Collin Brister’s words were prophetic. Early in the season he called West Point the “best team in the state, and it might not even be close.” West Point demolished Callaway in the first game of the playoffs by a score of 56-0. After defeating Grenada and Olive Branch, the Wave met Hattiesburg in Vaught Hemingway Stadium and came away 41-15. Brister was right. It was never really close from the opening game through the championship. “Marcus Murphy, Chris Calvert, and the West Point High No./Name
School football team capped a history-making season in fitting fashion. . . “ on December 3 (Minchino, Dispatch). The DTL summed it up: “Going into Saturday’s state title game, West Point had utterly dominated their opponents, outscoring them 645-88. . . .The Green Wave finished the season averaging 45 points a game on offense and . . .a little more than 6 points a game surrendered on defense.” Minchino called the championship a “final masterpiece” when West Point won its second in a row, the first since 2010, and ninth overall. DTL headlines read “Nothing but Class” when the Green Wave capped the season with the largest signing class since Coach Chambless took the reins as head coach. And the beat goes on!!! Another Woo Hoo Mercy moment.
Photo by Logan Kirkland
Coach Chris Chambless spoke at Rotary on January 26, 2018, and had this to say about his prospects for the fall season, according to Steve Rogers of the Daily Times Leader.
With back-to back state 5A high school football titles in his pocket, can coach Chris Chambless and the Green Wave “three-peat?” The affable coach certainly was asked Thursday and he gave the typical coach response, “We’ll be young.” . . . But . . . dropped some hints of what might be in store. For instance, he noted his starters only played in the second half four times in 15 games and one of those was the last one, the state championship. That means young players were on the field almost as much as the starters and against quality opponents ranging from 6A Columbus to state playoff qualifier Olive Branch. In fact, . . .late in the year, the Green Wave’s back-up quarterback had more snaps than the starters. . . . A total of 28 juniors are returning for their senior year, 27 sophomores will be juniors and about 40 freshmen will be sophomores. . . . “Do I have any who can go 80 yards with the ball right now? No. But I’ve got a bunch who will give it their all trying. And we’ve got several who can get you 20 or 60 or so. That’s what you are looking for,” he said, addressing more the mindset than the talent he has returning. And that mindset is telling.
Schedule August 17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Columbus (A) August 24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Louisville (H) August 31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Starkville (A) September 14 . . . . . . . . . . Noxubee County (H) September 21 . . . . . . . . . . Lafayette County (H) September 28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Center Hill (A) October 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lake Cormorant (H) October 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Olive Branch (A) October 19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grenada (A) October 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Saltillo (H) November 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lewisburg (A)
Coaching Staff Head Coach: Chris Chambless Assistant Coaches: Roger Burton, Alex Williams, Brett Morgan, Casey Welch, Jerry Fremin, Matt Snow, Seth Stillman, Ricky Melton, Charles Herron Class of 2019
Former player, editor of the Daily Times Leader Roy “Spanky” Bruce wasn’t a native of West Point, but the city, its high school and local youth athletic programs were very much part of his heart and soul from the beginning. Born in Memphis, Bruce was an infant when his family moved to West Point in 1935. His father, W.R. “Brother Roy” Bruce, was originally a funeral director before becoming the city’s police marshal. Bruce and his elder brother John were enrolled in the city school system and active in youth sports. After graduation, John Bruce played semi-pro baseball for the Aponaug Cotton Mill team, while 10-year-old Spanky followed the team as batboy. In high school, Bruce played for West Point’s basketball and baseball teams, and as a center on the gridiron. During a practice football game during this period, Bruce’s two front teeth were knocked out by a teammate who also happened to be a good friend and next door neighbor. “I think he felt worse for his friend than he did about his injury,” recalls his widow, Doris Steadman Bruce, Spanky’s high school sweetheart and a standout player for the Lady Wave basketball team. The competitive rivalry between
brothers was on full display during Bruce’s senior year in 1952. Though the season started off on a high note with an 18-0 victory over Starkville, it ended with John Bruce, who had served as an assistant coach for the Wave in the early 1950s, returning in 1952 as head coach of Winona High School and handing the Wave a bruising 27-0 defeat. It was a tough season for the younger Bruce; he dislocated his elbow in a tough homecoming loss to Amory High School. After graduation, Bruce earned a degree in history at Mississippi State University while working afternoons selling advertising and covering sports for the Daily Times Leader. While in his early 20s, Bruce began a long tenure of coaching pee-wee football and youth league baseball in the city. From the 1960s-1980s, he served as a coach for the Dizzy Dean League Lions, Bryan Packers and Kiwanians. A city field in the old sports park on College Street was eventually named in his honor. He returned to the newspaper as sports editor in early 1982, just months shy of the Green Wave’s historic championship title run. After the victory, the newspaper produced a comprehensive retrospective of the season under Bruce’s direction. A short time later, Bruce was named editor of the paper and, eventually, its publisher. He continued to cover West Point High School athletics during his tenure, including further state championship runs. He worked for the paper until his death from a heart attack in 1993 at the age of 58. “Spanky had the opportunity to move to another state and go into business with his brother,” Doris Bruce recalls. “But Bruce as a junior at he decided to stay. It was his love of West WPHS in 1952 and Point that kept him here.” as an editor at the Times-Leader in 1983
Coach Biographies for Bubba Davis’ biography, see page 96, for Chris Chambless, see page 128 David Ivy Dodenhoff (1929-1932), the son of Mary Ivy and William Harry Dodenhoff, was born in West Point, Mississippi, on August 9, 1907. He attended elementary school in West Point until the family moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where, after graduating from high school, David received a scholarship to The Citadel and completed his BS in 1927. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve, he attended the University of South Carolina, where he received a degree in civil engineering in 1928. The death of his father in 1928 took
Dodenhoff ’s family back to his mother’s home in West Point, Mississippi. In 1930, Dodenhoff, according to the West Point newspaper, was hired to be high school principal, “athletic coach,” and “science instructor.” He remained in West Point until 1933. After leaving West Point, he taught in Gulfport, Mississippi, worked in banking in New Orleans, and attended Harvard Business School before being called to active duty in World War II. After receiving a number of military honors, Col. Dodenhoff retired to New Orleans, where he was executive director of the Land and Royalty Owners of Louisiana, and became a licensed realtor. David Dodenhoff was married to Eleanor Marie Carrere, and they were the parents of four children: David Ivy, Jr., Andrew Chandler, Lynn Marie, and William Carrere. He died at the age of 94 on January 26, 2001, and is buried in West Point, Mississippi.
Born in Texarkana, Arkansas, on July 8, 1898, Claude Evans Russell (1933-1936) lost both parents before he was three years old. According to his daughter Rachel, he was “raised by anyone who would take him.” Though little is known of his unstable early life, supposedly at the age of sixteen he forged his high school diploma to play football at Mississippi State. There he quarterbacked and pitched on the baseball team, gaining enough recognition to be scouted by professional baseball teams. During one of the last college games, however, he sustained a severe hand injury and ended his chance to play professionally. While at Mississippi State he earned a BS in history and belonged to several clubs. When Russell moved to West Point, Mississippi, he became head football coach from 1933 through 1936 and head basketball coach in 1936. His daughter Rachel tells about her father’s big heart. It seems there were two brothers who lived too far from the high school in West Point to be able to attend practice and play on the team, so her father
allowed them to live with the Russell family during football season. Also, at one of the schools where he coached basketball, with his own money, he purchased shoes for a student who wanted to play but could not afford them. Russell was married twice. He and his first wife Carrie Elizabeth Unger had four children: Claude Evans Russell, Jr., Jack Unger Russell, and twin daughters Barbara and Betty. Alma Hankins was his second wife, and they had three children: William M. Russell, James M, Russell, and Rachel Russell. Claude Russell died April 13, 1965, in Horn Lake, Mississippi, at the age of 66.
151 David Cypert Parks (1937) was born in Sherman, Mississippi, in 1903. He graduated from Sherman High School in 1921. Following high school, Cy went to Mississippi College, where he was an outstanding athlete playing baseball, football, basketball, and running track. He graduated in 1925 and played semipro baseball for several years. Cy Parks coached in Okolona and in Arkansas before coming to West Point High School in 1935 to coach basketball and teach math and physical education.
He was also an assistant football coach working with Claude E. Russell. Coach Parks was named head football coach for the 1937-38 school year. During his tenure at WPHS, Coach Parks’ girls’ basketball teams won three Little Ten Titles. In 1981, Cy Parks was named to the Mississippi College Hall of Fame as one of two of the 16 lettermen who played four sports. From West Point, Coach Parks coached and taught at TMI in Tupelo, Mississippi. Even though he had to resign coaching in order to help his father, he continued to officiate throughout the state, and was well known for his integrity. David Cypert Parks was married to Mary Ann Gordan. They had one daughter, Betty Jane Parks Gary. Cy Parks passed away on January 28, 1952. He was 49 years of age.
Homer Ennis Catledge (1938-1941) was born in Louisville, Mississippi, on June 22, 1913, and he died in West Point on June 4, 2008, at the age of 94. After graduating from Mississippi A & M (now Mississippi State University) in the summer of 1938, Catledge accepted the job of coaching and teaching at West Point High School that same year. He coached football and basketball at WPHS. Catledge began his football career by playing at Louisville High School. After graduation he went to East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi, for two years and then to Mississippi A & M where he played football and basketball, earning letters in both. He was a proud 70-year member of the M Club at MSU. His coaching career was cut short when he enlisted in the US Army Air Force. He was stationed in England for the duration of the war and returned to West Point January 31, 1946. After the war he did not return to coaching, but instead he served two terms as the county
superintendent of education in Clay County. He also served for 20 years as the administrator of Ivy Memorial Hospital in West Point. Catledge had a long career of refereeing high school and junior college football and basketball in this area. He also enjoyed coaching Little League baseball in the summers. Homer married Avis Dunlap (WPHS graduate of 1935), and they were the parents of two children...Olivia Catledge Portera (WPHS 1965) and Charles Dunlap Catledge (WPHS 1972).
Alva Clyde Williams (1939-1943), nicknamed “Skipper,” was born in Charleston, Mississippi, on April 10, 1917. He married Virginia Helen Riley, a native of West Point, who had the distinction of wearing the crown of Miss Mississippi in 1937. They had two sons: A. C., III and Michael Stewart Williams. After the death of his first wife, he married Virginia Sorrels Coleman, also from West Point. A.C. graduated from Charleston High School in 1935, where he played football, baseball, basketball, and tennis, and was on the track team. Upon graduation, he entered Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he was an outstanding player in football, basketball, and baseball. After leaving Northwest, he continued his education at Delta State Teachers’ College (now known as Delta State University). He was on the football and
baseball teams there, and also played intramural tennis. In 1939, he was the singles and doubles tennis champion in intramural sports. In 1939, Williams began his coaching and teaching career at West Point High School, where he was the athletic director and head football coach. He also coached baseball and girls’ basketball. Coach Williams left West Point in 1943. He coached in Greenwood, Mississippi, and at Humes High School in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1943-1949. Williams is remembered for being very astute at picking out the weakest link in the opponent’s defense and using the “Notre Dame Box” style of offense. Following his coaching career, he officiated football in the Memphis area before becoming a Southeastern Conference (SEC) football official, which he continued to do until 1968. Coach Williams was a member of the 5-man Southern Bowling Congress Championship Team and was the Al Chymia Shrine Tournament Golf Champion for two years. He was inducted into the Northwest Mississippi Community College Hall of Fame in 1991. A.C. Williams passed away in West Point on December 22, 2005, at the age of 88.
152 Howard Everett Shook (19431952) was born on July 28, 1913, in the small town of Belmont, Mississippi. He graduated from Belmont High School in 1931, where he played on the basketball team. According to his son, Dr. Howard E. Shook, Jr., the high school was very small, did not have a football team, and basketball was the only sport. Coach Shook began his teaching and coaching career in his hometown of Belmont. From there, he went to Corinth. In 1942, Shook came to West Point High
School, where he taught history, coached basketball, and served as an assistant in football under Coach A. C. Williams. Shook became head football coach at WPHS in 1943, a position he held through the 1952 football season. Throughout his tenure as head coach in West Point, he continued to coach basketball and taught as many as seven classes per semester. For 37 years, Coach Shook distinguished himself as a teacher, basketball coach, and football coach. Throughout his career, his basketball teams won six county championships, seven sub-regional crowns, seven invitational crowns, and one Big 8 title. He helped guide the Girls’ Basketball Team at Provine High School in Jackson to two South Big 8 championships, and one overall title. In 1974, he was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame at Delta State University.
Harper Davis (1953-1954, 1962-1963) graduated from Clarksdale High School shortly after the United States entered World War II. He joined the US Marine Corps and was selected for an elite pilot training. Before Coach Davis’ scheduled graduation, the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan, and World War II ended. Coach Davis chose to enter college, rather than pursue a career in the peacetime military. He enrolled at Mississippi State University, where he played football and was selected all SEC. After his tenure at MSU, Coach Davis was a first-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears and led the team in interceptions. After finishing his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, Coach Davis left professional football to accept a position as head football coach at WPHS for the 1953 and 1954 seasons. He coached at Columbus High School and returned to MSU as the backfield coach from 1956-1962. WPHS hired Coach Davis to serve again as its head coach and principal for the 1962 and 1963 season. Millsaps College, where Davis had attended pilot training over two decades previously, then hired
Davis as its head coach. He won over 140 games, becoming the winningest coach in Millsaps’ football history. The Millsaps College football field is now named “Harper Davis Field” in his honor. Jim Waide, class of 1964, said Davis “took a genuine interest in his players and their lives. He cared about their athletic ability, as well as their spiritual development. In fact, he led his teams in reciting the Lord’s Prayer after every game.” In his retirement, Davis still loves football. He recently said, “the scores of WP Green Wave are the first scores I check.” Now in his nineties, Coach Davis frequently attends games at both MSU and Millsaps. He was married to the late Camille Hogan Davis, and has three sons, Michael, Andrew, Patrick, and many grandchildren.
Ben Ruscoe (1954-1957) was born on September 1, 1925, in Starkville, MS. Ruscoe graduated from West Tallahatchie High School. Following graduation, Ruscoe joined the Army. He was a veteran of WWII and the Korean Conflict. During WWII, he landed on Normandy Beach and traveled through Germany and France with General Patton’s 3rd Armed Forces. While stationed in Germany, he won fame on the gridiron. Ruscoe coached the 22nd Infantry in boxing, football, and baseball. Upon discharge, he had attained the rank of captain. After returning to the states, Ruscoe attended Mississippi State University. He was a star defensive end on the football team and played for four years. While working on his master’s degree,
he served as a student coach under Murray Warmath for one year. In 1952, Coach Ruscoe went back to West Tallahatchie High School, where he taught and coached until 1954, when he went to West Point High School as an assistant to Harper Davis. Ruscoe was named head football coach in 1955, a position he held through 1957. While at West Point, Ruscoe’s teams posted winning records and placed second in the District two different years. From West Point, Coach Ruscoe coached at Columbus and Leland. He retired after coaching and teaching in Mississippi schools for 32 years. Two weeks after retiring, he began a career at Washington Academy in Leland, Mississippi, as assistant to the principal and ambassador for the school. When he passed away March 12, 2012, he was finishing his 25th year at Washington School. According to those who knew him, “he spent his life loving every child he knew.” At the time of his death, he and his wife Betty had been married for 59 years. They were the parents of four sons, Mark Ruscoe, Ben Ruscoe, Jr., Jon Ruscoe, and Shannon Ruscoe, and one daughter, Mollie Heleniak.
153 Robert Eugene Barrett (1958-1959) was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, on January 4, 1930. He was a graduate of Houston High School in 1948 where he was an outstanding football and baseball player. Following high school, Barrett continued his education at the University of Mississippi for a year but transferred to Delta State to play football and baseball. Barrett received his bachelor of science degree from Delta State in 1952 and received his masters of education degree from the University of Mississippi in 1953. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served for two years. Bob Barrett began his coaching career in 1955 as the only basketball coach at West Point High School. He also taught drivers’ education and was an assistant football coach before being named head football coach in 1958. According to former team members, it didn’t take him long to win them over with his down-to-earth, fun-loving personality. In 1960, Coach Barrett accepted a coaching/teaching position in Brevard County, Florida. He soon moved into administration, serving as
principal, dean of students, and assistant superintendent in charge of labor relations. He retired in 1995 but continued to work as a consultant with other Florida school systems, assisting in matters of employee relations for which he received state and national recognition. He served as president of the Florida Educational Negotiators (FEN) for two years and was a member of the National Educational Negotiators Association. Coach Barrett retired in 2001. Bob Barrett was married to Elizabeth Allen until her death. They had 3 children: Barbara Ann Scheurer, Robert Steven, and Leslie Ann Barrett. He currently lives in Florida with his second wife, Nancy Warren.
Coach Russell Reid (1960-1962) was born February 1, 1920, in Cotton Plant, Mississippi. Reid was a graduate of Tippah Union High School. After graduation, Reid entered Holmes Junior College, where he lettered in football, baseball, basketball, and track. From Holmes Junior, he enlisted in the Air Force and served during World War II for 42 months. After receiving his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Reid attended the University of Mississippi, where he participated in football, basketball, baseball. and track. Upon graduation, he
took the position of football and basketball coach at Itawamba Junior College in Fulton, Mississippi. In 1951, he became head coach at Bartlett High School, Bartlett, Tennessee, where he remained for 10 years. Coach Reid was head football and basketball coach at West Point High School from 1960-1962. In 1962, Coach Reid and his family returned to Memphis, Tennessee, where he coached at Christian Brothers High School for 23 years. Due to his health, he retired in 1985. In 1995, Coach Reid was named to the Holmes Sports Hall of Fame for football, basketball, baseball, and track. He passed away on February 28, 2008, at the age of 88 years. Reid was affectionately known as “Coach” and his wife, Imogene Pannell Reid, was known as “Mrs. Coach.” They had three daughters: Rebecca Arin Reid Farned, Lisa Camille Reid Murphy, and Stacey Eugenia Reid.
Coach Charlie Newell (1963-1970) made an indelible impression upon young people of the baby boomer generation in West Point, Mississippi from 1959-1970. He served as a beloved teacher, effective administrator and an awe-inspiring coach during those years. Coach Newell’s easy-going style and affable leadership endeared students of all ages. Even today he is included in class reunions and impromptu gatherings. He manages to make each class feel as though they were his favorite. A frequent anecdote recalled by many of his students is his creative method of meting out discipline. He would draw a circle on the black board just a skosh higher than the student could comfortably reach and instruct the misbehaving students to place their noses inside the circle. It usually required standing on their tiptoes for what felt an eternity but in actuality was only a few minutes. This process wasn’t likely to be repeated by the offending students. A 1951 graduate of West Point High School, Coach Newell attended Northeast Mississippi Junior College before entering Mississippi State University, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1955 and master’s degree in 1962. He served in both Kilmichael and Aberdeen Schools before
returning to West Point. After a successful career in West Point he served as coach, administrator, or trustee for Grenada, Columbus, Central Academy, and East Mississippi Community College. After his retirement from schools he used his vast knowledge of civics and state government to serve as a city councilman for the city of Columbus for seven years and is currently serving on the Columbus Light and Water Board. He is a member of the West Point Masonic Lodge, and in 1992 he was named to the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame. Coach Newell has been married to the former Carol Brown of Aberdeen since 1957, and they have three children: Chuck, Susan, and Nancy, who gave them seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Coach Newell continues to be active and as full of vitality as any of his students. He makes his home in Columbus.
154 Coach Travis Langford (1970-1980) was born in the little community of Mayhew, Mississippi. His family moved to West Point when he was in the fourth grade. Langford played football for the Green Wave from 1960-1964 under Coaches Russell Reid and Harper Davis. Langford’s favorite memory was, during his junior year, defeating Starkville for the first time in 10 years. He made AllConference his senior year and signed a football scholarship with Mississippi
State, where he played two years. After graduating from MSU in 1968, Langford became the head coach for West Point Junior High, and his assistant was Noel Wright. He served one year as assistant coach for the high school under Coach Charlie Newell before becoming head coach in 1970. Langford was head coach for eleven years at WPHS, and also served as assistant principal and athletic director. He was voted Little Ten Coach of the year for 1970, 1974, and 1976. The Green Wave coach served as vice president of the Mississippi Association of Coaches and later as president of MAC. Langford and his wife Margaret live in North Carolina and have two daughters and four grandsons.
William Earl Taylor Jr. (1993-1995), “Skippy/Skip,” was born on July 25, 1947, in West Point, Mississippi. He graduated from West Point High School in 1965, where he lettered in basketball, football, and baseball. He received the George Barry Trophy for overall excellence in sports and was elected as Most Athletic Boy. Skip went on to play baseball at the University of Mississippi, where he received his bachelor of business administration degree. He continued his education at Mississippi State University where he received his B.S. in education, master of education, and the education specialist degree. From 1972 until the time of his death in 1997, Skip taught and coached football, basketball, and baseball in Marietta, Georgia, West Point, Mississippi, and Jasper, Alabama. For most of those years, he coached with his longtime friend Bubba Davis. When Coach Davis became head coach at West Point High School, he hired Skip as his offensive coordinator, a position he held for 12 years. Skip was named head golf coach in order to revive the school golf program. He was
named head coach and athletic director at West Point High School in 1993. In 1995, Skip became the offensive coordinator at Walker High School in Jasper, Alabama, to coach alongside Walker Head Coach Bubba Davis. Coach Taylor suffered a massive stroke while conducting a girls’ basketball clinic at Walker. He passed away on July 10, 1997, at the age of 49. He was married to the former Laura Busbin. They had three children: Shaun, Allison, and Catherine. He was an active member, Sunday School teacher, and deacon at First Baptist Church in West Point. A Taylor Scholar Athlete Award was established in memory of Coach Taylor at both Walker High School and West Point High School.
R. Lynn Moore (1996-1997) was born in Laurel, Mississippi. He moved with his family to Summerland, Mississippi, and attended Taylorsville High School, graduating in 1964. He continued his education at Jones County Junior College and graduated from William Carey College in 1973. Moore spent 45 years in education: nine as assistant coach, 31 as head coach and athletic director, and five years as athletic director alone. In addition to
West Point, Moore coached at Taylorsville, Leakesville, Aberdeen, Louisville, and Itawamba A.H.S. The highlights of his career include leading Taylorsville to the Baseball State Championship and winning the Football State Championship in Louisville in 1993. Moore was selected as the MS Athletic Coaches Athletic Director of the Year in 2002. Moore lives with his wife Diane in Fulton, Mississippi. They have two sons, Joel and Jason, and three grandchildren, Bailey, Hannah, and Conner.
155 Tom Goode, Jr. (1998), was born in Houston, Texas, on July 19, 1965. He played high school football in Oxford, Mississippi, and college football at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1983 and ‘84 and at Mississippi State University in 1985 through 1987. At MSU he served as team captain in 1987 and was a two year starter. Tom is the son of former West Point High School standout Tom Goode, Sr., who was an All American at Mississippi State and is probably best known as the long snapper on the field goal that gave the Baltimore Colts the victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Superbowl V. Tom Goode, Jr. coached at Vanderbilt University as a graduate assistant in 1990-91, served as offensive coordinator in 1997 at
Texas Southern University, and as head football coach at West Point High School (MS) in 1998. Tom and his wife, Shera, are the parents of a son, Chase, and a daughter, Chandler. They currently reside in Lutz, Florida.
When Dennis Allen (1999-2005) was hired as head football coach of the Green Wave in 1999, he inherited a program that had gone 16-39 over the previous five seasons. The football program was in shambles and had very little support. Allen, however, was no stranger to West Point football and knew its rich history. Having served as a junior high coach and high school assistant coach from 19811992, he had been an integral part of the four state championships in the ‘80s. Allen’s early years as head coach were difficult, as the Wave would only win three games during the first two years of his tenure. However, in 2001 Allen took West Point back to the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Even though they had won only four games during the regular season and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, Coach Allen had the players believing in the coaches and themselves and setting the stage for 2002. The 2002 team played with a relentless defense and an efficient offense and finished the regular season with a record of 9-2. After a
run in the playoffs that included a North State Championship victory over Grenada, West Point would play in their first state championship game since 1989. The Green Wave lost in the championship game to D’Iberville 33-7, but West Point football was back. In 2005 West Point won its fifth overall title by defeating Wayne County 17-15 for the 4A championship. After winning only eight games his first three years, Coach Allen won 43 over his last four years. In addition to West Point, Dennis Allen coached at Morton High School from 1979-1981 and Starkville High School from 1992-1999. He was also head baseball coach at West Point in 1987 after serving as assistant coach for several years. After his retirement from West Point in 2013, Dennis moved to Canton and currently coaches at Canton Academy. Dennis was born in 1957 in Brandon, Mississippi, and attended Brandon Public Schools from the first through the seventh grade before transferring to Brandon Academy, where he graduated in 1975. He excelled in football as a running back and baseball as a catcher while also participating in basketball and track. Allen attended Hinds Community College before transferring to Mississippi State University, where he graduated in 1979. He also attended Jackson State University to receive his certification to teach science. He lives in Canton with his wife, Ginger. They have one daughter, Audrey, and three grandchildren, Matt, John, and Lila. 2017 coaches
WPHS Football Coaches and Overall Records
Tom Goode Jr.
West Point Players in College Kyle Chandler, 1899 University of Mississippi F.A. Critz, 1900 University of Mississippi B.B. Beckett, 1901 University of Mississippi Richard C. Beckett, 1905 University of Mississippi Henry Watson, 1907 University of Mississippi Luther Fuller, 1929 Mississippi College James Taylor, 1938 Southern Mississippi Joe Campbell, 1939 Ellisville Junior College Irvin “Mojo” Moceri, 1939 Ellisville Junior College Jack Russell, 1943 University of Mississippi John Bruce, 1944 University of Mississippi Bud Vest, 1947 Lawson State Bill Holmes, 1949 Mississippi State Univ. Charlie Newell, 1951 EMCC Bob Montgomery, 1951 EMCC Jimmy Harrell, 1951 EMCC Buck Coleman, 1951 EMCC Buster Orr, 1954 EMCC John Tucker, 1955 Jackson State Carey Henley, 1955 Univ. of Chattanooga Johnny Green, 1955 Univ. of Chattanooga Buck Harmon, 1956 EMCC Henry Townsend, 1956 Mary Holmes College Franklin Webb, 1956 Mary Holmes College Eddie Johnson, 1956 Mary Holmes College Tom Goode, 1957 Mississippi State Univ. Hubert Watson, 1957 EMCC Kenny Dill, 1959 University of Mississippi Clyde “Baby Doll” Pierce, 1959 EMCC Matthew Lauter, 1960 Millsaps College John C. Moore, 1960 EMCC Gert Hill, 1961 EMCC Charles “Bulldog” Coggins, 1962 EMCC, Delta State, University of Mississippi Larry Baird, 1963 UT Chattanooga, Delta State Travis Langford, 1964 Mississippi State Univ.
Jim Waide, 1964 William Campbell, 1965 Bubba Davis, 1965 Chuck Friend, 1965 Gary Hankins, 1965 Ronnie Herring, 1965 Tinker Lauter, 1965 Leon Lawon, 1965 Larry Moore, 1965 Merle Angle, 1966 Kevin Bennett, 1966 Bobby Bounds, 1966 John Gilliland, 1966 Robbie Robinson, 1966 Chet Gregg, 1967 James Watson, 1968 John Burt Wooten, 1968 Reggie Dill, 1968 Sylvester Harris, 1968 Charles Elliott, 1969 Cedric Vance, 1969 Gary Echols, 1970 Randy Hamblin, 1970 Roy Shelton, 1970 Adam Gibbs, 1970 Charles Burges, 1972 Jerry Davis, 1972 Tommy Donahoo, 1972 Robert Gaston, 1972 Johnnie Jackson, 1972 Charlie Miller, 1972 Henry Tillman, 1972 Arcelious Townsend, 1972 Joe Henley, 1973 Bob Bailey, 1977 James Otis Doss, 1977 Tony Hannah, 1977 Elmer Robertson, 1977 Lamar Williams, 1977 Jay Golson, 1978 Smitty Walker, 1978 Bill Munka, 1979 Steve Carter, 1981 Bob Edwards, 1981 Hughey Fredrick, 1981 Wallace Jones, 1981 Carl Middleton, 1982 Fanasial Quinn, 1982 Vincent Bell, 1983 Ricky Davis, 1983 James Collins, 1983 Bruce Halbert, 1983 Lyndon Robertson, 1983 Craig Keys, 1983 Kevin Kilgore, 1983 Robert “Thunder” Smith, 1984 Shawn “Lightening” Sykes, 1984 Jesse Anderson, 1985
Millsaps College Millsaps College EMCC, Delta State Chattanooga Chattanooga University of Mississippi EMCC EMCC Chattanooga EMCC EMCC EMCC University of Mississippi EMCC EMCC EMCC Mississippi State Univ. University of Mississippi EMCC EMCC North Alabama Millsaps College EMCC EMCC EMCC EMCC EMCC EMCC Mississippi Valley Univ. EMCC EMCC Hampton Mississippi Valley Univ. EMCC Mississippi College Mississippi State Univ. EMCC Delta State Murray State Mississippi State Univ. EMCC Southern Mississippi Mississippi State Univ. Livingston State (but went in Marines) Delta State University Univ. of North Alabama Mississippi State Univ. Murray State EMCC, Murray State EMCC EMCC EMCC Jackson State Mississippi State Univ. Vanderbilt University of Mississippi University of Mississippi Mississippi State Univ.
Bob Harrell, 1986 Millsaps College Greg Keller, 1986 Mississippi College Johnny Morton, 1986 Mississippi Valley Anthony Rainey, 1986 Mississippi Valley Frank Randle, 1987 EMCC Lonzo White, 1987 Northeast Louisiana Teddis Anderson, 1988 Mississippi State Univ. Chris Washington, 1988 Air Force Academy Mechell Holder, 1988 Iowa Grady McCluskey, 1988 EMCC, LSU Jessie Randle, 1988 EMCC Willie Ivy, 1989 West Alabama Keith Amos, 1989 South Carolina Shea Bell, 1989 Mississippi State Univ. Anthony Dale, 1989 Northeast Louisiana Arleye Gibson, 1989 Mississippi State Univ. Antonio Lairy, 1989 EMCC Keith Quinn, 1989 Mississippi State Univ. Curtis Swift, 1989 Northeast Louisiana Fred Ward, 1989 Mississippi State Univ. Shaun Taylor, 1990 Mississippi State Univ. Chris Jefferson, 1990 Cumberland College Keith Coggins, 1991 EMCC, Mississippi State Univ. Rickey Melton, 1991 Vanderbilt Michael Edwards, 1991 Univ. of North Alabama Orlando Bobo, 1992 Northeast Louisiana David Evans, 1992 University of Mississippi Frank Cunningham, 1992 EMCC Antonio Hunter, 1992 EMCC Matt Miller, 1992 EMCC Jermanine Moore, 1992 Austin Peay State Univ. Chris Craven, 1994 EMCC Chris Gunn, 1995 EMCC, Central Florida Dejuan Davis, 1997 EMCC Larry Gillard II, 1997 EMCC, NW Oklahoma State University Marchenne Hatchett, 1997 EMCC, University of Southern Mississippi Terrance Coggins, 1999 EMCC, Navy Al Cummings, 1999 EMCC, UAB Nick Dimino, 1999 EMCC, Mississippi State Univ. Frankie Doss, 1999 EMCC, University of Tennessee @ Martin
Tim Love, 1999 EMCC, Hardin University @ Arkansas Dewayne Smith, 1999 EMCC, Valdosta State University @ Georgia Adam Holt, 2000 EMCC Anthony Washington, 2000 EMCC Eric Stamps, 2000 Alcorn Will Gillard, 2001 EMCC, University of Charleston Nikko Edwards, 2001 EMCC, University of Charleston Al Cummings, 2002 UAB TC Harris, 2002 EMCC James Shelton, 2002 Hinds Thomas Eckers, 2003 University of Mississippi Neandre Hoskins, 2003 EMCC, Mississippi College Marcus Rowe, EMCC, West Texas A&M Sylvester Shelton, 2004 Northeast Vaccarick Witherspoon, 2004 EMCC Kenny Davis, 2004 EMCC Marco Ewing, 2005 Northeast Chris Jernigan, 2005 Northeast Ahmad Cox, 2005 Northeast Derrick Boyd, 2006 EMCC, Central Arkansas
Mario Cannon, 2006 EMCC Kedrick Rush, 2006 EMCC Cliff Bailey, 2006 Northeast Alex Hill, 2006 Northwest, EMCC Eldrick Hogan, 2006 Northeast JJ Ewings, 2006 ICC Cornelius Devine, 2006 ICC CJ Foster, 2007 ICC Travis Walker, 2007 ICC, Western Kentucky Jamar Shelton, 2007 Southern Mississippi, EMCC Xavier Ewing, 2007 ICC Marco Ewing, 2008 Northeast Avis Shelton, 2008 EMCC, Alcorn Quartney Cox, 2008 EMCC, UAB Phillip Dimino, 2008 EMCC Jordan Ruth, 2009 William Penn, IA Gabe Rupert, 2009 EMCC Curtis Hall, 2009 EMCC Quincy Lane, 2009 EMCC Michael Carr, 2010 Mississippi State Univ. Curtis Virges, 2010 Mississippi State Univ. Jeremy Cannon, 2010 EMCC, UT Chattanooga Xavier Hogan, 2010 EMCC Matthew Lewis, 2010 EMCC Desond Boyd, 2010 Hinds Parrance Ward, 2010 EMCC, University of Memphis Justin Cox, 2011 EMCC, Mississippi State Univ. Vontarrius Dora, 2011 Louisiana Tech Tommy Keys, 2011 University of Alabama Jacquille White, 2011 Northeast, UT Martin Michael Bush, 2011 Northeast Jammrrius Tallie, 2011 Northeast Deismon Robinson, 2011 EMCC, Belhaven Lakendrick Thomas, 2011 EMCC, West Alabama Lierik Walker, 2011 EMCC Willie Swift, 2011 EMCC William Harrell, 2012 Millsaps College Carson Miller, 2012 Pearl River CC, UAB DeQuinten Spraggins, 2012 Northeast Mississippi CC, Murray State Charles Heard, 2012 EMCC Brandon Edwards, 2012 EMCC Johnathon Jones, 2012 EMCC Romia Wilson, 2012 Northeast, Bethune Cookman Tez Lane, 2013 Northeast Mississippi CC Ed Brown, 2013 Coastal Carolina Freddie Reed, 2013 North Alabama Eric Lemus, 2013 EMCC TJ Minor, 2013 EMCC Mario Virges, 2013 EMCC, Northeast, Southeastern Louisiana Woodrow Prince, 2013 Northeast, West Alabama Antreon Bennett, 2013 Holmes, Southeastern Louisiana Lyndon Johnson, 2013 Holmes, Cincinatti Aeris Williams, 2014 Mississippi State Univ. Roger Thomas, 2014 Northwest, Clark Atlanta University Laddarrius Gallion, 2014 ICC, West Georgia Rashad Jones, 2014 ICC Devante Randle, 2014 ICC, Cahoma, MO Valley College
Eddious Webb, 2014 Jalen Lee, 2014 Kaelon Collins, 2015 Kaddarius Forside, 2015 Tyler Logan, 2015 Jaylon White, 2015 Dason Thomas, 2015 Chris Humphries, 2015 Jeffrey Drake, 2016 Scott Lashley, 2016 Nick Melton, 2016 Jaylon Ewing, 2016 Devin Morton, 2016 William Ivy, 2016 Tony Rush, 2016 Randall Johnson, 2016 Everitt Cunningham, 2017 Dmarrio Edwards, 2017 Clayton Knight, 2017 Keonta Hampton, 2017 James Spann, 2017 Terence Cherry, 2018 Jason Brownless, 2018 Tray Brownless, 2018 Chris Calvert, 2018 Jamel Banks, 2018 Ladarius Glover, 2018 Rason Carr, 2018 Jameek Price, 2018 Zameek Price, 2018 Nate Montgomery, 2018 Archie Jones, 2018 Marcus Murphy, 2018
ICC, Cahoma Coahoma ICC ICC ICC, Delta State ICC EMCC Mississippi College Copiah-Lincoln CC University of Alabama ICC Northeast, EMCC Hinds Coahoma Coahoma Coahoma EMCC EMCC Northeast Jackson State Coahoma EMCC EMCC EMCC Northwest MS Delta CC MS Delta CC Holmes Holmes Holmes Holmes Holmes Mississippi State Univ.
Johnny Green, 1955 Buffalo Bills New York Titans New York Jets Carey Henley, 1955 Buffalo Bills Tom Goode, 1957 Houston Oilers Miami Dolphins Baltimore Colts Kenny Dill, 1959 San Diego Chargers James Ottis Doss, 1977 Miami Dolphins
West Point Players
Jesse Anderson, 1985 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pittsburgh Steelers Green Bay Packers New Orleans Saints Fred Ward, 1989 Atlanta Falcons (CFL) Ottawa Orlando Bobo, 1992 Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens Minnestoa Vikings
In the Pros
Tyrone Bell, 1999 Green Bay Packers Derrich Boyd, 2006 Arena League-Cleveland Gladiators New Orleans VooDoo Justin Cox, 2011 Kansas City Chiefs, (CFL) Saskatchewan Roughriders
Vontarrius Dora, 2011 Denver Broncos Indianapolis Colts Arizona Cardinals
Home of the Green Wave The Athletic Field 1934
West Point beat Macon 7-0 in the first game played at Athletic Field located on Sixth Street. Years later, the National Guard Armory was built on this location. Players for West Point that night were listed as Moceri, Shinn, H. Foster, Ivy, Dalton, Pearson, Moseley, Crawford, Rielly, T Foster, and Daggett. Tom Tubb served as master of ceremonies for the dedication of the new Athletic Field.
Memorial Field 1946
The new football field was built on the land east of College Street and renamed Memorial Field. This picture was taken facing the visitorsâ€™ side and shows the 1954 band in uniform under the direction of Mr. Higdon Kenney.
McCallister Field 1962
A new football field was built next to the new high school on Eshman Avenue. It was named for long time superintendent of schools, Mr. B.D. McCallister. McCallister served the schools from 1936 to September 1964. Harper
Davis, the Green Wave coach, guided his team to a win over Quitman in the first game played on this field. The Green Wave won 13-6.
Hamblin Stadium 2004
West Point was still playing on McCallister field, but made some major improvements to the stadium and press box. The visitors’ side and the home side were switched. A new 8,000 capacity home stands was built on the former visitors’ side for the Green Wave fans, and the home stands became the visitors’ section. Hamblin Stadium was dedicated on Friday night, September 3, 2004. Coach Randy Hamblin was a long time teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent. West Point, coached by Dennis Allen, beat Canton 39-0 that night. The new Dillard Trulove press box was dedicated the following year.
Dillard Trulove Press Box
Dillard Trulove graduated from West Point High School in 1961. Dillard, along with his brother, Joe, owned the West Point Casket Company. As a local businessman, he was very much attuned to the city and cared greatly about the public schools in West Point. He was known to cut wood for the students at East Side and West Side for building birdhouses and other wood working projects. Dillard passed away in June 1992. When the long-awaited expansion of the WPHS football stadium was completed, the press box needed to be updated. Remembering his love for the schools, his two children, Brent (class of 1990) and Tanya (class of 1994), and his wife, Peggy, decided to have the press box remodeled. In 2005, the Dillard Eugene Trulove Press Box was dedicated to the school he loved.
Cole and Harrell at Memorial Field in 1949.
The Leonard Glenn Field House In late winter 2015, the town of West Point was hit with a winter storm that left about three inches of ice and snow mixture on rooftops and grassy areas. This storm led to school being out for a few days and caused damage and power outages in West Point. One of the buildings damaged was the Leonard Glenn Field House of the West Point Consolidated School District. The field house had recently been renovated in 2008-2009, but was still in need of more roof repairs and renovations. Needless to say we in the West Point Consolidated School District have always taken great pride in the appearance of our athletic facilities. After this storm damaged the fieldhouse and left it to possible condemnation, Coach Chris Chambless decided it was time to push for the construction of a new field house. In April 2015, the football team was relocated to the South Campus gym so the demolition of the “old” field house could begin in May 2015. In July 2015, the foundation work began for the new field house. Coach Chambless took great pride in the design of the field house. He wanted to have a great weight room, training room, and equipment room for his players. He also wanted cutting edge technology, with Apple TV and Airplay available on sixteen different large screen HD LG flat screens located throughout the field house. This new field house would be spacious enough to house the entire foot
ball program, grades 7-12. Each program would have its separate weight room and locker room. It was going to be the best facility in Mississippi. Work began in the fall of 2015. The extensive steel framing structure began to go up, followed in spring 2016 by the outside brick work. In summer 2016 the plumbing, air venting, and electrical work began, and things were on schedule. A unique floor was designed; the floors would be concrete stained green with dark grey accents. In the late fall of 2016, the finishing touches of televisions, chairs, and furniture were completed. During the week of Thanksgiving 2016, the football team moved into the new Leornard Glenn Field House. The Greenwave won the North Half Championship vs. Lake Cormorant that week. The new field house gave the team extra motivation during their run to claim the school’s eighth State Championship. The 17,000 square foot field house was rededicated in December 2016 in memory of Leonard C. Glenn. Coach Glenn was a graduate of Winston County High School. He served in the Korean War (1950-1953) and received an honorable discharge. Glenn was manager of the football team while attending Jackson State University.
163 Glenn was an employee with West Point School District for thirty-two years. He touched many lives while on the coaching staff and received several awards and honors. After his retirement in 1990, he worked for Carter’s Funeral Home and Carter’s Mortuary. He was a member of Mount Hermon M. B. Church. Glenn had four children: Fredia, Cathy, Valerie, and Leonard Jr. He passed away in 2006. Coach Chambless named the team room after the late Robert Harrell. A plaque hangs from the wall in the field house that reads “The Robert D Harrell Green Wave Team Room: A True Example of Loyalty, Commitment and Integrity.” The weight room in the field house is named in Henry Tex Brown’s memory. Gene Brown, Class of ’89 and president of the West Point School Board, is pictured with his wife, LeAnn (Class of ‘84), daughters Andrea (Class of 2017) and Molly (Class of 2023) and his late son, Henry Tex Brown (April 10, 1996-February 4, 2015). Henry was an avid Green Wave fan and never missed a game. In fact, Green Wave football was his passion. When Henry was in the stands in his Green Wave jersey, the Friday night crowd at Hamblin Stadium was energized by his enthusiasm. The memorial service celebrating the life of Henry Tex Brown was held on McCallister Field in Hamblin Stadium.
Mark Hazard’s Revenge Before a game, West Point coaches reminded the players that their opponent was known for playing dirty. Play after play, Mark ended up on the bottom of a pile of players with a big leg in his face. He vowed if it happened again, he would get revenge. On the next play, Hazard was on the ground, his helmet was half-way knocked off, and when he opened his eyes, there was a big leg right in front of his mouth. He bit that leg as hard as he could! When the Greenies got up and went to the huddle, Mark saw his teammate, Tim Judson, hobbling over. Grumbling and wincing in pain, Tim told the guys, “Let’s go get those SOBs! One of them just bit the ____out of my leg!!!! Mark knew that was not the time to tell his best friend who the biter was. It was years before Mark confessed to Tim that he was the SOB!
Memory from Steve Stanley, Buster Orr (1954) During the summers, Miller Brothers Dairy asked teenage boys to deliver milk. There were several…Steve, Buster, Earl Henley, and Herbert Bauch. They would ride from house to house, run up to the front porches to leave milk, then run back to the delivery truck. They did this rain or shine. When the time came for the boys to go out for football, the coaches were tough on them and required them to run laps and practice hard. The first practices were in the sweltering heat of summer. Most of the guys would tire out because they weren’t used to the extreme heat. But not the “Dairy Boys!” They were used to running in the heat! Steve and Buster laughed and said the other guys called them a lot of names, but the “Dairy Boys” was the nicest one!
George Barry told this story from the 1954 West Point-Starkville Football Game The clock was winding down in the annual grudge match with Starkville, and West Point had the ball. Quarterback Johnny Green had thrown short passes for several downs, and Starkville had been in short coverage. George Barry told Green what he had noticed and asked the quarterback to throw the ball to him. As George stood in the end zone, Green threw the ball right into his chest…but the ball just bounced off! George couldn’t believe his eyes! He was devastated. As the seconds ticked off, the game ended with Starkville the victor 14-13. That was the only loss West Point had that year, ending the season with a 9-1 record. This catastrophic event has followed George ever since. A few years after the game, around 1961 or ‘62, George was in Japan going up an escalator to the Officers’ Club. Suddenly he heard someone yelling from across the room GEORGE BARRY! It was Winkie Harned from that Starkville team going down the escalator on the other side! “I haven’t seen you since you dropped that pass in that West Point-Starkville game in 1954!!” Winkie yelled. Then around 1964, George was traveling from Jackson to Columbus to a job. He needed gasoline, so he stopped at a country store along the road. When George handed the guy his credit card, he read the name and looked up at George: “George Barry….are you the boy who dropped that pass and lost the Starkville game a few years back?” A bit surprised but laughing about it by now, George had to admit that he was the same George Barry! A few years ago, George attended his 50th class reunion. They were at the WPHS stadium for a game, and Robbie Robinson announced over the loud speaker, “Welcome to the graduates of 1954. And by the way, there’s a guy here who dropped the pass that could’ve beat Starkville that year!” Of course, the entire stadium erupted with laughter, George included. George has also had an occasion to see Jimmy Ashford, who scored the winning TD for Starkville. Jimmy told George that even though HE was the one who led his team to victory that night, no one remembers him! All they remember is George Barry dropped the ball! He has friends who still love to joke with him about that Starkville game. Fortunately, George has a great sense of humor and enjoys the jokes too.
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Memory from Bob Shirley Class of 1951 Bob Shirley was commuting to Mississippi State University when Head Football Coach Howard Shook resigned from WPHS in 1952. A committee was selected to find the next head coach. Bill Sorrells, Sports Editor of the Daily Times Leader, WPHS alum, and active supporter of high school athletics, was on the committee. Bill called Bob and asked him to see if Harper Davis, who was working at a department store in town, would be interested in the head football coaching position. Bob talked to Harper, who was very much interested! The committee met with Harper, hired him, and he became one of the most respected coaches in the history of West Point High School football.
Halloween Cripples Wave Line Many players had been out with the flu during the early part of the 1957 season. Most were getting well and planned to come back to play for the Homecoming game against New Albany on November 4. However, before the game, Halloween struck and the high hopes for a Greenie victory changed to concern. Boyce Davis, who was in the running for All Conference Tackle, tangled with a firecracker and lost the decision. His hand was heavily bandaged, and the report was that it would be that way a while. Hoss Thornton, big-time end for West Point, was “kayoed by a barrel he was trying to log roll.” He suffered a very bad back injury, and the doctor had no idea how long he would be out. Fortunately, the Greenie Gridders had plenty of strength left to give New Albany a walloping. Final score, no thanks to Boyce or Hoss, was 25-13!
From John Dixon I have often said that the achievements of the West Point football team, its trophies and accolades. and the titles they claimed were just a small piece of the real success of their effort. During that period of athletic achievement, the whole town and the entire community rallied together, like a fever, became synergetic, had a truly winning spirit, and together, produced remarkable results. School bond issues were passed when folks across the state said simply and emphatically, “You cannot do it!” New schools were built or renovated; the bonds for a huge hospital were passed which led to the fantastic medical facility that stands there today; annual events, which had been dormant for way too many years, such as the annual Christmas Parade down Main Street, were resurrected and thoroughly enjoyed by many persons, young and old alike. Sure, winning football championships was important, and I can say I truly enjoyed seeing young men, whom I literally knew from their birth, many I knew personally from having worked beside their parents at Bryan Foods, such as Arley Gibson, Shea Bell, Bob Harrell, Craig Keys, Treddis and Jesse Anderson, play football. The personal pride I felt was almost as if they were my own children. And, in a sense they were. West Point came together, just as the football teams had done, and together accomplished things we didn`t believe were possible. That was the most amazing achievement of 1980s Green Wave football!
Dr. Hazard’s Road Game In 1940 we were traveling on the bus to an out-of-town game. The bus broke down, and Coach Catledge started flagging down cars. He would yell to each motorist who stopped, “Are you going to the West Point game?” If the answer was “Yes,” Coach would put in one, two, or three players, depending on how much room was available in the car. He sent his starters first, and coach was number twelve. The game started when the first eleven West Point players arrived at the field.
Teaching Moment from Coach Glenn Coach Leonard Glenn was a man who knew how to teach a lesson—especially on the football field. It was the mid-eighties, and we Greenies were sweating out those hot summer practices that everybody dreads. The temperature was high and the humidity higher. Coach Glenn had told us numerous times what we were to do when we removed our helmets—whether in a game or in practice. Those helmets were to be placed on the ground with the top of the helmet up and the open side down. Pretty simple, huh? Well, you know teenage boys. On that hot McCallister Field, all we were thinking about was getting our helmets off. Water and Gatorade were waiting. Some of us followed the rule, many without even thinking about it, but others completely forgot and put those helmets down with the open side up. Coach Glenn, a man of quite impressive size who usually had a plug in his jaw, did not say a word. He simply walked past those helmets and spat in each one that faced up. Lesson learned. He never had to tell us again!
Coach Chambless and the Fire Ants It was the fall of 2010, and Coach Chambless was emphasizing the importance of getting set and not moving on the line. Suddenly one player moved, and the coach made his displeasure clear. “But Coach, there are fire ants on the line,” the guilty party defended himself. “They are not going to hurt you” was the reply as the coach reached down and picked up a handful of dirt (and ants). By the end of practice, Coach Chambless’s hand was swollen to twice its usual size. As one player remembers, those ants weren’t going to hurt us, but they did a number on him!
Memory from Coach Bubba Davis (1982 Championship Game) The West Point High School Green Wave had never won a State Championship in football. However, at the end of the regular season, West Point’s record took them to the State Championship Game. The whole town was buzzing with excitement. The game was to be played at Meridian against a strong Gulfport team. Word got back to WPHS that Gulfport didn’t even know where West Point was, and they had said they would have no problem rolling over the Green Wave. That didn’t set well. Once the game started, it didn’t take long for Gulfport to wear down against a fired-up Greenie Eleven. West Point was up 21-7, when suddenly the lights went off on the visitors’ side of the field. The game was on hold for 20 minutes. Play resumed, and as the minutes ticked off, the Gulfport fans were tasting victory. With 6 seconds left, the Admirals scored again. Announcer Bud Bowen, who always makes humorous comments, remarked, “We let our guard down and ole Bye, Bye Barney (Gulfport’s ace receiver) got behind us and scored.” To this day, there are those who believe that Gulfport’s coach turned the lights off so his little boys could rest. But it was too little, too late. West Point was victorious with a final score of 21-14 and won their first ever State Championship Title. That was the beginning of a Championship Legacy.
Farewell to McCallister Scott Hughes 2003 Football for us seniors is over. No more Monday practices. No more lifting weights. No more running sprints. No more next years. The familiar screams of ”Big Kenny” and “Tweety Bird Shelton” have left the playing field and have gone to rest alongside “Thunder and Lightning” in eternal Green Wave lore. We seniors entered the football program when it was in shambles. The high school team had won just one game the year before, and it seemed as if the glory days of the eighties were just a faint memory. But that year, in a meeting that will go down in the West Point history books as more significant than when Christopher Columbus met America, we seniors met Dennis Allen. And, oh, how the fire was lit! We seniors led the town from annual cellar misery to the magical ride that was 2002 to the 5A state playoffs. We witnessed the return of Green Wave pride. Ultimately, though, we saw the two-year home game winning streak fall to the bunch of horses that was South Panola University. The tears poured down our young faces because, for a brief moment after the clock sounded zero, we were lost. The strange moment of drifting soon passed. In life, as we realized kneeling on the wet turf, all good things must come to an end. And to the departing seniors, West Point football was a great thing. So as the seasons change from winter to spring, a new class will emerge to take our places in the continuous fraternity that is Green Wave football. Who will be the next Cedric Wells? Who will be the next Kenny Davis? Tune in next year to find out. We seniors aren’t worried, though, because our legacy is assured. Years from now, when we seniors have children of our own and pains in places we never knew existed, our minds will drift back to high school football. A wide grin will come across our worn faces as we remember the magical time, if only brief, when we were warriors.
This Game Called Football Chip Ingram (class of 1978), Chickasaw Daily Journal I grew up a “Greenie” and played football for the West Point Green Wave. Well, maybe I should clarify that. I practiced a lot more football at old West Point High than I ever played. There were about 80 boys on our team in 1976 and 1977, and I was the third smallest. That means there were 77 of my teammate who were bigger than me. I had a little speed, and what I lacked in athletic ability in the 40-yard dash was made up for by fear when one of those bigger guys chased me. Playing football was all there was to do in the Point City in the 1970s. Again, I didn’t play much, and the coach only called my name when we were up 48 points. But my best friends to this very day pulled on a green jersey with white letters every Friday night in the fall. I will be the first to say I didn’t like football. I was a catcher in baseball, ran the hurdles in track, and I couldn’t jump, so I didn’t play basketball. But of all the games I ever played, only football satisfied. Unless you have pushed your helmet into the air on a cool crisp fall night in victory, you have not lived.