Sunday, August 5, 2012 - by B.B. Branton
It was the early 1960s and Friday nights and high school football was special in the Chattanooga area with legendary names such as Etter, Heywood, James, Phillips, Sloan, Tucker, Painter and more.
But no fall was more special than 1962.
Football fans caravaned in ’58 Chevys, ’60 Ford Pickups or their mom’s Plymouth station wagons listening to rock and roll hits including Do You Love Me by the Contours, He’s A Rebel by the Crystals or Sherry by the Four Seasons, following the escapades of a group of talented teens at four Chattanooga area schools who ran, passed and tackled better than all the others to unbeaten seasons.
Rossville (13-0) won the Georgia AA state title, Howard (9-0-1) claimed yet another black school state championship and the Pioneer Bowl, Chattanooga Central (11-0) was crowned Associated Press state champs and won the Meninak Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
and Brainerd (11-0) was the first Chattanooga team to win the Clinic Bowl.
A week long look back at each of these teams and players and their unbeaten seasons.
Rossville - Coach Frank Fabris and the Bulldogs posted the school's only perfect season with a 13-0-0 record and the school's third state title in nine years.
The Blue and White were led by All-American Doug Flury, state lineman of the year in Sherold Walker, Bill Hull (all-state) and Paul Painter (all-city).
Central - The Purple Pounders gave coach Red Etter his only perfect season (11-0-0) ... led by All-American Dickie Phillips and All-City running back Terry Parks, Central was declared AP and UPI state champs and won the Meninak Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
Howard - Coach George "Chubby" James led the Hustlin' Tigers to a third straight state championship among black schools. Quarterback Reuben Turner, running back Major Bowles and lineman Big Daddy Smith were key players as Howard was 9-0-1 and won the Pioneer Bowl
Brainerd - In only its second year as a varsity program, Brainerd shocked the state with a 11-0-0 mark, won the Clinic Bowl in Nashville and was No.3 in the final AP state poll.
Running back Gary Tucker led the state in scoring and joined quarterback E.G. Cline and tackle Jim Clark on the all-state team.
Today - Preview
Tuesday - Rossville
Wednesday - Chattanooga Central
Thursday - Howard
Friday - Brainerd
CityScope Football Magazine: The stories on the four undefeated teams can also be found in the CityScope High School Football Preview Magazine on sale at Walgreens and Barnes and Noble.
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com