Editor’s note: This is the second of two stories relating several interesting football seasons for the Madisonville Mustangs.
The 1966 Mustangs lost their first game the following season to Teague. I’m not a big sports fan, but the second game that season is strong in my memory. We traveled to Palestine Westwood and the Mustangs won 8-0. I remember vividly because I was a sophomore, and it was tremendously exciting. I rode home from the game with Mrs. Bill Wilson Sr. and a bunch of girls, intending to meet the bus and cheer at the school, but we were broadsided by another car at an intersection in Crockett. Mrs. Wilson went to the hospital with a broken arm, I got some cracked ribs, other girls had similar, and we missed our congratulatory chance to greet the bus back home that night. The Mustangs also beat Alto and Corrigan later that season.
I’ll bet some of the 1966 team can still tell you details of that Westwood game, now 51 years later. Dennis McWhorter and Paul Wappler were team captains. McWhorter received All-District recognition again, and joined that year by Tommy Blakeney, G.G. Reynolds, and Kenneth Sanders. Other A-team players were Billy Blow, James Casey, David Culbreth, David Hollis, Dennis Ivey, Larry Richie, Buddy Sloan, and Freddie Starns.
Cheerleaders that year were Ann Dean, Nancy Fannin, Sherry Wells, and Debbie Thompson, and Alice Ann Fannin was cheerleading sponsor. Mark Morgan usually suited up as mascot “Monty Mustang” but sometimes Sondra Adams filled in for him.
Jumping forward to 1971, that Mustang team’s final record was 3-6-1, when the team was plagued by injuries, penalties and fumbles. That year against Teague, Larry Harrison saved the day with a spectacular run in waning seconds of the game so the Mustangs won 21-18. In the game against Lovelady, Bruce Bailey’s 310 yards rushing had lots to do with our 21-18 win. Bailey and Harrison were team captains, along with Bill Cross, Garey Davis, Lonnie Zachary, and Tom Wiley. Bailey, Harrison, and Cross, plus Billy Chenault, Monte Locke, and Frank McKenney, all earned All-District recognition. Other Mustang players that year were Ferrall Brazzle, Wayne Clopton, Cary Davis, Bobby Fickey, Johnny Gipson, Billy Green, Don Harrison, Odies Haynes, Elmer Holiday, Billy Holcombe, Alfred McNeil, Claude Nealey, Lee Parish, Lynn Reed, Thomas Richardson, Gary Richie, Cary Roquemore, Henry Smith, Russell Tinsley, William Turner, Bobby Washington, Jerry Wheaton, and Frank Williams. Our coaches were James Guess, Lural McCloud, Gayle Cosby, Kenneth Richter, and Kenneth Poole. Managers were John Moore, Randy Parker, Jesse Simpson, and Jimmy Simpson.
As one of my favorite songs goes, “Those were the days, my friend!” Since then our school song has changed, but some of us old folks still love the old one, which goes, “Dear old Madisonville High School, you’re the school for me. /Dear old Madisonville High School, you will always be/, For you win us friendship everywhere we go/ I shall always think of you when I lay down to sleep / I shall always bet on you the football games to beat. Dear old Madisonville High School, you’re the school for me!”
Of course, I bounced around with these facts, trying to find folks who might care. I heard that once a Mustang team long ago played on an icy field and geese lit on the field, mistaking it for a lake, but no one can verify that. I’d love more local football memories from those of you who might share.
Madison County Museum, at 201 N. Madison St., Madisonville, TX, is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Museum curator Jane Day Reynolds welcomes your visits. Memorials or donations may be mailed to the Museum, P.O. Box 60, Madisonville, TX 77864.