SPORTS & ATHLETIC AWARDS
I THINK THE MINDEN MEMORIES ARE GREAT . I READ THEM ALOT .
I SAW SOMETHING BEING TALK ABOUT ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE. I WAS A YEAR BEHIND
TERRY DAVIS IN 1969. TERRY GRADUATED IN 1968. TERRY PLAYED QUARTERBACK FOR THE
BOGALUSA LUMBERJACKS IN 67 AND 68. HE DID GREAT HE WENT ON TO PLAY FOR BEAR
BRYANT IN 69 70 AND 71. THEY HAD A GREAT TEAM I DID GO SEE HIM PLAY IN TIGER
STADIUM IN THE EARLY 70,S AGAINST LSU , AND QUESS WHAT ALABAMA WON. THAT LAST
SEASON IN 71 TERRY AND HIS TEAM WENT DOWN TO ORANGE BOWL IN MIAMI FOR NATIONAL
CHAMPIONSHIP, BUT THEY LOSS IT, I CAN,T REMEMBER WHO THEY PLAYED. WHEN THE
SEASON WAS OVER THEY HAD A TERRY DAVIS DAY IN BOGALUSA. BEAR BRYANT CAME TO
SPEAK AND ALSO THE SNAKE KENNY STABLER. .TERRY WAS A GREAT BALL PLAYER AND
ESPECIALLY RUNNING THE WISHBONE. TERRY COME BACK TO BOGALUSA OFTEN. HE NOW
LIVES IN ATLANTA GEORGIA. ALABAMA IS ALWAYS HAD A GREAT TEAM, BUT OF COURSE I
LIKE LSU. I HAD DISTANT COUSIN NAME MIKE ANDERSON THAT PLAYED IN THE LATE 60,S
WHICH HE WAS A ALL AMERCIAN DEFENSIVE LINEBACKER. MIKE NOW HAS ONE OF THE
GREATEST SEA FOOD RESTUARANT IN BATON ROUGE. SHERRY YA,LL ARE DOING A GREAT
JOB WITH MINDEN MEMORIES
Jason, thank you for this message. Ken "The Snake" Stabler was
one of my
favorite football players. I did not like him at all when he played for the Raiders but
admired and adored him when he played two seasons for the Houston Oilers before
joining the New Orleans Saints before he retired in 1984. We always bought season tickets to the Luv U Blue games when Bum Phillips was our Coach.
Sherry Gresham Gritzbaugh, Class of 1955
HOW THE CRIMSON TIDE GOT IT'S NAME
Clarence Geis was head coach at Minden in 1934 and the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide were the most powerful football team in the country. For the start of the 1934 season (following a very poor 1933 season) Geis decided he wanted to use the Alabama theme for Minden. The green and white uniforms were replaced by the red and white of Alabama -- and the team nickname, traditionally the Greenies or the Greenbacks, but called by a few the Green Wave because of some Tulane associations, was changed to the Crimson Tide, taken directly from Alabama.
Here is the story of why Alabama was nicknamed the Crimson Tide:
John Agan, Webster Parish Historian
During the early 60's the students were told one day about MHS getting the Crimson Tide theme from the University of Alabama and they in turn took the name from what was described as the "thin red line" that help Alabama tie heavily-favored Auburn 6-6 in a 1907 football game.
Re: Crimson Tide:
One has only to attend a University of Alabama football game and watch their Tide with its crimson uniforms and then hear the Alabama Alma Mater to realize that this story of MHS is at least partly true. The lyrics of their alma mater differ but the tune is exactly the same. My son finished college there in 2004 and my wife and I enjoyed attending their games. I remember well the first time I heard the University of Alabama alma mater. It brought back many good memories from MHS.
TD Carey, Class of 1965
How the Crimson Tide Got its Name
In early newspaper accounts of Alabama football, the team was simply listed as the "varsity" or the "Crimson White" after the school colors.
The first nickname to become popular and used by headline writers was the "Thin Red Line."
The nickname was used until 1906.The name "Crimson Tide" is supposed to have first been used by Hugh Roberts, former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald. He used "Crimson Tide" in describing an Alabama-Auburn game played in Birmingham in 1907, the last football contest between the two schools until 1948 when the series was resumed. The game was played in a sea of mud and Auburn was a heavy favorite to win.
But, evidently, the "Thin Red Line" played a great game in the red mud and held Auburn to a 6-6 tie, thus gaining the name "Crimson Tide." Zipp Newman, former sports editor of the Birmingham News, probably popularized the name more than any other writer.
Judy Gleason Claassen, Class if 1954
Maurice Whitlow, Class of 1948
Compliments of John Agan and the Minden Press Herald
Football has long been a tradition at Minden High School. While no clear records exists of when the first football team representing Minden High School appeared on a local gridiron, we do know that as early as 1906, William Hillman of Minden, who later became an executive with the Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, earned a football letter at LSU. Hillman lettered four years as LSU, and was joined on the squad in 1907 by Mindenite and future judge Harmon Drew. During the years between 1911 and 1919, several other local residents rose to prominence as football players at LSU including the Dutton brothers, Tom and Pete, and the five Spencer brothers from the Grove Community. The first member of that family to earn an LSU letter was George Spencer in 1911, he was followed by his brothers: Floyd, who first lettered in 1912; Hugh Frank in 1916; Fritz in 1919; and finally Curtis in 1925. With so many local products playing college football it seems clear that Minden began its football program in the very early years of the 20th century. Today's Echo of Our Past will focus on the fascinating story of a "forgotten" Minden football team of the pre-World War I era, that has not been given the attention it deserves in the school's athletic history.
Over the years a few teams have been recognized as standout squads in long
MHS football tradition. The first teams mentioned are usually the State
championship squads of 1938, 1954, 1956, 1963 and 1980. Clearly those teams
demonstrated their excellence on the field by bringing back the state title to
In addition, much has been written about the 1921 MHS Greenies, a team that completed an undefeated and unscored upon regular season, only to lose a specially arranged state championship game to Warren Easton of New Orleans. I have written an earlier article on that team, coached by R.E. "Red" Woodard, that fell to the New Orleans squad 7-0, giving up their first touchdown of the season in a contest marked by the absence of several key Minden players.
However, I was totally ignorant of another great MHS squad until a couple of years ago. I was contacted by the legendary North Louisiana sportswriter Jerry Byrd, who was doing research for his most recently published book, "Louisiana's Best in High School Football." Jerry was attempting to track down which North Louisiana school had enjoyed the longest string of consecutive games without allowing the other team to score. He informed me that he knew already that the Minden team of 1916 had completed an entire season without giving up a point.
He wondered what the local school's record had been in 1915 before that season's streak and then in 1917, after the end of that season, so he could determine the games included in Minden's shutout streak. It was only then that I found that perhaps the most dominant Minden football team had been largely ignored.
I was able to find that Minden gave up a safety to Winnfield in a 25-2 victory in November 1915. The local team played two more games in that 1915 season against Homer and Haynesville before its magical run in 1916.
Then the MHS athletes lost their first game of 1917 to the team from Louisiana Normal (Northwestern State University today). So while I could tell Jerry that Minden's shutout streak lasted at most 11 games, I still didn't know much about that 1916 squad.
Piecing the Memories Together
More information proved difficult to find, as the local newspapers from October 1916 until the spring of 1917 have been lost. Looking for any accounts in area papers such as the Shreveport Times and Shreveport Journal proved fruitless. A small article in the New Orleans States did recount a summary of the season, but provided little more information than Jerry Byrd had given me. I had felt that the story of that team was probably lost until I was asked to do some research on the history of Homecoming at Minden High. In that research I happened upon an article written in 1941, for the Minden Herald on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the 1916 MHS football team. While it was not long on details it did provide much in missing information on one of the two MHS football teams, along with the 1963 squad, to complete an entire season, regular and post-season, undefeated. Adding to that the brief data from the States and a few articles from the Webster Signal of September 1916, I was able to put together these facts about that great team.
In the September 22, 1916 edition of the Webster Signal a news item outlined
the prospects for the local high school squad. In those years, so far as the
record indicates, no nickname was attached to the team; it was simply the Minden
High School football team. The name Greenies would emerge by 1920 and then in
the fall of 1934, the name Crimson Tide would be adopted. In 1916, the coach of
the team was not an employee of the school system; local attorney Melvin "Stubb"
Johnson volunteered his time to work with the athletes. The Signal's account of
the team is as follows:
"The Minden High School football team is beginning operations for the season of 1916. Most of the week has been devoted to working out the kinks and giving a few rudimentary training exercises. Only little signal practice had been indulged in, but the team is fast working up its teamwork in formations and fast shifts.
"A good schedule is being prepared by the managers and it is hoped that the team will come up to its expectations in its season.
The following men are working out for the team: Jimmy Life, Prentiss Hough, Roy Miller, John Kirkley, William Wilkins, Bill Smith, Dutton, Fritz Spencer, B. D. Gleason, Hassell Gray, Luther Clement, Dave Stewart, Cecil Watson, Mack Coussons, Griff Mixon, Ruffin Richardson, Fred Lowe and Don Kemp.
"Gleason is a former Haynesville player and shows good form. Spencer, another new man, is fast rounding into shape as a back. The men who played on the Minden team last year make a good nucleus for the new team. With town support this bunch of young men will make a winning team. They will get training to do teamwork - the slogan of the new age. They will get development which is sometimes lacking in towns where no outdoor recreation is provided for the boys. They will make strong men. They will make true sportsmen."
There were many differences in both football and in the town of Minden in those years from today. Of course the equipment and strategies applied in the actual playing of the game were far removed from modern standards in those days prior to World War I. The only school building on the MHS campus was the 1910 high school building, which sat on what is today the front lawn of Minden High School.
The area occupied by today's track field and football field was then undeveloped land with a creek running through the woods and pasture. The football field sat on the flat area between the high school and the home of Judge Lynn Watkins (today the owned by the Drake family) along and including today's Richardson Street. No bleachers were present and fans mingled along the sidelines with the coaches and players.
The next edition of the local newspaper carried an account of the team's first contest, an "exhibition" game against a squad of local men.
"The High School football team took on an aggregation of old stars from town on last Friday afternoon with the following results: High School 18; Town 0. The pastime was fast and furious for a time and accorded considerable excitement to the number of fans present. The game brought out some splendid material as yet uncovered.
The scrubs played with a vim that would become a college collection. The interference of the High School team was somewhat below par, but that is to be expected at this stage. The charging was much better and never failed to make the gain. The style of play was the old line plunge and running type. Next Saturday, the High eleven engages the well-coached team from Vivian. A dog fight is anticipated."
Johnson, who took time from his legal practice each afternoon to coach the
team, designed all the plays used by the Minden squad. The team used a box
formation; however, not the "Notre Dame Box" familiar to older football fans, as
Knute Rockne would not begin using that formation at Notre Dame until 1918.
As mentioned in the article from the Signal, Johnson's box featured plays that were not far removed from the flying wedge days of the earliest years of the century. Brute strength was the hallmark on offense and defense as the Minden team simply lined up and ran over the opposition. In the box formation the quarterback, Richardson, lined up directly behind the center. Behind Richardson were right halfback Hough and left halfback Mixon, with fullback Gleason further back and directly behind the quarterback. So while described as a box, the alignment of the four players was more nearly a diamond. Few plays were directed around the ends in what today are known as sweeps. The team as a unit simply plowed straight ahead pushing the ball toward the goal line.
After opening with the victory over the town team, Minden went on to march through an undefeated season, scoring 213 points while holding all opponents scoreless.
The quality of the competition was strong. Among the teams defeated was the powerful team from Shreveport High School who lost by a count of 6-0. Two college teams, Centenary and Louisiana Normal, were also victims of the Minden team. In fact at the time of the 25th anniversary, the win over Centenary was considered the most outstanding, as the powerhouse Gent teams of the 1930s were still fresh in the minds of local residents.
Perhaps the strangest victory came over Minden's rivals from Springhill. Before the end of that contest, injuries left Springhill without enough players to continue. Several Minden players were "loaned" to the North Webster squad so the game could be finished.
No Title Claim
In those days, there was no officially sanctioned state championship game,
but talk arose of matching the Minden team with the undefeated eleven from
Warren Easton High in New Orleans. Minden businessmen promised $175 and all of
the gate receipts to the squad from the Crescent City if they would travel north
for a game.
The New Orleans high school refused to agree to any terms except that the game be played in New Orleans using a 60-40 split of the gate, with the larger portion going to Minden.
After Principal J. B. Snell of Minden High rejected that offer, a final compromise game in Alexandria was proposed but neither side was willing to budge. The decision of which team would be recognized the state champion was left to the State Athletic Board.
Based on schedules, that board ruled that Easton had played a more difficult schedule than the Minden team, so the New Orleans team was declared state champions.
End to a
Thus the first undefeated Minden High School team ended its wonderful season
without laying claim to any official title.
Yet in the 87 years that have passed since that time, only two teams came close to duplicating the dominance shown by that group of young men.
The 1921 team which got the chance to face Warren Easton and lost a heartbreaker and the 1963 squad, which was able to repeat the perfect record, but as is the rule in modern football, did not even approach the record of not allowing their opponents to score.
The memory of that outstanding team, playing in a bygone era, with long-abandoned strategies, and archaic equipment should still be an Echo of Our Past that the MHS athletes of the present and future strive to emulate.
John Agan is a local historian and adjunct instructor at Bossier Parish Community College. He also works in the Louisiana and Genealogy Section of the Webster Parish Library and is a published author. His column appears Fridays in the Minden Press-Herald.
If you are able to identify any of the ladies in this picture please e-mail
Lynella Watkins and Nell Davis
1920 TENNIS DOUBLES AT THE STATE HIGH
Nell Davis also won in singles
Submitted by Corene King Kingalls
THE TENNIS CLUB
Submitted by John Quade from the 1940 Grig
Quade Photography, 513 Main Street, Minden, La.
Names Identified by Ann Mays Harlan from the 1940 Grig
There were no Grigs between 1940-46
1947 MINDEN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE
Most Valuable Player in 1947 was Edward "Honkey" Kennedy
Submitted by Maurice Whitlow
Here is the second page from Maurice Whitlow
Submitted by Rowland Ivy
Re: the 1948-49 Honors Page from the 1949 Grig that is Leonard Colvin with the Junior Tournament 1st place trophy. The Northwest League 3rd place trophy is Billy Bob Atkins. The Choir District and State Honors picture is Garland Morris.
In response to your question about when the 12th grade was added, here is a paragraph from the 1949 Grig. "In 1945 when the twelve-year plan for all high schools of Louisiana was instituted, there was no Freshman class; therefore, there should be no Senior class this year (1949). However, because of transfers and changes we have nine Seniors of 1949."
Tommy Lee Baggett and Coach Oliphant are pictured at the top, Byron "Tap" Gilbert at the Doyline Tournament, Lamar Pace - North Louisiana Rally for second Place and Place And Jean Owens District and State Band.
THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD
1949-1950 SCHOOL YEAR
TONY ELZEN GIVES TOMMY LEE BAGGETT THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD
SON OF MRS. LUCILLE BAGGETT
Submitted by Rowland Ivy from the 1950 Grig
Charlie Hennegan in 1950 when he won a basketball trophy
Submitted by Quade Photography
Submitted by Rowland Ivy
1952 ATHLETIC HONORS 1952
From the 1953 Grig
Submitted by Peggy Cheshire Baldwin
The 1954 Grig did not have Athletic Honors. In my opinion the 1953 Grig contained the most historical and useful information of all the Grigs published that I was able to view. My compliments to the 1952-1953 editor and staff.
TIDE TALK OCTOBER 1954
From the 1959 Grig
From the 1959 Grig