Revival of Football Program, 1963

Football season is here and it’s a good time to look back at some Bradley football pioneers.  In 1963, after a hiatus of about three decades, Bradley High School revived its football program.  Ironically, the football program lasted about another thirty years before, due to lack of numbers, it had to be discontinued again.

In 1963, the number of players was not a problem.  There were 23 players, two coaches and 4 managers (Jimmy Burns, Donald Adams, Earl Vickers and Raymond Gildon), according to the 1964 B. H. S. yearbook.

The program for the 1963 home games was printed by George Bell of the Bradley Pioneer.  The front page:

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (8) A

“1963–64

BEARS

Football

Bradley High School

Winston Duke, Coach

Gerald Vines, Ass’t. Coach

Bradley Arkansas”

– – – – –

The back page contained the team’s schedule and two advertisements (which are transcribed with all the other ads, below).

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (8) B

“Bradley ‘Bears’ Football Schedule

1963–64

Sept 6.  Bismark  There

Sept. 12  Hope (B Team)  Here

Sept. 20  Fouke  There

Sept. 27  Texarkana (B Team)  Here

Oct. 4  Strong  There

Oct. 11  Mineral Springs  There

Oct. 18  Murfreesboro  Here

Oct. 25  Horatio  There

Nov. 1  Lewisville  Here

Nov. 15  Foreman  There”

– – – – –

The roster page of the 1963 home-game program listed each player’s name, number, position, and weight, and designated the “probable starting lineup.”

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (9) B

“Bradley High School

Bears

Colors Purple & Gold

Name     No.   Position   Weight

Ronni [sic] Byrd*, 11, QB, 150

David Byrd, 12, QB, 150

Ken Allen, 13, QB, 145

Tommy Pauley, 17, QC, 110

Jimmy McDonald, 21, ET, 165

Gwen Lee, 22, T, 185

Mitchie Jones*, 23, HB, 160

Glenn Brackman, 24, HB, 145

John Taylor, 25

George Pickett, 26, HB, 135

Ronnie Odom*, 27, G, 160

Tommy Lindsey, 28, G, 145

Larry Jackson*, 29, E, 140

John T. Williams*, 30, C, 155

Jerry Clary*, 31, FB, 180

Dickie Bishop, 32, T, 220

Buddy Jackson*, 33, E, 155

Jimmy Gildon*, 34, T, 200

Charles McDonald, 35 E, 170

Larry Parks, 36, G, 160

Johnny Umphries*, 37, G, 155

Henry Maness*, 38, T, 170

Willard Bandy, 39, E, 175

Carl Pauley*, 40, HB, 170

Thomas Clarence [sic], __, T, 215”

*probable starting lineup

– – – – –

The remainder of the 8–page program consisted of advertisements, which provide a glimpse into Bradley businesses of that era.

“Compliments of Allen Bros. C & E Co; Allis Chalmers; New Holland”

“Bradley Pioneer; Community News; Commercial Printing”

“Roberson Farm Equipment; International Harvester Dealer”

“Compliments of Coker Hardware”

“New Phone TW4–2815; We Have All Types of Cotton Defoliants; Logan Seed Co.”

“Crain & Rogers; Mobil Products”

“The Bank of Bradley; Member F. D. I C.”

“Clary Butane & Oil Co.; Cities Service”

“Let’s Go Bears; Odom Dusting Service”

“Hamner Implement Co.; Your John Deere Folks”

“Baker Bros.; Automotive & Tractor Service”

“Cochran Hardware; Building Material”

“Kennedy’s Grocery & Market”

“We Want A Touchdown; Edwards Co.; Edwards Hardware”

And there were also advertisements for “Board of Directors; Bradley
School” and “Thomas E. Tincher, City Marshal”

– – – – –

Alas, fortune was not kind to the 1963 football Bears.  As might be expected with a brand new football program, the team finished with a record of one win and nine losses.

The Bradley Pioneer reported on the first game at Bismark:  “The Bradley Bears played their first football game against Bismart [sic] last Friday night.  One hundred and ten people from Bradley accompanied the team to Bismark and rooted for the Bears.  Bismark won 28–0 but Coach Winston Duke carried 24 Bears to Bismark and let each one play.  Coach Duke said that this experience was a big help to the boys and the support the people of Bradley gave them was a boost for their morale.”

If memory serves correctly, the only win of the 1963 season was the game at Fouke, which was also beginning its football program that year.

For some historical perspective, the final game of the season at Foreman would have taken place two days before the dedication of the new sanctuary of the Bradley Baptist Church (see post of 7/18/08) and one week to the day before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Finally, if any of the players from that team should have any good stories about their experiences that year, bradleyark.com would be most interested in hearing them.

 

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