Category Archives: Sports

Senior Girls Basketball, 1956

The following article appeared in the February 23, 1956, edition of the Lafayette County Democrat.  It is reprinted here with permission.  It was apparently written by Briner Thomas, publisher of that newspaper.

“BRADLEY GIRLS WIN DIST. TOURNAMENT, PLACE TWO ON ALL-DISTRICT TEAM

The District 7B Basketball Tournament ended here [Stamps] Saturday night with Bradley winning over some very tough competition and placing two on the All-District team.

The games started Monday with Stamps winning over Springhill 42 to 26; Bodcaw over Genoa Central 33 to 29; Gilham over Kirby 60 to 36; Mineral Springs over Kirby [?] 40 to 32; Delight over Fouke 47 to 36; Bradley over Umpire 41 to 30 and Lewisville over Murfreesboro 52 to 33.

On Tuesday, Lewisville won over Guernsey 60 to 48; Delight walked over Laneburg 50 to 23; Mineral Springs took Gilham easily 61 to 27; Dierks over Horatio 52 to 31 and Foreman nosed out Okolona 50 to 45; with Emmett trouncing Garland 69 to 38 and Bodcaw taking Willisville 44 to 34.

Wednesday results were Emmett over Dierks 49 to 45; Delight over Blevins 45 to 37; Mineral springs over Bodcaw 54 to 31 and Bradley getting by Lewisville 39 to 31.

Friday’s results gave Bradley another win, this over a tough Mineral Springs team 51 to 38 and Emmett over Delight 45 to 43.

Saturday night, the gym was just not big enough to hold the crowd and spectators lined the walls and aisles to see a game that was full of thrills right up to the last minute, with Bradley wearing down Emmett in the final minutes and winning 60 to 52.

The best sports awards went to Ann Draper, Garrett Wells, Pat Parker, Rebecca Overmire, Sylvia Riley and Carolyn Cox.

081215 Senior Girls Basketball, 1956, 300 pixels

The All District team selected by the coaches and officials were, reading left to right in the above picture, Sheffield of Lewisville, McClendon of Lewisville; Terry of Mineral Springs, [Sissie] Gore of Bradley, [Bonnie] Fish of Bradley, Hill of Emmett, Cox of Emmett and Patsy Blankenship of Stamps.

No one asked my opinion, but I picked three first places that anyone who saw the games will agree on and that is the prettiest girl on the teams was Pat Parker of Lewisville, the best forward was Nancy McGee of Bradley and the best guard was a No. 12 of Bradley and we never did learn her name.”

– – –

Does anyone know who “No. 12 of Bradley” was?

Demise of 1930s Bradley High School Football

This past weekend, I visited with Mr. and Mrs. Dick Bishop in their home.  I asked Mrs. Margie about the story I had heard of the accident that ended the Bradley High School football program of the 1930s.  She confirmed the story and was able to provide enough details that I was able to pinpoint the precise date of the accident.

She remembered that the “bus” carrying the football team was side-swiped on “old” Highway 29 coming back from a game.  The “bus” in those days was nothing that resembles today’s school bus.  It was basically a large truck, with the rear passenger compartment framed with lumber and the windows covered only in poultry wire.  George Baker was driving the bus, and apparently he was not at fault in the accident.  “Old” Highway 29 refers to the road that now runs by the Arkansas Division of Youth Services Wilderness Camp.  It was Highway 29 prior to the 1954 paving and straightening of that highway.

Mrs. Margie was able to give an approximate year for the accident by remembering what grade she was in when it occurred.  She also remembered that the two boys most seriously injured were Basil Henderson and Ernest Jewell Hamiter.

The diaries of Della Cochran contain the following entries:

Friday, October 13, 1933:  “…Our football boys played Stamps at night.    
S[tamps] 21, B[radley] 0.  Last game for year for Bradley.”

Saturday, October 14, 1933:  “At midnight called F[rank Cochran, Sr., who was in Shreveport that night] to tell about truck wrecking our school bus.  Basil H. and E. J. Hamiter hurt worst.  Others cut and bruised….”

And thus ended the Bradley High School football program of the 1930s.

Bradley High School Football, 1930s

Bradley indeed had a football team in the 1930s, but I don’t know the precise year that the football program of that era began, or the precise year that it ended.

Below is a photo of one of those Bradley football teams, probably in the early 1930s.  The tall young man in the back row, second from left, with his left hand on his hip is Ralph C. “Bruz” Hamner.  If any reader is able to identify any of the rest of these formidable gridiron gladiators, it would be much appreciated.

Sunday, March 14, 2004 (5) A

Shown below is an announcement of a game against Lewisville.  A date and time for the game are given, but the year is unknown.  While this may appear to be a handbill which would be posted on a utility pole, or something similar, it is actually a small card about twice the size of today’s business cards.

Saturday, January 31, 2004 (73) A

It says:

“FOOTBALL

Bradley Hi

vs.

Lewisville Hi

Wednesday, Nov. 23

Bradley Athletic Field

Come out and see the Bears drub the Red Devils in the last big game of the season.  Watch those Bears pull those Red Devil tails.

Admission 10 and 25c.  Time 3 P. M.”

– – –

The diaries of Della Cochran make mention of four home games in 1931 and 1932. On September 25, 1931, Bradley defeated Waskom, Texas, 27–0.  On October 2, 1931, Bradley defeated St. John’s, 19–0.  Who “St. John’s” was is a mystery. From the two 1931 scores, it appears that team defense was quite good that year.

On October 28, 1932, Hope defeated Bradley, 12–6.   On November 4, 1932, Stamps defeated Bradley, 26–0, and the Stamps High School Band made an appearance.  From the two 1932 scores, it appears that offense was a problem for Bradley that year.

As for the eventual fate of the 1930s-era football program, I’ve heard tales of a bus or auto accident which injured some of the players on the way back home from an away game, causing the cancellation of the remainder of the season.  I don’t know what year that happened, but apparently the program was not resumed in the following year.

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.

 

Senior Girls basketball, 1940

By far the most visited post on this site to date is the 12/17/07 post showing the 1936 Bradley Senior Girls basketball team.  There is obviously an appetite among viewers of this site for sports-related items.  So, I dug around and found a newspaper clipping depicting the 1940 Bradley Senior Girls basketball team.  Being a newspaper clipping, it is obviously quite grainy.

Girls basketball 1940

The caption is:

“Lafayette County Champions

In the above group are shown members of the Bradley (Ark.) high school senior basket-ball team, Lafayette county champions for 1940.  They are, reading from left to right:  Violet Pearson, captain, Mary O’Neal, Grace Cochran, Lorene Andrews, Plesine Barker, Estelle Barhams, Winifred Cochran, Mary Helen Starling, Mary McGill, Louise Dodson, Alice Louise Lester and Lorene Burns.”

Senior Girls basketball, 1936

Athletics have long been a prominent part of life in Bradley.  From the 1930s through the 1960s, perhaps no sport was as prominent in Bradley as was girls basketball.

Below is a picture of the 1936 Bradley Senior Girls basketball team.

071217 Senior Girls basketball, 1936, 300 pixels

Front row, left to right:  Maedran Wilson, Onie Wilson, Obie Colvin, Sis Hamner, Jessie Mae Burns, Elvis Wise, Mary Dees.  Second row, left to right:  Pauline (?) Wingfield (chaperone), Agnes Nolte, Dorothy McGee, Hazel Massey, Beatrice Wilson, Docia Morgan, W. R. Hudson (coach).

The four basketballs being held by the girls seated in the front row are labeled, from left to right, “County Champs 1934,” “District Champs 1935,” “County Champs 1936,” and County Champs 1935.”