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Unforgettable memories of Coffee Springs

Unforgettable memories of Coffee Springs

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Veteran readers may remember part of today’s offering, about November 21 being unforgettable, especially the one in 1963.

On that Thursday 58 years ago, Enterprise High School’s Wildcat Marching Band provided entertainment when Coffee Springs High School’s Golden Bears hosted Zion Chapel High School’s Rebels in a football game won by CSHS, 7-6.

Back then, CSHS didn’t have a band, and by playing home games on Thursdays was able to borrow bands to perform in Wallace Newsom Stadium at halftime.

Zion Chapel (1-8-1), in its second year fielding a football team, was coached by Kenneth Shaw, who’d replaced Jay Byrd Donaldson. The ZCHS head coaches’ list includes Tom Moates, David Collins, Bubba Nall and current coach Randy Bryant.

Coffee Springs (3-7) was coached by Wilmer Pelham, on the head coaching list including Thad Morgan, Wayne Purvis, J.C. Gillis, Curtis Davis, Mike Robinson, Jay Mikel and Julius Head.

Numbers weren’t all football was about in Coffee Springs’ stadium, an arena your scribe joyously visited during the final dozen years before the school burned and was subsequently closed.

If there’s ever been a more memorable stadium, it’s unknown in the House of Adams.

Newsom Stadium was nestled behind the school in a curious spot.

Beyond the west end zone stood a house with a backyard swimming pool that’s owner detested flying footballs alighting on his property; supposedly, he kept ’em.

A large net installed behind the goal post was quickly proven to be too short to keep pigskins safe/dry.


So extra points/field goals were kicked at the stadium’s other end, a situation not favored by visiting teams’ student managers who fielded kicks across a boundary fence … in the graveyard.

It’s true.

Also true, watching 1A football games now, as then, is far different from watching 7A games Enterprise’s Wildcats play.

Naturally, most members of 1A teams who play, play the whole game, rarely leaving the field.

One night, your scribe and Charlie Abernathy were on hand when Louisville’s Red Devils (1922-99) came to Coffee Springs with 12 players in uniform.

All Louisville’s guys but one played.

Likely because of his size.

Poor thing.

He was at least 6-8, 380 pounds.

Never have seen a bigger high school player dressed out, even 2020’s two 400-pounders Central/Phenix City fielded weren’t that all-over HUGE.

Another night, when the Alabama School for the Deaf Silent Warriors came to play the Bears, we learned something.

With them, the Warriors brought a humongous bass drum used for calling their signals; we could easily feel vibrations standing on the sidelines and noted the Warriors weren’t called for even one false start.

Every game was special in the Springs, where homecomings were true celebrations, featuring parades, queens and covered dish meals, starring bona fide home-cooked food before games; the Bears gathered more as a family than as alumni and fans.

Sorta like Thanksgiving.



Next week is important in America.

Tomorrow, we reflect on Pres. John F. Kennedy’s Nov. 22, 1963, assassination, hopeful classified documents still being withheld will finally, as called for by law, be released by the White House.


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