Enterprise High School’s global football fans who watched the Wildcats fall to Central/Phenix City 36-27 last week could find bright spots in the loss to our perennial 7A Region 2 pain in the, er, neck.
In what was basically a one-score loss, the 2021 Cats had the best showing against the Red Devils since Enterprise’s last win in the series 17-14 in 2015.
Here’s how our recent losses looked:
The 2016 disappointment has been especially painful since it was the only blemish in the regular season; the Cats were eliminated in the second playoff round by another pest, McGill-Toolin 27-23.
McGill has dropped out of 7A and is now a 6A (still) private school, so the Cats won’t face the Yellow Jackets in the 2021 playoffs.
In the post-season there’s a distinct possibility Enterprise and Central could play a rematch but that’s down the road.
Next up for Enterprise is Florida’s 6A Ft. Walton Beach High School (est. 1969), tonight’s homecoming opponent.
Previous EHS teams, manned by guys now growing long in the tooth, went 3-0 against the FWB Vikings.
Enterprise got a 1-0 forfeit win in 1980; won 26-12 on the road in 1979; and earned a 37-20 win in ’78.
Ft. Walton opened its 2021 season beating Pensacola, 13-0; the Vikings then lost to Navarre 28-0, Crestview 36-0, Niceville 45-8 and Choctawhatchee 28-6 last week.
Ft. Walton Beach is also technically home to Choctawhatchee High (est. 1952) and Niceville High (est. 1964).
“Choctawhatchee,” according to that school’s website, is Creek Indian for “Coming Together”, which is exactly what happened Oct. 12, 1962, when the team now known as the Big Green Indians came to R.L Bates Memorial Stadium.
Legend has it Choctawhatchee school nabobs called EHS early in game week asking if we had an indoor dressing room for their superb team.
As the game developed, turns out, the Indians needed somewhere to rinse Bates Memorial grass stains off their backsides after we shellacked them, 30-0.
Players on that ’62 roster familiar to long-time EHS fans include Jerry Snead, Bubba Morris, Herbie Gannon, Neal Nichols, Jimmy Carmichael, Jim Warren, Sammy Dennis, Mickey Grimes, Roger Wilson, Mickey Lee, John Dowling, Bill Thompson, Mitch Triplett, Charlie Abernathy, Steve Rogers, Jim Pinkerton, Neal Brown, Wayne Waters, Eddie Clements, George Allen, Eddie Lammon, Mackey Bruce, Gary Dobbs, Bobby Joe Oliver and Titus Lindsey.
Deceased members of that 9-1 team that beat Dothan 20-13 but lost a heartbreaker to Opp 7-6 include Warren Rollins, Danny Watson, Haywood Riley, Felix Stinson, Tommy Crocker, Eddie Brand, Harvey Brand, Jimmy Charles Morris and Ben Henderson Jr.
Your scribe sat on the visitor’s side with the late Red Paschal the night those CHS Indians came here and enjoyed every minute of the moaning/groaning from CHS fans but liked the school’s band that performed topped out in feather headdresses.
Naturally, the EHS Wildcat Marching Band won that night’s halftime show just as the Big Blue Band does now.
In the current stage of COVID-19, there’s no guarantee any game at any level will be played this season.
Come to Wildcat Stadium tonight as Enterprise, according to Alabama High School Athletic Association’s history website, goes for the 300th home win in team history dating to 1913 …