Keep those ballots coming; race for the best is heating up

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 13, 2005


I came into the office Wednesday night, trying to cure a small bout of column-writer’s block when, whoa, where’s my desk?

Under heaps and heaps of mail, faxes and newspaper clippings a small section of the wood desktop could be seen. The phone rang, but it took 15 minutes to find it.

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The pick-the-best ballots in our quest to have you name high school football teams of the decade are coming in faster than we can count them. And we hope you keep it up.

Just looking through the stacks is an education in time for a New York boy born in 1974, and who didn’t even fly over Mississippi until his sophomore year in high school.

Looking through those ballots, though, is like taking a time machine into the past to see some of the greats who played football in Warren County.

I wish I could have seen Eddie Ray in his prime, carrying defenders down the field, or watch Glynn Griffing toss touchdown pass after touchdown pass.

I wish I was at Temple High during the run of 30 straight wins when Robert Sims was throwing for 41 touchdowns in his three seasons. I would have liked to see an opposing coach who had to stop Bobby Huell one minute, then have the guts to call a pass in William Triplett’s direction. Triplett intercepted 18 passes in one season before going on to Michigan State.

Then I would go to Carr Central, two blocks from where I live, and imagine watching a defense that had Red Fuller, Richard Price and Donnie Smartt. In 1955, those three and their teammates allowed 62 points all season.

Even writing it now gives me chill bumps, as does your response.

We have heard from family members of players on the ballot, had a mass transmission from a fax machine in the Houston area.

We’ve heard from one former player who voted for Ronnie Fowler because Fowler broke his leg during a practice scrimmage at Carr Central. It was so bad, the player on the other end of the hit had to be in a body cast for five months.

The results are being tabulated daily and we expect to receive many, many more ballots before Friday’s deadline. On Sunday and Monday, we will tackle the 1970s.

When the results are in, we will write a story highlighting the winners. The 1960s results will appear on Nov. 6 and each additional era’s team and story will appear on Sundays.

Our grand finale, the best of the best in the last 50 years, will be voted on Nov. 27 and 28. The team and story will then appear on Dec. 11, the day after the high school state championships.

So, please, keep voting.

I sure am glad I took this time as a diversion to counting ballots. Now, back to examining the selections.

The best part? There are no hanging chads.