When we were seniors and our football team had lost Royce and Donald and all of
those good players from the 1956 team. Eddie, Bo and I were the only ones left from
all of the others that would have been in our class.(In elementary school we had:
Bobrow Gunnels, Jax Baird, Fred Jenkins and several more) Kenneth Carter was
drafted to play, but he had to learn a new rule every time the lined up because they
didn't play football in Cross Roads, where he had been a basketball player.. The
Athens sports reporter (Bill Speake) interviewed Coach Loggins, asking what he
thought about the upcoming football season. When the answer hit the news that
morning we read his answer, " I'll sure be glad when basketball season gets here!!"
Now reflecting back, after doing some coaching in high school myself, I can
understand his answer, but at the time our team was furious. Hoss Cope talked us
into a cute scenario that proved to get us in trouble with Coach Loggins. Hoss
suggested that every time we got a chance we should "dribble" the football. So, that
day as we lined up to run out for passes, we would grab the football with one hand
and dribble it. Coach Loggins soon took the wind out of our sails when we had to run
wind sprints for about 30 minutes. No more dribbles. That week we had our first
game of the season scheduled and Mabank was a heavy favorite. We were
determined to beat Mabank and prove Coach wrong. (By the way Coach Farmer
also helped punish us for our indiscretions). Coach Loggins and Coach Farmer
devised a plan that had Eddie at fullback and Bo Johnson at halfback. The day after
the game the headlines in the Athens paper read,
"NOKES NO JOKE!!" That night
Eddie threw a touchdown pass to Bo and kicked about a 50 yard quick kick, along
with rushing for good yardage. We won
13-12 and it was a miracle. This was the last
time Eddie ever played fullback or in the backfield. I suppose Coach saw that Eddie
weighing 175 running behind me a hefty 125(stretching it) was not going to get it.
We finished the season 4-6 and by today's standards we would have placed 3rd.
Good enough for a playoff spot.
NOKES NO JOKE
by Don Henderson
Counter
NOTE: *****THIS WAS WRITTEN SEVERAL YEARS AGO.
FOR YEARS I LOOKED FOR THE ATHENS REVIEW ARTICLE:
NOKES NO JOKE AND COULD NOT FIND IT. NOW IT HAS BEEN
LOCATED, THUS AN ADDED STORY.