Jimmy Styles
1957 Trion High School Bulldogs
State Class B Football Champions

Jimmy Styles was born in Trion and graduated from Trion High School in 1958. He was a 175-pound left guard and middle linebacker on the 1957 Class B State Championship football team. Here in his own words is the story of that championship season:

jimmy styles
1956 Football Portrait.

My parents are James D. (Frosty) Styles and Esther Cline Styles. Dad worked at the Trion Company Cotton Mill. Mom was a stay-at-home mother raising my sister Sherry, me, and younger sister Phyllis. Dad was born and raised in Tennessee; Mom was born in Rome, Georgia.

I played baseball in grammar school and also track. In the 8th grade I played on the B football team. Freshman through senior year, I played on the varsity football team, and caught on the baseball team. I played some on the basketball team in tenth and eleventh grade, but I concentrated on baseball most of the time and basketball interfered with that. I always enjoyed baseball more than football.

In 1955, most of us starting on the football team were sophomores. There were some junior’s, and I think Dwight Arden was the only senior in the starting lineup. This was a learning year because so many of us were green.

The 1955 Bulldogs included players, from left to right, Gaylon Rush, Don Plunkett, Richard Watson, Bobby Lively, Jimmy Styles, Kenneth Arden, and Dwight Arden. This photograph of the players posing in front of the Trion apartments was reproduced in the 1956 Trion yearbook.

1956 team
The 1956 Trion High School Bulldogs, one year before winning the state championship.

In 1956, we all returned and knew the game and our plays better. We won the Region championship, first playoff game, but lost to Morgan County for the North Georgia championship.

fun times
The Trion football team and fans were treated to a steak and trimmings at the Trion golf course by the 50 Yard Club. The man on the left, Mack Arden Jr., was the club's supervising cook. Darriel Broome is fourth from left. On the right is Trion Police Chief Cooper. Next to him is Jimmy Styles. Ken Day is sitting at the table ready to chow down.

By 1957, most of us had played together for two or three years. This team was disciplined and well-schooled in the fundamentals by Coaches McCain and Jones. Starting the year, I don’t think any of us had the goal of winning the State Championship. We played each game and tried to win, and we eventually won 13 straight games.

nell and jimmy
Nell Worsham and Jimmy Styles at the 1957 homecoming game.

The championship game in Quitman, Georgia was a long trip, about seven hours if my memory serves me correctly. Trion scored first and Richie Watson kicked his first of three extra points that night. We were never behind in the score. The final score 21 Trion, 18 Quitman. The three extra points were the deciding factor in the game.

After the game, one of the Trion backers came to our bus before we left and passed cigars to anyone wanting to try their hand at cigars. I was one of the dumb ones who tried it. I think Gary Daniels and Brad Watson also tried to smoke one.

This was Trion’s 25th year of football and the first state-recognized championship. Previously, other teams had won the region. There were no playoff games for state champs. On many road games, the schools we visited told Mr. Strickland, the Superintendent of Trion Schools, that his team acted like gentlemen, and they always welcomed us back.

three players
A cropped version of this photograph appeared in the Trion Facts in 1958 with the following caption:

"ACCEPT MOCCASIN GRANTS - Three members of Trion High's state Class B football champions have accepted grants-in-aid scholarships to the University of Chattanooga. They are, left to right, Co-Captain Jimmy Styles, 175-pound guard; Co-Captain Ken Arden, 195-pound tackle; and Ken Day, 180-pound halfback. Bradley Watson, 168-pound halfback, has not signed, but is expected to attend U. of C."

Coach Sam McCain was a mild-mannered man. Thorough, disciplined, and he treated every one of us the same. He never used foul language or put anyone down, and he always encouraged us to be the best we could. Coach Gordon Jones was much the same, but he could get fired up and give pre-game pep talks to the lineman. He, too, was a gentleman.

I am retired and live in Johns Creek, Georgia. My wife of 49 years, Micki, passed away in May 2012. We raised three children: Jay, Hunter and Paige. I have four grandchildren: Jackie and Jake, children of Jay; Connor and Reese, children of Hunter.

To all my teammates and cheerleaders, I want each of you to know that Trion High School will always have a place in my heart, as do each of you.

Jimmy Styles, Class of 1958.


Thanks to Jim Styles for the photographs and his firsthand account of Trion's 1957 championship.

Copyright 2013 Greg W. McCollum.  All rights reserved.