This page features several high-quality photographs taken by legendary Chattooga County photographer T. Emmett Nunn; some memories of football and marching band from former Chattooga High School students Phil Cavin, Steve Jones, and Johnny Bass; and an essay from writer Judy Brooks, CHS Class of 1973, about those wonderful Friday afternoon pep rallies.
The team was coached by Head Coach Joe Kines (kneeling left), Jack Mayo (standing left), Tom Jones (on right, standing left), and Charles Morrow (on right, standing right). Other coaches listed in the 1971 Sequoyah yearbook included Neal Johnson and Terry Mahan.
A new band director, Mr. Barry Gilreath, joined the Chattooga High School faculty in August 1970 and was instrumental in developing the Marching Indians into a first-rate band. The band received a total of seven trophies during the marching season. At the Governor's Marching Contest in Dalton, the band received a Division II or Excellent Marching rating, according to the 1971 yearbook.
Shown above are, from left to right, Jerry Floyd, Bobby Mitchell, Butch Lanier, and Andy Williams.
Shown above are, from left to right, Donnie Moss, Rex Evans, and Andy Cash.
Shown above is 1970 starting quarterback Phil Cavin. Phil remembers Fall 1970:
Coach Kines was fun to play for because he was just so excitable, and his crazy slang. He constantly told us we were lucky as outhouse rats. Every time we messed up, he’d say “back this mess up.” At the end of practice every day, he’d give us a little speech and then he’d point toward the field house and he’d say, “to the barn.”
The first game that year was against Cherokee County, Alabama – Centre - and they were ranked number one in the state in their division. We beat them 17 to 14. The first game of the season, playing the number one team in their state, was a little bit intimidating, but we got off to a good start. I’m glad we played them early in the season.
We went to Rossville later that season. They provided us with Cokes in cups at halftime and several of us felt like they put something in our drinks. We didn’t remember anything about the second half. It was weird.
The Trion game when we beat them 48 to nothing was probably the most fun game of my high school career. Everything just went right. Trion actually won their region that year. They had a good team. Rick Camp was the quarterback that year. We played at Trion and they kicked off to us to start the game and Bobby Mitchell ran the kickoff back. We were not that much better than them, but we couldn’t do anything wrong and they just couldn’t do anything right. It was a dream game, and it just happened to be Trion.
To this day, every time I hear a band practicing in the distance or wake up on a cool, fall morning or see the leaves turning, my first thoughts go to football. It’s amazing. It’s stayed with me all my life. You get that momentary feeling that, “Man, I’m ready to play!”
A complete set of photographs showing individual football players was not available for inclusion on this page, but below are photographs of sixteen members of the 1970 Chattooga High School Indians football team.
Shown above are, left to right, Lonnie Christopher, Tommy Cox, Neal Fulton, and John Jackson.
Shown above are, left to right, Phil Lenderman, Phil Cavin, Albert Williams, and Chuck Marks.
Shown above are, left to right, Warren McDaniel, Robert McWhorter, Marc Underwood, and Johnny Eaton.
Shown above are, from left to right, Joey Stewart, Paul McDaniel, Herman Fletcher, and Greg Ledford.
Shown above are Steve Jones, Band Captain; Mr. Barry Gilreath, Band Director; and Johnny Bass, Drum Major.
Steve Jones remembers:
Since our region included Dalton, East and West Rome, etc., it seemed we were always the smaller band, but Barry Gilreath gave us a new look, great music, respectability, and pride. We were crazy about him. He had a good sense of humor, was an effective teacher, a talented musician, and seemed to actually enjoy working with us.
Having taught in schools here, I can say the aspect that stands out to me the most was our sense of identity as a bunch of school kids. It seemed when we traveled to away games, the football team, cheerleaders, band, and fans all assumed one role. Maybe we had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, but we created and presented a unified and spirited front.
The band and football team both had Thursday night practices in the stadium and we would often play football against each other before practice began. The football team eventually quit playing because we had Dewayne Yancey who had the hardest head in Chattooga County and couldn't be brought down.
I will never forget Barry taking us to the original Peach Bowl parade and game (which was snowed out), staying at a motel near Six Flags, and chaperone Coach Joe Kines walking into a room filled with percussionists playing poker and smoking, stopping dead in his tracks, turning on his heels and exiting without a word.
Johnny Bass remembers:
I started around 4th or 5th grade playing drums. In junior high school, I was in several of the halftime shows when we were still over at the old high school stadium next to Highway 27.
We were in the band in junior high school when Barry Gilreath was in the high school band. He graduated and went to Jacksonville to college and when he came back, he was talking to me and Steve and Neil (Nelson), and he said, “Now, I know you know me as Barry, but you’re going to have to start calling me Mr. Gilreath.”
He always wanted to do a different halftime show at every game so we always had to learn new songs. He was very motivated in what he wanted to do and he asked all of us who had been there for awhile to help him. He turned it around and we had a good program.
My Pep Rally Memories
By Judy Brooks
My Pep Rally Memories
By Judy Brooks
It’s early September, and my sister Marie and I are headed to school on a chilly Friday morning. We’ve spent the past few weeks memorizing locker combinations, getting used to new subjects and different teachers, and settling in for another year of high school at Chattooga High School. Marie is a senior this year, and I am beginning Fall 1970 as a sophomore. We’ve adjusted easily to our routine and are both good students, but, like high school students everywhere, we look forward to Fridays with a level of fervid anticipation known only to adolescents and those who line up for Bingo Night at the Amvets club. I am especially excited this morning, as I am on all Fridays during the football season, because the last class this afternoon will be suspended for the weekly pep rally.
Marie is driving the vintage white Oldsmobile that Daddy bought so we can take babysitting jobs and run errands for Mom. We are huddled deep into the sweaters Mom insists we take along. Although technically it’s still summertime, in the early morning hours fall makes a bald-faced liar of the calendar, and we’ve learned to wear our sweaters or sit shivering in the long line of cars waiting to hang a quick left on Lyerly Highway into the campus parking lot. A popular Youngbloods’ song pours from the cracked speakers of the old AM radio, encouraging everyone to get together and love one another, and it’s such a great song that it intensifies the mellow, Friday-morning feeling. The song ends as we pull into a parking spot and head for our respective homerooms.
Fall belongs to football, and those activities that are football-related take precedence. The players, marching band, and cheerleaders reign supreme during the early months of the new school year. Posters line the halls, banners hang in the lunchroom, and classroom doors are covered with paper decorated with the school colors and vividly painted with tomahawks and slogans. The cheerleaders wear their uniforms on Fridays and the excitement of game night heightens as the day wears on. From our classrooms, we hear the band practicing on the field, a midday reminder of the pep rally and the evening game that makes it difficult for some (particularly those of us who are easily distracted by shiny objects) to concentrate.
It’s the last class of the day, and the clock drags so slowly that it seems this session of Algebra is going to keep spinning out forever in some parallel universe, and I will be eternally stuck on the wrong side of the creek, sans boat, paddle, or hope. (I loathe this class, and, to this day, it continues to rankle that in my 30+ years of work experience, I have never found a use for Algebra – not one single time.) After a soul-numbing eternity, the bell finally rings and there is a stampede for the door worthy of any TV western as we head up and move out en masse for the stadium bleachers.
We separate into classes for the pep rally, and we of the sophomore class prepare to do our part in defending our title for the coveted “Spirit Stick” awarded weekly. The band plays, the cheerleaders shake their pompoms, and we chant along at full volume. The cheerleaders repeatedly urge everyone to raise their voices even louder with the phrase “ya’ll yell!” There is so much power being generated from the mix of teenage hormones and high spirits that we are eager to raise our voices to level 11 even without the additional encouragement. The air around us crackles with energy. We shout ourselves hoarse and are rewarded yet again with possession of the “Spirit Stick.” We depart for home and most of us, along with our families, will return in a few hours for tonight’s game.
These fond memories are a reminder that, at the age of 15, I had yet to realize that our town’s version of Friday Night Lights is one that is shared across much of America. It’s not strictly the provenance of the students and their families. It belongs to the entire community. It’s a vital weekly social event, an activity of general interest for much of the county, even for those who are not usually sports enthusiasts. Many of these folks become the most loyal and ardent supporters of Chattooga and Trion football, and they cheerfully buy ads and candy, sell concessions, donate products, provide transportation to out-of-town games, and contribute in countless other ways to the support of the football program and the band. Here’s to every single one of them and to all who participate in this year’s season.
And, the next time ya’ll go to the game, make sure we can all hear you. Ya’ll yell!
After graduating with the CHS class of 1973, Judy Brooks attended Berry College before beginning a career that encompassed a number of diverse positions, from bartender and directory assistance operator to assistant grant-writer and office manager. She has lived in Rome, Atlanta, and Paducah, KY, where she spent two years in the Information Technology program at West Kentucky College and Technical School. Judy returned to Summerville in September of 2010, and is quite content to be back among family and friends. She is currently a writer and editor, and is in the process of establishing her own Internet publishing company. She is passionate about movies, books, writing, cooking, jazz, and spending time with her family, and would be thrilled to hear from friends, classmates, and other interested members of the community. Judy can be reached at email@example.com.
Thanks to Judy Brooks for her pep rally essay, to Phil Cavin for his football memories, and to Steve Jones and Johnny Bass for the stories of their marching band days.
All photographs by T. Emmett Nunn.
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2012 Greg W. McCollum. All rights reserved.