A History of Trion Football
If you have never visited the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website, I encourage any football fan to visit www.ghsfha.com. It gives every Georgia High School football team’s record by year, record by opponent, games by year, and games by opponent. You can enter the school’s name or search by coaches. It is a known fact that Marcus Blalock has contributed a lot to this website, and I am sure others from Trion. In years past, the late T. Emmett Nunn kept wonderful stats and information on the Bulldogs. Currently, Nolan Crisp, Johnny Brimer, LaVern Crisp, Mike Bowers, and Brad Hayes continue to keep stats and information on the Bulldogs.
Superintendent Charles E. Bell hired the first football coach for the Trion Bulldogs in 1933. Coach A.G. “Whitey” Urban spent five seasons (1933-1937) with Trion, and finished with a 29-21-2 record. In the next seven seasons, the Bulldogs had five different coaches. Coach F.H. “Pete” Boney was the head coach following Coach Urban for three seasons (1938-1940). He finished with a 22-9-2 record. Coach Boney was followed by Coach Roger Frank (1941), Coach H.S. Buntin (1942), Coach C.T. Wright (1944), and Coach Sterling Bargeron (1945).
The 1940 Bulldogs lost 14-12 to Hartwell in the playoffs. Coach Frank and the 1941 Bulldogs finished with a 6-3 record. The 1942 Bulldogs defeated Hartwell 33-19 and won the North Georgia Championship. It is possible that Griffin won the South Georgia Championship, but the state championship game was not played in 1942 due to weather and gas rationing with World War II. The co-state champions finished with a 9-1 record. The Bulldogs did not have a 1943 football season because of World War II. Football returned to Trion in 1944, and Coach C.T. Wright finished with a 6-2 record. In 1945, Coach Sterling Bargeron finished with a 1-7 record, only the second time in Trion football history to only win one game in the season. The first one-game season was with Coach Urban in 1935 (1-8-1).
After 21 years as the Superintendent of Trion Schools, Professor Charles E. Bell retired after the 1945 school year. Mr. A.E. Harrington, who had served as Trion High School principal for the 1944-1945 school year, was named Superintendent following Professor Bell in 1945. Superintendent Harrington and THS Principal W.W. Fanning hired William “Bill” Brandon as the new football coach in 1946. Coach Brandon stayed for four seasons, and finished with a 22-17-1 record.
Mr. Alonzo James “A.J.” Strickland, Jr. became Superintendent of Trion Schools in 1948. He served in that capacity for 27 years (1948-1975), serving longer than Professor Charles E. Bell’s 21-year service. During Mr. Strickland’s tenure, he hired the following principals at Trion High School: W. Buford Smith (1952), Raymond H. Miller (1953-1964), and Sam R. McCain (1964-1975). Miss Ethel Simmons, who had served 30 years (1934-1964) as TES Principal, retired in 1964. Mr. Strickland transferred THS Principal R.H. Miller to the elementary school to replace Miss Ethel.
Coach Sam R. McCain moved to Trion in 1950. He coached the Bulldogs for 12 seasons (1950-1962), and compiled an impressive 154-40-3 record. The 1957 Bulldogs won the Class B State Championship, and the GHSA named Coach McCain “Coach of the Year.” In Coach McCain’s last year, Assistant Coaches Gordon Jones and Billy Joe “Jug” Hayes filled in during Coach McCain’s health related absence.
Coach Gordon Jones was the head football coach for three seasons (1962-1964), and finished with an 18-14 record. Coach Bobby Chappell was named head football coach in 1965. He coached the Bulldogs for four seasons (1965-1968), and finished with a 31-9-1 record. In just four seasons, Coach Chappell had one of Trion’s best winning percentages by year.
The Bulldogs’ next football coach became a legend in Trion. Coach Clarence Blevins coached the Bulldogs for 7 seasons (1969-1975). The Bulldogs won the Class B State Championship in 1974. Coach Blevins had a 55-17-3 record.
Superintendent A.J. Strickland retired in 1975, and Mr. Bill Kinzy replaced him at the beginning of the 1975-1976 school year. Sam R. McCain had just finished 11 years as the principal of Trion High School. David Price was named the new THS principal, and Coach Clarence Blevins ended his football coaching career at the end of the 1975-1976 school year. The following year, Clarence Blevins was named THS Principal, and Coach Thomas “Tom” Dyke coached the Bulldogs in 1976. Coach Dyke had a 5-5 season. Mr. Kinzy and Mr. Blevins hired Coach Tab Gable in 1977. Coach Gable was the Bulldogs’ head coach from 1977-1981, and finished with a 37-15-3 record. Upon Coach Gable's departure, Assistant Coach Jimmy Rosato took the helm in 1982 and finished 5-5-1.
In 1983, an assistant coach under Coach Gable returned to coach the Bulldogs. His name was Coach John Camp. Coach Camp stayed two seasons, and finished with a 9-10-2 record. Coach Tommy Sosebee followed Coach Camp, and had a 15-15-1 record in three seasons. In 1988, Coach Tab Gable made a return to Trion. His second tenure was from 1988 to 1998. He finished with a 71-49-1 record. His combined record at Trion was 108-64-4.
The late 1990s bought several changes within the Trion School system. Superintendent Bill Kinzy retired in 1997 after 22 years. The following year, THS Principal Clarence Blevins stepped aside after 22 years. The following year, Coach Tab Gable resigned as head football coach. Don Elam replaced Bill Kinzy as Superintendent. Ben Desper replaced Clarence Blevins as THS Principal, and Bobby Joe Johnson replaced Tab Gable as the Bulldogs’ head football coach. Superintendent Don Elam stayed three years, and Dr. Ben Desper served three years as THS Principal and three years as Trion City School Superintendent.
Coach Bobby Joe Johnson finished 20-14 in his three seasons. Coach Mark Loudermilk followed Coach Johnson, and he had an impressive 30-17 record. The 2003 Bulldogs made history with a playoff appearance in the Georgia Dome, but fell at the hands of Coach Larry Campbell and Lincoln County.
The late Coach Tom Bryant coached the Bulldogs for two seasons (2006-2007), and compiled a 6-16 record. Coach David Humphreys followed in 2008 and finished with a 17-25 record in for seasons.
Dr. Phil Williams served as THS Principal for eight years (2001-2009), and became the school superintendent in 2009. His predecessor was Richard Lindsay (2004-2005 and 2007-2009) and Susan Remillard (2005-2007). In 2012, Superintendent Phil Williams and THS Principal Bryan Edge hired Coach Justin Brown as the new head football coach for the Bulldogs. Coach Justin Brown was the first Trion graduate to assume the role of head football coach. Coach Brown has a 14-8 record in his first two seasons. This fall, Coach Brown will begin his third season as the 2014 Bulldogs take Clarence Blevins Field under the lights of Sam R. McCain Stadium. Go Dogs!
The 1939 Trion Bulldogs football team. Head Coach Pete Boney stands on the left. Boney was head coach for the Bulldogs from 1938 to 1940. Previously, Boney coached the 1936 Summerville Indians football team.
The 1939 Trion Bulldogs with Coach Pete Boney on the right. Names written at the bottom of this cropped photo include Neal, Willis, Ragland, Greenwood, Young, Swindle, Hollis, Jones, Shivers, Logan, Giles, Junkind (sp?), Nunn, Ledford, Worsham, Thompson, Coley, Hill, Drummond, Lanier, Colbert, Sams, Shivers, Bryant, Ellington, Bandy, Ragland, Thompson, Love, Mitchell, and Crawford.
1940 football team. Prof. Bell on left; Coach Pete Boney on right. Some of the players include "Sloppy" Floyd (12), Harley Bandy (17), Emmett Nunn (35), Jess Drummond (24), Motten Sams (14), Charles Logan (34), Stanley Greenwood (38), Lodge Hollis (39), and C.F. Jones (29).
Date unknown. Tanner, McCain, and Golden were coaches.
The 1956 Bulldogs with Head Coach Sam McCain (right) and Assistant Coach Gordon Jones (left).
In front holding the football is Kenneth Rackley. In the middle row are Eugene Colbert and Jerry Hayes. The back row shows Ralph Tripp, Tracy Campbell, and R.A. Huston. Spring 1959.
Spring training in 1963.
A 1963 spring training photo shows (from left to right) Johnny Collette, Larry Campbell, Pete Pettyjohn, Wayne Parker, Roy Bowers, and Ronald Day.
Co-captains Marshall Dooley and Gary Brewster are shown, circa 1962.
A holiday photo, circa mid-1960s. The students included, from left to right (front row) Gary Abernathy, Ben Baker, Scott Thomas, Johnny Suits, George Lamb, Jimmy Collette, Joe Bennett, and Raymond Giles; (back row) Ed Maffett, Gary Colbert, Susan Cavin, Randall Roberts, Wallace Clark, Roy Campbell, Dennis Durham, Beth Freeman, Roland Bowers, Mike Camp, Cissy Erwin, Johnny Bowers, and Melvin Dooley.
Best friends Bo Rider and Earl Gray kept the scoreboard updated.
Shown in this Homecoming 1966 photograph are Thurman and Mary Nell Hendrix Day, Carl Searles, and Mike and Lola Mitchell, among others.
Coaches Bobby Chappell and Clarence Blevins in front of the Trion team bus. Chappell coached from 1965 to 1968. Blevins coached from 1969 to 1975.
1967 Trion Bulldogs.
Last but not least is our Trion historian, Brad Hayes. "During my four years of football at Trion High School, I played for Head Coach Jimmy Rosato in 1982, the 1983 and 1984 season for Head Coach John Camp, and senior season (1985) for Head Coach Tommy Sosebee. My three years of baseball was with the late Coach J.W. Greenwood. My sophomore year I played on the defending state champion baseball team at Trion High School. The late Rick Camp puchased new baseball uniforms for our team in 1984, following the state baseball championship. I graduated in 1986."
Thanks to Brad Hayes for the history of Trion Football. All photographs except the last were by T. Emmett Nunn. Courtesy of Chattooga County Library.