Hood County News Centennial Edition – Sept. 23, 1971

They were playing football before I started to high school, Sam Grissom said, but he had no idea when the first football was played here.

Grissom, who captained the team in 1919, his senior year, said the school did not provide a coach or any facilities. There was a professor that went along when we played, but he was not a coach, Grissom recalled.

He could not recall when the game started here. They were playing before he started playing in the seventh grade and he graduated in the Spring of 1920, so it was going long before World War I.

Lewis Hudson, Grissom recalled, was playing when Grissom started, then he came back and coached some, but he was not employed by the school.

“The school did not do much.”

We had no field or bleachers, we just went out and put up some goal post in a field, marked it off and started playing.

“One time we played in the field on the R. E. Doyle place that was located on the spot where the new shopping center is going on 144. It has been plowed and was full of big, hard clods.”

Because there were not many boys in school, and it took everyone for a team, so Grissom said, he also played basketball and baseball, but didn’t do much good. Football was his game.

We thought we had a pretty good team. We played Weatherford, Cleburne, John Tarleton’s B-team and everyone around. We didn’t win all our games, but several of them, he recalled.

Grissom was in school before the red brick school was constructed. The old school had outdoor toilets and the players built themselves a shower out by the school watertank.

When we got in that new school in 1918 and it had indoor toilets, we thought we were really something, he recalled.

Grissom remembered that the new school had electric footlights on the auditorium stage and the kids used to stick their fingers in the sockets to see if the electricity was in there.

Basketball was played outside also. There were goals and the court was marked in lime on the dirt.

There were no facilities for the fans, the people that wanted to watch any of the games, football, baseball, or basketball, they would drive up in their cars and watch from the sidelines.

The game continued until 1925 when Harley Cherry remembers that the team got its name, Pirates. Cecil Butler was the coach that year. He is now a veterinarian in Denton.

Apparently the new name and colors sparked the team for in 1926 it won six of nine games and in 1927 the Pirates rolled to an impressive record of 10 wins and two losses.

They beat such teams as Stephenville, Waxahachie, Stripling High of Fort Worth, the Class B city champions, and beat Grapevine 89-0, Thorp Spring Christian College 88-0 and Walnut Spring High School 118-0 during the year.

The team lost to DeLeon High School and the North Texas Agriculture College. They beat the Tarleton College Reserves.

Members of the team were:

Truman Abbott

Newton J. Nutt

Clarence Jamison

Lynn Martin

Lawrence Jamison

Emmitt Powell

Martin White

Joseph Carmichael

Byron Crook

James Hensell

Fred Miller

Garland (Pig) Williams

Howard Sargent

J. D. Williams

F. W. Hudson

Thurman Searcy

Rex Beach Cherry

Harley Cherry

A Waxahachie paper said the team was large enough to be college players.

The Pirates became football powers again in the late 1950’s and throughout the mid-60’s. In 1958 there was a district title and again in 1965. In 1966, the Pirates went all the way to the state finals before losing to a big Sweeney team.

The Pirates came back in 1967 to take the bi-district title.

From 1954 to 1957 the school won baseball district titles and took regional in 1955. There were also district basketball titles in 1952, 55, 60, 67 and 68.

Girls basketball has been strong here for many years. There have been many district titles and in 1954 they were state finalist in class A. They repeated as finalists in 1955. They continued to win and in 1965 were runners up at regional for class AA. They took another district title in 1968.

We could find no records or district trophies to show any titles won during the 1930’s or 1940’s.