2017-11-15 / Letters



Congratulation to this year’s JCHS Eagles. What a fantastic year you have had. Everyone in Jenkins County, your parents, your teachers, your friends, and even us old alums are very proud of you for your great year and for hosting a state playoff game. And, you won!! What a fantastic and exciting time for everyone associated with Jenkins County.

Now, I also know you have a daunting task. The good news is you won: the bad news is you have to face ECI again, and they are higher ranked and you lost to them earlier this year. But do not be discouraged, you can prevail.

Just remember the Eagle team of 1960. They had a good year and won the subregion, but were un-ranked all year. Nobody gave the Eagles a chance in the playoffs. After all, they had lost three of the four who started in the backfield when the season began, included the quarterback. Walter Landing played at one halfback position, Graybill Daniel at quarterback, and Joe and Larry Evans, one at halfback and the other at fullback, completed the backfield. When Larry Evans went down with a knee injury, Rufus “Bubba” Small, a freshman, replaced him at fullback. A few weeks later Joe Evans left for personal reasons and Danny Toole, a junior, replaced him at right halfback. Then Daniel was injured and Toole had to move to quarterback and Ivey McMillan, a sophomore, became the right halfback. So the Eagles entered the state playoffs with a freshman fullback, a sophomore halfback, a junior quarterback, and one senior in the backfield.

They had to play Vidalia for the region championship. The Indians were ranked 6th in the state. The Eagles traveled to Vidalia and upset the heavy favorite 14 to 6. Region Champs! Next came the number one ranked team in the state, Patterson. For whatever reason, under the playoff rules at the time, Patterson had to travel to Millen, and the game was played on the same field on which you won Friday night . (Friday night was not the first time JCHS hosted a state playoff game.) The valiant Eagles played with sheer heart and determination, and when the final whistle blew the game was tied, 13 to 13. In 1960 there was a three point tiebreaker. One point for most yards gained, one for most first downs, and one for deepest penetration without scoring. The teams split the yards gained and first downs, and the Eagles won on penetration, 15 to 14!! The “unlikeliest” of teams had become South Georgia Champs!!

Their coach, Larry Calhoun, became “Coach of the Year” for taking his battered and unranked team all the way to the state championship game, coming away as first runner up for the state championship. Walter Landing and Sonny Bell were named All State. There were many other athletes who rose to the challenge, including Jimmy Nick Lewis, Jimmy Acton, Carlton Fulford, Tommy Williams, Mike Hickman, Jack Clayton, Walter Degenhardt, Odell Williams, and David Morgan.

So, carry on great Eagle team of 2017. Believe in yourselves, fight hard, and bring home another victory. We are all pulling for you!!

Bobby Reeves, Class of62.

Return to top