Football teams getting ready

Published 12:12 pm Friday, September 1, 2017

Looking Back

Clyde Parker

Sept. 1, 1967

The Southampton High School Indians football team of 1967 should be more aggressive and quicker than last year, according to Coach Wayne Cosby. He welcomed 28 players to pre-season practice last week. He had to find replacements for established standouts Scott Hill, who went to Elon on a basketball scholarship; Doug Simms, a defensive halfback; Chris Hill, who is bound for Duke University this year; and lineman Mickey Little. These players helped lead the Indians to a 6-4 season record last year.

This year, the quarterback slot is a tossup between Glenn Rawlings, who saw limited action last year at halfback after recovering from an early season injury, and Danny Withers, who was a second stringer behind Scott Hill last year. Withers is a better passer of the two, but Rawlings is a better runner. Rawlings may also see action as tailback.

Power-running John Marks and Joe McClenny will again battle for the starting fullback positions. Both are seniors this year and should still be battling when the bell rings on Sept. 8.

Two juniors will hold down halfback positions. Dennis Harrell will take one post, while Tom Ussery will hold down the other, which is officially called tailback in the strong “I” formation set-up.

The end positions will be manned by experienced and athletic Bucky Taylor and Garry Williams. Both were starters last year. Taylor will play left end, while Williams will play right end.

The right side of the interior line is set with veterans Scooter Burgess, right tackle, and Sammy Johnson, right guard. Burgess broke an arm last year after only two games. He is a sophomore.

At center is standout Bob Williams, a senior.

Left side of the line has two veterans each being pushed by a an eager underclassman. At left guard is Vance Kitchen, a senior, and is rivaled by James Kello, a junior. Kitchen is the bigger of the two. At left tackle, Mike Griffin is being challenged by Ronnie Burgess who is up from the JV team.

On defense, the line will be anchored by middle guard Henry Pittman, a senior. Blunt Sharpe, a junior, will play defensive end.

Many of the offensive linemen will go both ways. In addition, two linemen, up from the JV team, Dennis Overby and Jerry Halsey, each will be given a shot at a spot on the defensive line.

The standout lineback is Joe McClenny, who is also a fullback. After that, linebacking is spotty.

In the secondary, Jim Roberts and Doug Futrell are specialists. Both are light, but fast.

The Indian kicking team is well fortified with end Bucky Taylor handling the kickoff and place-kicking chores. Dennis Harrell and Ronnie Burgess are battling to see who will punt this year.

The Indians will launch a 10-game schedule on Sept. 8 when they take on Emporia at home.

Coach Cosby summed up his team for 1967 as having a lot better aggressiveness while being quicker than last year.

He added, “We may be a little heavier.”


Neither rain nor mud have stopped the Franklin High School Broncos on the practice field as the time is drawing near for the beginning of the 1967 football season opener with the Suffolk High School Red Raiders.

The Broncos are larger in numbers but smaller in size than in the past two seasons. Coach Doug Swains’ biggest problem is finding replacements for Dickie Surace, Tony Surace, Allan Morris and Frankie Whitehead.

The tackle position left vacant by the graduation of Whitehead will more than likely be filled by Shelton Little, 180-pound junior who hasn’t seen action since playing in the JV team.

Beaver Kannon and Raymond West are both pushing hard for a starting position at tackle. Kannon, at 212 pounds, is the largest player on the Bronco squad, and could be valuable to the team on both defense and offense.

The quarterback position is still up for grabs with talented Johnny Rabil, Welton Deshield and Frank Rabil at candidates. Johnny Rabil missed last practice with a hip and knee injury. Deshield, who alternated in the quarterback slot last season with Frank Rabil, will likely alternate in the halfback position this season.

Frank Rabil, a very versatile player, will again see action as a defensive specialist and is working out on the offensive end position. Last season, Rabil intercepted 10 passes. He led the Bronco defense. Tommy Johnson will again be in one of the end positions.

Big guns in the Bronco line will be Carter Whitley and Carter Hudgins. Both were starters last season.

Tate Cotton, who ran from the fullback slot last season, is looking good at end and could be big help defensively and offensively.


CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is