2010-12-01 / Families & Friends

Moments and Memories of WHS

By BENNETT WELCH

1954-55 YELLOWJACKETS — In the above picture, first row fourth from the right is #10 Don ‘Lightning’ Caudill, second team All-State and first team All-EKMC. Third from the right is Buddy Fields #18, third team All-State and first team All- EKMC. Second from right is Burkey Holbrook and first man on right is Robert Meade, second team All-EKMC that year. 1954-55 YELLOWJACKETS — In the above picture, first row fourth from the right is #10 Don ‘Lightning’ Caudill, second team All-State and first team All-EKMC. Third from the right is Buddy Fields #18, third team All-State and first team All- EKMC. Second from right is Burkey Holbrook and first man on right is Robert Meade, second team All-EKMC that year. Glenn R. ‘Buddy’ Fields - Class of 1955: Four years bask etball, football, track and baseball, Wildlife Club 2,3,4; president of freshman class; football captain 4; boys’ chorus 2,3; EKMC All Conference team 3, 4.

Buddy Fields was one of the most popular football players to wear the orange and black, playing five years and lettering four. He received 16 varsity letters, which is a record for Whitesburg High School, lettering all four years in football, basketball, baseball and track. He also holds the record for collegiate touchdowns by a Whitesburg graduate: 8 at Morehead State. The second place holder is Bobby Kincer, also at Morehead State, third is Bill Stamper at Olivet and fourth is William Wright with 2 at Eastern Kentucky State University.

Buddy Fields signed with Tennessee out of high school, but found it to be too big and transferred to Morehead. Later, he was off ered free agent NFL contracts by the Baltimore Colts and St. Louis Cardinals. He spurned both, saying he was tired of football.

1954-55 Yellowjackets

The 1954-55 Yellowjackets were 8-3, EKMC runnersup. Don ‘Lightning’ Caudill was second team All-State and first team All-EKMC. Buddy Fields #18- was third team All-State and first team All-EKMC. Robert Meade was second team All-EKMC that year.

The following year, 1955, Robert Meade would be named second team All- State, the year after that Lloyd Hodge would be named first team All-State, giving Whitesburg High School four Courier-Journal All-Staters in a three-year span. The Courier-Journal picked first, second and third All-Staters in those days, a total of 33 players, some times called the “Big 33”.

Another outstanding football player from the same era of WHS gridiron history was Lloyd Hodge, class of 1957. His high school activities were: football 4 years, co-captain his senior year; All Conference halfback 3; All-State Football Grid Team 4; Basketball 4.

He was named Courier- Journal first team All-State in the 1956 season (Harry Johnson of Fleming-Neon was named Honorable Mention). Both signed with UK. Hodge earned a freshman numeral and three letters. After the 1960 season, Hodge was named third team All Southeastern Conference (33 players picked). Hodge was also named Associated Press Honorable Mention on its All American Team.

Hodge played in the Blue-Gray College All-Star Game on national television, finishing second in tackles to Auburn All American Bo Strange. After the game, Hodge signed a free agent contract with the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian football league, but failed to make the final cut.

Note: I wish to express my appreciation to a WHS graduate and former Letcher County resident, Roe Wright, who now resides in Georgia, for providing the information and pictures in this article.

In football the consensus of opinion is that Whitesburg’s defeat of a heavily favored Paintsville team was the best effort of ’54 on the gridiron in Coach Moore’s third year at W.H.S.

The Jackets in this second game of the season proved that desire and hustle can overcome experience and weight. In their opening game the Jackets looked sluggish and lacked the scrap expected of the team, but when the Paintsville game rolled around everyone felt that the locals were willing and ready.

Paintsville had a big, experienced, well-balanced ball club and many thought the Jackets were in for a shellacking but the Jackets showed the most vicious tackling for the year.

Paintsville’s first series of downs netted a loss and they punted, Whitesburg drove from their own 30 over for the first score of the game with Buddy Fields scoring to take a 6-0 lead. Paintsville, not to be outdone and on a pitchout to Oney, went 40 yards to score and the extra point made it 7-6. The Jackets came back with Burkey Holbrook sneaking over from the one and Jim Jones adding the point for a 13-7 half-time lead.

With the beginning of the second half, the skies opened up and the rain poured steadily, thus making the field somewhat slower and neither team able to muster too much offense, but the Jackets put together one sustained drive with Robert Meade scoring to give the Jackets a 19-7 win.

It was a clear-cut team victory, featuring vicious tackling, hard running, sharp blocking. Defensive standouts were Caudill, Enlow, Long, Barnes, Frazier, Ogelvie, Richardson and Cupps, while Fields, Jones, Holbrook, Meade, Hodge and Sparks handled the offensive running well.

Breathitt hospitality: After the Whitesburg-Breathitt County ball game, Mr. Tolliver invited us to a delicious reciprocating dinner, sponsored by Breathitt County Athletic Association. The menu consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, congealed salad, milk, cherry pie a la mode. Those enjoying the delicious meal and hospitality were members of the B.H.S. and W.H.S. teams, coaches, cheerleaders, Mr. and Mrs. Tolliver, Mrs. Marie Turner, Supt. of Breathitt County, Arlayne Collins, Mrs. Combs and Jan.

(The above articles from the Feb. 1954-55 Black Kat.)

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