(These seasons were actually played in the autumns
|1920 Virginia State Championship Football Team - NNHS|
Courtesy of John London
(Warwick HS - '57) of VA - 03/01/17
Thanks so much, John Darlin'!
Hi Carol -- I had a very interesting talk with
my dad (age 91) over lunch today. He and the family moved
to NN in 1940 when he got a job at the shipyard.
It seems the first NN-Hampton football game he
ever attended was the one where the famous fight broke out
that caused the suspension of the series for a few years! He thinks it was Turkey Day in 1941, just a couple
of weeks before the Pearl Harbor attack, and about a month before I was born.
He went with Mr. Gray -- owner of
Gray's Confectionary at the corner of 38th Street and Huntington Avenue),
right across the street from where I grew up. Mr Gray's son Harold was a starter in the backfield (he may have
been the QB, but Dad doesn't remember).
The game was at Hampton. Dad doesn't remember
the score or who won, but he sure remembers the fight. He
said the game was extremely rough, with lots of penalties. As soon as the final gun sounded, both teams on the
field started fighting, and the benches emptied, with the stands emptying right behind them.
He and Mr Gray walked down onto the field and
were just watching the proceedings. Some fan wearing Hampton
colors got right up in their faces demanding "Who the hell are you for?" Mr. Gray didn't say a word -- he just
decked the guy!
They stepped around his body and went a little
further where two girls had gotten into a fight. A big circle formed
around them, cheering them on.
Within about 10 minutes they heard a lot of
sirens, and a lot a cops showed up and started breaking up fights
and arresting a few people. At this point Dad and Mr. Gray figured discretion was the smart move, and they
Any readers of the newsletter -- maybe Fred
Field ('45) of CA -- who maybe attended the game? Is the date right?
Who won? Maybe some of you have relatives or friends still living who maybe attended? It would really be
interesting to hear more first-person accounts of this rich, infamous chapter in the NNHS-HHS rivalry.
- Ron Miller ('59) of NC -
WOWZERONI! What a hoot! Thanks, Ronnie - that's just hysterical!
Hello Carol, Fri. Apr. 8, 05
This in response to Ron Miller's 4-7 question to me about the 1941 NN - Hampton football game and the post-game
Ron is right! I did attend that game. The fall of 1941 was my first semester in high school. I had just turned 13 the previous
June (no eighth grade then). This was the first NNHS game I ever attended and also the only game I attended as a
"civilian" - I didnít join the band until the Feb. 1942 semester. Classmate Hall Gray and I attended that game together.
These statistics come from my Feb. 1942 Beacon Annual (thereafter named Anchor):
The star football player that Ron mentioned was Earl Gray. He is prominent in the Typhoon section of the annual.
He and Irvis Holmes were co-captains. In the team roster, Earl was jersey no. 54, 195 pounds and played guard.
He is also shown in the starting lineup photo as Right Guard.
The record of performance for the Fall '41 season is given:
NN 47 - Craddock 0
NN 0 - Bullis Prep. 12
NN 0 - Danville 18
NN 52 - Gray High 0
NN 0 - Maury 15
NN 0 - Wilson 26
NN 0 - John Marshall 19
NN 0 - Petersburg 7
NN 0 - Granby 33
NN 6 - Hampton 6
Not a good season for the Typhoon with only two games won out of ten, and even those victories against
small-school teams. And those seven zip finals hurt too. And hardly a great beginning for the brand new
Head Football Coach, Harry "the horse" Harmon.
One could imagine the frustration on Thanksgiving day, when the only chance for redemption was to Crush the
Crabbers - and then to have the whole contest collapse into a tie. Add to that some feelings on both sides that
one or another referee ruling was unfair. The climate was ripe for a serious display of unrest.
I honestly don't remember any after-game strife. Probably because I scooted out of the stadium quickly.
My father had warned me that there was a tradition for the visiting fans to try to tear down the home team's
goal post. Also I knew there would be a problem catching a bus with Washington Ave. swarming with post-game crowd.
One odd recollection is that on leaving the stadium we encountered a brand new 1942 Packard sedan. It was
on display, parked right up on the sidewalk by the local dealer. The crowd had to walk around it. This was the first car
I had ever seen without the usual prominent fenders, everything being blended into the smooth body. By the time
I got around to looking inside, Hall Gray was pulling on me to get moving.
For anyone interested in following up on the story, the NN Public Library has all the old Daily Press and
Times Herald issues on microfilm. The day following Thanksgiving should have the story. If the reporters were
anywhere that day they were at the game.
I do know that there were subsequent attempts to calm down the demonstrations between NNHS and
Hampton High. For one thing, the goalposts had always been flimsy wooden things because they were going
to get torn down anyway. Soon after 1941 they were replaced with steel posts, set in concrete. I have a vague
recollection of a Thanksgiving game - probably 1943 - when the Hampton fans stormed the Typhoon goal posts
and were unable to do more than shake them a little. The NN fans stayed in the stadium and cheered.
After the goal posts were no longer good targets, the demonstration efforts degenerated into sheer vandalism.
One year some Hampton fans smeared red paint all over the front of NNHS. NN fans probably did something
similar in Hampton. All this resulted in some serious meetings between officials of both schools with threats of severely
punishing any future culprits.
Earl Gray graduated in Feb. 1942. The Beacon has a good picture of him on page 19. Most of the NNHS
annuals are available in the NN Public Library Virginiana Room, Main St., Hilton.
Nostalgic best wishes, Fred
- Fred Field ('45) of CA -
OH, WOW!!! Thanks, Fred!
Joe Wingo ('65 - of NC) and I have
been talking and decided all the talk about the glorious game of basketball at
has gone on long enough. Enough of the short pants and clean white shoes. Enough of the exciting (?) low scoring games
where you fell asleep watching guys pass the ball forever......... What about the hard working, down-in-the-mud, push-and-shove, sweat-stained guys that played football and represented NNHS? What about the two-a-day practices in August where you were convinced you were going to die in a pool of sweat with Charlie Nuttycombe yelling at you? What about taping a broken finger and not telling the coach because you wanted to play? Let's talk football!
In reviewing the Anchors on hand at the house I found the following record while we, the Class of '65, were at Newport News:
1960 season 5-4-1
1961 season 5-1-4
1962 season 9-0-1
1963 season 6-3-1
1964 season 6-3-1
The teams in the Eastern District during that period were some of the toughest in Virginia high school football for many seasons. Teams like Maury, Granby, Hampton, Warwick, Norview and Wilson. No team dominated the standings but the Typhoon were always up there and consistently placed players on the all-star and all-district rosters. And it wasn't only our period, but the great teams that started the tradition for us to follow that made us proud to be Newport News football players. For all of my life I've been thankful for coaches and players that let me know you can be knocked down, but it was up to me to get back up and try again. So I'll challenge you to start a football discussion, and for all the old Typhoon players to send their comments.
- Dave Arnold ('65) of VA - 04/28/05
Thank you, Dave!
Well, Dave - I'm not going to start a football discussion - you just did! I just gather and print what y'all send me!
Of course, now this means I've have to get back to creating that Football section - and I never finished the Track and Field pages.... And lest hundreds of thousands of y'all write in to protest Dave's "dismissal" of all our championship basketball tams and players - I must tell you - he's JUST TEASING!!!! The entire Basketball program is and was beyond reproach,
and could never be classified as boring.
The point here is that NNHS was a school of championship teams and of champions - in all areas!
As I read Danny Coleman's ('63 - of NC) note in today's letter, I had a rush of memories as an 8th grader. You see, "back in the day", Coach Range would designate certain JV players that would move up to Varsity for the two week period after the JV season ended and before the Thanksgiving Day showdown with Hampton. 9th graders and up got to dress for that Turkey Day spectacular. While I was fortunate(?) enough to get to practice with the Varsity for that period, as an 8th grader I would have lost a year's eligibility if I had dressed for that one game....so, I didn't.
But, the point here is the names that Danny mentioned...you see, Downey Wray ('61) and Jim Workman ('61) would pummel me right before Bobby Boyce ('61), Gerald Schweida ('62) or Allen Hall ('61) would run over me. It was quite fun to be able to get your butt kicked twice during one play!!! Danny probably ran over me a time or two himself!!!
In all seriousness, I remember what a great bunch of guys these folks were. Seeing Danny's list just brought back some really good, albeit painful, times.
Those were the days!!! Probably learned more about life in that two weeks then any other time I can think of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hello Danny...hope you're well. Thanks for the memories.
Carol, as always, you're the best.
- Joe Wingo ('65) of NC - 08/03/06
"History of the GAME!"
|Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22, 1990|
Don't know if you have this. Just in case you don't, here it is.
- Jerry Blanchard ('62) of VA - 10/19/06 and 11/01/06
Jerry! No, I did not have it! Thanks so much!
As "Thanksgiving Day" is approaching it always brings back to me the NNHS 1959 classic game against HHS.
Jimmy Eason was playing for his father and Cowboy Range brought the Typhoons to Hampton's turf....capacity crowd -
and after Julie Conn gave his famous half time talk..we walked off the field with a 34-14 victory.
I think Steve Hochman ('60 - of VA) has the film of that game. It would be great to see that film again.
Maybe we could have a party and celebrate again that wonderful victory.
- Frank Friedland ('60) of VA - 11/08/06
The Notre Dame fight song may be the most recognizable "football" music I know.
- Albert Dorner ('66) of VA -
Thanks, Albert! You're right, of course. It's perfect!
(This section - which had been started
in October of 2004 - was finally created
on 04/09/05 after Ron Miller ('59) of NC and Fred Field ('45) of CA
submitted stories which required preservation. Thanks for the nudge, Gentlemen!)
Victory March" midi courtesy of
at the suggestion of Albert Dorner ('66) of VA - 10/21/04
Blue Football Helmet clip art courtesy of http://www.clipsahoy.com/sports/football/football8.htm - 10/21/04
Football clip art courtesy of
http://groups.msn.com/TheChttp://groups.msn.com/TheClipArtPalace/football.msnwlipArtPalace/football.msnw - 04/09/05
Football divider line clip art courtesy of http://www.bravenet.com - 08/12/04
Chin Strap courtesy of Jerry Blanchard ('62) of VA - 08/27/14
Return to the Class of 1965