College football playoff will feature our own

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016

With the college football playoffs only a few days away, Atmore and area residents will keep their eyes peeled to the Clemson Tigers.

Atmore native Woodrow McCorvey Jr. is on the staff of that team and offers valuable input and coaching expertise.

McCorvey was Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s position coach during his playing days at Alabama.

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The son of Woodrow Sr., the highly-regarded coach and administrator, has served in this and similar capacities for many years following an outstanding gridiron success at Escambia County Training School.

Prior to landing at Clemson, he coached and served on the staff of several Southeastern Conference colleges, including Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi State.

Prior to college work, he and local coach Floyd Adams worked together in high school coaching circles.

It will be interesting observing his input in that big game involving Clemson and Ohio State University. I am sure that his affiliation is one of the reasons the Tigers are a slight favorite to win that game.

Speaking of playoff games, the Crimson Tide is an overwhelming favorite to defeat the Washington Huskies in their match up. Odds have not been established for the two final playoff contenders, but you can bet the Tide will be the Vegas top choice.

Get your TV remotes in good working order because you will need to switch back and forth to all those televised games beginning this week.

This “heat wave” we had down south at Christmas time had all of us in a frenzy as we ate our holiday meal. With ceiling fans and air conditioners on full speed, Dish Network and Direct TV Network was beaming a beautiful burning log in a fireplace in a cozy den. A frisky kitten and small dog darted in and around the den slapping at colorful bells and ornaments dangling from a carefully decorated Christmas tree.

These two networks could have served us best down south by showing us swinging, swaying palms from the south sea islands. But no one is complaining. I will take that warm weather any day in place of snow and heavy rain.

Well, now, let’s take a look at some news from the year 1966.

Construction on two stately buildings concluded followed by dedication ceremonies.

The 51-bed GreenLawn Hospital dedication featured Alabama Sen. John Sparkman as guest speaker. At that same time, the new Atmore City Hall opened its doors for business. Oris Davis was mayor of Atmore at that time. The city councilmen were J.B. Swift, Tom Byrne, W J Bartell, Howard Patterson and Carey Powell.

Several locals made news headlines in the summer that year. Thomas Miller, Ernest Ward High baseball standout received a full scholarship from Mississippi State University.

You may remember my column several years ago about his baseball feat up in North Carolina? Our local Babe Ruth team was playing in a Southeastern District tournament at Western Carolina University against a team from another state. In that game, Thomas drove a low inside pitch over the outfield fence and the ball landed on a flat car of a passing freight train. That feat brought our fans to their feet but after he circled the bases and crossed home plate the umpire called him out for “missing first base”. Not only did Otis Miller, his father, scramble out of the stands, but my “sidekick” Alfred Brown picked up his guitar and started playing and singing “Blues Stay From Me,” referring to the umpire who is commonly called “Blue.” Alfred was seated beside me on top of his Monsanto Bus while I broadcast the game back to Atmore on WATM. I thought that umpire would throw both of us out of the park.

Other locals claiming honors that year were Bobby Livingston, Pricilla Vickery, Linda Lumpkin, Linda Helton, Dr, James Lewis Merriwether, and Dr. F. Julian Freeman.

Bobby, former outstanding ECHS athlete and son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Weaver, was named “Mr. Jeff Davis College.” Pricilla, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew (Buddy) Vickery, graduated with honors from Huntingdon College, and Linda Helton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pete Helton, was crowned “Miss Atmore Little League.”

Dr. Merriwether, who was pastor of Judson Baptist Church, received his theological degree from Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans.

Linda Lumpkin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lumpkin and who was the ECHS valedictorian, was awarded an academic scholarship to Judson College. Dr. Freeman, who was a former resident and son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Freeman, received a degree from Mayo Minnesota. He was also a 1961 graduate of the University of Alabama.

Next week, we will take another look at news from the past.

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