Er Fp TE Ce a a a I EN TI | | Ta a ee SE A GP A I Gp A A Ar TA ae - ‘64 Team Planned To Win By GARY STEWART Managing Editor A football team which is strong at the skilled positions and has in- telligent players who are close-knit and play as a team is hard to beat. And that’s why Steve Baker feels the 1964 Kings Mountain High team-which was KM’s last championship team-was so good. The 64 Mountaineers won all 10 regular season games to win the Southwestern 3-A Conference title before being upset 6-0 by a strong Hickory team in the Western Association bi-conference championship game. The team followed on the heels of a 1963 team which finished 9-0-1 overall and shared the SWC crown with Shelby. That string of 23 straight games without a loss (tracing back to the final three games of the 1962 season) is a record that has stood for over 20 years. The ‘64 team was loaded with individual stars such as quarterbacks Pat Murphy and Richard Gold, running backs Baker, Ronnie Rhea and Pat Hord, and linemen Hubert McGinnis, Jim Cloninger, Lyn Cheshire, and others, but the Mountaineers gave up individual glory for team honors. “The most important thing about that team,” Baker says, “is that everybody anticipated having a good team and we prepared ourselves year round for it. We didn’t have weight programs back then. The players just worked hard on their own. We were always thinking foot- ball. We always felt like that if you believe it you can achieve it.” The Mountaineers had only one close ballgame during the regular season, that a 21-20 victory over R-S Central. During the first half of the season when KMHS was playing some of the weaker teams, the starters often sat out the second half after running up a big lead in the first two quarters. : “We had people with a lot of skill at every position,” Baker recalled. ~ “The line was always the key. They had a lot of quickness, good size and were intelligent people. We had somebody at every position who could do the job.” The Mountaineers operated out of the Wing-T formation back then, but Baker recalls a late-season switch to a pro set as being a big factor in the team’s success. “Coach Bill Bates went to the pro set to take advantage of the best quarterback in the state, Pat Murphy,” Baker recalled. “We had enough skill and intelligence to adapt to the pro set in just one week and in a game that was supposed to be close, we beat a good Belmont team by four touchdowns.” Two other games stand out in Baker’s mind. “The turning point of the season was the R-S Central game,” he noted. “We had already run through six opponents pretty easily. We played the best team in the conference. We won the championship but R-S had the best personnel. “The score went back and forth and we knew it was going to be a matter of which defense had the characte: to stop the other offense last. They had a big back named Buddy Green who had ran strong for them all night and they were moving down field with us leading 21-20. Hubert McGinnis gathered the boys around him. He knew we had to -stop that drive. We stopped a back for a loss on a fourth and one, took over the ball and ran the clock out. That made us realize that we were destined to win the conference.” : The highlight of the year came in the final regular season game when the Mountaineers beat Lincolnton 24-6. Although Lincolnton had lost one game and the Mountaineers were unbeaten, a Lincolnton victory would have put the Wolves in the playoffs. “All the other conference games were moved back to Thursday “*Diamonds *Diamonds *Diamonds "*Diamonds *Diamonds *Diamonds *Diamonds *Diamonds *Diamonds Dellingers Jewel Shop 112 West Mountain Street Downtown Kings Mountain 12 - S. Iredell at East Lincoln DON'T MISS THE BUS! Catch us and get on board for the right savings plan. In today’s. economy, make your money travel a safe route. Depend on our banking experts to get you where you want to go, with a driver who knows the way — that’s us! School time is just around the cor- ner; please drive with care! We bring you this back-to-school safety message in the interest of child safety. : First Federal Savings And Loan Of Kings Mountain West Mountain St. 7394783 15 - Shelby at North Gaston SCHOOL BUS WE HAVE SAFETY DEPOSIT BOXES 3 Sizes Available Home Federal Savings & Loan Association 700 West King St. 739-8015 18 - Fla. St. at Memphis St. [TEXT 8 MONTHS OF LABOR PROTECTION | L MOUNTAINEER MOMENTS LOOKING BACK AT Vv EER FOOT2L JOUNT 4 night so everybody could come and see us play,” Baker recalled. “Mur- phy unleased his arm and we presented the pro attack and they weren’t used to it. Our defense shut down their excellent running game and we won by three touchdowns. “For us, that was the highlight of the year,” he added. “We played Hickory the next week for the biconference and were upset by an ex- cellent Hickory team. You might say we were looking ahead, but ac- tually, when we beat Lincolnton, nothing in our minds could top that.” Baker, who gained over 1,000 yards rushing that year, says he is glad that the Mountaineer coaching staff put the team before in- dividual honors. “If our coaches had wanted to build up any one player, Murphy could have passed for 30 or 40 touchdowns,” he said. “He was an excellent quarterback, passing for 15 touchdowns in five ballgames.” Another big key, Baker said, was the fact that the Mountaineers had second-unit players who could take over in case of injuries and the team didn’t suffer any. “A good example was our fullback, Pat Hord,” Baker said. “Coming into practice that year, Pete Putnam, who was a returning starter at fullback, went down with an elbow injury. Hord stepped right in and we didn’t miss a beat. In that practice, that injury took the wind right out of us. Our leader was down and out. But in stepped a man who was able to fit right in. After that, we had the confidence that if somebody went down, we had somebody else to take up the slack. If Pat Murphy had gone down to injury, Richard Gold would have step- ped right in and taken over. We knew that when somebody went down, our season wasn’t gone. We had someone to take up the slack.” “We had a lot of individual stars...guys who were authentic stars,” - he added. “But we didn’t have a star system. Everybody knew that they had to do their part. It was a team game.” Baker said he’s been asked many times over the years if the 64 team was the best one ever at KMHS. “But I don’t like to compare teams,” he said. “To me, the 1979 team which had Kevin Mack on it was an excellent ball team. It had a lot of outstanding players. But the 1964 team stands out in my mind because we had good quality people who were athletically skilled. That com- bination is hard to beat. I consider myself very lucky to have played on a team that didn’t lose for over 20 straight games. “Members of that team were also very fortunate to have played for coaches like Bill Bates, Don Parker and Bill Cashion,” he continued. “They were good men and set a good example for us. It was not very hard to find respect for those men. We needed that kind of good leadership on and off the field.” ® Havoline motor oils give engine protection you can trust. SEE US FOR AUTOMOTIVE PARTS PRICED TO SAVE YOU MONEY Kings Mountain Auto Supply Across From The Armory 739-0391 13 - McDowell at Hunter Huss | MONDAY & TUESDAY SPECIAL 3 SMALL ITEMS . TWO 2 PIECE SUITS OR 2 REGULAR DRESSES MIXED OR MATCHED. . .. %4.99 5 LAUNDRY SHIRTS 5For *1.89 Must Be Picked-Up The Same Week One Hour Martinizing East King Street - Kings Mountain 16 - South Point at Burns WATCH THE GAMES ON A NEW TELEVISION THIS YEAR n Zan 9 COLOR TV DIAGONAL SPECIAL |i FOOTBALL i > 4.64" VALUE ASK US FOR DETAILS McGinnis Furniture Co. Downtown Kings Mountain 739-4706 19 - Miami (Fla.) at Notre Dame _e aa PAT MURPHY — QB JIMMY CLONINGER — END RICHARD GOLD — QB GEORGE PLONK — GUARD HUBERT McGINNIS — C LYN CHESHIRE — TACKLE 1964 All-Conference Players Heating so efficient, it makes others obsolete. Get bet- ween 91 and 96 percent A.F.U.E.*—far better than any. Also ALL TYPE GUTTER WORK All Kinds Of STEEL FABRICATION Dilling Heating And Air Conditioning Co. 410 York Rd. 739-3446 14 - N. Iredell at Lincolnton SEE US BEFORE OR AFTER THE GAME WE DO CHICKEN RIGHT FINGER LICKING GOOD Kentucky Fried Chicken 413 E. King St. 739-6911 17 - Georgia at Alabama WE SUPPORT MOUNTAINEER FOOTBALL See Us For Quick Efficient Plumbing Service. All Type Repairs. Gas And Electric Water Heaters. 37 YEARS OF QUALITY SALES AND SERVICE Goforth Plumbing, Inc. 106 York Road Phone 7394736 20 - Mich. St. at Michigan

Page Text

This is the computer-generated OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It may be empty, if no text could be automatically recognized. This data is also available in Plain Text and XML formats.

Return to page view