Return to Headlines

This Day in Airedale History 10/15/21

Follow This Day in Airedales History:

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools


Teresa Dotson, Chanlee Bottoms, Frank Vines, Matt Belk, and Isaac McCoy. They may one day build a statue or hang a plaque on the wall of these players, the four of them tied neatly together by state championship runs in 1976, 2005, and 2011.  


You could say the same for Ralph Stockemer and Marvin Daily, too. 


But what about Jack "Junior" Carson? While you're at it, Jim Bearden was a really good basketball player, too!


Born in 1922, James "Jim" Frank Bearden outscored Mulberry one night in 1941 by himself. Bearden finished with 19 points in Alma's 44-15 win over the Yellowjackets. 


I only recently learned the names of Carson and Bearden by slashing through miles of newspaper microfilm. 


Carson, who grew up on Georgia Ridge Road, was a good football player, too. 


But in the early 1940s, he was among coach Clair Bates' top basketball players. (Wait ... George Ridge Road was a road in 1941?) 


Back in September, I mentioned to my wife, Mardi, that I was considering piecing together a This Day In Airedales History social media page on Twitter. She said, 'Oh, that would be good to start in January.' 


She was right (she's always right). But I had so much fun digging up the past, I couldn't wait until January.


Each morning, after I've fed my psycho cat, Gus, and poured my first cup of coffee, I dig out the facts of that day's This Day In Airedale History facts and post it to Twitter. 


Track, basketball, softball, football, and baseball. This Day In Airedales History will have a little bit of everything. 


Daily, the school’s first big-time running back, rumbled for 1,300 yards and 22 touchdowns in the fall of 1970. He had a pretty cool nickname, too. 


Opposing teams didn’t call him Mr. Daily. They said, “Here comes the Freight Train!”


Did you know that in 1977, Jim Arnold and Ross Hanna once combined to no-hit West Fork? They did so once in May of '77 thanks to Shane Rhoades's big offensive day at the dish. 


Man, what a time to be alive! The spring of '77 brought us. 


Welcome Back Kotter, McCloud, Fleetwood Mac, Saturday Night Fever, Smokey, and the Bandit. 


As the years came to life, I saw names of families I immediately recognized, including this cool Sept. 10, 1965 TDIAH nugget: 


Sept. 10, 1965

Billy Molder threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Steward and Randy Dalaet dashed 71 yards for another touchdown as the Airedales routed Lincoln, 43-0, on the gridiron. 


Oh, James Coleman (Quincy's younger brother) also scored a touchdown in the Airedales' blowout win. 


Back in the 1920s and '30s, before light poles were fitted by schools (actually they were referred to as floodlights in the late '30s), schools started Friday games anywhere from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Imagine playing at 2 p.m. and you're home by 5:30 p.m.! 


One Friday, Alma's principal, who also happened to be the coach, watched his team roll over Greenwood 19-0. David Clarence (D.C.) Neal was also the school's head football and basketball coach. 


There are 352 days a year. And, because there are no games ever played on Christmas Day, not to mention very little happening during most of June and July, it's not like I'll be able to include every day of the year. 


That said, as of this week, I had 119 days ready for the Internet. 


Tim Lumpkin, Rex Woods, Kathay Bryant, Ethan Perry, Betty Gerhardt, Chad Lee, Bill Crotts, Jess Riley, Thell Parker. They're all here!


By the way, that 1941 Alma boys team wasn't just about Junior Carson and Jim Bearden. This dude named Gayle Kaundart turned out to be pretty good, too.