Big Wildcat Team of 1943
The 1943 squad was DeKalb County High School's second unbeaten team. Many of the football players of 1943 went into service shortly after graduating. Some of these young men who served their country during World War II would probably have been college football stars if they had not gone into the service.
Not many fans gave the 1943 Wildcats any chance of going unbeaten. Tackle James Burt, and quarterback Warren Martin were the only returning starters, and Martin had just switched positions from guard to quarterback.
Coach F.L. ("Bulldog") Johnson did a remarkable coaching job and the team members responded well. Only a 6-6 tie with Emma Sanson marred their record. They scored 278 points and allowed only 30.
The record for the DeKalb County High School 1943 football team was as follows:
|DeKalb County||6||Emma Sansom||6|
|DeKalb County||57||Tyner, TN||0|
Two oddities occurred during the 1943 football season:
DeKalb County High School and Crossville played twice. That year the country was in the midst of World War II, and many young men were drafted while still in high school, playing havoc with team lineups and schedules.
W.W. Brown, principal of DeKalb County High School told Coach Johnson that he had scheduled a very tough school for the last game of the season (Tyner, Tennessee) and that he had better have the team ready to play because they would be challenged.
The coach must have done an excellent job of getting the team "up" for the game, because the Wildcats scored three touchdowns against Tyner before they ran a single play from scrimmage. They returned a kickoff for a touchdown, intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown, and recovered a fumble that was run back for a touchdown.
They left the bewildered Tyner team in a cloud of dust on the football field as they made their exit to return to their alma mater.
Read the original article by Joe Baxter Brown, written in 1943 when Joe was 15 years old.
View the player photos for some people on the 1935 football team.