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This week's Dirk West Cartoon

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Centennial Kick Off by Spotted The Lubbock Centennial Kick Off Celebration



The Lubbock High Westerners won the University interscholastic League State Championship in 1939.

Westerners bring home state title

1939 COTTON BOWL, DALLAS, Dec. 30. - It is the first time this has happened and it is quite a spot for a Lubbock sports writer - because it is the first time Lubbock High school ever won a state football championship.

The Lubbock High Westerners, as calmly and frigidly as ever, today built an everlasting monument to the memory of their late coach, Weldon Bailey Chapman, who said more than a year ago that the 1939 Lubbock team would be better than his 1938 outfit, which also played in the state final game here as of this date one year previous.

Score of today's championship game, climaxing the schoolboy grid campaign of the year, was 20 to 14.

At one stage of the game, the score was 14 to 13, favoring the Waco High Tigers, a sturdy band of heavyweights whose predecessors have often reached, and four times have won, the biggest trophy in the biggest state.

But today, it was a battle of the Tysons and Joseph, the plunging, running and passing fullback of Lubbock, was the winner over Paul, the graying mentor of Waco, the dean of Texas coaches. Tyson of Lubbock, was complemented by an honor guard of ten men who out-did the best Tyson of Waco could produce. Spirit and inspiration counted for much of today's victory, because the Westerners were fighting for a state championship to dedicate to Chapman. But the Westerners had much more than spirit and inspiration today - they had ability and will to win.

The 13-pounds per man weight advantage exercised by Waco's Tigers, long a power in high school football, went for naught as the Westerners, accustomed to being outweighed, went down under and submarined the heavy Tigers to death. They fought off Waco's offense until they had gained a 13 to 0 lead. They slacked up in the third period to let Waco score twice and get ahead by an extra point.

But there was never any doubt as to which was the better team, and when they got the wind in the fourth period they went to town, scored as easily as you please, and became champions of the Texas Interscholastic league for 1939.

In piling up 280 yards rushing to 170 for Waco, the Lubbock Westerners clearly showed their superiority on the ground. They took to the air on but few occasions, completed only one try. Their ground attack was sufficient, as has been the case through the eliminations. Late in the game Waco's passing attack was pushed up in the desperate scoring attempts, but this was nullified every time Lubbock got the ball.

The season is over, and Lubbock still hasn't had to open up with all it's got. But it had enough to take a lead then overcome a lead, and carry on.

Leete Jackson, Lubbock co-captain, returned a punt 20 yards to the Waco 35 in the first period, from where the Westerners drove for the first touchdown. Howard Alford, the other co-captain, climaxed the drive with a 16-yard sprint for a touchdown after a series of plays featuring Dutchy Cawthon's lugging on the old "Statue of Liberty" play.

The 1939 University Interscholastic League State Championship trophy is the centerpiece of a trophy case at Lubbock High School.

Dutchy took the agate from Tyson on the first play of the series, carried to the Waco 23-yard line. Alford went for three more. The first Lubbock pass of the game, Cawthon to Hill, was incomplete, then Alford lugged to the 16, from where Alford got loose behind fine blocking around right end to go for six points, Tyson booted goal for the extra point.

Alford had thrilled the crowd of 21,000 early in the game with a 20-yard rush through the center of Waco's big line, but the attack was bottled up in mid-field and Jackson kicked to the 7-yard line.

Late in the period, Cawthon got off a fine kick over the Waco safetyman, also over the goal line, to put the Tigers deep in their own territory as the second quarter opened. The kick was good for 63 yards.

Bucking a strong north wing in the second period, Lubbock scored after Francis Bearden, end, intercepted a pass on the Lubbock 30. He brought it out to the 35, from where the touchdown drive started.

Alford made a yard, Jackson made three, and Alford cut loose around right end for a 22-yard sprint, moving to Waco's 39. Jackson made seven, and Joe Tyson was good for 11 yards and a first down on the Waco 22. Waco drew a penalty for off-sides. Tyson made three yards in two tries, and from the 14-yard line Tyson broke away for a dozen paces, finally being hauled down from behind on the 2. He needed only one play, however, for touchdown. His try for point was partially blocked by Burke of Waco.

The half ended 13 to 0, favoring the Westerners, and nobody else worried except Tiger partisans, most of whom had given up the ghost.

Early in the second period, Waco had made a serious threat after taking over on its own 20 on the last play of the first quarter. Francis Pulattie, Waco's 195-pound plunging fullback made first down in two plays, aided by a penalty, on the 33. And on a tackle-around play, Schimenz made 17-yards, after which Post, a fleet 150-pound half-back, moved to Lubbock's 33 with a 12-yard dash.

Bowen, the classiest backfield player Waco offered, dashed off 20-yards to haul up with a first down on the Lubbock 19. Waco took to passing then and Storrs broke 'em up perfectly. A penalty for a screened pass moved Waco back to the 35, from where Burke kicked over the goal line.

The Wacos held Lubbock near the 20, and on a punt Lubbock was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. This put the ball on Lubbock's 19. Post got home for a dash to the one-yard line. The Lubbock wall stiffened and held again, to stop a plunge by Pulattie. And the next time he tried it he fumbled and the alert Storrs recovered for Lubbock.

Waco kicked off with the wind, opening the second half, and Tyson returned it from his 10 to his 37. Tyson made five yards through the middle but fumbled, Waco recovering.

Blanton heaved a short pass to Pulattie, good for a first down on the Lubbock 23, after Bowen had made seven yards around end. Then Bowen made seven more. Pulattie made first down on the 8. Bowen carried to the 3, and in three plunges was over for the touchdown. Bowen kicked the extra point. And the score stood 13 to 7 favoring Lubbock.

A few plays later, Cawthon got off a high, short punt against the wind and out of bounds on the Lubbock 37-yard.

Bowen ripped off a 20-yarder after Storrs and Alford had piled him up twice for losses. Pat Farris tossed him for another loss, the Post got through for a first down on the Lubbock 7. Pulattie plunged to the 8, from where Blanton went for the tally. Bowen booted the point that untied the score and gave Waco a 14 to 13 lead.

Tyson returned the kick-off 36 yards, and Alford broke away for a 19-yard sprint off right end. Jackson went five more, and Tyson passed a short one to Hill to make up for an offside penalty, after which Jackson kicked out of bounds on the Waco 12 yard line as the period ended.

Stung by the touchdown, the Westerners fought back early in the fourth to put the game on ice with a spree climaxed by Howard Alford's 39-yard run for paydirt.

The A-J Remembers The Most Important People in Lubbock's History

SPECIAL SECTIONS: 1909-1933 / 1934-1958 / 1959-1983 / 1984-PRESENT | PRINT VERSION