• 70°

The CHHS Class of ’65 reunites this weekend

Sports Columnist

The Class of 1965 at Charles Henderson High School was very special.

They were the "War Babies," danced to the 50s and 60s and made their mark in academics and athletics. They worked hard and they played hard and there was a lot of sorrow.

Our class president was Rusty Gibson, now a successful attorney and businessman in Tuscaloosa; our vice president was the beautiful Jacqueline Brantley of Troy; our class secretary was Paula Boatner Roses, who now owns her own business in Birmingham; our class treasurer was Robert K.T. Cole Jr, now senior vice president of A.G. Edwards Brokerage Firm in Troy; and our reporter was Jo Blount, now living in Mobile.

Sounds like a pretty good starting line up in the game of life doesn’t it.

Our class sponsors were Miss Ethel Smith, Miss Estelle McCollough, Miss Laura G. Sprott. Mrs. Louise K. Wood, Mrs. Mary Hilyer, Mr. J.R. Riley, Mr. Marvin Little and Miss Sarah Johnson. An outstanding lineup of educators to say the least.

Our class beauty was Mary Jo Bruce Rape, the alternate was Eileen Williford Walker. The "Ugliest Man on Campus" was my old friend Jerry Allen. the 1964 homecoming queen was the very lovely Jacqueline Brantley. The editor of the "Trojan Myths," the school newspaper, was Mary Holman Johnson (now owns her own corporate decorating business in Washington, D.C.). The student body president was Wayne Qualls, now an insurance executive in Dallas, Texas. The Beta Club president was Charles "Skippy" Hightower, now CFO of Coffee Health Group of Florence. President of the Key Club was yours truly. Our majorettes were Mary Holman Johnson and Faye Stephens Lunsford of Troy. The cheerleaders were Eileen Williford Walker, Jacqueline Brantley, Margaret Griffin Green, Ann Stephens Herzog of Maitland, Fla., Jo Bruce Rape of Troy, Doris Morgan Ingram of Troy, and Paula Boatner Roses. "best Dancers were K.T. Cole and Ann Lawrence Ballenger (Delta Airline Hostess, now living in Eufaula.)

"Typical Teenagers" have not changed a bit, Buck Corley and Jane Williams Corley of troy. Most popular was Jacqueline Brantley and Rusty Gibson, "Friendliest" were Jim Ray and Hazel Green.

"Most Athletic" – Sonny Williford of Troy and Rosa Nichstro of Montgomery. "Best All Around" – Carey Green and Margaret Griffin Green of Huntsville. Carey is in the insurance business, and his wife Margaret is now deceased. "Wittiest" of Course, went to Big Jon Pouncey (Goldkist of Fayette) and Margene Stripling Petty (owns childcare business in Spartinburg, S.C.). "Most Talented" was Dr. John Key, Pike County Superintendent of Education, and Carolyn Newman (whereabouts unknown). Boys and Girls State representatives were Charlie Joe Long (Troy), Wayne Qualls, Carey Green, Ned Jordan (Troy), Bill Askew, Charles Norrell (Montgomery accountant executive) and Nora Fowler (an outstanding literature teacher at Huntsville High School.)

Sonny Williford was out most valuable football player. Our football team, coached by Frank Sadler, finished 8-2 and won the 1964 South Alabama Conference Championship. It was the first season since Sonny Queen’s team did it in 1957.

In two years Sadler’s team lost only three games. One of the big reasons for our success in football was that most of us had played together since the pee-wee league.

Our junior high team coached by Bob Stephenson went 8-0 and we stayed together until we graduated. Our three biggest wins were over Carroll of Ozark, 13-0, Enterprise 21-20, and Opp in the final game 13-7. To beat Enterprise at their homecoming before 10,000 fans was very special and to shut out Ozark with former Alabama quarterback Joe Kelly and former Troy State star Danny Grant, our defense had to be very good.

Our 16 seniors were quarterback Johnny Teal, halfbacks, Sonny Williford and Rusty Gibson, fullback, Buck Corley, ends, Jerry Allen and Wayne Qualls, tackles Robert Cole and Charles Ammons and Johnny Pouncey (6’6", 275 lbs.), guards, Mike Amos, Bill Price and Danny Harris. Carey Green played linebacker, Charlie Joe Long at tackle, Jimmy Ward and a great kicker Jackie Jackson.

Price is a retired airline pilot signed with Florida, Pouncey with Chattanooga while Cole, Amos and Corley inked with Troy State.

Jerry Allen was the best all around athlete in school. He won the 5A championships in the high and low hurdles at the state track meet held in Auburn. He signed a track scholarship with the Tigers.

Our basketball team was made of seniors Bobby Kelly, Johnny Teal, Jerry Allen, Jim Whitson (BellSouth executive in Atlanta), Mike Taylor and yours truly.

The baseball team had Jerry Allen (bank president in Andalusia, now deceased), pitcher Buck Corley (owner of Gulf Coast Credit in Mobile along with fellow classmate Jim Ray), Johnny White of Troy, Johnny Teal (killed in auto accident shortly after graduation) Wayne Qualls, Rusty Gibson, Jackie Jackson (owns a business in Ozark) Robert Reynolds (executive with BellSouth in Nashville), Charles Ammons of Troy, and yours truly.

A total of 148 students graduated from CHHS in 1965. At that time it was the largest senior class enrollment in Troy history.

This weekend the proud class of 1965 celebrate their 35th class reunion. It all starts at 1 p.m. with a barbecue at the CHHS cafeteria. After the program the former students will tour their old school. At 6 p.m. there will be a reception at the Troy Country Club followed by a dance featuring the 50s and 60s sounds of ‘The Fabulous Shades."