By Luke Brantley
Guin – Marion County High School will be hosting a 50th-anniversary reunion for players, cheerleaders, and coaches for the 1971 state football championship team on Friday, August 20.
Players, cheerleaders, and coaches will be recognized during the game, which will be between MCHS and Waterloo. There will also be a get-together the following Saturday morning for everyone who attends to meet up with old friends, according to event organizer David Peoples.
People said he had the idea after talking with a few friends over the phone.
“The whole thing started when two or three of us visiting with each other over the phone,” Peoples said. “We were just talking amongst ourselves and remembered it was coming up that this will be 50 years since we won. It just evolved from that. We decided we needed to try and get together, so I put out a few feelers to get an idea of how many people liked that idea and the response we had was, ‘yeah, let’s do it!’ So we just started getting information and lining things up and got a date lined up with coach Kyle Williams at Marion County and got it set up.”
Peoples said that the game is Marion County’s first game, and is a pre-season game, like a jamboree. He also said he wasn’t sure if everyone who attends will be recognized during halftime or before the game.
“Then we’re going to get together again Saturday morning, and have a good time telling old stories and visiting one another and getting caught up as much as we can, and meeting each other’s families,” Peoples added. “Some of these guys, there’s several I haven’t seen in 50 years. Some of them I’ve seen a few times, but everybody’s strung out over a pretty good area of the country.
“We’ve got some special gifts for our coaches and all the members of the team, and we’re recognizing the cheerleaders and all. We’ve had a few that have passed on and are no longer with us, but we’re going to try to make contact with a family representative, so everybody will be mentioned, their name will be called out. We want to make sure we recognize everybody.
“I had not been back to this area for a while, and I was just really impressed with the Booster Club at MCHS. They have one of the finest facilities in this entire part of the country, especially for a 1A high school. It’s a beautiful place, and I just can’t get over how much it’s changed. Maybe this will pick up a little bit of enthusiasm. Some of these people, being able to see some of those guys from that team, and the cheerleaders haven’t seen each other in a while, so it’s a good time for us to get together. From every indication I’ve had, all the members are looking forward to it with great anticipation.”
For more information, contact David Peoples by call or text at (256) 762-7222, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People said anyone interested in attending needs to contact him by the end of July.
The ‘71 Season
Marion County High School won the 1A state championship game 17-14 against Addison on Friday, December 3, 1971, at Addison.
Addison was the first score on a short run in the first quarter, and the point after was good. Marion County responded by locking down Addison for the next two quarters. David Peoples scored a touchdown on a run, and David Adkins kicked three field goals to bring Marion County up to 17 points. Addison scored one more touchdown and extra point, but it wasn’t enough to catch up to Marion County.
The championship victory marked the end of an undefeated season, 13-0.
The season began with a 34-6 win over Sulligent at home, followed by a 14-8 win on the road at Carbon Hill. In a home game against Brilliant, Marion County won 49-6.
Then they traveled to Winfield, defeating the Pirates 21-6. Berry Fayette traveled to Guin and was beaten 26-6. Phillips lost 27-10 in the next game.
On the road again, Marion County beat Warrior 14-6, then outscored Millport at home 35-7. At home again the next week, Marion County locked down Hackleburg 47-0.
Traveling to Lamar County, Marion County won 45-15, and advanced to the first round of the playoffs.
Their first playoff opponent was Billingsley, who Marion County defeated at home with the most points they scored in a game all season, 70-13. In the semi-final round, they defeated Ohatchee on the road 39-6 before moving on their first ever state championship victory against Addison.
See complete story in the Journal Record.