Photos of South Pittsburg High School football teams and players are displayed on the walls of the new gymnasium at the school.
Father of David Jones. Going to Atlanta for the Nike Camp to get a gauge of how David stacks up against national competition. He graded out in the top 80 percent.
The Jasper game is always a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see if we can continue with the same attitude we finished with last year.
I’m sitting in my third block class thinking about the big game at Tyner tonight. I’m very confident in my teammates and hope we pull out this big win. It will be a great atmosphere. As Coach Grider says “you play like you practice,” and man we have worked our butts off this week in practice to get ready.
When we started back in August I thought it was going to be hard to play on this team. It really took more of being determined and a will to play.
The small town of South Pittsburg is best known for two things — the National Cornbread Festival that takes place every spring, and one of the state’s top high school football programs each fall. With a population of just over 3,200, the tiny community clings to the tradition of supporting its football program each Friday night, routinely drawing more than 4,000 fans to Beene Stadium. Although South Pittsburg High School has just 243 students — one of the smallest enrollments for schools with a football program in the state — the Pirates have won 52 playoff games, including four state championships. The team has finished as a runner-up three times. Last season, the team won the Class 1A title and are again ranked No. 1, having won 27 consecutive games going into tonight’s quarterfinal playoff game at Trousdale County.
South Pittsburg quarterback Terrell Robinson packs his jersey and clothes before leaving for their game against Tyner.
The South Pittsburg Pirates hope to become State Class 1-A Champions for the second year running.
It’s here! Football season…the best of all seasons. I take a moment to make sure I take a deep breath and soak it all in so that I can tell myself in March, when football seems so far away, that I did in fact enjoy it as much as I should have. No better way to start the season than by playing your biggest rival. The atmosphere is electric. I think CoachT.com helps fuel rivalries. The crowd for this game is the biggest I have seen in many years. Probably since the early-to-mid 1990s. The Warriors say they are back…we will see. The Pirates are back too…to defend a crown. Buckle your straps and hold on tight. It’s going to be a wild ride tonight.
In South Pittsburg, football is big, and it’s been that way for longer than most people can remember. Just ask 83-year-old Jo Collins. She’s been a Pirates fan since she was just 11 years old. “There’s just something about it,” Ms. Collins said. “Being in the stands is just unbelievable.” The team’s record is what’s unbelievable. On a 27-game winning streak, the South Pittsburg Pirates face second-ranked Trousdale County in the quarterfinals tonight. Three contests separate the team from a second-straight Class 1A state championship. In its history, the team from tiny South Pittsburg has won four state championships: 1969, 1994, 1999 and 2007.
This week we play Lookout Valley, away. After work today I took (daughter) Victoria to gymnastics and went to the new SPHS gym to help the other volunteers frame pictures for the new Hall of Fame. Vic came by the Gym after football practice around 6 p.m., and then he went to pick up Victoria from gymnastics. He was really tired and said that today was one of the hottest days of practice.
At a Class 1A football program noted for its wealth of talent, the backbone of South Pittsburg football has long been players who overcame a lack of size by playing with loads of intensity and an appreciation for tradition.
For all practical purposes, it has become “the Pirate rule.” Since the TSSAA implemented the mercy rule for football last season, South Pittsburg has put it in effect 16 times in a 23-game winning streak, including against every Region 3-1A foe.
It has one NCAA Division I prospect, another who should be next year and three others who could play at the next level.
Like any good collection of sprinters, South Pittsburg’s football team knows the importance of getting out of the blocks quickly.