Adamsville high lost to Munford High the other day and that wound up a perfect football season—indeed a perfect four seasons. For in that time, Adamsville, in southwestern Tennessee, has not won a single game. Moreover, in the nine seasons it has been playing organized football, Adamsville has won only two. Says a patron with safety: "We're offering $500 reward in Tennessee to anyone who can match our record." And if no one in Adamsville is proud of that record, they at least keep smiling grimly and looking toward a brighter day. In a world too full of people congratulating themselves or seeking sympathy, it is a refreshing breeze that blows through Adamsville, and we salute that spirit.
How bad is Adamsville? "We've had such awful teams," says a citizen, "people just sat on the sidelines playing marbles and whistling." In its first few games in 1951, an Adamsville back kicked for minus 25 yards, another ran 87 yards the wrong way and the team was insulted 91-0. That same year Adamsville scored six points in all, the opposition 550. In 1953 Adamsville won its first game and scored eight touchdowns, three years later never scored once. Says Dave Griffith, the coach, "This year I've got one lineman who's real big and fast. He can pick up the rear end of a jeep and carry it around. But he hasn't made a tackle all year." Joe Winningham, a furniture dealer, says, "There are highlights and lowlights in our football history. Let's look at the lowlights. I've seen our boys back up and give the other fellow running room. I've seen them kicked off to and there ain't nobody would have it." The Nashville Tennessean ranks 238 Tennessee high school teams, and Adamsville is consistently ranked 238th.
What is wrong with Adamsville? One thing is the cotton-picking season, which overlaps the football season. When the cotton is ripe, most of the team must pick cotton all day before practice at night. Another liability is a miserable practice field that wanders up hill and down, and, during rainy stretches, is moist with green slime in the low spots. "Some fields have dogs," says Coach Griffith. "There are times when ours has hogs." Finally, among the seniors at least, there is the taint of defeatism. As one boy put it: "We can't ever win until we get rid of those dang seniors. They got the old losing spirit."
What is ahead for Adamsville? "I'll stay here until I rot," says the coach firmly. "We're going to have a winning team." "Yea, Coach!" shout the equally optimistic players in the postgame showers. That's the spirit, we say again. And win or lose, Adamsville High, we're with you.