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Melton was one of "O'Brien's Boys"

By Michael Butler

Davis Melton has passed away. He was 90.

Melton was one of Tallassee High School's most recognized football players under coach J. E. "Hot" O'Brien. He played end during O'Brien's 57-game unbeaten streak.

"I played in 31 games of the 57 they won without a loss," Melton said of his time under O'Brien during a radio interview with WTLS.

"I fondly remember before starting out for football, I was on the sideline while the teams were scrimmaging. They threw a ball over there and I retrieved it. Coach O'Brien said, 'He'll be a good one someday.'

"In the ninth grade I went out for football. I had to have permission from my parents. Back then it was a rough game. My dad said okay, but my mom was hesitant. I took the yes from dad and went on."

Melton's playing career took off from the very first game in which he saw action. On his first play as a freshman in 1943, he caught a pass and took it in for a touchdown. He was an instant star.

Melton presenting Coach O'Brien a souvenir football at "O’Brien Appreciation Day" in 1969. Courtesy of W.C Bryant, from the book “Hot and His Boys.”

Tallassee was 34-0-1 during Melton's playing days from '43 - '46.

After his senior season, Melton was picked to the All-Southern Team by the Orlando Sentinel and was a first-team all-state selection by the Birmingham News and Montgomery Advertiser. In 1999, the Opelika-Auburn News placed Melton on its All-Millenium Team.

He played college football at Gulf Coast Community College, formerly Perkinston, and was all-conference. He went on to Southern Mississippi, then known as Mississippi Southern. Melton also served in the Army during the Korean War.

Melton coached in Alabama and Mississippi. His stints in Alabama as a head coach were at Tuskegee, Greenville and Macon Academy. He returned to his alma mater at THS as an assistant in the 1990s.

Melton is survived by his wife of 64 years, Frederica. Services were held on Sunday at First Baptist Church in Tallassee.

Listen to clip from WTLS inteview

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