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Celebrating the season-opening win vs. Catholic in 2018.
Photo by Kyle Thornton

Are you ready for some football?

By Michael Butler

In the "long" weeks that precede a football season, a common question is posed quite often - 'Are you ready for some football?'

Hank Williams Jr. made the phrase popular with his "Monday Night Football Boogie." The answer - by the way - is quite often an emphatic, 'Yes!'

Well, the wait is almost over. For Tallassee Tiger fans, the season kicks off this week.

Tallassee opens its season vs. Catholic in Montgomery on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. The Class 5A Tigers beat the 4A Knights 28-7 last year at J. E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium.

Catholic went 8-4 last year and opens this season as the No. 6 team in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 4A rankings. Tallassee was 6-4 last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1999 semifinal run at THS. The Tigers broke the record for wins in a season with 13. The seniors from that squad will return for their 20th class reunion at homecoming in October.

The '99 team lost 28-14 to Jemison to finish 13-1. Tallassee was coached by Mark Rose. Jemison was coached by Steve McCord, who coached Tallassee to its only other semifinal playoff appearance in 1984, 35 years ago.

"That year (1999) at Jemison, it was like the '84 year (at Tallassee), we got on a roll at the right time," McCord said. "People asked me, 'Was it some kind of sweet revenge?' It was just another game for me.

"I really respect the people in Tallassee. Tallassee's always been a great supporter of their athletic programs. We had a great following whether we were on the road or at home, regardless if we were struggling or winning."

The Tallassee Tigers backfield of 1954.
Photo courtesy of Dan Wilbanks

There is another anniversary this season. WTLS broadcast its first game on the airwaves 65 years ago on Sept. 10, 1954. Tallassee beat Auburn that night 20-7.

The '54 team won the Border Conference with a 9-1 record. Three players were first team all-state selections that season; Danny Wilbanks, J.W. Woodall and Tommy Higgins.

WTLS has carried every game on the radio since the '54 season opener, 689 in all. Season 66 begins on Friday night with the action on 1300 WTLS/106.5 FM. The CB&S Bank "Countdown to Kickoff" begins at 6. Coverage is also available on Tallassee Times TV through YouTube, Spectrum Channel 97 and the TuneIn app.

*Note: Entering the final year of the 2010s, Tallassee is 68-35 this decade (2010-18) with the best win percentage (66%) since the 1940s (75-10-6/82%).

Season Openers Through the Years

5 Years Ago (Aug. 22, 2014): vs. Notasulga - Won 49-0
10 Years Ago (Aug. 28, 2009): at Elmore County - Won 42-7
15 Years Ago (Aug. 27, 2004): at Holtville - Won 28-0
20 Years Ago (Aug. 27, 1999): at LaFayette - Won 44-18
25 Years Ago (Sept. 2, 1994): at Wetumpka - Lost 25-0
30 Years Ago (Aug. 25, 1989): vs. Wetumpka - Won 28-7
35 Years Ago (Aug. 31, 1984): at Wetumpka - Lost 28-14
40 Years Ago (Aug. 31, 1979): vs. Lanett - Lost 19-7
45 Years Ago (Sept. 6, 1974): vs. Handley - Won 35-7
50 Years Ago (Sept. 4, 1969): vs. Dadeville - Won 28-0
55 Years Ago (Sept. 12, 1964): vs. Auburn - Lost 19-0
60 Years Ago (Sept. 11, 1959): at Auburn - Lost 7-6
65 Years Ago (Sept. 6, 1954): vs. Auburn - Won 20-7
70 Years Ago (Sept. 16, 1949): vs. Auburn - Won 7-0
75 Years Ago (Sept. 22, 1944): at Dadeville - Won 27-0
80 Years Ago (Sept. 22, 1939): vs. Holtville - Won 20-0
85 Years Ago (Sept. 18, 1934): vs. Camp Hill - Won 14-0
90 Years Ago (Sept. 28, 1929): vs. Prattville - Won 35-0
95 Years Ago (Sept. 26, 1924): vs. Luvurne - Won 6-3
*98 Years Ago (Oct. 14, 1921): vs. Barnes - Won 14-7 *(First Football Game on Record)

Tallassee's First Football Team (1921)