PEEKING INTO THE PAST: “The Mud Bowl”

The 1957 Albemarle High School football team finished the season undefeated after a Nov. 8 victory against China Grove. During the team’s 10 wins, they had scored an astounding 404 points against only 28 for their opponents. The first game the team was to play in the Western North Carolina High School Athletic Association football playoffs was to be against Lexington on Friday, Nov. 22. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, the game was postponed until the following Monday. Heavy rains Monday morning forced a second postponement so the game was rescheduled and would now be played during the afternoon on Nov. 28, which was Thanksgiving Day. Due to this action, and the fact that the season had run much longer than normal, both coaches agreed that this would be their final game of the season and a championship game would not be played. According to the Dec. 3, 1957 Stanly News & Press, “A first quarter touchdown and an outstanding defensive effort enabled Coach Toby Webb’s Albemarle Bulldogs to subdue Lexington’s Yellow Jackets 7-0 in a ‘mud bowl’ Thursday afternoon for the Piedmont Conference Championship. Playing on a muddy…slippery…sloppy Lexington field, the Thanksgiving Day game saw the Bulldogs dominate the play offensively in the first half and then reverse the strategy after intermission when an almost impossible situation grew worse. Playing on ice couldn’t have been much worse. Some 4,000 viewed the game.” After winning the “Mud Bowl” the decision was made to play a final game against Marion. The Albemarle Bulldogs won the game 54 to 6 and became the Western North Carolina High School Athletic Association champions. {Lewis Bramlett – Stanly County Historical Society}