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Starting chilly, then turning to cold fall nights, marched the bands beneath lights so bright.  Cheerleaders, their pom poms and lilting chants, the excited crowd animated as in a trance, their team bursting upon the white limed field, where circled round, with heads bowed as if a shield, to a Wildcat Football Game we came.

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The 1955 -56 Season was a good one for the Wildcats

Russell over Griffin 19 to 12

According to an October 8th article in the paper, it must had started slow with little notice.  The report describes a spectacular come back and win over a favored Griffin team.  Kenny Newsome and Robert Johnson teamed up to advance the ball to Russell's first touchdown.  Although the point after failed, Newsome and Johnson again brought home the bacon after Johnson tallied up a 43 yard drive and a final push over the goal line.  Newsome then connected with Johnson for the point after giving the Wildcats a 19 to 12 victory.  The line play, both offense and defense was brutal and was led by the strength of Burgan Revel, Bobby Weaver, Dick Shelly and Newsome. 

To read the full article titled Newsome Johnson Lead Russell Over Griffin and sub titled "Cat Title High: Revel, Weaver, Shelly Shine in Line", click HERE.
 In an Atlanta Constitution article dated October 7, the same game was reported by Charles Roberts as one that "woke up the town."  This article gives a little more description of how the scores turned.  It reported a 27 yard drive by as pass from Newsome to Baxter, then Newsome, Johnson and Jimmy Knight pushed the ball to the 9 yard line where Harold McDonald "thrashed" it across tying the game 12-12.   In another drive Johnson is credited with 16, Knight 9, Johnson another 25, McDonald 13 and Newsome bringing it to the two where Johnson swept left for the goal.  It goes on to credit Dick Shelly intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.  A special credit was given Knight stating he "punted brilliantly" with kicks of 28, 37 and a long 60.  Read the entire article HERE.

A 7- 0 Decision over Rome Keeps the Playoff Hopes High.

In an undated article, a well armored defense, highlighted by Wendell Johnson, Bergen Revel and Larry Baxter, kept the ball mostly at Rome's end of the field.  On the offense side it gives credit to the "dynamic backfield of Kenny Newsome, Harold McDonald, Jimmy Knight and Robert Johnson" for a 51 yard drive that ended with McDonald "bursting through" for the final five.  In that drive, "Newsome passed 15 yards to McDonald and was capped by a 27 yard sweep by Johnson" to set up the scoring play.  For the most part it states that "Knight's punting, a Russell forte all season, kept the Hilltoppers'"  effort to their own back yard.  To read the full article click HERE.

A Valiant Season Ends in Disappointment

A 12-0 loss to Rossville ended Russell's hope for a 4-AA playoff position.  Rossville's offense over powered Russell's strong middle and Russell, missing the All-Greater Atlanta halfback, Robert Johnson, fell short of its usually feared offense.  The article did mention two "brilliant stickouts", Jimmy Knight and guard Bobby Weaver.  Knight topped Russell's running with a whopping 64 yards on 14 carries and punted the ball brilliantly, one being an incredible 67 yards, described as a "prodigious boot into the end zone."  Bobby Pratt was cited for a fumble recovery and Weaver for score saving tackles.

Russell may have ended the season in defeat but had every reason to proud of its players.  The seniors on the team were some of Russell's best ever and they had the benefit of some very talented underclassmen.  To read the full article click HERE.

THE 56-57 SEASON saw Russell Classed as 4-AAA

SW DeKalb Shocks Russell in Thriller

Russell's undefeated season streak was broken in a surprise upset by DeKalb's winless streak Panthers.  Russell teammates Jimmy Bonner, Dick Shelly, Billy Hinnant, Joe Dorris and Jerry Edwards received mention.  Apparently up until this game, Russell had an unblemished season.  See the article HERE.

For an action shot picture taken in that same game click HERE.

Anyone having more articles to contribute is welcome to send to John Mullinax or Jimmy Knight.