A walk back in time
By Nunnie Robinson
Almost a year to date my friend, fraternity and Christian Brother George King eagerly placed in my charge a newspaper article chronicling the 1963 All-County Negro football team, of which he was a member. Since it is Black History month, I thought it appropriate to take a walk down memory lane, hopefully shaking up the mental cobwebs for many of you privileged to have been a part of, witnessed or experienced vicariously the exploits of these highly skilled and talented athletes.
The original article, written by sports columnist Bruce Reisman of the News-Sentinel, detailed the accomplishments of six seniors, four juniors and a singular sophomore, representing the predominately Black schools in Broward County: Dillard, Blanche Ely and Attucks. Dillard, the Negro champions in ’63, led with a six all-county selections, five on the first team: Deurl Blash, Charles Bingham, Willie Kelly, Willie McIntyre, and Donald Wallace. Blanche Ely was represented on the first team by George King, Sylvester “Epp” Davis, the lone sophomore, Ralph Moore, and Sam Anderson while Errol Sweeting and Cyril Pinder highlighted the Attucks contingent.
Second team all-county members from Dillard were Jimmy Ford, Marion Wright, Johnny McIntyre, Anderson Spence, Hubert Thurston and Robert Walker; from Attucks Bennie Johnson, Ralston Cox, Eugene Bell and Reggie Anderson; and from Blanche Ely Jimmy Lamar.
Many of these players went on to have stellar careers both athletically and professionally. Cyril Pinder, who was linked early on with Miami Hurricanes, signed a letter of intent to play for the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois. George King, a duel-threat, dynamic quarterback who ran for nearly 800 yards, scored 15 TDs -10 rushing and five passing- also served as his team’s place kicker, converting on two field goals and seven PATs, leading Blanche Ely in virtually every offensive category. He and Sylvester Davis both left indelible footprints on the Wildcat football program before graduating from Bethune Cookman College, now BCU. Willie Kelly, Anderson Spence and Jimmy Ford enjoyed successful teaching and coaching careers in Broward County.
I had the privilege of personally working with Jimmy Lamar and George King at Blanche Ely under the leadership of Mrs. Blanche Ely. And I’m certain that you are all aware the youngest son (Steve) of the lone sophomore (Sylvester) on the 1963 all-county squad won a state championship at his dad’s alma mater, Blanche Ely, as its head football coach. If you are a sports/Black History buff and you happen to read this and would like to share memories related to these men of great accomplishment, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will certainly share with our readers.
Remember, though we officially celebrate Black History in February, it really is 365