Spring Hill football to honor 1958 district champs - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Spring Hill football to honor 1958 district champs

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It's Tuesday afternoon and 68 year old Robert Nelson has returned to the football field he once roamed as a Spring Hill linebacker.

"It's a real good feeling to come back home to the field we played on 50 years ago," said Nelson.

Nelson recalls before the 1958 season, Spring Hill coaches Weldon Strain and CC Dowell warned their players that losing was no longer an option.

"It had been so long since we won district, that if we didn't win district, we would go back to a six man football team," said Nelson.  "We didn't want that."

The Panthers used the threat of six man football as motivation.  The team won eight games and went undefeated in district, winning the championship. 

"To me to look back on that now, and see the school we have now, how it's grown, how large it is, the team and the coaches, it really does make me feel good to know that we have something to do with us having regular football," said Nelson.

Nelson will be one of just two players from the 1958 team, along with coach Strain and Dowell to be honored Friday night at halftime when Spring Hill hosts New Boston.

"I don't know if I'll be able to sleep Thursday night," said Nelson.  "But we're really looking forward to it."

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