Fitting tribute: Boyd unveils monuments for champs

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, September 5, 2018
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Grand Opening

GRAND OPENING – Retired Boyd coach J.G. Cartwright joined several former players from the 1983 and 2004 teams and members of the 1958 squad for a ribbon cutting at the unveiling of the championship monuments Friday. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

Sitting on the brick wall just north of the end zone, a few feet from the monument that now bears their names, Jerry Hightower, Wayne Jennings and Donald Etter recalled the frigid night on the field 60 years before in Bonham.

Hightower explained water was frozen on the sidelines.

“It was 15 degrees that night,” he said.

But the cold couldn’t slow down the 1958 Boyd Yellowjackets in the 31-14 victory over Leonard to capture the Class B region title.

“It was an easy game,” Jennings said.

The victory closed out a 10-2 season for the squad.

“For a B school, that was as far as you could go,” Hightower said.

Back Together

BACK TOGETHER – Members of the 1958, 1983 and 2004 Boyd football teams took part in a reunion and monument unveiling Friday before the Yellowjackets’ win over Nocona. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

The “proud possessors” of the title, as referenced in the Wise County Messenger, were honored Friday alongside the 1983 and 2004 Boyd state championship teams. Monuments honoring all three teams, with the rosters etched on the back, were unveiled publicly before the Yellowjackets’ season opener against Nocona.

“This means a lot,” Hightower said about the team being recognized.

Former resident and longtime Boyd booster Bob Carter came up with the idea for the three Texas-shaped, 1,200-pound monuments based on what he’d seen in Brownwood. An effort was soon started to get the monuments built. They were paid for from private funds and were put into place over the summer.

“They look fantastic,” Carter said.

Players from all three teams had a chance to catch up during a dinner at the high school before the game. After a ribbon cutting with coach J.G. Cartwright, who led Boyd to titles in 1983 and 2004 and won 274 games before retiring in 2012, players were recognized on the field.

“It’s nice to see everybody again,” said Brian Dickey, a member of the 2004 title team. “We wish more guys were here, but so many of my teammates are now coaches. That points to some of the impact that Coach [J.G.] Cartwright had on them.

“This is a nice reminder of how high school football impacts a small community.”

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