Clipboard Stories

Coach J with some of his players a few years after they almost beat JT...


Dragon Football Stories

Tales from the Clipboard


From Cal Barton:

I'd like to relate a football story. Everyone who played football at NHS during my short career will remember that I was a very "marginal" football player. I spent my years firmly entrenched as a member of the "scrubs", and my love for the game kept me at it probably longer than reason would have otherwise dictated. I would also like to say before I go on that the hardest hitter from our class pound for pound was Garry Moynihan. Garry went full tilt every play. It is a good thing he was not 6 foot 4 and 280 pounds - many of us would still be in rehab!

Anyway, at the beginning of my junior year I was finally going to get to practice with the varsity and I was very excited about that. As a scrub on defense it was my job to be a part of the unit that practiced against the first team offense. Little did I know that the reason for this is because the coaches did not want their good defensive players getting hurt!

On the first day of practice - my first play on defense - I was determined to cover my assignment and make my play. I was at defensive end and I was supposed to cover the running back on an end run, so I stepped across the line and concentrated on the running back coming in my direction, intent on making a good play .... the next thing I remember is being run over by a freight train, or so I thought. Otis Norris had pulled from his left guard position to lead the play and he hit me so hard that I thought I was dying. Coach Ronnie Collum was standing over me screaming at me to get up and I was laying there waiting for the ambulance! I felt like every internal organ I owned had just exploded. I never saw the guy coming at me!

I finally struggled to my feet, with tears in my eyes and lined up again. Next play Kim Hogan did almost the same thing to me. I thought if I was going to have to go through that every 30 seconds I wasn't gonna last very long.

Needless to say my football career went seriously downhill from that moment. I figured I better listen a little better in math class because this certainly wasn't my future. I did, however, develop a true and lasting respect for all the guys who played the game so well and gave us all those thrills on Friday evenings.

From Dan Peppard:

Dan tells the story about not always being fair when he doled out the water.  If a teammate had not treated him well, sometimes he would just accidentally skip him when the water was flowing during a timeout.  

He tells of one such time when he had just trotted in and given water to some of the guys.  Well, as luck would have it, a timeout was called on the next play.  He was tired and just didn't feel like running back out with water.  Coach Johnston came over to him and told him in no uncertain terms to get out there with the water!

Dan, in his special way, proceeded to begin tossing water bottles out onto the field.  Coach J quickly walked him to the fieldhouse.

Dan is still not sure why he did not receive a scholarship for football managing.

From Coach J:

Coach Johnston has untold stories of his days as a Dragon coach.  One involved watering of the new practice field, using some of his best athletes to turn the sprinkler heads.

Charles Caldwell, Donald Wayne Raussaw, Danny Moore, Leroy Porter and several others were given the task after dark when it was cooler.  Donald Wayne finished his row and was resting on the bleachers, which were open to mostly woods at the time.  Suddenly from the dark a howl arose that sounded as if from the devil himself.

Donald Wayne took off running for the truck that had brought them all there, passing Charles Caldwell in a sprint that probably set a new track record for NISD if only someone had timed it.