The Indians of Alderson enter the home stretch of the 1936 Season
with three games to go. On November 7th the Tribe meets
non-conference state powerhouse Hinton led by coach Johnny Worth.
Hinton is reportedly one of the strongest teams in the entire
state. Although the outcome of this game will not affect the
Valley Conference Standings for the Indians a win would cap an
outstanding freshman season for Alderson mentor "Abe" McLaughlin.
The Bobcats are always a thorn in the side of a smaller and usually
undersized Alderson Eleven. On November 14th Alderson will meet a
strong Talcott team under the tutoring of long time coach Roy
Going into the final weeks of this season the
prognosticators are picking a two-way tie for the valley
Championship between Alderson and The Rainelle Rangers providing the
Rangers can defeat the Bulldogs of Ronceverte, and Alderson does not
fall victim to their long time rival at home on Thanksgiving Day.
Rainelle beat the Indians in the first game of the season 6 - 0 and
head into a game with the Bulldogs undefeated in conference play.
The Bulldogs are also undefeated in league play which could make the
Ronceverte - Alderson battle a Championship match. The fans in
Alderson are excited about McLaughlin led team that has won more
games in his first year at the helm than in the previous three
Indians Mowed Down By
Powerful Bobcat Combine
The inaugural Cinderella season for McLaughlin took
another hit Friday, November 7th. in a sound defeat to Hinton by a
margin of 27 - 0. As reported in the November 13th. edition of
The Alderson Advertiser, Dodie Vaughan reported on the game:
"Alderson's Indians went out of the Conference
Saturday and were defeated by one of the strongest schoolboy elevens
this state has to offer."
"The Indians' razzle dazzle attack that
had clicked in five successive games was forced to bend the knee
before the powerful charges of Johnny Worth, who has under his wing
next to the strongest high school team in West Virginia. Pugh's
sensational runs, Hedrick's terrific line smashes and Copeland's
off-tackle thrusts were stopped cold by the conquerors of Benwood
and other strong teams. However, Pete the Alderson flash, broke
loose once and was headed for a certain touchdown but slipped and
fell. The punting of Melvin Honaker, as was predicted, proved to be
the real feature of the game from an Alderson standpoint. However,
the line play of McClung, B. Jones, Fawcett and A. Jones gave the
Alderson side something to cheer about on several occasions. This
quartet in the forward wall showed what they could do under fire,
and against the best team they will ever be called upon to face."
"Alderson took it on the nose the same as Benwood,
East Bank, Oak Hill, Bluefield and other strong elevens have done
and even in defeat the Indians will be a smarter, a much wiser and
harder team than ever to down in the two remaining games.
McLaughlin never pointed for this game. However, the outcome has
roused the local mentor's ire to a certain extent and Talcott and
Ronceverte will feel the real power of this 1926 Indian combine."
The headline in the "Advertiser" on November 20th
pointed to the Talcott game on the 21st as the big match up prior to
Alderson's meeting in the "Valley Classic" with Ronceverte.
According to the writer, Vaughn, "Pollock, who has done a nifty
job of coaching at the little Summers county school. would rather
win from Alderson than any team on his schedule." The fans in
Alderson are reminded of last year's game with Talcott where the
Pirates beat the Indians 27 - 0. Many believe that the result of
that game was largely responsible for a change in the coaching job
at Alderson with McLaughlin coming to town. " Talcott has broken
even so far this year winning two and losing two, and a win over
Alderson's title bound Indians would make Roy tops among the Talcott
fans." This was not to be although the game was much closer than
anyone in Alderson imagined. The outcome, after a tough hard fought
game, saw the Indians prevail 7 -6.
The win for Alderson came at a very high price. The
Beckley Post Herald reported in its November 23rd. edition:
"It was a bitterly waged battle from start to finish and was one of
the roughest ever played on Alderson's field. The Indians held a
slight edge throughout, gaining 11 first downs to eight for the
losers. The one point victory was a costly one to Alderson as Pugh,
stellar quarterback, was removed from the game with a broken arm
that will keep him out of the important Turkey Day battle here with
Ronceverte. The injury to Pugh, coming early in the first quarter,
handicapped the locals the rest of the game, as the offense has been
built around this lad. Bill Jones, star tackle, also suffered a
broken collar bone, which will keep him out of Thursday's game."
"Alderson scored in the first
quarter on a series of line plays and end runs, while Talcott came
back strong in the third period to score on a series of line plays
and line passes. The visitors missed the try for extra point while
Alderson's fullback, Honaker, made it seven for the locals by
splitting the Pirates' wide open for the margin of victory."
The Herald continues: "The loss
of Pugh and Jones will be felt here Thursday in the season's final,
but Alderson fans are looking to Ave McLaughlin to bring the 1936
conference banner here this season."
"Valley Classic" Will
Thrill Football Fans Here Next Week" Alderson Advertiser,
November 20, 1936
The "Valley Classic" as the game between Alderson and
Ronceverte has been named did not disappoint the fans. A portion of
Dodie Vaughan's article prior to the game says it all:
"The traditional time honored battle between Alderson
High and Ronceverte High down through the years is a vigorous spirit
of rivalry that has burned at white heat between these two schools.
A hundred or more of Alderson men and women recall the bright days
of their youth when they arose in the grandstand to shout
themselves hoarse in a frenzy of effort to stir their favorites
onward and onward to the goal. Many of them will be at the
Thanksgiving tilt mingling with the youngsters while the years slip
away and the sweating, struggling figures are the same as in the
years gone by. This year the crowd will be as big as ever and the
outcome will mean more to Alderson than it has meant in a number of
years. So let's all turn out and help Alderson even up the score
with this time honored rival."
This final game of the season had the distinction of
being for the Greenbrier Valley Championship. As reported earlier
Alderson lost to Rainelle in the first game of the season.
Ronceverte was undefeated in league play late in the season, and
could have ended up with the championship outright. Rainelle
suffered one loss prior to meeting Ronceverte, and could have won
the Championship by defeating Ronceverte. As fate would have it
Ronceverte lost to White Sulphur by a score of 13 - 7 (Alderson
defeated White Sulphur 32 -7), and then Ronceverte defeated the
Rangers of Rainelle in an away game 15 - 12. Ronceverte and
Alderson were tied in the standings going into this big match up on
In his article building up the drama toward the game
Vaughn noted that comparison of scores during the season against
common rivals favored the Indians, but he opined some wisdom that
anyone who has ever followed Alderson football is sure to know when
he said the following:
"However, comparison of scores
means nothing when these tow old rivals meet as in the past the
favored team has not always been victorious. Good games usually
result and Alderson fans feel like this is an Alderson year. 'Abe'
McLaughlin has built a powerful ball club here this year a team that
has both speed and power built around a young halfback by the name
of Pete Pugh, who has been the Red Grange of the valley this
season." (When Dodie wrote this article it was prior to the Talcott
game where Pete broke his arm and was not available for the
Ronceverte game along with standout Andy Jones hobbled with a broken
"Alderson and Ronceverte have been playing annually
since 1923. Alderson won five games, Ronceverte won six and they
tied two in '25 and '26."
Greenbrier Valley Grid Champions
Alderson Advertiser, November 27, 1936
"Before a crowd of 1,900 spectators yesterday the
Alderson Indians defeated the Bull Dogs of Greenbrier high school of
Ronceverte by a decisive score of 19 to 0 to win the championship of
the Greenbrier Valley conference for 1936. The annual game between
these ancient rivals was played on the local field. "
"The scores for Alderson came in the
first, third and fourth periods of play as the result of straight
football. Throughout the game the Indians out-fought and out-played
the visitors in every department of the game. In first downs
Alderson topped the Ronceverte team about thirteen to one, and
gained much more yardage."
"At only one time did the
locals make good the extra point following a touchdown-after the
second marker had been won by a full-back plunge. The entire
Alderson team played excellent ball, although handicapped by the
loss of Pugh and Jones who were injured in the Talcott game
Saturday. Among the outstanding gridders for the local combine were
Copeland and Hedrick in the backfield and Fawcett and McClung on the
line. The punting of Honaker was the best seen on the Alderson
field within the past five years."
"Although the whole Alderson outfit did
themselves proud in yesterday's game, and throughout the entire
season, yet most credit should go to Coach "Abe" McLaughlin who
taught the local gridders how to handle the pigskin. It has
transformed the Alderson team from a combine of losers last year
into the champions of the Greenbrier Valley Conference. McLaughlin,
by his work here this season has propelled himself to be the
outstanding coach in the Greenbrier valley. The fact that
McLaughlin had to practically reorganize his team after the injuries
received from Talcott in order to win yesterday's battle speaks of
If the game did not provide enough excitement the
half-time festivities were outstanding.
"Yesterday's game was featured as an annual home-coming occasion for
Alderson high school. Outstanding among the features was the
crowning of two lovely girls, Miss Frances Neely, Princess
Aldersonah, of Alderson high school, and Miss Kathleen McDowell,
Miss Greenbrier, of the Ronceverte School, at the football field.
These two girls were elected to their positions by the respective
"J. Frank Nash, member of the
board of education of Greenbrier County, crowned the princess and
Miss Greenbrier. Parents of the football players of the high school
were admitted without cost to the football game and occupied
reserved seats. The parade started at 1:30 o'clock and was led by
Hunter Ellis, the Princess and Miss Greenbrier. The kick-off was at
3:30 on the local field."
As footnote to this outstanding first season for "Abe"
the Alderson candidates for the all-valley eleven were Pete Pugh,
Raymond McClung, Billy Jones, and Willie Fawcett, while the play of
Bob Copeland and Mark Hedrick received outstanding marks throughout
The 1936 Season In Review
Record 7 - 2 Points for
164 Points Against 58 Greenbrier Valley Champions