The caption under this photo read “Defense, Defense, Defense! Valle High’s Jerry Scherer (dark jersey) finds the going tough against Cape Central defenders. Linebackers Ken Kirk (63) and Kim Godwin (40) give a helping hand to lineman Terry Rhymer (67); defensive end John Rusesler and tackle Dawson Young (72) are moving in rapidly. Four and five Central defenders were in on every play, as the Tigers defeated the Warriors, 21-0.”
Photo gallery of Central – Valle High game
Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.
I think this was a Central High School football game, but I can’t swear to it. I have a few Missourian clips of high school sports, but none of these photos were in the ones I could find.
Shooting night football was full of challenges.
The fields were too dark and the film was too slow to shoot available light, so you had to use flash.
Electronic flash was better than flashbulbs because you could shoot as quickly as the strobe would recycle. Unfortunately, the more you shot, the more the battery discharged and the slower the recycle time.
Electronic flash duration was very short, so it stopped action very well. Unfortunately, the shutter had to be completely open when the flash went off, so the shutter speed had to be set at 1/60 or 1/90 of a second. The flash would stop the action, but there would be enough ambient light that “ghosting” would occur. You can see it on some of these shots where there is a blurry line around a helmet or arm.
The flash was limited to about 30 feet, so plays down the middle and on the other side of the field were out of range.
You had to guess where the play was going to be so you could set the exposure correctly. You could follow focus as the action moved, but you were pretty much stuck with your exposure.
You had to judge where the action was going to be, give or take 30 feet. Do you stand slightly ahead of the line of scrimmage and hope they run toward you? Do you go down the field and gamble that a pass that will be on your side of the field? When you get close to the end zone, do you stand under the goal posts and hope for a play coming at you or do you drop back behind the line of scrimmage? By the time the game was over, you probably covered as much of the field as the players did.
The goal was to drop off one to three prints at the paper before deadline. Usually there was only room for one in the paper. So, you spent a couple of hours shooting the game; an hour processing and printing it; a drive to the game and to and from the office; film, chemical and photo paper that cost about $1.50. For all of that, you got $5. Oh, I forgot to mention that you had to buy all your own equipment, too. Maybe I should have paid more attention in math class, because something doesn’t add up here.
Football photo gallery
If anybody knows the teams or anything about the game, chime in. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.
This shot of Charlie Duncan and Fanny Clemmons walking off the field after Central bested Perryville 20-6 in the homecoming game was published in the 1965 Girardot.
Duncan was a superb athlete and one of the nicest guys at Central. The Girardot Senior Directory lists his activities as “President, Treasurer of Homeroom; Varsity Club; Football; Track; All-State Honorable Mention, All Conference First Team.”
Fanny was in the Sports Club and was Secretary, Treasurer of the Volleyball Club.
“Glory Comes Late in Season”
The Girardot said “The highlight of this year’s season came in a triumphant victory over the Perryville Pirates, 20 – 6. This being the homecoming and final game, the Tigers would settle for nothing less than victory. Executing brilliant plays and coordinated teamwork, Central took and early lead. The second half showed as much determination as the first, as the Tigers maintained a definite advantage and ended the Pirates’ winning streak.”
Cape Beat Jackson 19 – 0
I remember Jackson as being Cape’s biggest rival in our generation. The Girardot reported on the season’s fourth game: “The rivalry between Cape and Jackson surged to a climax as Central downed the Indians, 19 – 0.”
There were several players with numbers beginning with 5 in the yearbook team photo. Since I can’t read the whole number, it could be Mike Gray (52), Wayne Roeder (50) or Leslie Carlton (56). I know it’s not Bill Jackson (54), and I’m pretty sure it’s not Mike Gray. The girl on the left looks like she might have been one of the Dunklin girls, but I’ll let somebody else confirm it.
CHS lost squeaker to Sikeston
The Sikeston – Cape Central game I covered in 2010 was a blowout, with Sikeston scoring in the first minute and winning 21 – zip. The 1965 Girardot said “One of the most thrilling games was the Tigers’ encounter with the Sikeston Bulldogs. The last 52 seconds proved to be the deciding point when the Bulldogs scored a touchdown, ending the game in a close 20 -19 defeat for the Tigers.
I’m pretty sure # 84 was Jerry O’Connell.
1964 Varsity Scores
The Girardot: “Highlights of Central’s 1964 football season included both disappointments and triumphs.”
CHS vs Blytheville: 6 – 12
CHS vs University City: 7 – 14
CHS vs Paducah Tilghman: 6 – 6
CHS vs Jackson: 19 – 0
CHS vs Poplar Bluff: 0 – 14
CHS vs Sikeston: 19 – 20
CHS vs Chaffee: 34 – 13
CHS vs Charleston: 0 -14
CHS vs Perryville: 20 – 6
The yearbook’s team photo has some of the numbers obscured, but I’m going to guess that #28 was Mike Friese. Girlfriends, unfortunately, didn’t wear numbers, so I’m not sure who the girl was. Ron Riley was wearing #73 in the yearbook.
It’s been more than 40 years since I last shot a Central High School football game. Maybe I should have passed on this one. According to news stories I’ve been reading, Cape and the Sikeston Bulldogs were undefeated for the season.
If I had to put bookends on the evening, the shot of a Tiger being consoled after the game would be at the back end and this shot of a Bulldog scoring the first touchdown would go on the front end. The Bulldogs scored in less than a minute, ending up with a 21-0 win.
Sikeston’s first touchdown
When I first started shooting sports, I was told a good photo was one that showed the ball, the player’s number, his face and action. Oh, yes, and it should be sharp unless you were trying for an arty effect.
You’re going to see a bunch of action shots here that bend that rule severely. I didn’t have any long lenses with me, so I was limited in what I could get. I decided to put in some of the marginal shots because (a) it doesn’t cost me anything and (b) somebody might recognize themselves.
Unpleasant flashback as the clock counted down
When I was shooting the final moments of the game, I had a scary flashback to a high school basketball game I shot in a small Ohio town. The game seesawed back and forth all evening. When the winning goal was shot at the buzzer, the losing cheerleaders started crying. Some of the fan objected to me taking pictures of that. I looked over at a local cop for support; he shook his head and said, “If they come after you, I’m out of here.”
I was touched, too, when I saw several players not only shake hands with their opponents after the game, but embrace each other.
The Jungle was full of Tiger spirit
I always enjoyed shooting the crowd more than the game. One Friday night in southern Ohio, I shot the best football game of my career. It had all the elements: enthusiastic fans, raving coaches, a kid who set a record in about every category you could think, winning cheerleaders, losing cheerleaders, a great photo of two opponents shaking hands at the end, and the losing team leaving the field.
Ohio football crowds
As it turned out, the sports editor ran a pedestrian action shot. On Monday morning, the published called me in to complain about our lackluster sports coverage of late. It gave me great pleasure to hand him the sheaf of photos I had taken at that game.
Did you hear her bell?
I was amused at the idea of the tiny bells being part of a band performance at a football stadium. (If those aren’t bells, I apologize. I know less about music than I do about football.)
Photo gallery from Cape vs. Sikeston
The gallery is in chronological order, from pre-game, game, half time, more action, then game end. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.
I wouldn’t waste a lot of time on the game action photos unless you’re looking for someone you know. I didn’t have the lenses to zero in on the action, it’s been over 40 years since I shot Central High School football and close to 20 years since I shot any kind of football.