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2014 History

100 Years of Football

This year marks the 100th year of Blue Devil football in Tifton.  Entering the 2013 season, the Blue Devil 
 
Compliments of Kyle Dean, Chad Stone
Tift County Football ....Through the Decades
1914 1930 1940 1950  1960  1970  1980  1990 
2000 2001  2002 2003 2004  2005  2006  2007 
2008  2009  2010  2011  2012 2013 2014
2015
 2016              
 
 

 



1928 Team Picture:
First Row (L-R): Shorty Hollingsworth, Jack Bowen, Harmon Carmichael, Hugg Hargrett, Dink Densmore,
Cliff Horne, Whit Scarboro, Dub Reeves, Gboy McCrea, Landy England, C. Patten; Second Row: Red Moore,
Oakman Ethridge, Carl Rainey, Robert Crum, Carlton Hightower, Tom Robers, Desmond Greene, Swift Turner, Alton Crum, Aubrey Baker, Russell Patten, Robert Martin, Everett Ross, Shorty Bryant;
Third Row: Coach G. O. Bailey, Manager: Walter Martin

1914-1929

The first football game played by a team representing a high school in Tifton took place on Saturday, October 17, 1914. To give you an idea -- Woodrow Wilson was president, the Ford Motor Company announced the 8-hour work day, the minimum wage was set at $5 a week and Germany officially started World War I by declaring war on Russia.

Football was already in most of Georgia. In 1903, South Georgia football began in earnest when Benedictine and Savannah fought for the Chatham County crown. Evidence suggest that Fitzgerald and Waycross were meeting on the gridiron even before that.

In Tifton, the Tifton Agricultural and Mechanical School, which later became the Georgia State College for men, was fielding teams. In an Atlanta Constitution article printed in 1915, the rivalry between Tifton A & M and Norman College was in its sixth year with Norman owning a 4-2-2 advantage.

The A & M Aggies claimed the 1916 state title after winning the South Georgia Prep Association's championship game over Norman 26-0.

In 1914, Tifton High played "the Scrubs," which was A & M's B-team. Tifton played the Scrubs three straight times with two scoreless ties followed by Tifton's first recorded loss -- a 14-0 defeat called because of darkness after the third quarter.

With a record of 0-1-2, Tifton then began their rivalries with Moultrie and Valdosta. Both of those schools began their programs a year earlier and handed Tifton a pair of beatings with a combined score of 0-69.

Those losses must have taught the young Tifton team well because those same boys went on to win the South Georgia Championship in 1915. They did so by beating Valdosta 33-0 in the title game.

B.G. Childs was the coach for Tifton's first three seasons and it's worth mentioning the last names of those first players for posterity: Carson W. Cobb, Morgan, Stypes, Terrell, Whiddon, Parker, Herring, McCrea, J. Cobb, Hargrett, Smith and Phillips.

In 1917, Tifton went on a two-year hiatus because, "Owing to lack of material, there will be no football team this season," according to an article published in The Dailey Tifton Gazette. A flu epidemic was cited as a reason for the lack of material, and World War I caused much of Georgia to do without football through 1918.

As football progressed, Tifton began some interesting rivalries almost on a yearly basis. In its first year of football, Tifton handed McPhaul Institute, better known as Sylvester, a memorable loss. The 87-0 win is still Tifton's biggest margin of victory and most points in a single game.

Several discrepancies exist when the rivalry with Fitzgerald is discussed. A team from Fitzgerald is on the Tifton record books in 1915 and played as early as 1909, but a book chronicling the history of the Purple and Gold Boys states that program officially began in 1919.

Thomasville appears on the schedule in 1915, Albany in 1916, Cordele and Ocilla in 1922. Nashville and Ashburn appear in 1923 but Ashburn only appears six more times in the 1920s with an 8-1 record in 1923 with the lone loss coming to conference champion Valdosta. The next year, Tifton went 6-2 with one controversial game against Moultrie. Tifton lost 12-0, but in articles following the game, a pair of ineligible players were in the game for Moultrie.

The year 1924 will stand out in Tifton history for a very special reason. It was in 1924 that the first printed reference was made to the Blue Devils. In a preview for the Sylvester game, a sportswriter made the familiar reference that still rings today. Tifton lost what was called the South Georgia championship game to Valdosta that year, 12-0.

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