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Ennis High Lions 1941

Coaching Staff

Head Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach
M. V. Davidson Frank Blair Jude Smith

1941 Football Schedule

Date Team Score Opponent Score
September 12 Ennis 18 Arlington 7
September 19 Ennis 6 Corsicana 6
September 26 Ennis 0 Waxahachie 0
October 3 Ennis 0 Hillsboro 6
October 10 Ennis 33 Mexia 0
October 17 Ennis 19 Bryan 7
October 24 Ennis 6 Temple 13
October 31 Ennis 7 Cleburne 0
November 7 Ennis 28 Denton 0
November 14 Ennis 6 Waco 0

The season record for Ennis High was 6-wins and 2-loses and 2-ties, but on Friday, October 10, a Waxahachie High School player was ruled ineligible, and Waxahachie automatically forfeited the tie game with Ennis, and the win over Cleburne. So, the corrected season record for Ennis was 7-wins and 2-loses and 1-tie. The seasonís standing for District 10-AA placed Ennis in third place behind Temple and Waco, and the season's standing for district games placed Ennis in a tie with Corsicana for third place.

But if you really want to be a stickler for the rules, the executive committee of District 10-AA, University of Texas Interscholastic League, met at Hillsboro on Saturday, September 13, 1941. And they passed a district rule awarding a half-game to the win column and a half-game to the lose column for tie games. Using this rule, the Lionís season record in 1941 was 7.5-wins and 2.5-loses, but the standings remained the same. 

The old rules for tie games were on penetrations, first downs and gains from scrimmage resulting in a win or lose. The old rules would continue in force for the state playoff system.  

Up until 1948 Texas High School football crowned one state champion. Class-AA was the top class in Texas, and the only class with a state playoff system leading to a state championship game. The playoff system for smaller schools ended with regional championship games. 

In 1940 Ennis was a member of Class-A, but in 1941 they were elevated to District 10-AA with perennial powerhouses Corsicana, Temple and Waco. In 1939 Waco lost to Lubbock 20 to 14 in the state championship game, and in 1940 Temple lost to Amarillo 20 to 7. Waco High School was the preseason pick to win District 10-AA, and the odd-on favorite to win state in 1941. 

Paul Leighton Tyson was head coach of the Waco Tigers in 1941. His career at Waco began in 1913. He was one of the best known, and one of the most successful high school coaches in America. His teams at Waco played in seven state championship games. Waco was state champions in 1922, 1925, 1926 and 1927, and runner up 1923, 1924 and 1939. In 1927 Waco was recognized as the unofficial national high school champion after defeating Cathedral Latin High School of Cleveland, Ohio in a post-season game by the score of 40 to 14. 

Waco High School had the premier coach in Texas High School football. They were the only public high school in the city of Waco, which recorded a population of 55,982 in the Census of 1940. So, Coach Tyson had a large pool to draw talented high school athletes.  

In the Census of 1940 Ennis had a population of 7,031, and the Lions were not expected to be a factor in District 10-AA in 1941. 

For the 1935-36 school year, the Ennis School Board hired a new head football coach. His name was M. V. ďChaddyĒ Davidson. He had been head coach at Kaufman High School in Kaufman County, northeast of the Trinity River from Ennis, and in his first season won the first district championship in football in the history of Ennis High. In 1938 Coach Davidson added a second district championship, and the first bi-district championship defeating Wilmer-Hutchins at Lions Field in Ennis. In 1939 Coach Davidson added a third district title, but lost the bi-district game to a powerful McGregor team. In 1939 Airdale and Dooney were members of the Ennis Lionís squad, and Dooney lettered as a tough young guard. 

In 1940 Coach Davidson posted a season record of eight-wins and two-loses, and would have repeated as district champions for the third consecutive year, but for the fact that Ennis played several ineligible players in the game against Terrill Prep, a non conference game that Ennis won by the score of 13 to 6. So, before the kickoff in the game against Teague High School, the Lionís of Teague, south of Ennis in Freestone County, were crowned district champions. And the Lionís from Ellis County released their frustration on the football field crushing the new district champions 31 to 0. Airdale, Dooney and Joe were standouts for the Lions in 1940. 

On November 14, 1941 the Ennis Lions faced Waco High, the top rated team in the state, at Waco in the final game of the season for the Lions. Waco was undefeated with eight-wins and no loses. Ennisí record was five-wins, 2-loses and 2-ties. Temple was tied with Waco for first place in District 10-AA, and the Wildcats had defeated the Lions on October 24 by a score of 13 to 6. 

Under Friday night lights at Tiger Stadium in Waco the Ennis Lions and Waco Tigers lined up for the kickoff and start of a football contest that would be remembered by Ennis fans for decades to come. Like the biblical story of David and Goliath, Ennis slew the mighty Waco Tigers coached by Paul L. Tyson before a hometown crowd of 10,000. Three of the many standouts for the Lions were Airdale, a 155-pound right end with good hands and speed, Dooney, a 155-pound left guard with the heart of a lion, and the toughness to match, and Joe, a 158-pound left halfback with speed and the ability to pass, punt and run. Before the final gun sounded, Joe had crossed Wacoís goal line behind the blocking of Airdale, Dooney and others unsetting the Tigers 6 to 0. 

On Friday, November 21, Waco journeyed to Temple, but failed to get the Tyson Express back on track, and the Wildcats of Temple were victorious 13 to 0, and would climb the state playoff ladder to the state championship game for the second year in a row, but would fall short losing to the Wichita Falls Coyotes 13 to 0. 

Airdale and Dooney graduated high school in May of 1942, but Joe had a year of eligibility remaining. The three amigos had been standouts for the Lions in 1940 and 1941. 

District 10-AA Standings   District 10-AA All-Stars   Ennis Lions' 1941 Squad   State Playoffs 1941   All-State Team   Airdale, Dooney and Joe

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