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Ennis High Lions 1941
|Head Coach||Assistant Coach||Assistant Coach|
|M. V. Davidson||Frank Blair||Jude Smith|
1941 Football Schedule
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
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
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
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
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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