African-American football champions to get rings 48 years later

Trinity High School’s football team of 1965 will receive state championship rings from the Decatur High Booster Club on Thursday night at Decatur High.

Trinity was the Decatur high school for African-Americans during segregation. The team’s football team, which included Clarence Scott (later an All-Pro cornerback with the Cleveland Browns) and Jack Pitts (a quarterback who signed with Michigan State), won the Class A championship in the old Georgia Interscholastic Association.

The team, nicknamed the Bulldogs, defeated Wilson of Tifton 19-14 in the championship game and finished 13-0, posting seven shutouts. Trinity played and defeated schools such as Lemon Street of Marietta, East Depot of LaGrange, Burney-Harris of Athens and Fairmont of Griffin. Trinity’s coach was O.F. Massey.

Trinity closed in 1968 and merged into Decatur High, located essentially across the street from the old Trinity school.

19 comments Add your comment

Sportsnut

August 28th, 2013
9:04 am

Another North Georgia Champion.

Swamp Lizard

August 28th, 2013
9:35 am

I know it has to hurt waiting this long to be rewarded, but congratulations to these men.

Max Sizemore

August 28th, 2013
1:18 pm

Amen, Swamp Lizard.

DeKalbFB1

August 28th, 2013
3:46 pm

How fitting this article was shown on I Have A Dream speech in Washington, DC! I think all those young men wanted at that time was their ring…

Camden74

August 28th, 2013
5:51 pm

Sportsnut…..Ralph J. Bunche HS of Woodbine, Ga.(Camden County), defeated Henry CountyTraining for the Class A Championship in 1960. Another South Georgia Champion! :-D

Ron

August 28th, 2013
7:43 pm

A sorry shame it was that the fine black athletes of the past were not allowed to compete freely. It really is pitiful. I am one who remembers well the first year that black schools were allowed to be in the GHSA basketball playoffs (I think it was 68). We were amazed at how great the players were, with Beach High of Savannah steamrolling all the competition. It was not close. Astonishing!

You know I can’t really figure out why Jimmy the Greek got in trouble for saying that black athletes were in general superior to whites. They destroyed him, and he told the truth. Sure, there are a lot of great white athletes out there, but blacks are, in general, far faster and better leapers.

Anyway, congrats to the Trinity players. Well deserved!

Camden74

August 28th, 2013
10:07 pm

Oh yeah, Congratulations! Hope all of the team members are still around…….. :-)

Sportsnut

August 29th, 2013
5:10 am

I all seriousness, This is the way it should be. We need to include all the stat’s from the GIA. Hamilton high school was in my neighborhood and I know there were great athletes coming through it.

oleballcoach

August 29th, 2013
6:48 am

My grandfather played for Randolph Co. Training in Roanoke, AL. I can remember him telling me the stories of them playing Ethel Kight and East Depot out of LaGrange. Many amazing athletes that were never heard of.

oleballcoach

August 29th, 2013
6:50 am

In 1967, Douglass of Thomasville beat Ethel Kight in the state championship game.

OlschoolRT

August 29th, 2013
7:06 am

Great story, very wonderful to hear, I hope it inspires all young athletes that it’s greater then the moment, but alway been about us being a part of a LEGACY lady’s and gentlemen, let us continue to carry that LEGACY and share it with our children and grandchildren. After all it is our charge.

BigBuc

August 29th, 2013
7:31 am

Lets not forget the 1967 Lemon Street High Hornets. Beat Lynwood 106-0. 106 are you kidding me, thats like nobody out on the field with you. LSHS forever!

oleballcoach

August 29th, 2013
7:47 am

It was 1966 and 104-6. That was just plain CRAZY. Did Lynwood even show up

Camden74

August 29th, 2013
10:08 am

There are many accomplishments that don’t show up in the record books. If I remember correctly, Mack “Shotgun” Sullivan of Ralph J.Bunche HS, threw 9 touchdown passes against Peck HS of Fernandina Beach, FL., in 1961…..By the way, Bunche HS ran the Wing-T……. :-D

5AReg6Fan

August 29th, 2013
11:43 am

What a fitting article and on the anniversary, 50 years ago, that commenced one of America’s most historical event – “The 1963 March on Washington”. As Camden74 mention, hopefully many of these past athletes are still around to witness and accepted this TRUE honor. As a person who wasn’t born and raised in the South, GA transplant for over 25+ years, I can also state that this black eye in America sports history was not only maintain to the Southern states, but the Northern states as well, mainly basketball. Last year one of my great uncle’s team was recognize and honor for winning the Illinois State basketball championship, beating many white schools along the way. Unfortunately, my uncle and most of his teammates did not live to witness their moment of excellent. My mother received his ring and I now have it with me in GA – displaced with my son & daughter rings from Tucker HS. So I guess I have both North & South State Championships. (LOL)

Hopefully we, as America’s, have moved forward past the darker days in our country’s history.

Sports and all inclusive competition have ALWAYS brought ALL people together for the common good of MAN.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2013 5A Football……

Marion McCrary

August 29th, 2013
11:22 pm

Lemon Street High in Marietta had this player I played in the 1964 all star basketball game with name
Julius Keys. Julius was about 6′11 and a bad man.You guys make remember so of the players on the 1964 team.Center-Sonny Epps from H M Turner High Atlanta,Forward Jame Green H M Turner High,Forward Julius Keys Lemon Street High Marietta, Guard Calvin Adams South Fulton High and Captain of the west team Guard Henry Simp Simpson.Where are these guys now. anyone know,

roy stanley

August 30th, 2013
10:59 am

I would like to congratulate Clarence,Jack and the rest of their teammates on a great season in 1965,so sad that all of their teammates was not here to share in the ceremony.I want to think Herb White had a hand in making this happen,if so,congrats to you and the Decatur H.S. booster club.Thanks. Also Price H.S. of Atlanta won the state football championship in higher AAA classification in 1965,defeating Lucy Laney and going 13-0.They also was never honor by the city of Atlanta,but congratulation to your great team also.

Camden74

August 30th, 2013
11:48 am

Think about it, the vast majority of the talent seen now at different schools, was concentrated at all Black Schools scattered all over the State of Georgia. I was a kid, but I remember the Valdosta, Thomasville, Tifton, Liberty County, Brunswick, Quittman, Waycross, Bainbridge…etc., football teams. Then, there were the Savannah, Liberty County, Waycross and Brunswick Teams in basketball……That was something awesome to see! All of that talent, thinking back, it was absolutely unbelievable! Don’t know if this is true or not, but I am told that Coach Bazemore was a big fan of Ralph J. Bunche HS Football. Whenever they played in Valdosta he would attend the game. :-)

janlavon

September 1st, 2013
8:06 am

I THINK THIS WAS GREAT TO SEE I WAS IN THE 8 GRAD AT THE TIME . IT WAS GREAT’.