LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Look what David Russell found. The former Jacksboro High School Golden Eagle All-Star came across a La Follette Press from his senior season and shares it with us today.
Publisher’s note: The story and photos were originally published last November.
Like on the basketball court, Russell’s timing was good as Campbell County High School opens its basketball season on Tuesday some 50-years after Russell starred for the Blue-n-Gold.
Bob McClure was handling sports for the Press in the late 1960s and early 70s and featured the 1970-71 All-County Team in this edition from Thursday, February 25, 1971.
In those days, with four high schools, each team played each other twice with six of the teams total games played within the county. Jacksboro and La Follette featured quite the rivalry as did Jellico and Wynn.
It was quite a different time in those days. There were three channels on most televisions in Campbell County, and FM radio was an unknown commodity. As a result, high school gyms were usually packed most nights especially when these four county rivals met up.
WLAF, before its FM, just on the AM dial at 1450, was the only way to learn about the teams in a somewhat timely manner. In fact, Wynn would not allow WLAF to broadcast the La Follette-Wynn game live from the Bulldogs Gym for fear of hurting the gate. WLAF would record the game on site on a reel-to-reel recorder. At halftime, one of the broadcast crew members would run the first half reel out to a waiting taxi that would drive the reel to the WLAF Studio. The announcer on duty would play the first half as soon as he received it. The announcing crew would then bring the second half reel to the station once the game ended.
Here, 50-years later, the structures that housed Jacksboro and Jellico High Schools that those of us of a certain age knew have been long since replaced. Much of Wynn High School is still intact while there are some remaining parts of the old La Follette High building. Just one of the four gyms remains; the one at Wynn where Russell and the rest of the 1971 All-County team played and where Larry Meadows wowed crowds with 40, 50 and 60 point scoring nights.
Thanks for the memories, David, and all the rest of you All-County performers. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/16/2020-6AM-REPUBLISHED 11/26/2021-6AM))