Change Is Inevitable.
Attending high school football games, for us older dudes, points out just how much things have changed.
A popular notion is to promote change, especially in politics but things change anyway.
Oh yeah, guys still get out on the field and bang into each other and the referee runs up and down the field blowing his whistle, but almost everything now, except the size of the field, has changed to a degree from when I first remember watching games in the early 1940s.
The popularity of the game has increased while equipment, rules and facilities continue to evolve, but how about the players themselves?
They are much larger compared to guys (and gals) from my youth.
The roster of the Thayer High School football team at the recent homecoming game in October of 2008 compared to a program from my playing days in 1952 shows the remarkable change.
For a more complete comparison, we listed the THS 1936 squad, which was one of the heaviest teams of that era.
In the 1920s and 30s, Thayer High School ranked favorably in size with the other schools in the league. Cabool was smaller than Thayer in those days, and Willow Springs was about the same size, but of course West Plains was larger.
By the 50s, West Plains had doubled Thayer in population and Rolla was much larger. Mountain Grove had long been a powerhouse football school.
Ava, Houston, Mountain View and Willow Springs were more in line with Thayer's population but they were not smaller.
Playing on the line against schools like Rolla in the 50s wasn't necessarily a fun evening. In my opinion, it should make teams from the smaller schools like Thayer proud to have competed so well.
For developing a fine long-range program, Coach Meek of Thayer should be given much credit. And of course no amount of accolades are too much for Billy Webber, Matt and Marc Pitts for their team's accomplishments in 2007 and 2008.