Fifty Years of Beulah Football

Published 10:30 am Saturday, June 24, 2023

In 1928, the Lee County School district came together and decided to consolidate several schools. These consolidated schools would become Beulah High School. 

In 1973, 45 years after the school was built, Beulah would come together to finally field a football team. 

Now, Beulah High School’s football program celebrates their 50th year as a team. 

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As it is with most new things, there were some struggles for Beulah’s football team early on. Beulah’s football team would only win seven games for their first four seasons combined. 

Success finally came for Beulah in 1977. That season, Beulah would finish with a record of seven wins to just two losses. That would be good enough for third in their region. 

Beulah’s most successful season early on would come in 1984. That season, Beulah would win 11 games and make it to the semifinals before losing to Sweet Water High School. 

1985 would be another successful campaign for Beulah. Beulah was ranked as the top team in 1A for a five week stretch in 1985. 

Beulah won 12 games that year and went to the semifinals again before losing to Repton High School. Currently, 12 is still the record for wins in a season at Beulah. 

Mr. Kim Williams was a senior at Beulah in 1973. He had previously lived in Valley before moving to Beulah later on. 

I doubt you will find a more comprehensive history of Beulah’s first football team than what is in Williams’ house. 

Kim’s wife started making a scrapbook for him while he was still in high school. The two have been married for 48 years and Williams still looks back on his scrapbook whenever he wants to reminisce about his playing days. 

Williams said that the football team would have likely not been able to field a team without the help of Alabama Power and West Point. 

A committee came together and decided to build a multipurpose field in Beulah that would serve as the baseball and football field. 

Williams’ father was on the athletics board and had connections that helped Beulah to get “wholesale” prices for much of the equipment that Beulah needed to build the field. 

The field was built and Beulah’s baseball team would start using that field in 1971 before the football team was formed. 

The year before Beulah fielded a high school football team, the school first had a junior high team. 

The junior high team would only play one year before the varsity team would be formed. The team was mostly made up of younger athletes. Williams was the only senior on the inaugural team. 

Due to Beulah being such a small school, the team’s main struggles that year came from their depth. Beulah barely had enough to fill a roster in their season. This meant that just about every player on the team had to play both ways. 

At one point Beulah even had to forfeit a game due to them only having 11 players healthy enough to take the field. Due to the lack of depth, Williams had to play several positions for Beulah. 

“We might have had two people that didn’t go both ways,” Williams said. “It was a challenge.” 

Williams said that in Beulah’s first game he played outside linebacker, fullback, and he handled all of the kicking duties for Beulah. 

Another part of the struggle for Beulah was that every team they played had been playing football for several years. 

Despite the struggles that Beulah had in their first season as a team, Williams said the support for the team was like no other. 

“It didn’t matter what the score was [or] who we were playing,” Williams said. “It was sold out every game.” 

Beulah’s one win in their first season came against Lyman Ward. 

Williams said that was his favorite memory from that season. 

“You would’ve thought we’d have won the Super Bowl,” Williams said. “We stayed in the locker room for a long time after the game. It was a thrill to actually win a football game.” 

Football is a lifeblood for many small communities in Alabama. 

Williams believes that football was crucial for a small school like Beulah. 

“It kind of set the foundation,” Williams said. “The next year they had a lot more people come out and then every year after they had a few more…” 

“If it hadn’t started football when we did, there’s no telling how long it would have taken.” 

Williams remembers many small schools that did not have football that would eventually shutdown. 

“It’s hard for schools that don’t have football to compete with all the other schools,” Williams said.