Top five teams in Valley’s football history
Published 10:30 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023
With almost 100 years of football, there have been some remarkable moments in the history of Valley. With this article, we are going to narrow it down to the five best seasons in the history of Valley High School.
To come up with the ranking I used the Alabama High School Football Historical Society’s website to check records, player awards and any other information about the teams. I then used the archives at the Chambers County library to verify the information and get more accurate scores of the games. I also used any newspaper articles covering the teams that I could find to verify information.
To judge the teams I used several different criterias. The criterias I used were overall record, historical significance, point differential and performance in rivalry games. Playoff performance is also a factor, but not all of these teams played when there was a playoff system.
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Rankings like this can often be controversial, and I understand that there will be different opinions. If any readers would like to share their rankings or opinions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. With that out of the way, here are the five best teams in the history of Valley Football.
- 1990 Valley Rams
There was a bit of inconsistency when finding the overall record for the 1990 team. In that year’s annual, they were said to finish the year with a record of 10-4. In that same annual there was a scoreboard of all the games. On that scoreboard it showed the 1990 team winning 11 games. Either way, this would have been the fifth best team for Valley.
Shaun Bonds was the head coach for the 1990 Rams. Bonds had come to Valley from Greensboro after leading them to 13 wins in the year prior. This would be Bonds’ first and only year with Valley. The next season he became the head football coach for Demopolis High School.
Some key players for the 1990 Rams are Eric Tucker, Bobby Tucker, Joe Dunn, and Wayne Buchannon. Eric and Bobby were both honorable mentions for the all-state team. Buchannon was also an honorable mention. Dunn was named to the first team.
In 1990, the Rams stumbled out of the gate losing three of their first four games. Then, Valley rattled off nine straight wins before losing in the semifinals in the playoffs.
The winning streak was highlighted by a dismantling of Lanett. The Rams beat the Panthers by 45 points in a shutout to end the regular season.
In the semifinals, Valley lost to Blount by seven points. Blount would go on to win the state championship the next week.
The Rams’ run in the playoffs helped them secure the fifth spot on this list. The Rams were just a few plays away from playing in their first state championship since 1970.
The Rams were highlighted by their defense that season. During their winning streak, the Rams only allowed 20 points or more twice.
The 1990 Rams could have been higher, but unfortunately the slow start knocks them down a few spots. However, the 1990 team is deserving of the fifth spot on this list.
- 1962 Valley Rams
The 1962 Rams finished their season undefeated with nine wins. The team was named the Border Conference Champions as well as the Alabama 2A state champions.
Valley was coached by Doug Lockridge that season. This was Lockridge’s 13th season at Valley. Lockridge is a name that will be mentioned multiple times on this list.
Some of the key players for the 1962 team were Don Dozier, George Chambley, Jimmy Addison, Ralph Edwards and Richard Colley. That season the Rams had two players named to an all-state team. Doug Lockridge was also named to the first team for all-state as a coach.
The Rams were remarkable on both sides of the ball in 1962. The defense allowed just 34 points total for the season. The Rams were also solid offensively. The Rams averaged close to 27 points per game and won all but one of their games by double digits.
Some notable finishes from the 1962 season were the Rams 32-0 victory over Opelika, their 38-0 victory over Alex City and the Rams 37-0 defeat of Central Phenix City.
Valley played Lanett to finish the season in 1962. Lanett only had one loss coming into the game, but Valley dominated the Panthers. Valley won the game by 17 points.
For an undefeated team this may be a little low on the list, but all three teams at the top are just as deserving of their spots.
- 1959 Valley Rams
The 1959 Rams finished their season undefeated with nine wins. The team was named Confederate Conference Champions as well as Alabama state champions.
The Rams were coached that year by Doug Lockridge in his 10th season at Valley. The team had four players play in the All-Star Game as well as make an all-state team.
Some of the key players for Valley were Jimmy Meadows, Larry Wall, Mickey Sherrer, Barry Daniels and Henry Frazier.
The Rams were dominant on defense in 1959. Valley held five teams scoreless in 1959. The Rams allowed just over three points per game.
Valley won each game by an average of close to 29 points. The Rams scored over 32 points per game that season.
Some notable finishes for the 1959 team was the 53-0 defeat of Auburn, the 39-0 defeat of Alex City and the 32-0 victory over Lanier.
Valley once again beat Lanett that season. The Rams played the Panthers at home and won the matchup by 20 points.
The 1959 team is another team that could be higher on the list, but a few things made them lower for me. It can be difficult to compare eras, but the absence of a playoff system made the Rams play less games. The playoffs also create tougher matchups, and that is the reason that I decided to put the next two teams at the top of the list.
- 1991 Valley Rams
The 1991 Valley Rams finished their season with an overall record of 12 wins and two losses. The Rams were eliminated in the semifinals of the playoffs in 1991.
Valley was coached by Robert Maddox in his first season with the Rams. Maddox is considered by many to be one of the best coaches in Valley’s history.
Some key players for Valley in 1991 were Brian Jennings, Marshon Harper, Corey Huguley, Eric Tucker, Franklin Winston, Bo Ashford and Kris Dewberry.
Tucker and Dewberry were both named to the first team for all-state. The Rams had three other players be named as honorable mentions. Maddox was named to the first team for all-state as a coach. Tucker and Ashford led the Rams on the ground, and each of them eclipsed the 1000 yard mark that season.
Harper went on to play football for the University of West Alabama. Harper is currently the head coach for Valley’s basketball team, and he led them to a state championship last season. Harper also currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Rams’ football team.
The 1991 Rams were not as dominant as some of the other teams on this list. The Rams had several games decided by a single possession. However, that season the Rams had one of the more significant playoff runs in Valley’s history.
Valley was once again eliminated by Blount in the playoffs, but leading up to that game the Rams had only allowed 15 points total in the first three rounds. The Rams secured wins over Stanhope Elmore, Bibb County and they shutout Holt. The Rams have only made it back to the semifinals once since 1991.
The Rams played in 5A in 1991 and they beat three teams in a class above them. On defense, the Rams allowed just over nine points per game.
- 1970 Valley Rams
The top spot on the list goes to the 1970 team. In 1970, the Rams finished their season with 11 wins, one loss and a tie.
The Rams were the champions in 3A in 1970. The 1970 Valley team is still the only team to win a state championship since Alabama began doing a playoff system. The 1970 team also marks the first season that Rehobeth and Valley combined and desegregated the two schools.
The Rams were coached that year by Doug Lockridge in his 21st season with Valley. The team was nothing short of remarkable.
Valley was led by their defense. The Rams held seven of their thirteen opponents scoreless and allowed an average of just over five points per game.
There were several key players on that team, but Jerry Brown and Robbie Wiggins standout the most. Brown was named to the All Southern team and Wiggins was invited to play in the All-Star game. Both players were also named to an all-state team.
It is also worth noting that future head coach Robert Maddox was a member of the Rams that season.
The 1970 Rams get the top spot on this list because they were not only the best team that season, they also beat the best.
The one major mark on Valley’s record in 1970 was the loss to Lanett, but Lanett also had a very good team that season.
Going into the playoffs, Valley was ranked as the second best team in the state. In the first round they faced Troy in a rematch of a game that ended in a tie during the regular season. The Rams shutout Troy and beat them by 28 points in that first round game.
The Rams won their second round game by nineteen points. Valley then had to face the number one team in the state, Sylacauga, in the championship game. Valley defeated Sylacauga by one possession to claim the championship.
Overall, I believe that the 1970 team for Valley is one of the most dominant and significant teams in Valley’s history.
I looked at and considered every team in Valley’s history for this list. A few teams that were left off were the 2011, 2008, 1992, 1987,1986 and 1950 teams. These teams were all close to making the top five. The 1950 and 2008 Rams would have been next on the list if I had chosen more than five teams.