1957 Team Very Special

The 1957 Llano Yellowjackets were very good.  They had a defense that shutout four teams.  They allowed only 111 points all season.  The team played  in a time in which only the district champion made the playoffs.  Lose the wrong game, and basketball began the next Monday.  So Championships were a big deal.  Llano thought and played like it was a champion.  Yet on October 4, 1957 San Saba beat the Jackets 19-7.  Here is a game by game break down of the 1957 season, records recorded in a journal  by Head football Coach Jim Moore.  This Journal is in the Llano Hall of Fame.

GAME 1: Sept. 6, 1957- Evant…Llano 44- Evant 0.  Freshman Henry Hammons, a legend already after a junior high career that some still talk about today. Have been told he was never tackled.  Others said he scored over 50 touchdowns.  But against Evant, in his first varsity football game Henry scored four touchdowns on runs of 45, 12, 7, and 62 yards.  His pal and senior running back Walter Ligon scored three touchdowns on runs of 20, 35, and 33, with a 40 yard run called back.  Senior fullback George Fraser had a 45 yard TD called back, but had 84 yards on 12 carries.  Henry carried the ball only 6 times for 156 yards.  Walter carried 10 times for 130 yards.  Senior quarterback Bill Anderson had one carry for 7 yards.  Llano had 399 yards in three quarters.  Coach Moore notes he “did not get all of 2nd quarter ” recorded.

GAME 2: Sept. 13, 1957-  Llano 33 Junction 7: This week Walter Ligon had TD runs of 6, 21, and a 45 yard TD called back.  Fraser had one TD and kicked 3 extra points.  Henry had a TD run of 4 yards.  Winfred Bauer had a pass interception, and Don Ray Hopson caught a pass for 34 yards.

GAME 3: Sept. 20, 1957-  Llano 0 San Saba 22:  Fraser had 11 carries and 63 yards.  Henry had 36 yards on 8 carries.  Ligon had 15 yards and 8 carries. Anderson had one carry and one yard.  Llano only had 116 yards of offense.

GAME 4: Sept. 27, 1957- LLano 46  St. Edwards 0-  George Fraser had 23 carries, 208 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns, on runs of 30, 17, and 55 yards.  George also kicked 4 extra points.  Don Ray Hopson had a 50 yard TD catch, plus ran back an interception for 50 yards.  Henry had 18 carries and 141 yards.  Anderson carries 5 times for 49 yards. Sandy Hodges had 6 carries and 43 yards.  Bubba Allen had one carry for one yard and a first down.  Sam Oatman carried once for 3 yards, and Olney Wallis carried once for 2 yards.  Llano had 480 yards of offense.

GAME 5: Oct. 4, 1957- Llano 7, Mason 19.  George Fraser had 128 yards on 25 carries, and kicked one extra point.  Henry had 6 carries and 28 yards and a 3 yard TD run.  Hodges had 8 carries and 35 yards.  Anderson had 3 carries and 9 yards.  Hopson carried 2 times and 3 yards.  Carl Ray Martin carried once and lost one yard.  Llano only had 202 yards of offense. Mason went on to win the district championship.

GAME 6:  Oct. 11, 1957- Llano 34  Rising Star 0- Fraser had 17 carries and 165 yards,  two TD runs of 14 and one yards, and kicked four extra points.  Henry had 11 carries and 118 yards, with a 6 yard TD run.  Bill Anderson carries 3 times for 22 yards, and a 13 yard TD run, plus ran back a punt 80 yards for a TD.  Sandy Hodges had 4 carries for 43 yards, and Martin 4 carries for 13 yards.  Llano had 316 yards of offense.

GAME 7: Oct. 18, 1957- Llano 46  Burnet 21- George Fraser had the game of a life-time.  7 TD runs of 2,2, 8, 1, 5, 45 and 2, plus 3 extra points, for a total of 45 points, today still a school record.  George had 36 carries and 317 yards.  An average of 8.8 yards a carry. Henry carried 15 times for 94 yards. He also kicked an extra point. Anderson had 3 carries for 17 yards.  Sandy Hodges had 5 carries and 6 yards.  Carl Ray Martin one carry and two yards, and Ligon 2 carries and 9 yards.  Hopson caught one pass for 25 yards, and one run for 23 yards.  Llano finished with 470 yards.  Coach Moore notes that after this game, Fraser had 1081 yards, and Hammons had 657 yards.

GAME 8: November 1, 1957-  LLano 19, Cross Plains 18- Fraser had two TD runs of 4 and 14 yards, and one extra point, with a total of 141 yards on 22 carries.  Henry had one 86 yard run for a TD, and finished with 119 yards on 11 carries. Anderson had 9 carries for 4 yards.  Hodges had one carry and 7 yards.  Ligon 4 carries and 16 yards. Hopson had one pass reception for 10 yards.  Llano had 297 yards of offense.

GAME 9: November 7, 1956- Llano 53, Santa Anna 0- Fraser had 4 TDs, on runs of 7, 72, 87 and 7 yards.  George kicked three extra points, but a school record of 356 yards on 27 carries is pretty darn special.  Don Ray Hopson had his best night, catching 3 passes for 79 yards and two TDs, for 9 and 43 yards.  Henry had 15 carries and 62 yards, plus 2 extra points.  Carl Ray Martin had a 96 yard punt return for a TD.  Anderson had 2 carries for 16 yards, and had a 33 yard punt return.  Ligon had 4 carries for 33 yards. And Hodges had 6 carries for 20 yards.  The Jackets had 563 yards for the night.

GAME 10: November 15, 1057- Llano 52  Goldthwaite 26- George’s final game as a Jacket saw two TD runs of 5 and 20 yards, and one extra point.  He had 29 carries and 177 yards. Henry had two TD runs of 6 and 6 yards, and one extra point.  He had 18 carries and 128 yards.  Ligon, in his final game after an injured plagued year had two TD runs of each two yards, and 16 carries and 115 yards.  Anderson carries four times for 53 yards, and Hopson had one TD of 35 yards, one extra point and 3 carries for 88 more yards.  Llano had 561 yards of offense.

The four  players herein mentioned the most are all legendary.  Three are in the LHS Hall of Fame.  George Fraser is considered by many the greatest running back in LHS history.  His 1800 plus yards rushing in his single year is only surpassed by the great James Grantham, nearly 4 decades later. His 21 touchdowns and 22 extra points are in the record books. George’s 45 points in a single game still are # 1.  The disappointment is no records before 1957.  If we can ever find solid numbers for George’s sophomore and junior seasons, they would likely put his name all over the school record book.  Yet his legacy will still last forever in LHS lore.  George accepted a four years scholarship to Texas Tech where he played for four years, and received his degree.  After a career living in the Houston area, George retired back to Llano where he now resides with his beautiful wife Patsy.

Henry Hammons too accepted a scholarship to Texas Tech after his senior year.  Finding LHS records for Henry for his sophomore, junior and seniors seasons so far have been tough.  Still looking.  Yet his freshman year numbers of  892 yards rushing on 108 carries for a 8.25 average per carry will be entered into the record books.  Henry had 13 touchdowns and 5 extra points also his freshman year.  Henry was with his life long buddy George at Tech, but George graduated, and then Henry got hurt.  He laid out for a while, and then transferred to Louisiana Tech University where he was able to continue playing.  Henry too ended up back in Llano, and opened Big Johns’ BBQ at Fuzzy’s Corner.  For many years his business thrived and often one could see George helping at the pit at the BBQ pits.  Henry passed away a few years ago.

Don Ray Hopson accepted a football scholarship to Baylor University.  He played for a couple of years, and then worked in the East Texas area before he retired in East Texas.  Don Ray was recruited as an end, when a time few passes were even thrown.  His great athleticism was recognized by Baylor and he too is long remembered in Jacket history.

The legend of Walter Ligon makes grown men blush.  Tough as they come.  His senior year was off to a great beginning, when in mid season he hurt his knee.  He came back to towards the end of the season to play part-time.  He had 115 yards rushing in his final game at Llano.  His quickness and toughness was recognized by Rice University, where he accepted a football scholarship.  Walter was tough, and took little from others.  Legend tells us he was in a fight near the school and it must have been bad.  Walter was kicked out of school.  I got to know Walter later in life when he was selling real estate in the Lubbock area.  He often stopped by and we talked Llano football. I found him funny and clever.  Walter passed away a few years ago.

Growing up, these four players were god-like.  The best football players ever.  Still today, 62 years later, they are remembered.  I was so fortunate to know these men.  All were more special than just high school football players.  All had productive lives and careers, and families.  Maybe that is why they are all so special.

You can find all of the Llano High School records in the heading of the mast under school records…or you can go to LISD web site and under athletics all can be found also.

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2 Responses to 1957 Team Very Special

  1. Art Dlugach says:

    Great story and detail! Questions: are 13 wins right for Playoff victories? Is 48 points most ever in a playoff game? Thanks, Art

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