Who do you think should manage Ferriday water?|
|Block gets historic win|
Wins over Vidalia were rare for Block High back in the 1980s and '90s.
But on November 14, 1986, the Bear football team made history by becoming the first Block High team to defeat a Vidalia Viking team.
"Our kids really wanted that game," said former Block coach Emilio Tesei. "They put forth a great effort. It was an amazing group of kids. And they were tired of being beat down."
The two teams met in a Class AA first round playoff contest.
"That was kind of odd," said former Block lineman William Atkins. "They were on our schedule my freshman and sophomore years, but they were taken off when we moved into a larger district. It was strange facing them in a playoff situation. We went 2-8 the year before. A lot of our success had to do with the coaching. We were just honored to be on the field in a playoff game with Vidalia because of their playoff tradition."
Vidalia entered the game as a wild card after going 7-3 and finishing second in District 2-AA behind Tallulah, while Block finished as District 6-AA champs.
The contest in Jonesville drew a standing-room only crowd, as did most games during Tesei's era.
Block scored twice in the first period as quarterback Mister Edwards scored on a 5-yard run.
All-everything running back Dexter Butcher then broke loose on an 80-yard run to put the Bears up 12-0. Block led by that score at half-time.
Butcher signed with LSU, but was not eligible because he was a Prop 48, eventually signed with Grambling.
He finished this night with 188 rushing yards on 19 carries. He had 1,833 yards through 11 games.
Butcher, Tulane signee Shawn Fagan and Ricardo Swift had interceptions for the Bears.
Edwards also completed a 55-yard pass to Joey Trunzler.
Vidalia's only score came on a 13-yard run by Joe Ray Hooker.
Hooker, playing with a sprained ankle suffered in practice before the final game against Tallulah, finished with 31 yards on 10 carries.
"We were scrimmaging before the last game and I tell my team to let a back go after he breaks the line because I will blow the whistle," Faircloth said. "Well, Joe Ray broke loose and one of the defensive backs dove at him and hurt his ankle."
Tesei was the fifth coach at Block in five years. He is now retired and living with his wife, Karen, in Covington.
"The first player I met was Benny Vault, who had a summer job at the school and he was stacking desks," Tesei said. "He looked at me like, 'Oh, no here comes another one.' After the season one of the kids came up to me and said, 'Where are you going next year?' I looked at him quizzically and he said, 'Nobody stays here for more than a year."
Block finished 8-4 in 1986, falling to South Cameron the following week as the Tarpons went on to play in the state championship game, falling to Kentwood.
In 1987, the Bears defeated South Natchez and Ferriday during the regular season. They did not play Vidalia. The Bears fell at West St. John in the quarterfinals.
"That was a really prolific group of kids," Tesei said. "They accomplished quite a bit
And I had an excellent coaching staff with Buddy Trisler, Cary Shively and George Jones."
Tesei said what he is most proud of is that most of his former players are now leading successful lives.
"One thing we talked about was the fact we believed we helped the community," Tesei said. "That was something they were very proud of. There was a 26 percent employment rate there at the time. But that community rallied behind that team. And those kids would come to work out before school and left work in the evening to come to practice before they went back. Those kids really worked hard. I am still very proud of them and really miss them."
|Frank Morris Murder Series|