Addison-Curry meet for first time in 29 years

By JEFFERY WINBORNE, Eagle Sports Correspondent
Posted 8/24/18

Despite being separated by only 19 miles and the Walker-Winston County line, the Curry Yellow Jackets and Addison Bulldogs haven’t faced each other on the football field in 39 years. Their last meeting was in 1979. Addison won that contest 28-21.

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Addison-Curry meet for first time in 29 years

Posted

Despite being separated by only 19 miles and the Walker-Winston County line, the Curry Yellow Jackets and Addison Bulldogs haven’t faced each other on the football field in 39 years. Their last meeting was in 1979. Addison won that contest 28-21.

That long drought ends with the Bulldogs making the trip to Curry’s Hudson-O’Rear Stadium tonight. The game kicks off at 7 p.m.

Curry and Addison played each other every year from 1953-79. In that time, Curry led the series 14-12-1 with the sole tie coming in 1958 with a 6-6 score.

The 26-year rivalry between the two schools was dominated by streaks on both sides. Curry went on a six-game winning streak from 1963-68. Addison’s longest stretch of wins was a five-game win streak beginning in 1973.

Allen Stephenson, Addison head coach from 1975-1991, believes that the advent of area play in 1974 forced an end to the rivalry between the two schools. Curry was initially placed in Class 2A, Region 9 while Addison fell into Class 1A, Region 15. The annual matchup continued for five more years before different classifications and regions made continuing the series too difficult. Eddie Preuitt and Stevie Hayes both played for Addison in the late 60s and remember the rivalry fondly.

“That was one of our top rivals, them and Double Springs,” Preuitt said. “I remember the deal they made of the crowd in 68. It was overflowing. We were both undefeated at that time, that was the only game we lost my junior year. Every year we played them, our place or theirs, it was standing-room-only crowd. It was one of our main games we had.”

Hayes recalls how competitive the series between the two schools was. “When I was a senior, where they announced my name and number they booed me,” he said. “My coach said it was the best compliment I could get.

“I would like to see (the rivalry) come back,” Hayes added. “I would like for us and them to be competitive. During the time I played with them, they were very competitive, coached well. They blocked good, tackled good, ran smart. They were very hard to beat.”

In the 39 years since their last meeting, the two teams have had starkly different paths to 2018. Curry has had just eight winning seasons and only appeared in the postseason six times, the most recent being in 2011 when the Jackets lost in the first round. Addison, on the other hand, has been a mainstay out of Winston County, making 30 playoff appearances (36 all-time) including three state championships (1970, 1976, 2005).

Fifth-year Curry head coach Philip Smith is very familiar with Addison dating back to his time with Lynn High School.

“Some of the biggest games of my career, whether playing or coaching, has come against Addison,” Smith said. “It’s always been a program that I truly respect. The tradition and pride that the town and school takes in its football program is second to none. There’s not many programs in the state that has been as successful year in and year out as they have. I think it’s got a chance to be a great game and, with our close proximity, could turn (back) into a good rivalry.”

Coach Stephenson believes that due to classification differences and that neither school saw it beneficial to play anymore, the rivalry had not been revisited until now.

“We have kind of kicked it around for the past couple of years and just couldn’t get the scheduling to workout,” said Addison coach David Smothers. “But this time it worked out so we both agreed to give it a go. (We are) hoping that both communities enjoy it and we have a big turnout for the game.”

History will be revisited Friday night at Hudson-O’Rear Stadium when Addison travels to Curry to revive a rivalry that, for 30 years, was one of the biggest for both schools.