They sold like hotcakes, including the syrup and butter.
Noticeable throughout the crowd at last Friday’s game at old TPS were fans of East Literature who wore “Beat Bubba’’ T-shirts. They sported lettering, symbolizing the colors of the home team, which was playing Hillwood coach by James (Bubba) Spears, the former coach of their team.
Purchased during the week at the school by students and fans, the T-Shirt idea was all in fun, and there were no noticeable hard feelings – but East Lit, perhaps motivated by Spears’ departure from the school, completely smothered Hillwood 35-7.
Last spring, Spears resigned at East Lit, a program he helped establish in 2009, for Hillwood. At the time he said there were no adversarial conditions under which he departed. He was 7-6, including 5-5 last year in the school’s first year of varsity competition.
Asked over the weekend he ever was ever the subject material of a T-Shirt, Spears said, “No – it’s a first.
“But first and foremost, East Lit beat Hillwood – Bubba Spears was not playing,” he added. “The bottom line, they just outplayed us and we were never able to stop them.”
Then, turning to some of his trademark wit, Spears said, “I am going to have to speak with (East Lit athletic director) Billy Whittaker about collecting some royalties as a result of their sale, using my name.”
Next up for East Lit is a home game with Pearl-Cohn Friday. And just after congratulating his former Eagle players, Spears left them with “you guys owe them,” referring to very disappointing mid-September loss his East Lit team suffered at the Firebirds’ field last year. East Lit went into that game unbeaten.
Next up for Hillwood (2-2) is a big test with air-minded McGavock.
“That’s a major challenge, we really have our work cut out for us,” Spears said.
East Lit is still ‘0-0’
East Lit has bought into Coach Jim Wilson’s mindset of each game being a new challenge. After every game in the team meeting at mid-field, Wilson asks “What’s our record?’’ In unison, the players shout “0 and 0!!” And “who do we play next week’’ – “Pearl-Cohn,” they said.
“That’s to reinforce on our team that last week is completely over and we’re starting over the next week with a completely new challenge,” Wilson said. “It doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past, all that’s important is our next game.”
“It’s something our coaches have instilled in us,” junior quarterback Antonio McKissack, who engineered a smooth running offense, said.
East Lit (3-0) throttled the Hillwood offense, and allowed the Toppers only one first down through the first three quarters and just six for the game.
McKissack threw a touchdown pass to Ronald Stayton-Williams and engineered an efficient offense, which scored on three of its first four drives en route to a 28-0 halftime lead.
“The guys I have around me are all good – No. 3 Dominique Grimes (who scored on a 45-yard interception return), No. 27 Dominique Noel-Spaulding, No. 10 Jasper Howard and No. 12, Ronald Stayton-Williams (all of whom scored touchdowns), plus a great O-line.”
“We have some outstanding athletes,’’ Wilson said. “And I knew that if we played well, we’d win, because at this point, we just have more athletes than Hillwood does.”
As far as he and his players are concerned, though, they have no wins.