1937 HS Championship Football Squad
The Big Stone Gap High School football team defeated the Radford High School team to win the Virginia Half State Championship game in Big Stone Gap at Bullit Park in 1937 by a score of 32 to 7. The captain and star player of the Big Stone Gap team was Woody Tucker, the son of John B. & Cornelia Gilliam Tucker of Big Stone Gap.
In June of 1936, his junior year, Tucker contracted spinal meningitis during an outbreak of the disease in the coal fields and was diagnosed as highly unlikely to survive. After an all night prayer vigil held by local townsfolk on the lawn outside of the Tucker home, the town’s star player recovered and went on to lead the team to their championship victory. At that time no other person had been known to have survived the deadly ailment. Tucker went to attend the University of Tennessee in 1938.
At the University of Tennessee, Tucker was a star prospect, playing on their freshman team. Later, Tucker joined the U. S. Army Air Force at the outbreak of World War II. Slated to fly B-17’s, he was discharged from the air corps upon the discovery of a heart ailment. He married Louise Robinette, the daughter of James L. & Pebble Stone Robinette of Jerome Street in Big Stone Gap.
Woody Tucker now resides in the Town of Dublin, Virginia.
Front row, seated on ground Preston Wolfe, Sam Willis, Jack Camblos, Eddie Kilbourne, Edgar Calahan, Harold Giles, Hoyt Moore. Second row, seated A. C. “Alf” Morton, Tom Cochran, Robert Kilburne, Woody Tucker, Captain, Willie Hale Hamblin, Bert Gillespie, David Sproules. Top row, Coach Bill Kaylor, Curtis Beverley, Gene Wheeler, Caudell, Ed Stone, Harold Nichols, Sonny Ramsey & Harold Pennington, Manager.
Woodrow Wilson Tucker, Captain