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News 3 Neighbors: Phil's Hometown

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

   This past weekend I visited my hometown of LaFayette, Ga. to attend a reunion of my high school football team.  I always get a warm feeling as I drive into LaFayette.  The view of the rolling hills that surround it lets me know I'm home.

   The locals refer to LaFayette as the "Queen City of the Highlands."  I've always liked the sound of that.  The town is named after the Marquis de Lafayette of France. 

   The Marsh House is a prominent landmark in my hometown.  Historians say Confederate General Braxton Bragg mapped out his successful strategy for the Battle of Chickamauga on the front lawn of the Marsh House.  It was the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

   It's heartwarming to drive around LaFayette and see buildings that were built by my maternal grandfather.  Granddaddy Clinton was a brick mason by trade.  He helped build the United Methodist Church which he attended for many years.

   He also helped with the construction of the First Baptist Church.  Next door is a peach-colored building that was once Shepard's Clinic.  That's where I was born on July 7, 1952 on a scorching hot summer day.

   There used to be a department store on the north corner of the town square called Abney's.  I used to work there part-time during the holidays.

   My old elementary school is still standing.  Fortune Grammar is now a church.  I attended there every grade but the seventh.

   LaFayette High School was my stomping grounds from 1966 to 1970.  During my junior year I took a speech class taught by Sylvia Chambliss.  She and her class had such a profound impact on me that I decided to pursue a career in broadcasting. 

   Behind my old high school is what is left of Patton Stadium where I played football.  I was a runningback on offense and cornerback on defense.  We had nine seniors on the 1969 team.  Eight of us played both ways.  That team went undefeated during the regular season, the only squad in school history that can make that claim.

   Last Friday night members of that Region Championship team got together for a reunion.  We watched the current edition of the LHS Ramblers play host to Cedartown.  The Bulldogs clobbered us 62-21, but we barely paid attention to the game preferring to reminisce about our magical season 44 years ago. 

   The next afternoon we huddled again to pay tribute to our Head Coach Ralph Williams.  We presented him with a football signed by many of us who played for him.  To a man we all expressed our gratitude for not only how coach taught us to play the game of football, but more importantly how he prepared us for the game of life.     

 

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Phil Scoggins

After taking 16-year break from broadcasting, Phil rejoined WRBL as a news anchor where he has been ever since. More>>

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