Southeast Bulloch High School Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Back-to-Back State Football Championship Teams

Southeast Bulloch High School will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its 1973 back-to-back state football championship teams with a special ceremony Friday night in Brooklet.

The school is inviting all members of the 1973 football team – players, coaches, cheerleaders, managers and statisticians to Fred Shaver Field for the Yellow Jackets’ home game against New Hampstead.

The team will be honored on the field prior to the start of the game.

The football field is named for legendary coach Fred Shaver, who led Southeast Bulloch to consecutive state championships in 1972 and 1973.

In 1973, SEB capped an undefeated 12-0 season with a 22-8 victory over Duluth to win the Class B state championship for their 24th straight win and second consecutive state title. During the three-year period from 1971-73, SEB went 36-1.

The championship game was played Dec. 8, 1973 in front of 3,500 fans on Southeast Bulloch’s home field in Brooklet. The score was tied 8-8 entering the fourth quarter, but SEB scored on a 20-yard run by Delmus Lockhart and a one-yard plunge by Burmon Denson in the fourth quarter to earn the championship.

Delmus Lockhart is shown turning the corner in the third quarter of Southeast Bulloch’s 22-8 state championship victory over Duluth Dec. 8, 1973 in Brooklet.
– photo by Statesboro Herald file photo

After the game, Coach Shaver told the Statesboro Herald: “I think that was probably the best quarter of football we’ve ever played. Just a tremendous team effort.”

Shaver also commented about the large crowd supporting the Yellow Jackets.

“I was real pleased with the way the fans responded after it was 8-8,” he said. “This was something we haven’t had to (face) too much…but the fans really started yelling in the fourth quarter. I think that definitely contributed to the way we played.”

In addition to Denson and Lockhart, the SEB offense was led by quarterback Patrick McCormick and running backs Robbie Meyers and Ronald Clark. For the 1973 season, Lockhart scored 18 touchdowns, while Denson scored 17 and Myers 12.

And while the Yellow Jackets offense scored 514 points on the season, an average of 43 per game, the defense was the dominant force for SEB.

Led by linebackers Clifford Harrison and Walter Ray Hill, middle guard Ben Alston, defensive end John Page and McCormick playing defensive back, the defense was almost perfect.

The numbers: In 12 games, the defense allowed 28 points, 42 first downs, 192 yards rushing and 328 yards passing – total for the season. They forced 53 turnovers.

And 50 years later, Coach Shaver still keeps an eye over the Yellow Jackets on home-game Fridays from a special on-field seating area.

On Friday, all members of the team are asked to gather by 6:45 p.m., at the stadium’s Pass Gate, which is the gate to the right of the main gate, closest to the stands.

For additional information, contact Coach John Page at (912) 687-3729.

The Yellow Jackets’ squad is currently led by Head Coach Jared Zito. He said he is tapping into the school’s storied history to rally players, coaches and fans around a “Return to Glory,” theme.

The team heads into Friday’s game with a 4-2 record.

Photo Courtesy Southeast Bulloch High School
The senior players from Southeast Bulloch High School’s 1973 state championship team are shown above. Pictured front row, left to right, Clifford Harrison, Robbie Myers, Burmon Denson, Coach Fred Shaver, Calvin Reed, James Jackson and Patrick McCormick. Back row, left to right, Coach Larry Freeman, Mike Clifton, Delmus Lockhart, Johnny Soles, Jack Bell, Otis Lockhart, Rex Sims and Coach Autry Moore. Not pictured were Wayne Brannen and Al Riner.

Photo Courtesy Southeast Bulloch High School
The cheerleading squad from Southeast Bulloch High School’s 1973 football season are shown above. Pictured front row, left to right, Theresa Futch, Cheryl Holland, and Cindy Clifton. Back row, left to right, Gail Holland, Cheryl Buie, Lynn Denmark and Lisa Proctor.

2023-10-03 19:31:20
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