I recall when the first “touch”
football team was formed in Tia Juana back in either 1955
Until one of the parents came up
with the idea the boys in the camp had been playing touch
football at the old vacant lot, we played in the late afternoon
when it was cooler and in the vacant lot because there was
a streetlight situated where it cast its light on most of
the play area. I recall we played what seems to me now as
all the time. We were about ages 11 and 12 then.
Well, some of the men in camp formed
a “touch” football team consisting of us boys.
None of the older boys played; ie: ages 15 and up. We were
given colored jerseys with numbers on the back that identified
the Tia Juana team. We practiced during the summer under
the lights of the outfield of the baseball field adjacent
to the Country Club. We had to wait until the coaches had
eaten supper before practicing. I remember running punishment
laps around the field because of something I did. Not unusual
as I had an attitude most of the time when it came to taking
any parental instructions.
I recall the coaches running us through
exercise moves up and down the field to build our stamina.
I had little or no stamina as I was not much interested
in sports and was participating solely at the encouragement
of my father and mother -- I was a “couch potato”
at that time.
The only game I recall playing was
an evening game against La Salina which the Tia Juana team
won and it was played under the ball field lights on a field
marked off with lime. To my total amazement, I actually
caught a pass and ran for a touch down. There were many
families attending that game as I recall. Maybe that's why
I have the memories. Anyway, after that game the coaches
held a team party in the Country Club and each of the team
members received a small gold plated football on a neck
chain for having played the season.
I still have the football somewhere
in the house.
Those childhood friends that would
Tommy Green; Phillip Short; Palmer Bazemore; Randy Lanciault;
Eddie Robinson; Larry Sandlin; Jose Anez; John Yarbro;Randy
Sharpe; Gibb Botts; Dan Sweeney; Jules Lang.