More than 58 years ago, a football coach named Charles “Cool City” Smith assembled a gridiron juggernaut that carved out its own shining niche in Bartlesville sports history. However, in that summer of 1955, it looked more like a rebuilding year than a championship team. There didn’t appear too much talent. But just as you can’t judge a book by its cover you can’t tell how much heart a group of players has until they start competing. This group of players had a lot of heart.
The Douglas Dragons finished undefeated in the Verdigris Valley Conference and were crowned conference champions. They rolled through the playoffs and were set to play Frederick High for the state championship, but the Bartlesville Board of Education would not fund the trip to Fredrick so both teams were crowned co-state champions. Only six players remain from the 1955 team, but the 1955 Dragons turned out to be more talented than first thought. They also played with a lot of heart. To be a champion it takes both and they definitely had both.
Members of the 1955 team included:
James (Buster) Denison, Harvey Hicks, Venson Cumby, Richard Ponder, Roy Lee Jamerson, Preston Hatter, George Ishem, Larry Chambers, Wane Chambers, Charles, Day, Lorenzo Jones, Willie Dean White, Joe Jones, Earnest Lee White, Rudy Nash, Bill Burgess, Samuel Martin, Richard Towers, Johnny Denison, Rudy Goree, Clarence Barnett, Larry Guary, Clarence Downing, Egan Thomas, and Coach Charles “Cool City” Smith.