The Franklin County Rebels 2017 homecoming will be a special event for older alumni on Sept. 15 as players from Winchester Central, Decherd High School and Townsend High School will be recognized from prior to their merger into one Franklin County High School. Pictured here are several of the players who will be in attendance alongside current Franklin County head football coach Cary “Mac McCurry, left, and FCHS Principal Dr. Roger Alsup, right. Pictured, from left, are Howard Morrow, Townsend Class of 1960; David Vonner, Townsend Class of 1962; Harry Boswell, Winchester Central Class of 1949; Jim Cunningham, Franklin County Class of 1952; and Willie Bonner Jr., Townsend Class of 1960.
—Staff Photo by Sam Cowan
The Franklin County Rebels will hold their annual homecoming festivities Sept. 15 with the usual parade and naming of a prom queen, but this year’s event will feature a special focus on the past of Franklin County football.
Players from Winchester Central High School and Decherd High School prior to their merger in 1949 as well as players from Townsend High School prior to its closure in 1965 will be honored at the game and all former players of those schools are invited for free entry into the game.
Winchester Central, Decherd and Townsend were all schools in Franklin County which were eventually merged into the Franklin County High School residents know today.
Winchester Central and Decherd became the first schools to merge when they combined in 1949.
The merger of Franklin County High School and Townsend together occurred in 1965 in the midst of integration across the South.
Franklin County Director of Schools Stanley Bean said the honoring of what has come before in the program has been something he has wanted to do for a while.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for 10 or 15 years,” Bean said. “The opportunity has been forming to do this, and I just wanted to recognize all of them.”
Players will be given special seating during the game and will be honored at halftime following the homecoming festivities.
“We have been making phone calls and using word-of-mouth,” Bean said. “We’re hoping they’ll be able to get out here.”
In addition to former players, Bean mentioned that former cheerleaders and prom queens from prior to 1965 are also welcome to attend.
In addition to honoring players from before the merger into one school, the 1967 Franklin County Rebels will also be honored for their 50-year anniversary.
The 1967 team was just the second in the post-merger era, and the team went 8-2 with notable names such as Raymond Bonner, Jimmy Moss and Phillip Fulmer on the team.
Moss, who also coached the Rebels program for a time, will serve as grand marshal for the homecoming parade.
Any players, cheerleaders or prom queens from before the merger who are interested in attending should meet at 6 p.m. prior to the Sept. 15 game in the parking lot under the new jumbotron to be directed to their special seating and to be part of the halftime festivities.