As the 2008 edition of the Livingston Lions prepare to take on the Dayton Broncos, we take a moment to salute a group of dedicated gridiron greats who last put the Livingston Lions on the Texas high school football map.
Begining in 1961 coach Wayne Duncan led the Livingston Lions on a three year run of district chamionships and playoff appearences that remained unequaled until the arrival of coach Randy Rowe to Lion country.
The more things change the more things stay the same with regards to the rivalry between Dayton and Livingston. The Dayton Broncos defeated the 1961 Livingston Lions in a non district contest 30-14, the 1961 Livingston Lions went on to win the district championship before falling to Columbus in the bi-district round 20-6.
The Lions returned for the ' 62 campaign a hungry bunch with revenge on their minds as they battled a very good Dayton squad to a 0-0 tie in another non distrcict game. Using what Lion halfback Corky Cochran refered to as a moral victory in the tie with Dayton as a springboard the Lions went on to win a second consecutive distrcit chamionship.
The ' 62 distrct schedule was highlighted by a hard fought battle with Woodville that the Lions held on to win 9-6, the win propelled the Lions to the district title.
In the ' 62 bi-district round the Lions tied the Katy Tigers 15-15 but advanced to the regional round on a tie breaker. The Lions run was stopped the next week as they fell to Humble by a score 52-20.
1963 Livingston Lions
As the 1963 season rolled around the Lions once again faced a tough Dayton team in a non distrcit battle that this time saw the Lions get over the top and defeat the Broncos 7-0. The ' 63 season featured a battle with the Cleveland Indians where the Lions jumped out to 13-0 halftime lead, it seemed the Lions played the entire second half in the shadow of their own goal post but a stingy Lion defense held on and the Lions came away with a 13-7 victory.
The unmatched three year run came to an end in the bi-distrcit round as the Lions fell to Katy 42-14, the Lions players and fans could never have imagined when the Lions left the field that night in 1963 that it would be almost 30 years before the Lions would again take part in a playoff contest, and 45 years before they would advance as district champions.
The Lion players of days gone by have gone on to use the lessons they learned of hardwork and dedication on the football field to become successful business men,politicians, NFL MVP's, as well as dedicated fathers and grandfathers.
The Lions of today can take heart in the fact that the Lions of yesteryear will be looking on with great pride as they attempt to do what they did so long ago knock off the Dayton Broncos and continue on the road to their ultimate goal.
Good luck men!
Corky Cochran is a successful businessman and is the current Chief of the Livingston Fire Department.
John Holleman retired as the Polk County District Attorney.
Mark Moseley enjoyed a career in the NFL and earned a Super Bowl Ring, and NFL Most Valuable Player (1982).
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