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LIONS WILL HOST THOMPSON FRIDAY NIGHT
September 18, 2012By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
LIONS TO RENEW RIVARLY WITH THOMPSON HIGH WARRIORS
Prattville will play host to the Thompson High Warriors from Alabaster Friday night with a 7 p.m. kickoff. While Thompson High School is a member of the new alignment of Class 6A Region 4, the Warriors will not be new to Prattville.
The Lions and the Warriors first got together in 1950 when Labet “Fagan" Canzoneri was the head coach at Thompson High School. Canzoneri coached the Warriors 1949 and 1950. He had an 18-2 record. He left to take the head coaching position at Birmingham’s John Carroll High School, where he spend three seasons and finished with a 24-6 record at the private Catholic school.
Canzoneri was an all around athlete, and was native of Bessemer; played football at Auburn University. He also was a member of the Birmingham Vulcans and the Birmingham Steelers of the old Southern Basketball League for the two seasons the league existed in 1947-1948 & 1948-1949.
Prattville and Thompson agreed to an eight game series. Fred Jensen was Prattville’s head coach and the school was known as Autauga County High School. Jensen and Canzoneri were friends. After Canzoneri left Thompson and went to John Carroll High, Jensen took his 1951 Autauga County High team to Birmingham on November 1 and played the Cavaliers, falling 6-0.
Canzoneri lasted two years at Thompson and was replaced by Gri Cashio, who was a native of Gadsden. Cashio was an offensive and defensive lineman at the University of Alabama, and was a senior on the team in 1947.
Cashio lasted one season at Thompson having an 8-2 season. He left Thompson for Birmingham where he coached Shades Valley High School for eight seasons and finished with a 44-29-5 record.
Cashio was replaced by another University of Alabama player, Bryon Scott Chambliss. Chambliss was an end at the University of Alabama and a senior on the 1948 Alabama team that played in the Sugar Bowl against Texas.
Chambliss has close ties to Prattville’s Chambliss families. His father was Jessie Chambliss. Chambliss began his coaching career at Livingston High School, and came to Thompson High in the fall of 1952, where he remained for three seasons (1952-1953-1954).
Chambliss never lost to Autauga County High, winning all three games that his Warriors played against the Lions.
Thompson High School was named for Thomas Carlyle Thompson, a member of the Thompson family that founded the Siluria Cotton Mill Company in the late 1890’s. The mill’s name was later changed to Buck Creek Cotton Mill. Thompson was a benefactor of the high school, putting up most of the financial support to build the school and gave the land where the school was constructed.
For years the old football field sat within sight of the main entrance to the mill. In 2003 the city of Alabaster purchased the 22 acre Buck Creek Cotton Mills site. The old mill was taken down and a senior citizens center has been built on portions of the site where it once stood.
Caleb Ross, another Prattville native took over the Warriors program in 2011. Ross lasted one year and is now an assistant coach at Spanish Fort High in Baldwin County.
Mike Montgomery, a member of Ross' coaching staff was named head coach after Ross resigned. Montgomery has been an assistant coach at Thompson High for eight seasons. He will be the fourth Thompson head coach in four years (Ross went 2-8, Bruce Hill went 1-9, and Brian Maner went 3-7 in his final year of four years that he coached Thompson). During the last three years the Warriors have a 6-24 record.
Montgomery is a native of Okolona, Mississippi. He earned a football scholarship to Mississippi State University. After graduation he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at State. He has coached at Meridian (Miss),Walker County, and Tuscaloosa County High Schools, as well as two years at Benedict College in Columbia, S .C., and served as a professional scout for the Canadian Football League for two years.
Montgomery lured Bruce Hill back to Thompson to head up the defensive front. Hill was head coach at Clay-Chalkville for three years before coming to Thompson, and also had two years coaching high school in South Carolina.
Hill has eight seniors on the defensive side with A. J. Bargainer (6-2-250) and John Thompson (6-1-250) as the anchors at tackle. Both are considered to be mid-major 1-AA prospects.
Austin Bates (5-11-175) Jaylon Caffee (5-10-170) and Shyeim Cooper (5-9-160) are seniors in the secondary. Myles Rogers (6-1-225) and Hunter Pinneo (6-0-215) are linebackers.
Quarterback Trey Matherson, (5-11-170) senior, returns and Montgomery calls Matherson as “the consummate guy when it comes to hanging in there and doing what you’re supposed to do.”
The Warriors opened the season with a blow out win over Shelby County High School (Columbiana), 42-6. Dee Tolbert (jr.- 5-7-160) caught three touchdown passes, and had 99-yards on receptions. Devonte Smith (sr. -5-10-180) rushed for 103 yards and scored twice.
The following week they fell to Chelsea 42-23. Matherson went 21-for-37 and 325 yards. The Warriors had 370 total yards in the defeat. Matherson hooked up with Eric Reeves for a 69-yard TD toss.
Last week the Warriors lost the battle for the “Game Ball” to rival Pelham, 35-20. Thompson’s defense surrendered 357 yards in offense, with 306 of those rushing.
Give Thompson credit they were trailing 21-0 at halftime, but came back to close the gap to 21-13 midway of the third quarter. Tolbert tossed a halfback pass to Jesse Handlon (sr. TE-6-0-175).
Pelham put the game away in the fourth quarter to win the “Game Ball” which is the trophy given annually to the winner of this Shelby County Rivalry.
THE PRATTVILLE-THOMPSON RECORD
Oct. 5, 2001 – at Thompson 28-26
Oct. 6, 2000 – at Prattville 20-7
Oct. 28, 1969 –at Prattville 34-6
Oct. 25, 1968 –at Thompson* 44-6
Nov. 15, 1957 – at Thompson* 7-7
Nov. 16, 1956 – at Prattville 30-0
Sept. 30, 1955 – at Thompson* 6-21
Oct. 1, 1954 – at Thompson* 6-25
Oct. 2, 1953 – at Prattville 7-13
Oct. 5, 1952 – at Thompson* 0-19
Oct. 5, 1951 – at Prattville 13-7
Oct. 6, 1950 – at Thompson* 13-6
Prattville has won 7 Thompson has won 4 and 1 tie
*Thompson High School was located in Siluria. The town of Siluria merged with
Alabaster in 1971.