Tribe Gathers for Mohawk Reunion

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Coach Williams takes a moment to visit with one of his former Mohawk quarterbacks, Jimmy Johnson, during the open house.

The Piggott High School class of 1970 hosted a Mohawk reunion on Saturday, May 24, with a large number of former, current and future members of the Tribe in attendance. The event served as a fundraiser for both the Mohawk football program, and the Class of 1970 scholarship effort, and thousands of dollars were raised.

The reunion was also planned to highlight and honor the Mohawk football teams of the 1960s, and the coach of that era, Carl "Zig" Williams.

The reunion began with an open house at the old Scurlock gym on South Garfield, hosted by Mohawk football coach Michael Harrell and members of the 2015 team. During the gathering Coach Williams welcomed former players, and was introduced to a number of younger Mohawks, as the players had a chance to view old team photos and other memorabilia.

A group of former Mohawk star players pose for a photograph during the reunion Saturday night at the community center. Pictured are, from left: Tommy Dixon, Gary Adams, Clarence Huffman and Link Fuller.(TD photos/Tim Blair)

The players from the 60s, and earlier, also had the chance to see some of the new equipment being utilized by the Mohawks and compare it to what they used "back in the day."

The reunion continued Saturday evening with a "tailgate" style party at the Piggott Community Center.

Afterward, several hundred were on hand as the history of Mohawk sports was reviewed and Williams was honored by his former players.

Coach Carl "Zig" Williams (center) was surrounded by family, friends and former players at the Mohawk reunion held Saturday.

Class of 1970 member Steve Champ offered the welcome, then introduced Frank Staples, who offered comments on the subject of the history of Mohawk sports. Staples then had the honor of introducing former standout Pat McCarron.

McCarron spoke of the teams of the early 60s, and offered fond memories of his playing days under Williams, remembering his motto that a team should be "mobile, agile and hostile." He then presented the former coach with a bound volume of photos and comments from former players, as a memento of the occasion.

Up next was event organizer Joe Cole, who provided a historical overview of the Mohawk sports team, and its legacy. Cole reminded the younger Mohawks of the history of the program, noting former players were among those serving and killed at Pearl Harbor and on the beaches of Normandy. He also told the story of Marshall Sneed, a standout multi-sport star at PHS who lost his life in action as a flyer in World War II, and took time to remember other players and coaches who are no longer with us.

Cole then introduced Phil Daffron, who spoke about former Mohawk coach Joe Black, who was unable to attend due to illness. A member of the 1964 Arkansas Razorback national championship team, Black came to Piggott in the mid 1970s and coached for several seasons.

Former player, coach and district superintendent Ed Winberry also spoke, and introduced his older brother, Kerry, who also played for Williams. Also taking to the podium to talk about the great coach, and the influence he had on their lives, were former stars Clarence Huffman, Jim Johnson, Tom Dixon, Link Fuller and Gary Adams.

In making his comments Johnson noted Williams, "galvanized the Mohawk team, leading to a decade of winning," a legacy he encouraged the young players to embrace.

Williams also took a moment to thank those in attendance for the recognition, and reminisce on his days at Piggott as both a player and a coach. Also on hand was one of his assistants from those days at PHS, Sam Ward.

Each of the former players implored the current Mohawks to strive to do their best, listen to their coaches and maintain the legacy of PHS football. In offering his advice Adams also encouraged the students to maintain a strong relationship with God and continue to attend church following graduation from high school.

In debating the greatness of the early 1960s teams, as opposed to the late 1960s squads, those on hand were asked to vote by placing donations in a can marked with each of the years involved to determine the "most important Mohawk team." Symbolically, after the cans were near full of "votes" members of the earlier teams poured each into a box marked "2015" to illustrate the importance of the team which will take to the gridiron this fall--and in years to come.

The evening drew to a close with an auction of donated items, many of which were provided by Fuller. A former scout for the Dallas Cowboys, Fuller donated autographed items from Bob Lilly, Preston Pearson and Darrin McFadden. Also on the auction block were team photos of the 1968 Arkansas Razorbacks, autographed by team members Adams and Dixon, along with a variety of Razorback items.

Evident by the smiles on their faces, the gathering of the Tribe proved to be popular for both the older players, and those preparing for the campaign at hand, and organizers promised it would become an annual offering.

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