|Year of Graduation:||1960-1964|
In the early 60’s, the MC faithful loved their football. The lights would shine on Honaker Field on Saturday nights and Coach Boydson Baird’s teams highlighted many local hometown heroes. From 1961-1964 the Scots posted a record of 25-8, the second best four year span in the 115 years of Maryville College Football.
Our newest inductee played for the Scots from 1961 to 1963. In just three seasons, Junior Masingo made a name for himself as a hard-hitting, hustling Highlander for the college’s record setting football team.
Junior needed time to adapt to the college curriculum so he opted not to play during his freshman year.
During his first year on the hill in 1960, his athletic skills were placed on display in P.E. class in front of Coach Monk Tomlinson. After Junior showed off his wrestling skills, the staff of Baird, Tomlinson, and Kardatzke soon convinced the talented athlete to join the squad.
In 1961, the powerful young man from Greenback would begin his sophomore campaign in maroon and white uniforms on the gridiron. He hit the ground running and never looked back.
Masingo moved into the starting line-up early in the season.
His first collegiate performance was September 30, 1961 as he contributed to the shutout of Centre College 31-0.
He quickly became a steady, consistent performer at linebacker and led the team in tackles in several games.
Fellow teammates Pete Stafford, Gary Dutton, and Art Fairchild opened hole after hole for the scampering backs of the orange and garnet. By controlling the line of scrimmage, the Scots finished the year with a 6-2 record, which included impressive wins over Centre, Georgetown, Bridgewater, and Millsaps. The offense averaged 18.5 points per game.
Junior’s defense did their part in limiting opponents to an average of just nine points a game!
The successful season revived the tradition of former gridiron glory at MC. Coach Baird’s talented highlanders of 1961 marched to the most successful season of football in over a decade. For Junior Masingo, the best was yet to come.
Junior had a year under his belt and was excited about his approaching second year of football.
The 1962 season got off to a promising start with a 22-0 shellacking of Mars Hill.
Teammate and fellow Wall of Fame inductee Bill Napier would open gaping holes for running backs Roland McClanahan, Ken Berry, and Jim Renfro.
Junior Masingo would do his job in filling those holes on the defensive side of the football. When asked about Junior, Bill Napier had this to say: “I am proud to say that Junior and I call Greenback our home. Junior was a natural born leader. He made up for being undersized by his enthusiasm and hard work.”
The Chilhowean reported that 4,000 homecoming fans saw the Scots beat Hanover 27-6. Injuries to key players forced the Scots to a 4-4 overall effort to close the 1962 season which included a 17-7 loss to Carson-Newman.
The .500 season did not set well with the competitive linebacker. He started every game once again. He led the Scots defense in total tackles for the season. His efforts earned him MC’s Most Improved Player accolades for his junior year, but he was more concerned about the team’s success.
Behind the leadership of captains Wilbur Ramsey and Charlie Thomas, Head Coach Boydson Baird would prepare for his last season at the helm. With the return of 18 lettermen and the entire line and backfield in tact, this team was very optimistic. Coach Baird had found the key to success- a potent offense and a stingy defense.
The Scots started the season with victories over Mars Hill, Centre, and Georgetown. The defense recorded shutouts against Mars Hill, Guilford, and Millsaps.
According to the Chilhowean, “Only a pass that was juggled and then dropped in the end zone in the last minute of play against Emory & Henry stood between Maryville and a perfect season.” This record setting season included the Scots overcoming a 17 point deficit at half time to rally back to defeat Hanover 19-17.
The cardiac kids saved their best team effort for the last game of the 1963 season. Fighting back from deficits of 7-0 and 14-6 against Carson-Newman, the Scots would pull out the victory with a 20-yard Benny Monroe field goal. Maryville would end the 1963 season with an outstanding record of 8-1.
The 8-1 mark was the best team record since 1946’s (9-1) season. At the time, it was the third best season ever recorded in Scots football history.
Junior Masingo was as solid as a rock from his position. He would rather hit you than look at you. He led the defense for the second consecutive year in total tackles. His teammates counted on Junior to be the spark and inspiration play after play and game after game.
Teammate Mike Dalton had this to say about Junior: “Junior was a great teammate. He cared about people and would do anything for anyone, but once he stepped on the football field he played full speed and it was in your best interest to stay out of his way. He worked hard and did the right things. He was not the biggest player, but he never quit and was always in the right place to make things happen.”
At the conclusion of his athletic career, Junior graduated in the spring of 1964 with a degree in Education.
He coached High School football at Seymour High for three seasons after graduation.
He has spent the last 40 years directing the Maryville Rebels (11-12 year olds) youth football teams and continues in this labor of love today.
His greatest honors include his loving wife Susan, their four children and seven grandchildren.
Please join me in honoring one of the top linebackers in the 115 year history of Maryville College Football, Lewis A. “Junior” Masingo.