J.T. Curtis and the John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.)
Patriots take on Archbishop Shaw this week in search of the coach's 600th career win. A victory and Curtis would join John McKissick of Summerville (S.C.)
as the only coaches with 600 or more wins.
But 51 years ago, J.T. Curtis was just trying to get his first win. Curtis took over as head coach in 1969 at the school founded by his father in the early 1960s. J.T. Curtis was still winless in his career one game into the season — the 1970 season.
The Patriots went 0-10 in Curtis's first year, including eight losses by shutout. Curtis and the Patriots then lost the first game of the 1970 season by shutout before finally picking up their first victory — 14-0 — against Delta Heritage on Sept. 18.
Curtis went on to post a 8-2 record during the 1970 season and the rest is history. John Curtis Christian has won 599 games since the coach's 0-11 start, which is the most wins of any team in the nation over that 50-year span.
What is, perhaps, most amazing about J.T. Curtis's career record of 599-72-6 is that he absorbed 15 percent of his career losses over a 52-year career in his first 11 games. Not counting those first 11 losses, Curtis has a 90.4 winning percentage.
And now for four more Friday fun facts
Southern Columbia streak endsCorner Canyon (Draper, Utah)
wasn't the only team to see a winning streak end. Southern Columbia Area (Catawissa, Pa.)
, which had the nation's longest active win streak at 64, fell to Wyomissing 41-21 on Oct. 1. The streak fell two games short of the Pennsylvania win streak record of 66 in a row by Clairton from 2009-13. SCA's streak is tied for the 18th longest.
Corner Canyon, which lost to Lone Peak on Thursday, saw its win streak end at 48. That total ties the state record of Duchesne, set from 2010-14.Fyffe (Ala.)
replaces Southern Columbia Area as the team with the longest active win streak at 51 in a row.
Meanwhile Langdon/Edmore/Munich (Langdon, N.D.)
fell from the list of streaking teams after falling to Hillsboro/Central Valley (Buxton) 28-13 last week. Langdon had won 44 games in a row, which ranks as the third-longest streak in state history behind Shanley's 54 wins from 1964-70 and Cavalier's 47 wins from 2002-05.Scoring trick from French Lick
The MaxPreps leader boards show that a player can score a touchdown six different ways: rushing, receiving, interception return, fumble return, kickoff return and punt return. So far, one player in the nation has managed to do all six.
Coming from the alma mater of Boston Celtic great Larry Bird, Conner Grimes
of Springs Valley (French Lick, Ind.)
has scored 16 touchdowns in six different ways. His most impressive outing came in a 61-22 win over West Washington when he scored three rushing touchdowns and also crossed the goal line on a reception, a kickoff return and a fumble return. He also scored on an interception against Mitchell and a punt return against Eastern Greene.
So what's the most different ways a person has scored a touchdown in a single game? Our research has uncovered one player (there may be more) who scored five different ways. Mike Kemp of now defunct Tallulah Falls (Ga.) scored on a 70-yard punt return, a 35-yard interception return, a 29-yard fumble return, a 48-yard run and a 38-yard reception in a 60-0 win over Loganville on Oct. 5, 1968.
Kemp was an all-state player in 1968, setting a national receiving yardage record with 1,843 yards that season. He was also a threat on defense, intercepting 17 passes.Uncovering new national records
Kemp's national record was only unearthed last year during research for the MaxPreps National High School Football Record Book
. The record has since been surpassed, but Kemp held the record for about five years.
The MaxPreps National High School Record Book can now be easily found at the link above or by using the "football" drop down menu and clicking on "record book."
Since MaxPreps unveiled the record book in August and through the help of crowd sourcing, two more previously unreported national records have been found.
The first is for rushing attempts in a season. Tyler Evans of McLeod West (Minn.) ran 502 times in 14 games in 2001, making him the only player in high school history with over 500 carries in one season. David Mora of Mason had previously been listed as the all-time leader with 498 carries in 2010.
The confusion comes from two different entries for Evans. In the Minnesota State High School League record book, Evans is listed with 474 rushing attempts. However, that total does not include the state championship game in 2001 when he ran 28 times. The additional carries pushes him to 502, which is indicated in the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Association record book.
A second national record belongs to Horace Gatewood of Westside (Smithfield, Va.), who threw for 3,496 yards in 1967. The reason that's significant is because it makes Gatewood the first high school quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season — a full year ahead of Joe Ferguson of Woodlawn (Shreveport), who had been believed to be the first high school quarterback to crack the milestone.
Gatewood led Westside to a 9-1 record, scoring 501 points. He completed 165-of-232 passes with 41 touchdowns. Gatewood's totals are not found in any record book, possibly due to the fact that he played in the Virginia Interscholastic Association, which was a group of all-black schools segregated from the VHSL.Quest for nine straight championshipsSoldotna (Alaska)
opens the Alaska state playoffs today with a game against North Pole. Soldotna leads the nation with eight straight state championships, not including the 2020 season when Alaska did not hold state playoffs.
Soldotna has won 12 state titles since 2006. It won three in a row from 2006-08, 2010, and then eight in a row since 2012. Soldotna went 4-0 in the shortened 2020 season.
Head coach Gaylen Brantley Jr. is 135-7 in his tenure at Soldotna for a .951 winning percentage — the best winning percentage of any active coach in the nation.