Tuesday, October 13, 2015 – The Junction Boys – And The Legends Begin
When it comes to football The University of Alabama and Texas A&M University are more closely aligned than TAMU and tu ever were. You might call the Bama/TAMU connection a critical junction in college football.
Someplace between San Antonio and El Paso in the Texas Hill Country is a town called Junction, Texas. In 1954, the newly hired football coach of Texas A&M, Paul, Bear, Bryant took approximately 100 players into the wasteland of Junction for a football camp to toughen them up. The Texas Hill Country was experiencing the worst drought conditions in history. Temperatures hit the 100 degree mark before noon each day. Note this drought was surpassed only by the recent Hill Country droughts as the worst in Texas history. The “field” was dirt, rocky and filled with sticker burrs. Practices began at 8:00 am and ended at 11:00 PM daily.
Those who were there at the end of the ten days of the camp are called The Survivors or The Junction Boys. Those who remained formed the core of the undefeated unit that won the 1956 Southwest Conference championship.
The 1954 Texas Aggies went 1-9 for the season. It was Bear Bryant’s only losing season as a head coach. Yet, he would always cite his 1-9 A&M team of 1954 as his favorite.
Bear Bryant would leave Texas A&M to take the head coaching and Athletic Director positions in 1958 at Alabama. He took one of The Junction Boys with him as an assistant coach – a fellow from Paris, Texas named Gene Stallings. Read about Coach Stallings tomorrow.
Read the full story in The Junction Boys: How Ten Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Championship Team by Jim Dent.
Oh yeah – one more thing- BTHO Alabama!