By Tim Chambers
Miniskirts were in fashion, the Monkees had a hit single called “I’m a Believer” and Longhorn fans were buying into it about their football team. Walt Disney died at the age of 65, and so did the Johnson County’s title hopes against Hampton.
The year 1965 was a historic time for football fans in Mountain City. It’s also a season that many of the old-timers still remember despite 48 years gone by.
The Longhorns were loaded with senior talent and favored to win the Watauga Conference title. And these would be the final games played at the old high school on the field where Little League baseball is now played.
The league was pretty solid from top to bottom, and an old nemesis would stand in Johnson County’s way.
The team finished 9-1 and was one point away from an undefeated season. And depending on whom you talk to, some feel like they should have been while others claimed they got robbed.
That’s the type of rivalry that Johnson County and Hampton have built over the years. It’s so good that the two teams played a home-and-away series in recent years and packed both stadiums.
The Butler Bridge, built in 1948, connects the two communities — but over the years the games have become so heated that a plunge into Watauga Lake might not have cooled off the rivalry.