By Jake Chapman
Last time, we left our look at the Minden High Quarterbacks through the mid-1960s.
Through the remainder of the 1960s and 1970s, the Crimson Tide found tough sledding in the Win-Loss column never winning more than six games in a season from 1964 to 1978 – which only happened twice. I wish I could say the QB play wasn’t commensurate with the winning percentage, but I’d be lying. Not speaking unfavorably, but I’m being honest.
There was a revolving door at the QB position in the fifteen-year span from 1964 to 1978, with over thirty different players attempting passes. After Bobby Lyle in 1965, the next 1,000-yard passers in a season were Conrad Reeves in 1970 and Kenny Cannerday in 1972. There weren’t any major milestones or records broken during this timeframe. Again, you must remember Minden has been a run-heavy team historically.
James Britt was two yards shy of the century mark in 1977, but Britt’s contributions were more noticeable in the defensive secondary with his tag-team partner Mack Scott. More on Minden’s defensive standouts later. Britt did lob three TDs in a game that year – something that hadn’t been done since Bobby Lyle in 1965. Minden had not made the playoffs since a first-round exit in 1964, just one year after winning the State Championship the prior year. In 1977, Britt led the Tide to their first playoff appearance since 1964.
Randy Ray played one year with Raymond Tate and Anthony Douglas in 1981, so he wasn’t called upon to lead with the passing game. 1982 was a slightly different. Ray attempted forty more passes and completed twenty more than in the ’81 season giving him the first 1,000+ passing yard season for the Tide since a decade before. Ray also became the school leader in career passing TDs (24), single season passing TDs (15), and single game passing TDs (4). Ray broke the seventeen-year-old record for passing yards in a game with 257. This record would hold for another twenty-three years. Ray was cut from the same cloth as other multi-tool QBs in Minden’s history. Like Britt, Ray made his contributions on defense by snatching eight INTs from his counterparts in 1982. Ray is also a Top 10 Punter, Top 5 Extra-Point kicker and holds the record for most Field Goals kicked with twelve.
With this feature on QBs, it’s now Artha Shine’s time to shine. Artha Shine was the next great dual threat QB since Fred Haynes in the 1960s. Artha Shine was an equal part in the dynamic tandem with Sammy Seamster. Shine conducted the triple option offense with such mastery that, ofttimes, opponents didn’t know who had the ball. This allowed Seamster to light up the record book and score board in 1986. Not to be outdone by Seamster, Shine is a Top 10 rusher all-time, racking up over 2,000 career rushing yards, joining that exclusive club with only Tate and Seamster. Shine has the sixth most rushing TDs in history as well. As a three-year starter at QB, Shine is a Top 7 passer. In 1988, Shine’s 1,475 passing yards sniffed the top spot behind Bobby Lyle for passing yards in a season but fell 200 yards short. Shine surpassed career record holders Fred Haynes for passing yards with 2,681 and Randy Ray for passing TDs with 29. These marks would stand until the mid-2000’s. In 1987 and 1988, Shine was selected as an Honorable Mention All-State QB.
Lastly, for this segment, there was Wymeko Williams (1992-1994). Williams is another one of the best ten QBs in Minden’s history despite splitting snaps in a two QB system for two of his three years. Williams joined Bobby Lyle, Conrad Reeves, and Randy Ray as the only other QB to pass for over 200 yards in two games up to that point. Williams also joined Randy Ray and Artha Shine as the only Minden QBs to date to pass for over 2,000 career yards and 20 TDs.
I know this may be an abrupt ending, but I’ve also got to leave you wanting more, right? I’ve enjoyed going over the Quarterback room in chronological order. I feel it has allowed me to really flesh out all the accomplishments of each QB as they happened in Minden’s history. In retrospect, I probably should have handled the running backs the same way. I guess there’s nothing prohibiting me from circling back and doing so later.
We’ll keep going onward and upward with the record markers in the next, and final, installment covering the Minden Crimson Tide QBs.
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