Over the past several weeks, I’ve gone through the process of highlighting the all-time greats at Minden High.  What started off as a campaign to ensure current players received their proper due, turned into a celebration of players from all eras of Minden football.  Perhaps you played with some of those guys or merely heard stories.  I hope it brought back fond memories or jogged that foggy memory of folks you had forgotten.  My real hope is that after that memory is jogged, you will keep it alive in the community. 

I’m afraid this one isn’t going to be fun for those jogged memories.  For all the great games the Tide has played, there have also been some stinkers that made Minden fans don brown paper sacks.  Sometimes it was plain ol’ bad play by the Tide.  Other times the opponent was far superior at all phases of the game, and all you can do is (almost) admire their handiwork.  So, here’s a requiem to the Tide that was rolled.  

The earliest evidence of the Tide getting smoked came in 1915 to the tune of 33 to zip at Homer. The Shreveport Times sportswriter put it this way, “The Homer goal was never endangered by the Minden eleven.” Yeesh.   

Once again in 1915 the Tide was dealt another shellacking by Shreveport High (Byrd) in the final game of the season.  Another gem from the Shreveport Times, “The Webster Parish squad was outplayed at every angle of the game and the visitors made first down only four times.  The play left the Minden team floundering about the field.”

As for blowouts in general, the then Minden “Greenies” took a 71-0 roundhouse kick to the face from El Dorado High (Ark.) in 1933.  That’s a record, obviously.  In 1928, the “Greenies” were outscored 227 to 7 in a six-game losing streak with most of scoring done by Haynesville (47-0), Byrd (58-0), and Monroe (Neville) (57-0).  In 1945, the Tide was blanked by the Neville Tigers again, 53-0.  Ruston smashed the Tide at The Pit 51-0 in 1998.  I played in that one.  What a night. (sarcasm)

Historically there are several teams that have had, and continue to have, the Tide’s number.  Out of all the Tide’s frequent foes, the dadgum Neville Tigers reign supreme.  The Tide owns a 6-35-2 record versus the Monrovians and have been outscored 366 to 1,072.  With the series beginning in 1917 and splitting two matches that year, Minden played Neville often though 1960, and then sparingly from then on.  It certainly would be easier to list the wins in order against Neville.  Since 2001 versus Neville, the Tide is only 1-13.  The lone win in that subset was a thrilling come-from-behind upset in the Quarterfinals of the playoffs in 2006.  

What’s interesting is that the Tide has played Neville multiple times in one season on four separate occasions.  Apart from 1917, the Tide faced the Tigers in the regular season and the playoffs in 2002, 2020, and 2021.  What’s more bizarre, in 2002 the two teams squared off in successive games to end the Tide’s season.  In just three seasons from 2019-2021, the Tide played Neville five times.  Perhaps, the Tigers should change their mascot to the “Bucks” because they have stopped the Tide more than any other school in the playoffs – 6 times (1959, 1960, 2002, 2011, 2020 and 2021). 

Staying with the more frequent opponents of the Tide, and after the Neville Tigers of course, is the Golden Tornado of Haynesville.  Minden has only won 32% of its fifty-five games (16-36-3) against Haynesville.  In their century-long relationship, the Tide began playing the Tors in 1919, but have not faced them since 2019.  Though happening well over 60 years ago, Neville and Haynesville share the longest winning streak against the Tide with 13 wins respectively.  While Neville holds the best winning percentage against the Tide, they are second in victories with 35.  Haynesville is the vilest of foe with 36.  

After Haynesville is heated rival, the Haughton Buccaneers.  Minden didn’t begin playing Haughton until 1966 but has a record of 17-29 (37% win pct) versus their Hwy 80 West neighbors.  The Bucs have scored the third most points against the Tide (1,048) behind Neville.  

The most frequent of Minden rivals is Bossier with Minden holding the edge with a 34-32-2 record. Bossier has scored the most points against Minden (1,129), but that’s to be expected when you face an opponent sixty-eight (and counting) times.  From the series inception in 1932, Minden met Bossier forty-four CONSECUTIVE years until 1978 with only a gap from 1943 to 1945 due to World War II.  

Homer is Minden’s oldest rival on record.  Originally, Minden’s earliest game of record was thought to be against Homer in 1914.  However, it was discovered that the two teams squared off in 1909.  In addition to Homer in 1915, Minden began playing Ruston, Winnfield, and Shreveport High (Byrd).  

Minden has also played a few college teams in its day.  Minden lost its only two games versus Louisiana Normal School (Northwestern State University) in 1916 and 1917.  Minden traveled via train to Shreveport to wallop the Centenary Gents 46-0, also in 1917.  Minden took another team train to New Orleans in 1925 to lose to the Tulane University Freshman team 27-0.  Minden’s college transcripts ended in 1926 with a narrow 7-6 victory over Magnolia Agriculture College (Southern Arkansas University).  

Here’s a bit more lagniappe.  Minden has faced six teams more than fifty times in their history:  Bossier (68), Springhill (not including North Webster) (64), Homer (58), Haynesville (55), North Caddo (Vivian) (55) and Ruston (52).  Except for Bossier, all those rivalries began in the 1910’s.  

Look at the title again – this is only part one, folks.  The beating isn’t over. Next week I’ll delve a little further into specific Tide Killers.

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