Junior varsity game notes

After a 21-year absence, Alabama makes a return to JV football when the Crimson Tide plays host to Georgia Military College on Thursday, Oct. 10 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama is playing its first junior varsity football game since posting a 31-7 victory at Marion Military Institute in 1981. The Crimson Tide is also playing its first JV football game in Tuscaloosa since a 23-14 win over Auburn on Nov. 22, 1980.

The History of Freshman/JV Football

According to available archives, the first Alabama freshman football game was played Oct. 9, 1942 against Mississippi State in Starkville. Now 60 years and one-day later, Alabama will again play a JV football game after a 21-year absence. From 1942-59, Alabama played "B" team and freshman football.

The first known coach for Alabama freshman football is Coach Joe Kilgrow (1946-57), who was also an aide to Coach Tilden "Happy" Campbell on the baseball field during the Crimson Tide's heydey on the diamond in the 1940s and 50s. In 1960, assistant coach Clem Gryska took over the freshman team and remained as coach until freshman football was abolished in 1971.

In 1972, freshmen became eligible for varsity competition and freshman football was abolished. As a result, JV football was introduced in the 1972 season and was played at Alabama through the 1981 season. Assistant football coach Jack Rutledge served as the Tide's JV coach from 1972-81.

The Head Coaches

Alabama graduate assistant coaches Rick LaFavers and Woodrow Lowe, Jr., will serve as Alabama's co-head coaches against Georgia Military.

Georgia Military College coach Bert Williams is in his second season as head coach of the Bulldogs. He has compiled a 17-0 record at GMC, including a 5-0 mark this season. In his first season (2001), Williams led GMC to a perfect 11-0 mark and the 2001 Junior College National Championship. GMC defeated Butler County Community College 31-19 in the Golden Isles Bowl for the national championship.

All-Time JV Record

While the Crimson Tide has played freshman, B-team or junior varsity football since 1942, complete game-by-game results are not available until the 1963 season. Since 1963, Alabama has compiled a 54-24-1 (.690) record.

  • The first recorded game in Alabama freshman football history was Oct. 9, 1942 at Mississippi State. The result of that game as not available.
  • The 1942 season is also the only time the Crimson Tide listed a junior college opponent on its freshman or junior varsity schedule. Alabama played Hinds Junior College on Oct. 23 and East Central Mississippi JC on Nov. 20.
  • The Crimson Tide did not play football in 1943 due to World War II and there is no record of a freshman or B-team in 1944 or 1945.
  • Joe Kilgrow became freshman coach in 1946 and remained in that position until 1957. He worked for Frank Thomas, "Red" Drew and J.B. Whitworth.
  • Alabama played the University of Havana (Cuba) in Dothan, Ala., on Nov. 9, 1946.
  • Beginning in 1948, the SEC limited its member schools to three freshman games per season.
  • The first Alabama-Auburn freshman football game took place on Oct. 22, 1948 at Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. This was the first football meeting of any kind between the two schools since the varsity series was halted after a 6-6 tie on Nov. 16, 1907. Later that season (Dec. 4), Alabama and Auburn resumed its varsity series at Birmingham's Legion Field. The Crimson Tide won the game, 55-0.
  • The Crimson Tide closed out that season on Nov. 25, 1948 (Thanksgiving Day) against the Kentucky Wildcats in a game played in Anniston, Ala.
  • Alabama made its first visit to Auburn on Nov. 4, 1963, posting a 21-14 win.
  • In the final year of freshman football (1971), Alabama traveled to Annapolis, Maryland and defeated the US Naval Academy 28-23. Coach Bryant, a member of the United States Naval Academy during World War II, arranged the game for his players to see the discipline it took to play football and serve in the military. It was the same characteristics Bryant demanded of his coaches and players during his successful coaching career.
  • The 1972 season marked the first year of junior varsity football at Alabama. The Crimson Tide posted a 4-1 JV record.
  • Alabama posted a 4-0 junior varsity record in 1977.
  • Alabama defeated Auburn 23-14 on Nov. 22, 1980 in the last ever junior varsity football game played in Tuscaloosa.
  • Alabama's final season of junior varsity football, the 1981 team posted a 3-0 record with wins over Ft. Benning (Ga.), Ole Miss and Marion Military. All three games were played on the road.

Georgia Military College

The Bulldogs enter the Alabama game with the nation's longest winning streak at 17 games. GMC's last loss was a 20-0 setback at Middle Georgia Junior College on Nov. 4, 2000.

The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in the latest NJCAA polls (Oct. 8). Georgia Military has won all five games this season, including wins over Air Force JV and Valdosta State JV. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 35-19 win at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah.

As a team, GMC has rushed the ball 234 times for 1,286 yards and 10 TDs this season, an average of 257. 2 rushing yards per game.

Next Week

Alabama returns to action Saturday, Oct. 19 when they host the Ole Miss Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised by CBS.

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