Coach Crump Redding
The 1962 Bulldog football team will be special guests Oct. 5 at the North Platte High School homecoming. Fifty years ago, the Bulldogs, led by coach Crump Redding, claimed the state title.
Bob Thomas, author of Crump, a book about the season, will be in North Platte during the weekend, along with his 1962 teammate Larry Wachholtz.
Wachholtz went on to become an all-American college player with the Huskers in 1966.
Thomas and Walcholtz are expected to talk to the 2012 Bulldogs in the locker room.
The day before, Thomas will be A-Z Books in North Platte from 6:30-8 p.m., with a presentation at 7 p.m.
Thomas is also a former CEO of Nissan Motors USA.
The 1962 football team will be honored during a halftime presentation.
George "Crump" Redding has died, but his sons Clark and Dave are expected to be on hand.
Thomas was a starting end on Crump’s 1962 state championship team, which went undefeated during a 9-0 season.
The season "was a perfect combination of an exceptional young men and a coach with the right set of motivational skills," the Redding brothers have said. "The resulting championship would have been impossible fo one without the other."
The book really begins in the summer of 1961, right before Thomas’ junior year. Redding had just been hired as the football coach but Thomas didn’t care – he’d given up football the year before to focus on basketball.
But Redding made a trip to Thomas’ house to recruit him, and Thomas reluctantly decided to give football another chance.
Before Redding took over, the NPHS football team was in a malaise. But in Redding’s first season, he led the Bulldogs to a 6-2-2 record and an upset win over Hastings in the Big Ten Championship Game (the Big Ten was the precursor to the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference, where NPHS is today.)
Then in ‘62, with several returning players including future Cornhuskers Wachholtz and Pete Tatman, North Platte won the Big Ten, defeating Hastings again in the conference championship in a battle of the two top-ranked teams in the state.
At that time, high school football in Nebraska didn’t have a playoff system and the champion was crowned through a poll by the Omaha World-Herald. North Platte won the poll, and the crown.