Ed Tarter sent me a copy of the program from the Male game. I noticed that Tommy Eddleman was on the team. He ultimately married Frances Bernard, a lady I worshiped, but could never get past “Go away, I don’t go out with guys who drool on themselves.”
Years later Tommy died much too young in a one-car automobile accident. Butch Charmoli told me that Eddleman would have been one of the great football players in the history of Manual, but his career ended because of a severely broken leg. However, Tommy did play on a state championship baseball team and later came back to coach football at Manual.
I got Ed Tarter’s address from the Alumni Association and wrote him so that I could reminisce about a play in the Atherton game. Dennis Cebe (10) was the starting quarterback, and Ed Tarter (11) was the backup. Right before the Atherton game, head coach Bill Jasper walked over to Tarter and said, “Do you know your plays?” Tarter said “Yes”, and Jasper said, “Good, you’re starting tonight.” Cebe had violated a team rule and was not allowed to start. Before they went on the field, Cebe, who was sitting next to Tarter, said, “Do you know your plays?” And, again, Tarter said, “Yes.” During the game a punt rolled dead on the Manual one-yard line. On the first play Manual ran a quarterback sneak, hoping to get a few yards and to get out of the hole, Tarter took the snap and stepped to his right behind Allstate tackle Don Cissell and Allstate guard Ed Stumph. He moved forward and suddenly was in the clear. He ran 99 yards for a touchdown. It was one of the most electrifying moments in my memory of Manual football.
Ed said he always thought of himself as being fast, but as he was running for the touchdown, he looked over, and Ed Stumph was running stride for stride with him. Stumph had taken off downfield to block anybody who might be gaining on Tarter.
After graduation Ed went to Western Kentucky on a partial scholarship. Nick Denes was the coach of Western. Ed reports that Western had extraordinarily poor equipment compared to that at Manual High School. He received a partial scholarship, and toward the end of his freshman year Coach Denes said, “I understand you’re planning on getting married.” Ed answered, “We’re thinking about it.” Denes said, “We prefer that you not get married until you’re football career is over.”
That summer Ed and Sue got married, and when they got back from the honeymoon, there was a letter from Western. Ed opened the letter and was astounded to learn that he was no longer welcome at Western, and his scholarship had been revoked. Thinking it over, what could you expect from a former coach from Male?
One of the highlights of Manual football seasons in the 50's was the three-game series that Manual played against Pensacola, Florida. The team would get on a train on Friday, go to Pensacola, play a game Saturday, and then Sunday come back on the train. A good time was had by all. In 1953 Pensacola won 42 - 7. In 1954 Pensacola won 6 - 0. In 1955 Pensacola was the number one ranked team in Florida, and Manual beat them 19 - 7. That was the last year of what could have been a great tradition. The mascot of Pensacola was the tiger, and the headlines in the newspaper said, “Manual Tames Tigers.” This was the first and only time Manual beat a team that has a tiger as its mascot.
Fiction is indeed truther than strange, and in 1956 the team seniors asked Coach Jasper if they could have their jerseys, and Jasper said, “No!” However, for reasons that are unknown, Jasper let Ed Tarter keep the football that he carried on the 99-yard quarterback sneak.
Donald M. Heavrin,
Your Servant of Truth
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