The Legend of Rooster Jones

Quote of the Day      “the best back I ever saw live”     —TB’s Dad, who saw a bunch of backs over the years

Rooster Jones played tailback at Pascagoula High School, leading the Panthers to an unbeaten season and the Mississippi State Championship in 1976, his senior year. He then broke a lot of local hearts when he signed a scholarship with the defending National Champion Pittsburgh Panthers. He was hurt during his entire Pittsburgh career and faded into obscurity. I’ve heard through the years that he was working out at Ingall’s Shipyard in Pascagoula, or stayed in Pittsburgh and had success with his degree, or even that he was killed in some shady deal gone bad. So far as I know, though he remains a household name in Pascagoula, nobody really knows what became of him.

TB was six years old when Rooster was running wild for the Panthers. I remember the hype and the excitement and of course the hometown pride that our guys were going all the way. I had no idea how much Rooster was sacrificing in bringing all that joy to us. Late in the season Rooster injured his ankle. Had he sat out, odds are the championship would not have come to Pascagoula and chances are he would’ve given the ankle time to heal. But he played through the injury and to Pascagoula the trophy came. For Rooster, the damage done to his ankle never fully healed and he was never the same.

Of all the stories I’ve heard about Rooster, there are two that stand out. Apparantly, the night before the annual Pascagoula-Moss Point grudge match, dead chickens were left lying around the entrance to PHS as a warning of what the Tigers had in store for him. I can’t verify whether this is so, but I’ve heard it repeated many times. The second one I know to be true because I’ve heard Jackie Sherrill discuss it and I verified it in a Sports Illustrated article I found here.

The great Hugh Green was only discovered by Sherrill and lured away to Pitt because of his performance in a playoff game against Rooster. Ironically, both Jones and Green were committed to go to Mississippi State before Sherrill’s offer of national glory turned their heads. In addition, Sherrill picked up Pascagoula brothers Pappy and Lynn Thomas who became Pitt stars. Three starters from Mississippi picked up for some great Pitt teams, all due to the recruitment of Rooster, who never panned out in college–what are the odds? 

Rooster. A major part of TB’s Golden Age of Sports.


About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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97 Responses to The Legend of Rooster Jones

  1. Jessie Lou says:

    My sister was a senior the year PHS was state champs and Rooster was her classmate. She emailed a guy who played with him that year and this was his comment on Rooster:

    “Rooster may have shown up for one of the first reunions just a couple of years after college where we went on the field but I am not sure of that. I really never remember him coming back to Goula to live after he graduated from Pitt. He received his degree and is now a Captain on the University of Pittsburgh police department. I have only talked to him once since we graduated.”

    If I get anything further from any other of the classmates of the class of 1977, I’ll forward on to you. That was an exciting year and I was 13 at the time. At the age you would have been I am impressed that any of it made a dent in your day. Also I think that PHS held state championships in baseball and basketball that year as well. Many great players came out of that class in all sports.

    • Anonymous says:

      A few years have pasted since the post. Most of it was correct – I will shoot the correct facts. Rooster did play for a brief period of time in the old USFL (the Pittsburg team I think). His cousin Lynn Thomas (who went with him to Pitt — cousin Pappy Thomas was a year behind) played for San Francisco 49ers for a year of two and played in the 1981 (plus or minus a few years) super bowl. Lynn recovered a fumble late in that game. As for Pappy, I recall him playing in one of the college football all star games (not sure about pros).

      Regarding Rooster’s ability, you could tackle him – if you could catch him. He ran a 4.6, 40 yard dash which was fast in those days. There was another running back at Pascagoula High (Ben Gary) who played for a few years for the Baltimore Colts, who was bigger, stronger and faster. Ben’s problem was that he was not surrounded by as many good football playes as Rooster (more than 10 boys got D-1 scholarships from that team).

  2. tkh says:


    “Ironically, both Jones and Green were committed to go to Mississippi State before Sherrill’s offer of national glory turned their heads.”

    It is ironic (I think that’s irony I’m no english major) that Sherrill’s “offers” would be rumored to be very sweet during his MSU days.

  3. sweet says:

    R U suggesting impropriety? no way

  4. I was at the bookstore today and saw a book on MS high school football rivalries. There was a chapter on Goula-Moss Point and it included the story of the chicken being delivered to PHS by the Tigers, except it added the pertinent detail of its head being cut off. It also repeated the story of PHS burning its letters across 40 yards of Moss Point turf. MP supposedly retaliated by painting Goula fire hydrants blue and white and chaining a toilet to the front doors of PHS.

    No mention on any of the antics that supposedly took place in 1987.

    Good stuff.

  5. larry says:

    In the Beach Scholl hood I was always Rooster Jones and Big John would be Hugh Green in our pick-up games.

    I do not know what your talking about in 1987.

  6. OB says:

    I remember my oldest brother telling me about the “Rooster”. He must’ve been some haus to bring down!

    Was every school in the country after this guy and if so, how did Sherrill end up with him? How did his recruiting compare to Marcus Dupree, who I consider the most talented running back to ever come out of Mississippi? I said talented not successful!!

    Here’s the PHS record book, which has Rooster all over it:

  7. ZEEK says:

    TB- Ah the Mighty Chicken!!!
    Also my boyhood hero. I loved me some Rooster Jones!!! Since both of my parents were teachers at PHS at the time and taught Rooster, I had some inside juice. I will never forget the night in1976 when Pasc. had just defeated Moss Point and the crowd was going apesh*t, I had talked my mom into letting me stand down by the locker room so I could see and holler at players as they jubilantly exited the field. I guess my mom had made it abundantly clear to Rooster that I thought he was God and being a good person(and seeing a better grade in English in his future) he came through and stopped at me and said”This is for you little man.”, and handed me his chinstrap. I felt like I had just been given the Holy Grail. It was one of the very few times in my life when I felt lucky. I kept that chinstrap into my twenties and always looked at it with a smile on my face from the memory. Rooster was definitely the most talented football player to ever grace the halls of old PHS. I can confirm what JLou reported about Rooster’s life. He has been with Pitt U. PD for a long time now. A sidenote-supposedly the main reason Rooster never hit it big once he left was due to a game his Sophmore year. He had badly reinjured his ankle in the first half of a big game. At halftime, under the advisement of “well-meaning” coaches, Rooster had his ankle injected with some lydocaine type numbing agent and pain killers and came out of the locker room cocky like the old Rooster. However, unbeknownst to anyone as it was happening, the damage done to that ankle during play of the second half left us with a lame duck. He never really was able to overcome that bad ankle. If you are wondering about the authenticity of that story, it was told to me by Pappy Thomas, a former PHS and Pitt teammate of Rooster’s who had no reason to lie at the time. Nice topic Baen, brought bacxk memories.

  8. dnt says:

    I seem to recall that Rooster’s ankle being badly twisted during a pile up in a game against North Natchez, I was there as my brother played on the team. North Natchez, and Hugh Creen, were a really mean and nasty bunch and it was a great game. But I don’t know if this was the original injury or if it was one of the many times his ankle seemed to get hurt during his high school career, he was a great back and others did seem to do whatever they thought it would take to stop him

  9. dnt, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. This Rooster post probably gets searched more than any other term that leads people to this site. I was only 6 when he played at PHS, so as you can see from my post, all I really recall is the legend. But people from all over knew of him even though he never had a Sports Center highlight.

    If some of you stumble upon my blog who played with or against Rooster, or even just saw him, I’d love to hear some more first hand stories.

    Wouldn’t mind a few about Hugh Green either.

  10. OB, have you ever read “The Courting of Marcus Dupree” by Willie Morris? It should be required reading for any college football fan. It’s all about his recruitment his senior year in high school in a town barely a decade past being at the center of some of the most despicable civil rights terrorism in the country.

    Another great one that State ended up in second place for too.

  11. quail09 says:

    TB…we just had a mini reunion with Rooster a few months ago….he came down from Pittsburgh and a few of us on the 76 championship team got together at Bull Conerly’s house….wanna hear about it?

  12. Absolutely Quail. About half the purpose of this blog is telling old stories and lies, sometimes at the same time.

  13. quail09 says:

    A few of us got together….hadn’t seen Rooster since our 10 year reunion….just a few guys…Walter Thornton, Billy Collins, Johnny Olsen, Roderick Buford, Rosco Fields, Pappy Thomas….drank a few beers and laughed a lot…he and Pappy told us some great stories from their day at Pitt….my favorite…Russ Grimm and Ricky Jackson squared off to wrestle during an offseason conditioning drill….they said Grimm picked up Jackson like a ragdoll and threw him out of the ring…..some ole Rooster…loud, confident, funny….we watched some old game films of the championship season on Conerly’s big screen….best game….South State Championship Game against North Natchez and Hugh Green…..98 yard drive, no passes, Rooster between the tackles, resulting in a touchdown….get this….they had 12 men on the field the whole time including Green….they couldn’t stop him…still a record for longest drive in PHS history…..

  14. Quail, that video needs to be on You Tube. Somebody needs to video the video on digital and upload it asap. I’ll link it on the blog.

  15. quail09 says:

    TB….more comments on Rooster…i had the good fortune of being an offensive lineman blocking for Rooster for six years dating back to our days at Colmer….easiest job….you got instant payback for the blocks you made….he hit the hole, made somebody miss, burst upfield crowd roaring….resulted in lots of first downs and touchdowns… I roomed with him during our week of practice leading up to the Mississippi High School Allstar Game ….had the bad ankle then….we talked in the room about it being better to move and stretch the ankle while lying down with no body weight on it….i remember him hanging out after practice with Tyrone Keys who played for the North….they would go cruising and drinking beer….

  16. quail09 says:

    TB…the reason we focused on the North Natchez game…we beat them twice that year….was because i had an encounter with Hugh Green at the Jolly McCarty golf tounament auction….i introduced myself and told him i had played with Rooster, Pappy, and Lynn….he was happy to hear it and wanted to see if he could get Lynn’s cell number…in his mind Lynn Thomas was the real deal….said Pitt built their whole defense around Green on the line and Lynn in the defensive backfield….anyway, when i brought up the two defeats at the hands of Rooster, he remembered it all in a different light….said all we had was Rooster right and Rooster left…said if the coaches would have let him play he would have shut Rooster down….well, the film showed otherwise…..between the tackles….98 yards…..against 12 men including Mr. Green….hilarious!!

  17. Great stories Quail. I hope you will stick around the blog. Add more on this post and any of the other topics. Most of the commenters are either still in ‘Goula or expats like me, with a handful of foreigners from outlying areas like Ocean Springs.

    I’ll write about some of the other great ‘Goula teams one of these days. The 1983-84 baseball team was a true powerhouse as were the 1987-88 football and basketball teams. And of course that group with Olsen and Collins and the Summerlins and a bunch of others won just about everything you can win playing kid baseball. It would be cool to hear some of their old lies too. When we were twelve the highest achievement we could possibly attain was getting our name up on a board at Gibson Field alongside those guys. I know Larry wishes his was up there.

  18. quail09 says:

    TB…some more random thoughts on Rooster and Hugh Green….Green did not attend his senior prom or go to the graduation ceremony with his class….he did not elect to play in the aforementioned all star game….when i asked him why he didn’t play with us in the game, he said he didn’t have anything to prove at that point. He had a scholarship to Pitt, had graduated early, and moved to campus that summer to begin working out with the upper classmen….he started as a freshhman and eventually finished second in the Heisman voting his senior year behind George Rogers….smart move. Rooster played in the game….came to all the practices… booed by the home crowd for electing to go to Pitt rather that State ….

  19. quail09 says:

    Hugh Green played both ways in high school….played left offensive tackle as well as strong side defensive end….in the South State Championship game, he over dressed… was November, and in anticipation of the cold temperatures, he put on too many layers under his shoulder pads….sweat shirts, etc….at some point in the game, i remember them having to take him out of the game due to dehydration….tended to him underneath the visitor’s stands…had him remove some of the clothes and sent him back in to the game

  20. Ha! For someone who didn’t want to get too cold, he sure made a bad call going to Pitt. Then again, August and September up there probably beats a Mississippi summer by enough to make you willing to endure a couple of cold games.

    Can you imagine if he’d gone to State and played opposite Johnnie Cooks? Probably would’ve looked a lot like the Pitt D where he was opposite Ricky Jackson.

  21. ZEEK says:

    I would have liked to have seen him opposite Freddie Joe Nunn or Andre Townsend for the Rebels at that time, although they would have probably been freshmen when he was a senior, but it still would have been cool. I’m sure Fourcade would have appreciated it. Maybe he wouldn’t be doing commercials for Michael’s Nightclub now if Hugh would have helped the Rebels back in the Steve Sloan (Dark Depths of Despair) Era. Maybe Rebel success would have given Fourcade the notoriety he deserved as a gritty, tough, gamer that he was. But I digress.

    quail09- would you mind divulging your identity?
    I know a lot of those players from 76
    since my mom and dad were Mr. and
    Mrs. Buddha Brown and I was just
    wondering if i knew you. Or you
    could email me privately if you want
    to stay low-pro at zeekb410@yahoo.
    Give us more stories, I know there have
    to be some about the Collins boys and
    Rayborns and Torjusen , Etc. Did you
    know Wayne Wadell? Is he still at LSU?
    What about Mac McInnis? I wish I was
    from that era, those were cooler times.

    • Baba says:

      Zeek, your mother was the best English teacher EVER. She made Shakespeare come alive. I can still recite the monologue from Canteberry Tales—in Old English. Great lady.

  22. quail09 says:

    zeek, you are right….Hugh Green would have been a senior when Andre Townsend was a freshman……i know because i was a senior offensive lineman at ole miss when andre was a freshman…..he used to hold the blocking dummy for me during practice….i’m so proud of his success with Denver…i’ve seen him a couple of times recently in the Mclub room before ole miss home games….you won’t meet a nicer, more humble guy…………….TB, that means i played against Johnny Cooks, Tyrone Keys, Glenn Collins, Rusty Martin, et. al. …….all great defensive opponents…..i hate to say this, but i can’t muster up any fearful respect for Green….having matched up against him twice in high school….and you know the results….makes me wonder if the competition in the Big East? back then was lacking….course he was part of an awsome defensive squad….with Dan Marino and others on offense….helps complement a guy like Green….

  23. Jessie Lou says:

    So Quail09 – are you going to make us guess who you are?

  24. ZEEK says:

    Yeah, Quail09, that was real slick how you deftly side stepped that identity request with more football talk, which I love by the way. I should know who you are by the info already given. JLou, I shall return with a name shortly. Oh, and Quail09, did you have either Mary or Larry (mom and dad) as a teacher at PHS? Did you JLou?

  25. ZEEK says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to formally introduce you to our new friend on the site. He goes by the handle of Quail 09, but his real name (I came to this conclusion after a little research)
    is the one and only Chuck Commiskey, ex-USFL & NFL star, and arguably the greatest offensive lineman to grace the halls of old PHS. A star at Ole Miss and in general one helluvan American.
    Quail 09 , how bout some stories concerning Herschel Walker when you were teammates on the New Jersey Generals? Hope you don’t mind me unveiling your identity, but I know the gang would love to hear some of your war stories about fighting your way thru the ranks and about life in general. I’m pretty sure my parents did have you in class, too.

  26. quail09 says:

    nice try zeek…..but i’m not commiskey….although i would debate you on the subject of who was the greatest offensive lineman in PHS history and also consider myself one “helluvan?” American…..don’t mind you asking or guessing but could use some resraint next time you think you know?…..i’m just on here to have some fun talking about Rooster and related subjects……not trying to sidestep….no need to have usernames if we’re all just gonna tell each other who we are….commiskey, btw, is a long-time friend…..we played on the line together at PHS and again at ole miss….we roomed together on road trips…..split time at the same position our senior year… made one fatal error in coming to your conclusion…..commiskey wasn’t on the championship team….he had graduated the year before….nice try

  27. We have a couple of guys who now work for one of Rooster’s other former OL’s on here, FYI

  28. quail09 says:

    i was reminded of something today while watching the tennessee/vandy game…..Hugh Green had a teammate who was a great running back….a north natchez teammate that is….James Berry went to tennesse on scholarship….his son is Eric Berry, the unbelievable db who’s about their only bright spot this year

  29. ZEEK says:

    OK, quail09, you got me. If you want to remain anonymous I certainly respect that. Trust me, I wish I could remain anonymous most of the time. We just already know each other on here and use the usernames as nicknames,that’s all. My interest is piqued now, however, so I will have to find you out, but I will respect your anonymity my fellow Panther/Rebel. You have consistently side stepped the questions about my mom and dad (Mary and Larry Brown) and whether or not they taught you. Is that part of the mystery quail09?
    You are a slippery one Mr. Quail. And we still would like more stories and your contribution on All-Time Goula Team please sir.

  30. quail09 says:

    you’re a good man, zeek…..i’ve been waiting to comment on your parents while i got the identity issue cleared up…..knew em both….but only had your dad for a class….conerly had your mom for a class and loved her….your dad was very enouraging….he made a guy feel like he was favored and liked….he showed a sincere interest in me and others…..we were lucky to know him…both of your parents were highly regarded…they were liked and looked up to by many kids in my class and the ones directly behind me…..if you have an ounce of their ability to encourage people younger than you, then you’ve inherited something valuable…hope you put it to good use

  31. ZEEK says:

    Quail09, I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I certainly wasn’t fishing for a gushing compliment on the old ‘rents, but especially since they’re gone, it is truly nice to hear. Just reminds me how lucky I was to have had them for as long as I did. Thank you 09, I appreciate it.

    How bout them Rebels baby!!!!

    HOTTY TODDY!!!! Bring on the Poodles!!
    (I mean Bulldogs!!)

    Innagural Magnolia Bowl Champs!!!!

  32. quail09 says:

    TB….did you know that Robert “buckshot” Wilkinson was named the PHS defensive player of the year in 1975, his senior year?

  33. No, I’m impressed. “Buckshot” didn’t talk a lot about the glory days for some reason. I’ve heard a few versions of how he got that name. Any chance (a) you know the real one and (b) it’s suitable for a public forum? I don’t think he’s crazy about that name, but I know some of his old ARB’s can still use it without incurring his wrath.

  34. ZEEK says:

    Quail 09, Just to let you know, after further research I have officially figured out your identity, but i will humbly respect your privacy. I have to admit that i do not remember you athletically, and for some reason, remember I was just 6-7 yrs. old, i remember you were supposed to be some kinda ladie’s man, is that correct? Thanks again for the kind words for mom and dad.

  35. Jessie Lou says:

    To say my interest is piqued in Quail09 would be an understatement. If you are trying to build the momentum, Sir, you have certainly done so. My sister was a member of the class of 77 and in fact tonight we had her annual out looking at something else totally unrelated and I began to wonder……just who it could be. Commiskey was a great guess; however, I knew he graduated in the class of 1976 with my Uncle Rocky’s daughter, Martha Byrd (also a great basketball athelete from PHS with a scholarship to Tulane) and the BOS, none other than Bernie Jenne O’Sullivan.

    Zeek, I was not lucky enough to have had either of your parents for teachers but knew them from being really involved in student politics. Your poor father was present at the Key Club meeting where I had to “perform” as a Hi-Jinx initiate in the summer of 1980. I’m not sure who was more embarrased him or me, but I was the one wearing the questionable outfit and I have pictures to prove it! Everyone wanted Budda to be their teacher – he was revered and loved. Your mom I remember from church and school and she was one hell of a lady and liked as much as your dad. The yearbook was dedicated to her in 1977. I can still see your dad’s picture on a $1 bill in my annual somewhere in the early 80’s. Fond memories for a Saturday night. Hopefully somewhere in Heaven Budda, Mary B. and Rocky Byrd are all having a drink together since we are congering them up for another 5 minutes of fame.

  36. quail09 says:

    TB…official version is….we were in two-a-days one year….you practice in the morning, then you’re let off to go home, eat, sleep, whatever, then you come back in the afternoon for another practice….robert somehow managed to shoot himself throught the web of his hand between thumb and forefinger….nothing drastic….after that he was officially named “buckshot” by coach cooper hogue….it lasted thoughout college where he reinforced the name in two ways….supposedly got straight zero gpa his first semester as a freshman…..and had a nice cutlass supreme with faux buckles across the truck….houston hollister called him”buckles”…..later heard he was sensitive to being called buckshot…..???

  37. quail09 says:

    JL….i think i have an old ole miss program of a game your uncle rocky played in…..whatever it is i have, i copied it and gave it to aunt alice since she lost all of rocky’s stuff in katrina….my parents are close friends of hers… for martha byrd….the last time i saw her was my junior year at ole miss….we were playing tulane in the super dome….i was rooming with tbone walker, the starting offensive guard i played behind…anyway, martha, johnny olsen, and randy torjusen came up to the room to visit me the night before the game…..haven’t seen her since…

  38. JessieLou says:

    Dude – how much longer are you going to hold out?

  39. Jessie Lou says:

    Zeek – check your email……..

  40. Jessie Lou says:

    I’m guessing that Quail09 doesn’t know exactly who I am either…….

  41. ZEEK says:

    Bet he does…….

  42. quail09 says:

    JL…i know who you are….ask your sister LB about me…tell her hi

  43. Jessie Lou says:

    As I stated on the PHS All time Player Post – I think we got you figured out. I wrote a really cute poem for your father one year for Christmas – 2002 – to go with a gift my aunt had for him. I think you would get a kick out of it. Again, I give credit when it is due and Zeek gets all of this one. If I am not mistaken your picture was in the paper in the last 6 months. Good to see you on the blog – you’ve added alot to the conversation and made yourself a conversation piece as well, adding a dose of intrigue. Nicely done.

  44. Jessie Lou says:

    Qauil – I have not seen Martha in years as well. She is doing well and we have emailed some in the last year. Martha has rebuilt after Katrina in NOLA and it looks great from the pictures she sent. I saw her sister Alyce (a former Ole Miss Cheerleader I might add) a few years ago at a family funeral, but otherwise we keep in touch be email. I saw Aunt Alice this past summer and she is still my favorite aunt – one I miss so much being around. Another thing we lost to Katrina. Thanks for sharing some of your memorablia with her, I know it means alot after loosing it all.

  45. quail09 says:

    JL…thanks for the updates and all the nice compliments….i can assure you i had no intentions of being a conversation piece or causing intrigue….i just wanted to add some first-hand info on Rooster…a true phenomenon in high school football….i didn’t realize it fully at the time…we were just doing our jobs blocking for him…..i never dreamed we would go undefeated and win the state championship….some great memories….that team has remained closer than most…..reunions every 5 years….coaches come to them as well as just classmates who never touched the field….a truly special group of guys

  46. ZEEK says:

    It does cause a sense of mystique when you look back and it definitely was fun and made the first semester of Senior year fly by. Unlike Quail though, (and this is no B.S.) I called our run before the season started. I wish I had a tape of it, but at the Kiwanis Club lunch the Tues. before our first game I stood up as Pres. of Key Club and announced to all that Goula would go undefeated and win State that year. Honest Injun.

  47. quail09 says:

    Another Rooster story…..the summer before our junior year, several of us took a trip to oxford to participate in the ole miss football camp….Mr. Bobby Daggett drove us up there, dropped us off, while my dad was to pick us all up at week’s end to bring us back to goula….on the trip home, my dad stopped at the old shoney’s on 49 in hattiesbug…..Rooster said he wanted some “skrawberry pie”….that’s right….skrawberry…..anyway, his pants pocket was so full of quarters you couldn’t miss it….i mean full….my dad said, “Rooster, where’d you get all those quarters, son?” Rooster responded, “Got ’em off all them lil chumps up there”…..he had extorted and bummed a pocket full of quarters from the multitude of 10-11 year olds who had attended the camp

  48. LB says:

    MM I figured you out before Zeek or JL could get it done. Good to hear all those stories from the good old days. Those were some really fun times. How come I missed out on the football reunion????
    BTW I can attest to the fact that buckshot does not like the name – I told him on a recent occasion that I had seen him at our office and almost yelled hey buckshot – man he bristled up and told me that would have been a big mistake. CAN’T WAIT until he turns up again cause I won’t miss that opportunity ever again. HA! You ever get over to the SE corner of P’goula anymore? I remember you’ve been to our office a few times….

  49. quail09 says:

    Hey, LB…..naw, just been over to Ron’s house….would’ve loved to have had you over to the reunion…..Rooster just came in to town for a couple of nights….almost a spontaneous get-together with conerly organizing it as usual….good to have a guy like ricky….he is an expert at keeping all of us connected in a practical way….lots of beer helps……what’s your email address?…..need to ask you somethin

  50. quail09 says:

    Hey, LB…..naw, just been over to Ron’s house….would’ve loved to have had you over to the reunion…..Rooster just came in to town for a couple of nights….almost a spontaneous get-together with conerly organizing it as usual….good to have a guy like ricky….he is an expert at keeping all of us connected in a practical way….lots of beer helps……what’s your email address?…..need to ask you somethin

  51. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard that Buckshot was heavier in his youth – perhaps the name reminds him of that! Believe me I understand since I was dubbed “Howdie Doodie” by someone who supposedly loved me back in 1975!

  52. Anonymous says:

    Buck was a big boy back then….played defensive tackle…and a good one….as mentioned earlier, defensive player of the year in 1975…..and he had some good competition that year….Billy Albert Tucker (Rooster’s cousin….these two got into one of the most vicious fights i’ve ever witnessed one day after practice), the Thomas brothers, Joey Doze (Mitch’s big brother…..cold-cocked conerly in one-on-one drills one day), Mark Brown (MSU), Ricky Rozzelle (Bama), Bob Buford (DSU), and Mike Clancy (coach hogue one said clancy was the meanest and toughest high school player he had ever seen)…, old Buck was no slouch…..

  53. ZEEK says:

    Who is LB? Is this another mystery man? LB, what position did you play, and what year did you graduate, that is all I need. Who is this Buckshot dude? Do not recall him at all. But, I agree with Quail, if he won defensive player of the year over all those guys, he had to be a hoss.

  54. quail09 says:

    Buckshot is TB’s old boss….LB is JL”s sister….do you have any meaningful contributions to add to the subject, ZEEK?

  55. quail09 says:

    Today is the 32nd anniversary of the 1976 State Football Championship of Mississippi……Greenville 0..Pascagoula 21

  56. Jessie Lou says:

    Memories, like the corners of my mind……I was only 13 at the time. If only I knew then what I know now.

  57. herb says:

    rooster my friend

  58. rob says:

    we are all lucky to have him as our friend

  59. If someone wants to tell him about his growing fame on the web, we’d love to hear from him. Of course, now that we who were mere babes in his heyday now know he’s a real flesh and blood person, it takes away a bit of the “legend”, but TB is a truth seeker, I can handle it!

  60. rob says:

    i told him, and he is embarrasd.

  61. rob says:

    I will try to get him to talk, but I don’t
    think he will talk. He is to modest.He told me to let it be.

  62. JFRIERSON says:


  63. quail09 says:

    Another Rooster story…..during the latter part of our senior year at PHS, our senior class went on a day trip to New Orleans to see Pistol Pete and the Jass play in the Superdome….at halftime, Dave Dickson, developer of the Superdome, asked Rooster and a few other of us football guys to come have lunch in the nicest private suite I had seen at that time….he was recruiting Rooster to come to Tulane….we were treated to an amazing meal under chandeliers, with stainless and crystal, on linen table cloths…..of course, he did not entice Rooster to sign with Tulane, but he pulled out all the stops…..I had forgotten about the following until it was brought up at our recent, aforementioned reunion……Dickson had arranged for Rooster’s brother, Coon, that’s right, Coon, to sing the national anthem before the game….well, iin my memory, Carl Lewis did a way better job in his rendition than Coon did….real embarrassing….someone jokingly asked Rooster about it and he said Coon had been out all night the night before partying pretty hard and, in Rooster’s words, “drug his stankin ass in there to sing”

  64. Tim Brown says:

    I lived next door to Rooster Jones during my Sophomore year at Pitt (in a dorm). Across the hall was JC Wilson. Man those guys would party! Playboy magazine has listed their top college “dream team” and Rooster was included. When I showed Rooster the magazine he was so thrilled! I gave it to him and he treated me just fine from that point onward. I always wondered what happened to Rooster and just hope that his life turned out well. i still live in the Pittsburgh area and celebrate the great sports traditions of this city (Go Steelers! Go Penguins!) What a year!

  65. Tim, thanks for the comment. The blog has an opening for a Pittsburgh rep if you wanna hang around.

    A good year for the Steel City franchises…reminiscent of 1979 when Stargell and Bradshaw shared Sportsman of the Year in SI, coincidentally when all these Mississippi boys were up there. Also coincidental that I just last week paid homage to the 1979 Pirate “painter’s” cap and championship.

  66. quail09 says:

    Tim, thanks for sharing those memories of rooster….he is doing well….he is head of security on campus at Pitt….he came down for a little “party” last summer…seems to be doin well and loves to laugh as always….look him up and tell him Massengale says “hello”

  67. Tim Evans says:

    I just wanted to say to all those wondering my father is doing great and still lives in Pittsburgh . And if anyone have any pics it would be nice. I want to put something together for him. my email is

  68. Anonymous says:

    I am pretty sure Rooster works for University of Pittsburgh’s Campus Police. At least when I was there in the 90’s he did. Cool dude…but never let you into Trees Hall without your ID even if he knew you by name.

  69. Thanks for the comment and I hope all you Pitt fans that came over weren’t too disappointed in the post. I do appreciate y’all visiting (spiking my stats) and hope you will look around. On the upside, the comments had a lot of good info and stories. He really remains a legend in Pascagoula, a town that reveres its champions as much, maybe more than any. That whole ’76 team, and the ’87 Panthers both, and a few old timers even recall the ’48 champs. Don’t know if we’ll see another one for awhile.

  70. ZEEK says:

    Quail may remember this, maybe not, but I distinctly remember my mom recounting in great detail a poem that Rooster penned and recited at the pep rally for the ’76 Moss Point game. She either had a copy of it, or just memorized it, but she used to recite it. The climax/final stanza of this poem I will never forget. Mr. Jim Milstead was the principal at the time (my all time favorite PHS principal, even though gone before I matriculated) and he had a prominently bald head. As a tribute/poke to Mr. Milstead, Rooster ended his masterpiece as follows: “So when the mighty Panthers hit that line, the Bald-Headed Wizard’s head do shine!!” What a classic!! Any of you old Panthers remember that??

  71. RANDY TORJUSEN says:


  72. Randy, thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope you make yourself at home here on the blog.

  73. Jessie Lou says:

    Yes, Randy – you would probably enjoy the content on this page alot. I should have told you about it before and just never thought to do it.

    Zeek – my sister remembered that poem only vaguely – it did exist; however, she could not remember the words at all.

  74. ZEEK says:

    Of course it existed, JLou. There was never a doubt about that. I was just hoping to get a former Panther from that era to elaborate/reminisce on it. I only print the gospel honey!!! Where the heck is Quail? I bet he remembers!!

  75. ZEEK says:

    Baba- Thanks for your kind words for Mary(mom). Yes, she was one of a kind and I do miss her so. Glad she made an impression on your life.

  76. Jim Greene says:

    Just stumbled across this doing a search for some of the best backs I ever played against for a forum. I was a junior at Meridian High School Rooster’s senior year. He was absolutely everything advertised beforehand, and one of the best, if not the best back I ever tackled. That list includes James Berry in High School. James Wilder, Gerry Ellis, and George Rodgers in college.
    The one play I’ll never forget in our game against each other was a tackle I didn’t make. I had beaten the lineman in front of me, and had Rooster coming right at me. I was looking him directly in the eyes, his upper body coming right at me. He was still looking at me when his hips swiveled, and he was by me before I could attempt to move. That never happened before, or since, and it left an impression on me to this day.
    Even though it was a zero for me on that play, I appreciate the talent displayed, and the memory left behind.

    Jim Greene
    MHS, Class of ’78

  77. Kelley says:

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added-
    checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I
    recieve 4 emails with the same comment. There
    has to be a means you can remove me from that service?

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  84. Richard says:

    Rooster has been employed in the Security Department of the University of Pittsburgh for over 25 years. Rooster and his wife Claire are the parents of 2 children.

  85. Mike Dry says:

    Back in the late 90’s I got to meet a lot of WLF players at HealthSouth. A couple were from Pittsburgh. Looks like someone has verified what those players told me that Rooster was head of security at Pitt. I remember that sign across the the field from North Natchez that said “ring the Roosters Neck”.

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