By David Tuma, Publisher
One of the unique things about Belton is the way issues are handled. Harry and Barry Wilson are twins and they will be honored with a flagpole dedication at the Harris Community Center on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m.
The Harris Center “was once the colored high school”. The late 1960’s and early 1970’s schools were opened to all colors and races was a unique period.
The Wilson twins were ground-breakers for players like Al Maxwell, who played for the Tigers and became a football coach at Belton High School.
Harry was paralyzed in a football game November 5, 1971 and has remained that way for life. It didn’t end there and very well could have in terms of his life that night at Wilson-Kerzee Field. The football field on 6th Street is named after him.
Despite his injury, Harry Wilson went on to graduate from Belton High School and earned his college degree. He has worked on Ft. Hood for years. He rides the bus back and fourth to work every day. Barry has been with him all these years. It is a life they have shared and it is an inspiration to many of the community leaders Belton has had over the years.
The football players from 1967-70 are paying for the flagpole.
Jack Meredith became the Tigers head football coach in 1967. Meredith, Hugh Sullivan, Joe Brooks and Will Williams were the coaches that had such a huge impact over the next three decades in the Belton community. Meredith coached the Tigers from 1967-70.
“How much we learned during our time with the team and these coaches. We are doing this because of our relationship with the football team and the community. The thing I remember the most is how much the community supported Harry Wilson. We included both of them because of what they have done together all these years. They represent what is the best in what is a Belton Tiger,” said Jay Taggart.
Craig Pearson was also part of this time period. Steve Jones, Mack Parker and many other leaders in the community were once football players during this era.
“We learned from the community leaders most of our adult lives. Frank Turner has encouraged me my whole life. This is about the current Belton Tigers. What this is about is what it is being a Belton Tiger,” said Parker.
Rosco Harrison and Joe Brooks will be the speakers. Belton Tigers Jeff Ludwig will present the plaque commemorating the even. Ludwig is a CPA who has spent his entire life in this area.
“Those old guys had a huge impact on our lives. One of the guys pouring concrete for the flagpole told me he was there that night when Harry was injured. This award was created by Jack’s boys,” said Parker.
The Wilson brothers are never referred to by the color of their skin by players from that era. In all these years spending over two decades of speaking with and living with these former Tiger Football players it’s always that way.