Mount Pleasant Magazine Sept-Oct 2023

23 | | star running back, Cranny Boensch, had to leave the field due to an injury, defensive back Robert Royall was put in as a substitute and returned a punt 61 yards to win the game 6-0 and claim the championship trophy. That treasured icon of one of the crowning achievements in Mount Pleasant’s high school history nearly came to a tragic end when the Generals’ championship trophy was found in a trash dumpster at Wando High School in the 1980s. Fortunately, fate intervened when Jimmy Craven, who played for the Generals in the 1960s, rescued it from there. LINE OF SCRIMMAGE: FOOTBALL DURING SEGREGATION Just around the corner from Jasper Green — yet a world away — was Laing Industrial School, where a varsity football program was established for the African American school’s students in 1948. When the school was split into an elementary and high school, a new building was constructed at 6-Mile for the school’s upper grades in 1953. A lighted football field was included along with facilities for the students’ other athletic pursuits. Laing High School kicked off its first season with a win over Berkeley Training High School 13-6 and the Wolverines were off and running, showing what they could do with their capable quarterbacks, Donald Bryce and Robert Singleton, and running backs Henry Richardson, Jesse Ellis and James Linyard. The school’s newspaper, The Spectator, praised other standouts on the Wolverines’ defensive line including sophomore Henry Richardson and senior tackle Willie Thompson. The Wolverines’ regular season opponents were other black high school teams including those at Avery Institute, Burke High School and the Catholic Immaculate Conception School, all from downtown Charleston, as well as North Charleston’s Bonds-Wilson and teams from Beaufort, Holly Hill and Lincoln High School. The game against the league’s powerhouse, Howard in Georgetown, was always the most anticipated match-up. Former Wolverine team member Tim Ascue remembered how their opponents would try and intimidate them: “Howard would show up with a hearse that they’d park on the sidelines to scare us!” When Laing and Moultrie were merged in 1973, the two schools’ football programs were mostly forgotten in an effort to unite behind one home team, the Wando Warriors. But the memories of the Wolverines and the Generals are still held dear by many. The Laing High School Alumni Association is anxious to retrieve and conserve memorabilia from the Wolverines’ glory days. And Moultrie graduates hope that their alma mater’s championship trophy can be displayed in Mount Pleasant Town Hall to reflect the history of a growing community that is still filled with a small town spirit. our town The Wando Warriors under the Friday Night Lights. A historical marker at the former site of Laing High School. The Moultrie Generals 1950 championship team. The Beckham Bengals celebrate a win.