CR 12: First Ever High School Championship Game - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

CR 12: First Ever High School Championship Game

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OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) -

The year was 1966.  It's a game Spence McCracken will never forget.   It's a game he can remember like it was yesterday.   It was the first year Alabama had a high school playoff and a championship game.   Two powers from Montgomery, Lee and Lanier would face off for a second time that year at Cramton Bowl.

"46 years ago and it seems like yesterday," McCracken said.  He was the starting center at Lee High School.  He went on to play at Auburn and then was a head coach for more than 30 years in Montgomery and Opelika.   All those years, all those games, but this one is a game he'll never forget. "It was a big deal Lee vs. Lanier, kinda like Auburn and Alabama now."

When he pulls out the old VHS tape he can name the plays and the players.  "It gives me chills to think about it."    It turns out he played a crucial role in the game.  He got a penalty late in the game as Lee was close to scoring.  The next play Lanier intercepted the ball and won the game 9-7.   "That play will always haunt me."

Even though his team lost the game, it's an experience he wouldn't trade for anything.   "You learn more about life playing football than any other game on earth, it teaches you how to be a man, it's a tough game for tough people."

And while high school players today have that same dream of playing for a state championship, he has this advice.   "Remember this guys, only one team wins it all, so don't get all caught up in the wins and losses, enjoy the journey."

And his journey continues too.  After retiring in 2008, he's now back in coaching working with the offense at St. James in Montgomery.

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