Letter to the editor photo

To the Editor, Duke Carlisle was an outstanding athlete at Athen High School in football, baseball and track. A 1960 graduate from AHS. Duke was the quarter back on a Texas National Championship Team in 1963. A 10-0 regualar season. Texas beat Navy and quarter back Roger Staubach in the Jan. 1, 1964 Cotton bowl.

A 1961 graduate of Corsicana High School, I pitched on the Corsicana High School baseball team against Duke in the spring of 1959 and 1960.

I was on the CHS track team in 1959, we had six first place finish and one second place at the District meet in palestine. I was on the first place mile relay I competed with Duke in the 880 yard run.

At the last 75 yards, I was behind the runner in first place and ready to sprint to the finish line. Duke was at my right side.

Duke, I assume, accidentally bumped my right shoulder knocking me off balance and eliminating me from first or second place finish. A individual with red flag was not in place to eliminate Duke from the race. For that reason I did not run track at CHS my last two years.

In 1958, I ran track at Corsicana Junior High in the ninth grade. I have large feet. Back then I needed a 11 and a-half to 12 track shoe, which was not available!

From the first grade through the seventh grade, I attended school barefoot at Frost Elementary and Bowie Elementary in Corsicana. The bottom of my feet were harden from walking and running on dirt, grass and concrete. I even played football in Bowie sixth and seventh grade team barefoot. I asked coach if I could run barefoot at junior high big eight with Ennis, Waxahachie, Cleburne, Terrell, Mesquite, Garland and Highland Park. The last 75 yards, I passed a runner from Highland Park in first place and new big eight record in the 660 yard race.

To this day I regret not getting permission to run barefoot in the spring of 1959. Duke Carlisle would never had the opportunity to bump by right shoulder, eliminating me from first or second place finish in the 880 yard race and a chance at the regional meet at SMU Ownby Stadium to advance to the state track meet in Austin.

— Jim Basham