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Posted: September 12, 2009 3:46 p.m.

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Wolverine Field dedication draws former Cousins' players

/Photo by Amber Pittman

Field of dreams: The Newton County Recreation Commission dedicated the newly revamped Wolverine Field Thursday night.

Thursday evening in Newton County felt like football weather. The temperature outside was right, the time of year was right, and at Wolverine Field there was something every football team thrives on - spirit; the spirit of dozens of graduates of R.L. Cousins High School who were there to witness a dream become a reality. Once only a field of dust and rocks, what was unveiled Thursday was a thing of beauty.

Football originally began at Cousins in 1966 but it was the team who played in 1967 under coach Gilbert N. Turman that everyone remembers. During the school's homecoming game against Westside Lincolnton the Wolverines defeated their opponent 102-0, making Georgia high school football history.

"Coach Turman did not only teach them how to play football - he taught them the game of life," said Newton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kathy Morgan.

"He taught them about being a team player, he taught them to respect others even when victorious as reflected in his quote to The Covington News: 'After we was leading 41-0 at the half we put in the second string line and a third string backfield and instructed the quarterback not to throw the ball. We tried to keep the score down, but we can't tell our backs to fall down every time they break loose. We definitely did not intend to score that many points.'

"I am proud to be a part of this momentous occasion," continued Morgan, "and I am proud to say that I know some members of this team and they are leaders in our community today."

BOC member J.C. Henderson remembered Wolverine Field growing up, saying that it was to him a "field of dreams."

"I'm very thankful to these men here," he said of the assembled members of the football team.

The field had been in the works since 2002 and next on the recreation department's list is to revitalize the gymnasium at the Cousins Center, according to Newton County Recreation Commission Director Tommy Hailey. He also encouraged those in attendance to come out to the field for the recreation team's first games on the newly dedicated field Saturday afternoon.

One of the last to speak was Forrest Sawyer who was quarterback in 1967 and who helped bring in those 102 points.

"This facility," he said, looking around him as the light began to flicker to life in the gathering gloom, "this is what happens when people come together."

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