1963 Booster Club President

Tom Straughn

Club president Straughn had a unique year. The Tigers not only played two games with Canton McKinley for the first time since 1909, but it was also the first year of the All-American Conference.

Scheduling two games with McKinley was done for their financial benefit after their year of suspension. 1962 was also the first year the Tiger players “actually rode” in the annual McKinley parade. The first McKinley game was played in Massillon the 6th week of the season with the Tiger winning 24-20. The second game was played in Canton on the traditional final week of the season. The Tigers won 22-8 while holding the Bulldogs to 26 yards rushing after allowing 202 yards in the 1st game. The Tiger’s only loss was to Akron Garfield 13-6 before 19,598 fans in the Rubber Bowl. Massillon won the first All-American Conference championship and finished 2nd in the AP poll.

Three days after that final poll, November 22, 1963, “PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY WAS ASSASSINATED”. This cruel act of violence left the nation in a state of shock. It was a sad and tragic day for Massillonions and citizens all over the nation.

On December 3rd at the annual football banquet, Bill Hess, Ohio University head coach, broke up the crowd with the quip, “You don’t need a speaker at this banquet. You need a timekeeper.” He closed his talk on a serious note by stating, “You young men should be thankful for having played in the Massillon program.”