And now you know: Tigers win first District Championship – Orange Leader

Mike Louviere
And now you know

Orange High School put its first football team on the field in 1909. Since the inception of this district competition, Orange has attempted to win a district championship. It finally happened in 1936.

On November 6, 1936, the Orange High School Tigers faced the Nederland Bulldogs in the first of three games to determine the District 33 B championship.

The week before that game, the Tigers had won a game with the biggest margin of the season when they beat the Port Neches Indians by a score of 62-0.

That same night, the Beaumont French High School Buffaloes met with Woodville High School and defeated that team 41-6. This game was the only game the Frenchman had been scored on.

The Tigers and Buffaloes were strong teams, French was the favorite to win the championship. The Tigers were expected to give as much as they received. The game was expected to be sold out.

The match was played at Howell Stadium in Orange in front of an estimated crowd of 3,000 fans.

Orange beat the Buffaloes by a score of 31-9, the worst loss the French high school team have suffered in three years. The Tigers had managed 20 first tries against three for the Buffaloes.

On Wednesday November 11, the Tigers met the Nederland Bulldogs. The match took place again at Howell Stadium in Orange, again with a sold-out crowd.

The Netherlands dominated Orange in the first half. At the end of the second half, Orange turned the tables and dominated the Netherlands, winning 14-0. Nederland had made seven first tries, Orange had made 17. The comeback was the strongest ever for a Tiger team.

On Friday, November 13, their third game in a week, the Tigers faced the Saratoga Gators for the game to determine the district champions. Orange beat the Gators 14-9 in a hotly contested game. Orange had made eight first single downs by Saratoga. Winning that game gave the Orange High School Tigers their very first District Championship.

Prior to this three-game series, in regular district play, Orange had scored 161 points. Their five opponents had scored zero points on the Tigers.

In 1929, coached by Lewis Gay, the Tigers enjoyed an unbeaten season, but due to difficulties completing the schedule, the game against the Beaumont South Park Greenies was counted against the Tigers. A group of district officials gave the title of district to Liberty.

The Orange leader wrote of the 1936 championship game: “The Tigers, coached by Ralph R. Gay, said to be one of the smartest and smartest mentors in all of South Texas, didn’t even never gave their opponents a chance to get into their own 10-yard line. The Netherlands were the only team played this season to reach the 20-meter line, and the Netherlands did not stay long.

This was the first district championship won by Orange High School, and later by Lutcher Stark High School. There would be more in school history, including the season the Tigers had a strong run for the state championship, advancing to the semifinal game in the fall of 1962.

“And now you know.”

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