The University of Texas at Arlington library’s digital collection didn’t turn up the thing we were searching for.
But that’s OK because it did give us these photos of a 1940 football game between Sunset High School and the Masonic Home in Fort Worth.
This Masonic team were the “Mighty Mites,” who are the subject of Jim Dent’s 2008 book Twelve Mighty Orphans. That book is set to become a movie from producer Michael De Luca, filming this fall.
These photos originally were shot for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The original photo information says they were shot at Sunset High School on Jefferson, but that’s not what it looks like to me.
Here’s the original caption for the above photo:
The Masonic Home football team is on the road, facing the Sunset High School in Dallas, Texas. The Masons were down late in the game when they began this drive. Mason’s Quarterback C. D. Sealey is shown dropping back in the pocket near the twenty-five yard line. He is throwing a pass to the tall, athletic end Ray Coulter, 4. Clyde Roberts, 24 Masons wingback, is standing near the sideline of the forty pointing to the open receiver. The thirteen yard completion put the Masons near midfield. They followed the pass play with thirteen consecutive ground plays before earning a touchdown. The game ended in a 7-7 tie.
Leonard Roach, 32, is an end for the Masonic Home. He is shown carrying the ball to the Sunset 28-yard line. Later Leonard intercepted a pass that killed another Sunset uprising.
Just look at these guys.
The Masonic Home Football team is working on an undefeated season. A majority of their success and District Seven Title is owed to their “Five Horsemen” who ran, passed, and punted the Masons to victory. They are left to right, Clyde Roberts (24), Hardy “Gordy” Brown (43), Louis Burress (38), C. D. Sealey (35), and Basil Smith (18). Gordy is the star fullback for the Masons. Louis, the largest lad, is the utility man. He can and does play everywhere. The Masons will compete for the State Title in Dallas, Texas.
Hardy Brown went on to play for the University of Tulsa and then went pro for San Francisco, Washington and Denver. He was feared as an incredibly hard hitter. Check out this recollection of Brown, “the most feared player ever to play professional football,” from writer Bill Walraven, who grew up with him in the orphanage.
Here’s an obituary for C.D. Sealey.
Here’s one for Louis Burress.
Here’s Clyde Roberts.
We couldn’t find much for Basil Smith.