Back on the field with the Greensboro Redskins:G ‘Skins top Greenville Bulls in the Mini-Super Bowl

Posted by Andy Durham on March 19, 2020 at 12:25 am under College, High School, Professional | 2 Comments to Read

The year was 1974, and the team to beat was the best in the Carolinas, and that team was from Greensboro, N.C.

We’re talking about the Greensboro Redskins, the city’s semipro football team, this G ‘Skins football team was the best around.

We were talking today with Jim Ezekiel, and Jim was a starting offensive lineman for the team that won the Carolinas Semipro Football Mini-Super Bowl….

Jim Ezekiel was a 21-22 year-old man, that stood 5’9 and weighed 218 pounds, when he started his season with the Greensboro Redskins. Jim was up to 235 pounds by the time the season ended and Greensboro was crowned the Mini-Super Bowl Champions…

In talking to Jim Ezekiel today, we learned a lot about Jim and his passion for football, and we learned more about the G ‘Skins and how they became champions…

Again, the year was 1974, and this semipro football team known as the Greensboro Redskins, played their home games at the War Memorial Stadium, on Yanceyville Street. Jim said the field at War Memorial Stadium was great for football. The Redskins ran their practices at Latham Park. The Mini-Super Bowl was a one-game only event, at Western Guilford High School…

Jim Ezekiel was part of the one-year wonder Greensboro Redskins team that went (13-2) and won the Mini-Super Bowl, at Western Guilford High School. The only two losses that season came at the hands of the team from Albemarle, N.C.

We know that Jim Ezekiel and his G ‘Skins won the title back in 1974, but how did they get there….

Jim Ezekiel had lived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but when Jim’s dad got transferred to Greensboro by his employer, Sherwin Williams paints, Jim ended up at Grimsley High School, where he played for legendary coach Bob Jamieson, in Jamieson’s last year, as the Grimsley High School football coach. Jim was a small, but quick offensive lineman back then, and his size fit the single-wing of the day, perfectly…

Jim took his football game to the college level and wound up playing club football at East Carolina University. Clarence Stasavich was at ECU, when Jim was on is way down to Greenville, N.C. and Jim knew that Stasavich ran the Single-Wing, and Jim thought he had a shot to play at ECU, but when Stas was replaced by Mike McGee, Jim found his way onto that East Carolina club football team and then after college, it was on to the Greensboro Redskins team….

The Redskins’ head coach was the well-known local legend Lou Hallow, who was also a former NFL player, and Hallow was the main coach for the Lewis Recreation Center Redskins, for many years. Lou Hallow was the head coach of the G’ Skins and Al Clapper was the assistant coach, of the ‘Skins….

Jim Ezekiel is 67 years old today, but he remembers details of that 1974 Greensboro Redskins’ season, like it was only yesterday….

The team was (13-2), they played their regular season games at War Memorial Stadium, the Mini-Super Bowl was played at the Western Guilford High School, Lou Hallow was the G’Skins head coach, and Al Clapper was the assistant head coach…..

For people that followed the G ‘Skins back in the day, they remember running back Ike Oglesby, but Jim says Ike, from Smith High School and UNC, Ike only played about half of the 1974 season. The real star running back was Dickie Mebane. Mebane had 4.2/4.3 speed in the 40, and Ezekiel said Mebane was the quickest back he had ever seen….

Other key G ‘Skins in 1974 were QB John Cazzaza, who also later coached at Ragsdale High School and at High Point Andrews HS, plus linebacker Ben Blacknall, from N.C. A&T. Blacknall was an outstanding LB, and his day job was working as a Recreation Center Director, for the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department….

Jim Ezekiel said one of his fondest memories of being with the Greensboro Redskins back in 1974, was being on a team that was working as a team, and working toward a team goal. Jim said he will always remember his teammates and another that stood out was cornerback Sherman Donnell. Donnell was a fine young man and he was dedicated to the cause. Jim told us Elijah Spruill and a tight end named Leon McMillan, were two other players that stood out.

It is all very memorable because this was way back in 1974, but at least 30 of the Redskins’ players were black, and only about 10 were white…”There was so much respect among the players on this team that I can’t really begin to explain it”, said Jim Ezekiel…”Times were changing, and we were are part of those changing times”…..

The Greensboro Redskins had excellent local media coverage back there in 1974. The Greensboro Record, our local afternoon newspaper in ’74, gave the team the name, G ‘Skins. All of the team’s games were broadcast on WBIG 1470 AM radio. Jim Pritchett was the play-by-pay man for the Redskins’ broadcasts back in those days. Jim Ezekiel said he still has reel-to-reel tape audio recordings, of those G ‘Skins football games…

The G ‘Skins had a very potent offense, putting up a 76-0 shellacking over a weaker opponent in one contest. Coach Lou Hallow demanded that his team keep pouring it on, and his offense kept it coming and the defense did their fare share too…The team won that game 76-0, and there was even a running clock, in the second half…

Greensboro won the Mini-Super Bowl over the Greenville, S.C. Bulls, 26-0, and Jim recalls that game being played on December 15, 1974…I didn’t make it out to the game on that Sunday, I was around 15 years old back then, but I do remember the game was played on a rainy Sunday afternoon…

The Greensboro Redskins had lost twice to Albemarle during the regular season, and at one time in one of the losses, Greensboro was up on Albemarle, 17-0, but Albemarle intercepted several key passes and they rallied to win over the Redskins, 20-17…Albemarle was down 17-0 with 9 minutes left in that game, and they went on to win, 20-17. Greensboro met Albemarle a third time, and that game was for the League Championship, and the Redskins won it…Albemarle, Newton-Conover, and the Burlington Bears, those were the other teams Greensboro played and beat that season….

But, the biggest game of the year was on Sunday December 15, 1974. Greensboro versus the Greenville, S.C. Bulls in the Mini-Super Bowl of the Carolinas, at Western Guilford High School. Jim Ezekiel said one of his most vivid memories of the Greensboro-Greenville Bulls game, was not just the fact that Greensboro won 26-0, but that the sheriff came in and took head coach Lou Hallow away, prior to the game….Al Clapper, the G ‘Skins assistant coach, had to coach the team that day, and the Redskins won…

Al Clapper coached the team to victory in the 1974 Mini-Super Bowl of the Carolinas…Greensboro Redskins, Champions in 1974, and Jim Ezekiel, was part of that Championship Team….

Jim told me several of the Greenville Bulls ended up as ‘extras’ in the first “Longest Yard” movie, with Burt Reynolds…

Today, at age 67, Jim Ezekiel is semi-retired and a former distributor for a printing company. Semi-retired and a Semi-Pro football player for Life.

Long live, the Greensboro Redskins/G ‘Skins……


  • Dano said,

    Wow this brings back some fond memories for sure. I saw them play all the time. In fact if I wore my Glenwood Lions jersey they let me in free, as they did all the other kids playing youth football in Greensboro back then. Those guys played some smash mouth football and they were really fun to watch. Good times.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Another key factor that helped the Greensboro Redskins with their media coverage, was the work turned in by videographer Grady Allred, with WFMY TV 2 Sports…

    Grady Allred did a great job in his video and photography coverage of the Greensboro Redskins and he was a big part of the reason, the G ‘Skins were getting TV coverage….