I went out for football that fall , and played left end. In those days we played both offense and defense (and had no protection for the nose or face on our helmets!). Since Coach Simmons only used football as the place to get his basketball team in shape, most of the coaching was done by other players who had high school experience. In my case, it was Bob Butler (no relation to me) who had been an All Conference End at Pueblo Central High School before the war.
Bob took over the job of helping me to know the position, which was his position too. So I was second or third in line from the start. However, during the first few practices he was hurt and from then on just helped to coach, and I got the opportunity to be the starter most of the time. The greatest confidence builder for me was in our first game. I was able to take out the interference with a successful rolling block which enabled the line backer to make the tackle. I heard Bob Butler yell to Coach Simmons, “See that! You don’t have to worry about that end position!”
I had a very successful season, missing only one game in Grand Junction against Mesa Junior College as I didn’t want to be out of town when Lou, Jr. was born.
November 1946 marked the end of the football season. I had reluctantly played football, and had really done it only to satisfy the basketball coach, who wanted me to be rougher on the basketball floor. To my surprise, at my soaking wet 130 pounds, I played, never got hurt and loved the game. I started most of the season and lettered. I ended up enjoying it as much as basketball, almost.
The All - American Couple
I had a fairly successful football season again [in 1947] and was lucky enough to never get hurt even though I played both offense and defense on the starting team. We only lost one game, and that was to Trinidad Jr. College.