Lumberjacks reunite at Bino’s

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

History came alive Saturday at Bino’s Seafood Restaurant, as stories were exchanged and the history of Bogalusa High was talked about at the Lumberjacks Reunion.

The tables featured programs from the past under the glass and a jersey was hung up over a chair, which was at a counter with featured old programs.

Stories were exchanged and former players and coaches reminisced about their playing days.

The team captured state titles in football in 1947 and 1969.

This annual event began in 1997 and was originally just for football players, but has since expanded to all Lumberjacks sports.

“This is our (18th) year we’ve had this and the last 10, 12 years have been here at Bino’s Restaurant,” 1945 Bogalusa High graduate Angelo Pepe, one of the event’s organizers said. “He allows us to come here on a Saturday when it’s closed and he opens up for us. We have a pretty good turnout here. This is one of the better turnouts we’ve had in the last couple of years. We’ve got players that played here even in the late 1930s.”

Gary Magee coached Bogalusa to a football state championship in his first year of 1969.

“We had two or three years there where we went undefeated, should’ve won it again, but because of injuries, we didn’t repeat,” Magee said. “My last coaching year was 1975 and my track team won the quad-A championship, which was the highest class.”

Magee said if he had a chance to travel the same road he did, he said he’d do it all over again because it’s about loving what you do.

“As long as it’s that way and it’s out of respect, concern for others that makes this possible,” Magee said.

Current Bogalusa coach Craig Jones, who has been the Lumberjacks football coach since 2006, has had success. Under Jones, the Lumberjacks have reached the playoffs every year except for 2009 and 2011.

“To see all of those old guys and to hear their stories, this is a good thing that they’re doing,” Jones said. “I’d like to see more of the younger players that have graduated in recent years attend this.”

Jones said it’s very important for the younger people to learn the history of Bogalusa.

“That’s what we all grew up on,” Jones said. “Being from Covington, we grew up hearing about the tradition. Seeing these old guys coming here, it would be very useful and helpful for our kids to know the history and tradition of the sports program of the Lumberjacks.”

The event also featured a father and son, who graduated from BHS, in attendance. Jimmy “Bugs” Wascom, who played right halfback and graduated in 1950, was at the reunion with his son Tommy Wascom.

The younger Wascom graduated in 1981 and played defensive end.

Tommy Wascom said he knows a lot of the older guys because he’s from Bogalusa.

“It’s nice. Bogalusa needs more community associated things and all and this is one of them,” Wascom said.

Tommy Wascom said it was a lot of fun coming just to see everybody.

“This is the only time I see these guys generally and talk to them,” Tommy Wascom said.

Last season, the Lumberjacks went 4-7 and made the playoffs. They qualified as the 27th seeded team, but lost to sixth seeded Richwood 33-0.

BHS opens the 2014 regular season by hosting Kentwood Sept. 5.