Franklinton graduate is a PRCC Hall of Famer

Published 3:24 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

Former Franklinton High School football player Richard Morgan is one of the five newest Pearl River Community College Hall of Famers.
“I was just overwhelmed and just humbled to even be considered,” Morgan said. “It’s quite an honor. I don’t feel deserving, but I’m thankful. That school meant so much to me, and it still does. I was thankful for the gesture they did for putting me in.”
Morgan graduated from Franklinton in 1950, where he was a running back and cornerback.
Morgan played for then Pearl River Junior College for two years in 1950 and 1951. He played running back his first season and cornerback his second year at Pearl River Junior College. According to the press release, the team went 6-3-1 in 1950 and the offense eclipsed 27 points five times and defeated rivals Gulf Coast (then Perkinston) 33-0 and Jones College (then Jones County) 34-13 in the season finale.
In his second year, despite only being 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds, Morgan starred as a shutdown defensive back in coach Dobie Holden’s scheme. With Morgan roaming the secondary, the Wildcats went 9-2 with a Memorial Bowl berth. Six times in 1951, the Wildcats blanked opponents. It was arguably the stingiest defense in the league that season.
“In my life, that two years in my memory stands out as a formative two years of my life,” Morgan said. “I mean, it was under the best coach (Dobie Holden) you could’ve played for, not just for football, but for life.”
Holden was inducted into the Pearl River Community College Hall of Fame in 1988 and the football stadium is named for him (Dobie Holden Stadium).
Holden was PRCC’s head coach from 1948-1966 and had a great deal of success. Under Holden, Pearl River Community College went 140-43-7 and they captured seven state titles. The 1961 team went undefeated and was ranked No. 1 in the nation. For his career, Holden went 240-74-15.
Morgan said that Holden taught psychology and coached football.
“He a very professional handler of young men,” Morgan said. “He knew how to get the most out of the least. He touched a lot of lives in his tenure there. It was all for the better. He was one of the greats.”
Morgan currently lives in Franklinton and manages his business, Blossman Petroleum Distributers.
The rest of the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees are Michael Allizzo (men’s soccer; 2012-13), Datishella “Punkin” Byrd (women’s basketball; 1996-98), Matt Lott (football; 2003-04) and Charlie Reeve (football; 2001).
Pearl River Community College will honor the inductees on Oct. 12 when PRCC plays Southwest Mississippi College. It is also the homecoming game, and kickoff is at 2 p.m.