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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Down Memory Lane: A Tribute to Malcolm Hammack

Note: This is an updated version of a Hard Times article that ran in January 2011.)

As the Christmas holidays draw to a close and the New Year begins, football is always in the air—or should I say ‘on the air’?—with an endless supply of games. The college bowl games seem to start earlier every year, with the initial bowls pitting also-rans from smaller leagues all the way up to the national championship game between Alabama and Clemson next Monday night. 

And if all that is not enough football for you, the NFL playoffs begin in earnest this weekend with two games on Saturday and two more on Sunday. What better time then to remember perhaps the best football player ever to come out of Roscoe?

The Plowboys have had many football stars over the years—I hesitate to name them for fear of leaving someone out—but none more prominent than Malcolm Hammack (known professionally as Mal), the only ex-Plowboy who has ever enjoyed an extended career in the NFL. Not only did he start twelve years for the Cardinals, he was also a college standout for the Florida Gators and a member of the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame.

Always known here as Malcolm, he was born in Roscoe on June 19, 1933, to Mr. and Mrs. Bob Hammack and lived here until graduating from Roscoe High in 1951. His father worked for many years on the track gang of the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway, and the family home was on 302 Bois d’Arc Street.

As a boy growing up in Roscoe, Malcolm was a member of the Boys Club, going on Boys Club trips and playing softball on Boys Club teams. While in high school, he was the top pitcher for the 1951 Boys Club State Champion softball team as well as a star running back for the Roscoe Plowboys.

After graduating from Roscoe High, he played for the Arlington State Junior College Rebels, where he was good enough to attract the attention of Florida coach Bob Woodruff, who offered him a scholarship to transfer to Florida. He played the next two years as a running back for the Florida Gators and was an  all-Southeast Conference selection in 1954, his senior year. After college he was drafted into the army and played on the army team in Fort Ord, California.

He was then selected by the Chicago Cardinals as the 26th overall pick in the 1955 NFL draft and stayed with the Cardinals for his entire 12-year pro career, moving with them to St. Louis in 1960. He was a starter at fullback and played in the same backfield as Ollie Matson and John David Crow. Known for his versatility, he also played linebacker when called upon and was the special-teams captain, returning kickoffs and punts.

In 1958 he returned to the University of Florida in the off-season to finish his bachelor’s degree. After retiring from football in 1966, he remained in St. Louis, where he was a sales representative for a shoe company and a color announcer on radio broadcasts of the Cardinals’ football games. He died on July 19, 2004, at the age of 71.

I can still remember watching television in the Boys Club hall with other boys when the Cardinals played and the cheers we gave when he made a good play. He was “our” football player, and we all felt a sense of pride when the announcers had something good to say about him, which they often did.

During the years he was playing in the NFL, he often came back to Roscoe to see his parents, and, when he did, he usually dropped by the Roscoe Times office to see George Parks and visit for a while. I worked there at the time and was flattered that he always remembered me by name and took the time to say something to us kids while he was there.

In short, he was a heck of a football player, a good role model, and an all-around nice guy. May we have more like him!


Will be hosting a
Hamburger Steak Lunch
     (Includes dessert &drink)
Sunday -January 15, 2017
Tickets $8 adults
$5 children 6 & under

Proceeds of the meal will go toward kitchen repairs

If you have questions, please contact
Elisha Jowers , president 325-277-4113
Connie Baize, secretary. 325-338-1287



The Plowboys may be a superior team when it comes to football, but so far they haven’t been able to achieve that status in basketball. At least, that’s the way it appears since they hung up their cleats and put on their basketball shoes last month, and the games they played this past week didn’t do anything to dispel that notion. 

Part of the problem in the Eula Tournament was the size of the schools they were playing. With the exception of Poolville, whose student enrollment is similar to Roscoe’s, they found themselves pitted against larger schools with larger players.

Then, yesterday evening they lost to Albany in a non-district game 45-22.

Childress 76 – Plowboys 22

Scoring by quarters:

Childress          30        41        64        76
Plowboys             7        14        19        22

Plowboy Scoring: Jayden Gonzales 9, Jose Ortega 7, Jack Phillips 3, Brayden Beal 2.

Poolville 60 – Plowboys 33

Poolville          18        32        49        60
Plowboys         11        20        29        33

Plowboy Scoring: Ortega 11, Johnathon Cuellar 8, Gonzales 7, Clemente Aguayo 2, Cam Boren 2, Phillips 2, Junior Martinez 1.

Clyde 80 – Plowboys 20

Clyde               29        46        70        80
Plowboys          4           9        18        20

Plowboy scoring: Gonzales 6, Beal 5, Cuellar 3, Boren 2. Martinez 2, Ortega 2.

Tolar 51 – Plowboys 35

Tolar                16        26        44        57
Plowboys         10        16        28        35

Plowboy scoring: Ortega 17, Cuellar 6, Boren 4, Brandon Lavalais 3, Phillips 3, Beal 2.

Albany 45 - Plowboys 22

Albany              10        20        34        45
Plowboys            5         7         12        22

Plowboy scoring: Ortega 14, Gonzales 6, Cuellar 4.



After defeating Eden in their opening game of the Eden Tournament, the Plowgirls won their second game against Bronte 44-34, but fell to Robert Lee in the championship game 71-44. Then, yesterday evening they were victorious over Albany 43-33 in a game played in Roscoe. 

Scoring by quarters:

Plowgirls 44 – Bronte 34

Plowgirls            9        30        38        44
Bronte                 2          8         17        34

Plowgirl scoring: Jaleigh Morales 13, Bonnie Wilkinson 10, Kenzie Buchanan 8, Jaci Alexander 7, Veronica Cuellar 4.

Robert Lee 71 - Plowgirls 44

Robert Lee       23        40        60        71
Plowgirls            8        22        37        44

Cuellar 13, Buchanan 10, Wilkinson 10, Morales 4, Jovana Pena 4, Alexander 2, Bergan Trevino 1.

Plowgirls 43 - Albany 33

Plowgirls         11          26         30       43
Albany              5           20         24       33

Cuellar 14, Wilkinson 9, Morales 5, Pena 4, Alexander 2, Buchanan 2, Trevino 2, Lynzie Atkison 1.


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