NEWS from the
Hornets LogoCharlotte Hornets

Member of World Football League
Charlotte, N C. 28280
(704) 377-9424


Mailed: October 13, 1975



CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For the first time in the World Football League's 1975 season, the Charlotte Hornets stand atop the Eastern Division. The club doesn't stand alone. The Birmingham Vulcans share the honor. Both teams won games on the first weekend of the Fall Season, the WFL's way of making each half a pennant scramble.

We're on top and that's what counts," head coach Bob Gibson said. "The win over the Express gives us a fast and solid start in the Fall Season which is what I wanted. But the win didn't change anything. The pressure is still on every team to win every week. With Birmingham and Memphis playing two more times, the pressure is definitely on the Hornets.

"Because we are such a young team, we expect to improve as the season went along. We all thought we'd be a solid contender if we improved steadily. There's a long second half to go, but our club is playing with confidence. We think we are as good as any club in the WFL. Now, we just have to play week- to- week and prove it. Being at home five of the next eight weeks helps," Gibson added.

The Hornets travel to Philadelphia Saturday in an important Eastern Division game while Birmingham and Memphis clash again and Jacksonville visits Portland.

Then, Charlotte begins a four-game home stand with the Hawaiians on October 25; Shreveport on November 2, Portland on November 9 and Birmingham on November 16. "You can't look down the road," Gibson said. "Good football teams play week-to-week. It's tough to teach a young team that, but now I think we're getting there. I think we'll be tough at home. That says enough."


Saturday, October 18, 1975
Franklin Field, Philadelphia, Pa 7:30 p.m.
Capacity -- 60,000
THE COACHES: Bob Gibson (Youngstown State '50)
Willie Wood (USC '60)
Philadelphia: WON 3, LOST 4

San Antonio 27, CHARLOTTE 20 (A)
Memphis 23, CHARLOTTE 11 (A)
CHARLOTTE 27, San Antonio 20 (H)
CHARLOTTE 33, Jacksonville 14 (A)
CHARLOTTE 10, Philadelphia 0 (H)
CHARLOTTE 30, So. California 22 (A)
Birmingham 22, CHARLOTTE 16 (A)
So. California 24, CHARLOTTE 17 (H)
CHARLOTTE 39, Shreveport 14 (A)
CHARLOTTE 22, Jacksonville 15 (H)

Philadelphia 21, Hawaiians 15 (H)
Birmingham 23, Philadelphia 17 (A)
Shreveport 10, Philadelphia 3 (A)
Philadelphia 22, Memphis 18 (H)
So. California 58, Philadelphia 39 (A)
CHARLOTTE 10, Philadelphia 0 (A)
Portland 25, Philadelphia 10 (H)
Jacksonville 16, Philadelphia 10 (A)
Philadelphia 42, San Antonio 38 (H)
Hawaiians 14, Philadelphia 13 (A)

SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS: The Hornets opened the Fall Season with a 22-15 victory over Jacksonville to vault into a tie for the Eastern Division lead with Birmingham. Ike Thomas turned the game around with a 92-yard kickoff return and quarterback Tom Sherman passed a 12 yard touchdown pass to James Thompson. Pete Rajecki added two field goals.

OFFENSIVELY, the Hornets generated 342 total yards-168 passing and 174 rushing. John Sykes was the club's leading rusher, gaining 94 yards on 13 carries while Don Highsmith, the club rushing leader thru 10 games, picked up 60 yards on 18 carries. Sherman, a percentage passer, completed 11 of 23 for 168 yards. Two weeks ago, he hit 17 of 20 in a win over Shreveport. Rookie James Thompson, who caught eight passes for 123 yards against Shreveport, caught three Sherman aerials for 35 yards and a score while Lee McGriff added three catches for 66 yards.

DEFENSIVELY:, World Football League "Player of the Week," Ike Thomas leads a solid pass defense, ranked third in the league going into the Jacksonville game. The ground defense allowed a season low 86 yards net rushing against the Express.

Linebacker Jere Brown continues to lead the team in tackles with 98, 82 unassisted. Larry Shears ranks among the league leaders in interceptions with four.

SPECIALTY TEAMS: Randy Rhino leads the WFL in punt returns and Ike Thomas ranks in the top five in kick returns. Rhino holds a club and WFL record for interception returns of 84 yards. Thomas holds a club and WFL record for kickoff returns with a run of 92 yards.

HORNETS ON THE AIR: Saturday's game with the Bell will be televised over WRET-TV, Channel 36 in Charlotte beginning at 7:30 p.m. The game can also be heard on WBT-Radio, 1110 AM, beginning at 7:15 p.m. with Harold Johnson and Matt Snorton. Two additional television outlets will carry the game - WGHP-TV, Channel 8 in High Point and WTCG-TV, Channel 17 in Atlanta.


WR 36 Tim George DE 81 Lou Ross
LT 78 Carl Collins DT 76 Doug Olson
LG 64 John Culpepper DT 77 Tom Gipson
C 52 Charlie Tiblom DE 86 Don Ratliff
RG 70 Darrel Bunge LB 57 Skip Singletary
RT 75 Jerome Gantt LB 61 Steve Colavito
TE 83 Ray Parson LB 53 Mel Rogers
WR 48 James Thompson CB 47 Gregg Butler
QB 19 Tom Sherman CB 14 Alvin Wyatt
RB 32 Don Highsmith WS 38 Rod Foster
RB 44 Lewis Jolley SS 33 Bill Craven
PK 3 Pete Rajacki P 28 Linc Welles
DE 85 Denis Turner WR 18 Ben Hawkins
DT 69 Greg Lens LT 60 Steve Kinney
DT 74 David Douglas LG 68 Mike Wilson
DE 67 Jerry Ellison C 59 Ron Kecman
LB 51 Jere Brown RG 65 Vern Winfield
LB 54 Marty Huff RT 64 John Roman
LB 50 Tom Chandler TE 82 Ted Kwalick
CB 23 Larry Shears WR 8 Ron Holiday
CB 9 Sonny Hicks QB 12 Bob Davis
WS 8 Randy Rhino RB 20 John Land
SS 22 Ike Thomas RB 30 Claude Watts
P 15 Robby Reynolds PK 35 Bob Cooper