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Rookie Years

1961-1964

Early Years

fhs5_rookie_player2On December 25, 1945, Leroy and Sally Stabler celebrated Christmas Day by welcoming their first born, Kenneth Michael Stabler into the world. Born and raised in Foley, Alabama, Ken had inherited his fathers athletic abilities and it was obvious early on that there was potential for an outstanding career. Leroy (Slim) Stabler had been a stand out athlete who’s career was cut short when his father passed away when he was in high school and his focus turned to raising sisters and brothers. He instilled in his son the love of sports, fast cars and music – and swayed him to football in the ninth grade with a fast 1954 Ford. A tough critic because he knew his son had the ability, he pushed him to be his very best.

High School

Played at Foley High School 1961 – 63 Team record 29-1
1961 record 10-0 (sophomore year)
1962 record 10-0 (junior year)
1963 record 9-1 (senior year)only loss 20-14 to Vigor, first game of season

Played in the 1964 Alabama High School All-Star Game
Charter member at the Foley High School Athletic Hall of Fame
1984 Scored 44 points in a basketball game(a Foley record at the time, since broken)
Averaged 29 points per game in basketball in 1963-1964(Still a Foley record)
Outstanding pitcher and first baseman
In baseball offered a $50,000 bonus to sign with the New York Yankees

“I don’t know if there’s a wildness … but I think inside of you there has to be something that makes the fire burn harder than others’.”

THE YOUNG SNAKE

It was during his stand out years at Foley High School that he earned the infamous nickname “Snake.” The story goes that during a play he took the football and weaved downfield the entire length of the field, side to side, and an excited Coach Denzel Hollis proclaimed, “that boy runs like a snake.” After an incredible high school career, many universities began the pursuit of signing Stabler. The letters came from Pittsburgh, Tallahassee, Auburn, Tuscaloosa, New Orleans and after listening to a number of folks and touring many campuses, Paul W. “Bear” Bryant convinced Stabler that his future lie at the University of Alabama