If one person was ever responsible for establishing a high school football tradition it is Duane Webster at Reeltown High School. Born June 18, 1931, Duane attended Reeltown from 1943-48 before graduating the next year at Tallassee. He served in the Korean War for three years and then attended Auburn and graduated from Auburn University in 1956. He became the coach at Reeltown immediately. In 14 years he won 98 games….he left to go to Tallassee for a few years but he returned to Reeltown in 1976. In 12 years he won 110 games. His last four years at Reeltown were incredible. The Rebels went 13-2 in 1984 and became the state runner up. Reeltown won 12 games in ’85 and in 1986 they went to the semi finals again with an 11-3 record. But in 1987 Duane Webster finally achieved it all. The Rebels went 15-0 and won the 2A State Championship with a 9-7 victory over Winston County. Coach Webster’s defense gave up only 15 points in 10 regular season games and 43 points total for the season. He was voted coach of the year. His 26 year record at Reeltown total 208 wins, a staggering total considering much of it was before the playoff system. In 1985 in a poll by the Birmingham News Coach Webster was voted as the best 2A Football Coach in the state. He coached in the North South All Star game in 1963 and 1984 and coached in the first Ala-Miss All star game in Mobile in 1987. The football field at Reeltown bears his name. He was elected to the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
After establishing Reeltown as a small school football power, Duane Webster retired. But he had already hired and help train former Reeltown star Jackie O’Neal as his top assistant. Jackie took over the Reeltown program in 1988 and over the last 20 years Reeltown has continued to be a force in south Alabama football.