If the Piedmont football team continues it’s winning ways in the regular season finale at Witter Field this Friday night, it will mark the first time in 38 years that a Highlander football team has finished the regular season undefeated. Without a doubt Piedmont has fielded many winning teams with exceptional players, won multiple league championships and appeared in many NCS football playoff games, but an unblemished record is a rare achievement.
1976 NCS Champs
In 1975 the CIF started high school playoffs for the first time since 1930 and in 1976 a hard nosed Piedmont team led by Coach Kevin McNair, Jeff Haile, Kent Jordan, Bob Breuckner, Steve Beyrle, Ken Chan, Dave Loomis and Jeff Drehere (just to name a few) ran the table with an 9-0 regular season record. A playoff win over Sunset High set the stage for one of Piedmont football’s greatest moments. On a cold windy night at old Pacific High’s Burrell Field in San Leandro, the Highlanders vanquished Salesian 20-8 for the NCS 2A Northern California Championship and a perfect 11-0 record. The gentlemen of the 1976 team cemented their place in Piedmont Football history with their epic win, an accomplishment that will last a lifetime.
1965 Undefeated and Muenter’s Best
The 1965 FAL championship team was a dominant force that featured the likes of Don Perkins, Bruce Burrows, Bob Carmichael, Jim Peters, Bob Delsol, George Williamson and John Kohlmoos. In a final game of the season that featured a misty rain soaked field at Piedmont, a slug fest ensued versus San Ramon High. With 7:37 left in the 3rd quarter, Bob Carmichael scored a 4 yard touchdown to put Piedmont up 13-12. The defense held San Ramon scoreless the rest of the game to cap off an amazing 8-0 undefeated season.
High Rollin’ Gridders
The early 1940’s were an era of great dominance for Brick Johnson’s greatest teams, with undefeated records in 1940, 1941 and 1942. The 1940 team was one of the most powerful in the Nation almost earning a trip to play for the high school National Championship at the Orange Bowl in Miami. The High Rollin Gridders outscored their opponents by a whopping margin of 274–6.
In 1941 the team had a pre-season #1 ranking in the Nation and didn’t disappoint with another undefeated 9-0 record and earning the nod for the Orange Bowl Championship game. But there was hitch, the Orange Bowl would only contribute $3,000 for the teams travel costs to Miami and the school needed $3,600. So the season ended $600 short!
The 1942 team continued Piedmont’s football dominance with a 3rd straight undefeated season outscoring their opponents 143-14.
Hallmarks of Champions
For this year’s team achievement has been a team effort, with a few masterful individual performances mixed in. The team’s 9-0 record is a reflection of Coach Coats and his staff building a program with high values and a strong work ethic. It’s the result of players buying into the program’s vision, committing to the off-season strength program for a second year and reaping the rewards of the attitude adjustment that comes with it. It’s the result of players coming into camp after getting a taste of an NCS playoff victory and not being satisfied with simply making the playoffs again. And now with most of the regular season behind them and victories in every game, this is a team that sits on the cusp of joining some of the great teams from the past.
One more victory Friday Night in front of a great Piedmont Crowd at Witter Field. . . . what an exciting night ahead.