When Nancy and I were sophomores at Gettysburg High School in the fall of 1946, our varsity football team won three games and lost six. At least, we were no longer the Conference doormat.
What I remember best about playing football in 1946 is defeating Hanover for the first time in ten years, but I also remember the worst defeat of any team I ever played for in high school or college. That was the night I met Big John Huzvar the fullback for Hershey High School.
John Huzvar was 6 ft 4 in and he weighed 247 lbs when he played fullback for North Carolina State, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Baltimore Colts. As a senior at Hershey High School, he probably weighed less, but when he came roaring around my end on a sweep, it looked to me like Huzvar was already a Pro and was loaned to Hershey for the night.
I was 5 ft 10 in, weighed 157 lbs and was almost two years younger. I distinctly remember John loping toward me on legs that must have carried him ten or twelve feet with every long stride. It took Big John just under two long threatening steps to get to me bravely guarding the Gettysburg left flank.
I used to think John Huzvar ran over me and left his cleat marks in my back, but I have reconsidered my actions that night, and now I’m almost certain I made a feeble attempt to tackle Big John but bounced off of him several feet as he rumbled up the sideline for a long gain.
That night, Big John Huzvar scored fourteen points. That night, Big John Huzvar would have scored more if he were given the ball a few more times. That night Big John Huzvar was a man competing against boys. The final score was 42 - 0. It was the worst “whoopin’” I ever experienced.
For more information about the truck I tried to tackle that crisp November night in 1946, Google “John Huzvar.”