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Rogue Valley High School Football Sparkles in 1969

The year 1969 was special for high school football in the Rogue Valley.  Three teams played for state championships: the Medford Black Tornadoes coached by Fred Spiegelberg, St. Mary’s Crusaders led by Larry Walker, and Dan Pero’s Prospect Cougars.  The Black Tornadoes won the A-1 championship, the Crusaders took the A-2 championship, and the Cougars finished as state runner-up.

Oregon State Beavers Coach Dee Andros, speaking at a banquet honoring the three teams, defined failure as “a man or woman who has never tried.”  The coaches praised their players for their togetherness. 
The teams have been linked down through the years.  Many players on the 1969 Crusaders’ team still gather together for a golf weekend every summer.  Dick Maurer, who played on the Prospect and Oregon State squads, served as the coach at St. Mary’s for several years.  Larry Walker, from St Mary’s, was the first coach for the South Medford High football team.  Bill Singler, from the 1969 Medford team, is today’s head football coach at South Medford. Mike Riley, the quarterback for the Corvallis team that Medford defeated for the 1969 state championship, now leads the Oregon State Beavers.

Sources:  “Andros Tells Gridders They Learned a Lesson Not in Books.”  Medford Mail Tribune Nov. 1969. 
Trower, Tim. “Maurer has reason to get ramped up for Civil War.” Mail Tribune.com . 3 Dec 2009 Web 18 Oct. 2013.