Reflecting on Riverview Football

I read the other day that the Riverview Pirate junior varsity football team went undefeated this year. And that got me thinking; I wondered how many Riverview varsity teams have gone undefeated. 

Well, it turns out that since 1950 only four teams have gone undefeated. Some were very close – nine teams had just one loss. 

Riverview varsity football teams have won 408 games between 1950 and 2018. They’ve lost 215 and tied eight. That’s an amazing record. It takes good players and good coaches to accomplish this. 

I can remember some of the early coaches. I will try and list them, but remember, I am leaning on my 82-year-old memory. The list is as close as I can recall. If there are mistakes, I am sure someone will correct me. 

1950: Dillard Roberts 

1951: James Noffs 

1952: Ernie Mayoros (he was then drafted into the army) 

1952: Pat Ankney 

1953: Owen “Bud” McCourt 

1954: Ernie Mayoros (he returned from the army) 

1955: McCourt (Mayoros became athletic director) 

James Martin 

Don Lessner 

I am not sure when Jim Martin took over the job and then when Don Lessner took over, but I am sure there are a lot of people out there who are sure. 

But back to my original thought: Good players, great coaches. 

Here comes the hard and tricky part, listing the Riverview players who went on to do great things. I am sure there will be plenty of names people can ad to my list. 

The first name I came up with was Lloyd Carr. Everyone knows Lloyd Carr. Riverview athlete, football coach at the University of Michigan – I don’t have to say anything more. 

William “Bill McCartney: McCartney played football at Missouri, was an assistant coach at U-of-M and ater the head coach at Colorado. 

Robert “Woody” Widenhofer: Widenhofer played at Missouri and then coaches at Michigan State, eastern Michigan and Minnesota before moving onto the NFL. In the pros, he coached in Detroit and Cleveland before earning four Super Bowl rings as the defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Irvin Sigler: Sigler played football at Oliviet college and went on to be a very successful coach there. 

There are others who are not as notable as those listed above, but who are just as great, in my opinion. James Vollmar played football at U-of-M for Bo Schemblecher before serious injuries ended his playing career; Jerry Mucha played quarterback at Eastern Michigan, where he was a successful quarterback; and Bob Guiney played quarterback at Riverview, played in college and went on to have a successful career in television. 

Back in the day, Riverview was known as “The Cradle of Coaches.” 

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