1949 SJA Football

To the Editor:

Seventy autumns ago, the Academy Green & White gridsters led by Coach Ronald F. MacLeod and Captain Jim King (SJA Class of 1950), put together a commendable 6-1 record with wins over Lyndon Institute, BFA-St. Albans, Montpelier, Newport, St. Mary’s (a long closed parochial high school in St. Albans), and Bishop’s College School on a road win in Lennoxville, P.Q. The lone SJA loss in the 1949 season occurred in Bethel, Maine on Sat. Oct. 8, 1949 as the Green & White footballers fell to the Gould Academy Huskies, 21-13 (“Gould Academy Gets Close Call But Wins,” The Portland Press Herald, Sun. Oct. 9, 1949, at p. 32).

Two October wins provided particular Academy gridiron electricity: 1) in the Sat. Oct. 1, 1949 game at Montpelier High School “[(Maurice)] Moe Pepin scored all the points as the St. Johnsbury Academy football team came from behind in the third period with a pair of touchdowns to defeat the Montpelier High Solons, 26-14, going away.” (“Pepin Runs Wild As SJA Trips Up Montpelier, 26-14,” The Burlington Free Press, Mon. Oct. 3, 1949, at p. 16); and 2) speedster Academy freshman scatback Dave Caplan blazed the pigskin for a second quarter 70 yard touchdown run as St. Johnsbury beat Newport, 6-0, under the “Friday Night Lights” at Hazen Field on Fri. Oct. 14, 1949 (“SJA Beats Newport,” The Burlington Free Press, Sat. Oct. 15, 1949, at p. 14).

A wonderful recapitulation of the 1949 Academy football season appeared in the 1950 issue of The Academy Lamp school yearbook: “Finally, on [Mon.] Nov. 14th the entire squad faced its toughest opponent – all the spaghetti they could eat at Aime’s [Restaurant]. [Restaurateur] Aime [Bisson (1904-1980)] had promised the boys a steak dinner for an undefeated season – but they didn’t quite make it. So they were given a spaghetti dinner instead, a happy conclusion to a successful season.”

Christopher E. Ryan

Los Angeles, California

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