Cub Football - The greatest season(s) in Loyola football history

What was the greatest season in Loyola football annals?

Among the agenda items at the Loyola Gridiron Vanguard Cocktail Reception and Dinner Meeting on March 28 will be discussing the forming of committees comprised of former players and others who have closely watched the program for decades to select all-time player lists, the best games, the top players and the greatest seasons in Cub football annals.

Over the course of this week there has been overwhelming response to those topics, demonstrating the passion so many alumni and friends of the school have for Loyola's football program.

At first blush, selection of the top season(s) would appear to be fairly simple, but is it really?  

The 1962 CIF AAAA championship team, Loyola's first of six CIF title teams, coached by the late LEW STUECK,was 12-0, outscored its opponents 387-88, and was paced by the superlative exploits of CIF AAAA Player-of-the-Year, STEVE GRADY, a tailback of historic fame.  Grady was later Loyola's varsity coach from 1976-2004 and compiled a superlative 269-77-6 overall record, which included two CIF Division I titles and four CIF Div. I runner-up finishes.

Then there was the 1963 squad that won the school's second consecutive CIF AAAA title while going undefeated and outscoring its twelve foes, 350-53.  All-CIF AAAA tailback MIKE BERGDAHL led the state in rushing with 2,317 yards.  Talk about defense, the '63 Cubs relinquished an average ofa mere 4.4 points per game over the course of 12 contests!

How could you argue against the 1975 squad that finished the season 13-0 as the CIF Southern Section AAAA title winner and was crowned National Champion by the National Sports News Service.  All-CIF quarterback KEVIN MUNO is one of the best athletes to play any sport in Loyola football history.  Then there was All-CIF tailback PAT "The Snake" NOMURA, All-league tailback GORDON BANKS (Stanford, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints), All-CIF AAAA tackle ROD BUTLER (Colorado), junior All-CIF linebacker BOB WOOLWAY and All-CIF AAAA corner KAZELL PUGH (Colorado).  Loyola outscored its opposition, 397-131, while running the veer offense to near perfection.

Can the greatest Cub team have a blemish on its record?  There may have not been a more-talent laden team in the modern era than the 2000 squad that lost in overtime to L.B. Poly in the CIF Div. I championship game.  The 2000 CIF Div. I finalists were led by incomparable athlete MATT WARE (UCLA, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals), the CIF Southern Section Division I Player-of-the-Year.

Which Loyola teams do you think were the greatest of all time?

It is tough to compare teams from different eras, but the debates no doubt will be fun.


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