Early Years (1930-1968,1969-1977)
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Aquinas Lil' Irish Football
Early Years (1930-1968,1969-1977)

Early Years (1930-1968,1969-1977)

There were no playoffs (sectionals) until 1978 so in the early years how was a champion crowned?

Early Championships 1930-1968

There was not much in the newspapers or yearbooks about championships in the early years. It is my opinion that any undefeated team should be considered champions. It's also my opinion that an Aquinas team whose only loss was to a college frosh team should be considered champions. From 1947-1951 Aquinas started to play against the top rated prep and highschool teams in the nation. During those years their records were 7-1, 7-0-1, 7-1, 8-0 and 6-2 respectively. It is my belief that even a two loss Aquinas team should be considered local champions due to the level of competition durng this period. The 1958 (6-2), 1960 (7-1), 1966 (6-2) and 1967 (6-1-1) teams should also be considered local champions, losing only to out of state competiton or to a school from Buffalo or Schnectady.

Considered Local Champions

  • 1931 (Undefeated 6-0)
  • 1934 (5-1-1 Lost only to Niagara Frosh)
  • 1935 (6-1 Lost only to Niagara Frosh)
  • 1936 (6-1 Lost only to Niagara Frosh)
  • 1937 (Undefeated 6-0-1)
  • 1947 (7-1)
  • 1948(7-0-1)
  • 1949 (7-1)
  • 1950 (8-0)
  • 1951 (6-2)
  • 1958 (6-2)
  • 1960 (7-1)
  • 1966 (6-2)
  • 1967 (6-1-1)

The Rise of the NYSSWA and the Coach's Poll 1969-1977

With the arrival of the New York State SportsWriters Association in 1969 a state ranking system began. The number one ranked team was declared the mythical state champion. A coaches poll was used to declare a local champion but I'm not sure which year that started.

In 1969 Brighton was 8-0 playing only local competition while Aquinas finished 6-2 playing other Catholic schools and out of state opponents. The two would never play each other because the Catholic schools were not allowed to play the public schools yet. Brighton finished number one in the coaches poll and Aquinas was number two. The question is wouldn't it be great if these two could have played to see who was the real number one team.

In 1970 Aquinas finsihed 7-1, with victories over Fairport and Newark but lost to Mt Pleasant of Schnectady. Rush Henrietta finsihed 8-0 and was voted number one, while Aquinas finished number two in the coaches poll. Again it would have been great to see these two teams collide to determine a true champion, instead of basing it on coaches votes.

In 1975 Aquinas finished 8-1 and lost to McQuaid who finshed 8-0. Coaches felt McQuaid was better, since they beat Aquinas 7-6, and voted them number one in the coaches poll. However, the NYSSWA felt different and ranked Aquinas (8th) higher than McQuaid (11th) in the state rankings. This sparked much debate about who was the true champion. Aquinas felt it had a case since some starters were not able to play against McQuaid because of chemical burns suffered against Madison from the dehydrated lime on the field at Holleder Memorial Stadium.

In 1977 Aquinas (8-1) losing only to Auburn 6-0 finshed second again this time to Fairport (9-0) in the coaches poll. It would have been nice to have these two local powers play against one another. The following year the top two ranked teams in the coaches poll would play for the local crown.