St. Charles Football (1961-1965)
From 1961 to 1965 the St. Charles High School varsity football team turned in one of the most dominating eras in state football history. Over five seasons the Bulldogs racked up an impressive 43-1-1 record, including a 31-game unbeaten streak. The 43 wins are the most in Saginaw County history during a five-year span prior to the addition of the state playoffs in 1975. During their stellar five-year run St. Charles recorded 16 shutouts and defeated their opponents by the average score of 30-6. Along the way they recorded two of the highest scoring games in county history, a 78-0 whitewashing of Carrollton in 1963, and a 61-0 shutout over Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart in 1964. Head coaches Glen “Dutch” Schroetenboer (1961-63) and Ron Kocan (1964-65) guided the Bulldogs through the reign. The unbeaten streak began with a 32-0 win over Buena Vista in the final game of the 1960 season. The streak spanned parts of five seasons until conference power Michigan Lutheran Seminary halted the Bulldogs 10-6 in the fourth game of 1964. The streak also included a 13-13 tie against Shepherd in 1962. In the midst of the streak, the 1963 team captured the mythical Class C state championship after finishing No. 1 in the Associated Press Class C poll. They outscored their opponents 335-59 en route to a third straight undefeated season. The Bulldogs also captured five consecutive league championships, first as a member of the Saginaw-Gratiot Conference in 1961, then, beginning in 1962 as a member of the newly-formed Central Michigan League.Additionally, the Saginaw News named St. Charles the Class C-D All-Area champions in 1961, ‘62, ‘63 and ‘64, and Class C-D runners-up in 1965. The 1961 squad finished the season 9-0, the Bulldogs first unbeaten season since 1935 when they were known as the Miners. The Miners had a 20-game unbeaten streak that also included a tie. Earning Class C-D All-Area honors in ’61 were first team selections Russ Hahn and Joe Wachowicz. Second team honors went to Stan Lisik, and honorable mention selections included Dave Zuzula, Walt Novak and Duane Fisher. In 1962, St. Charles finished 8-0-1. Senior fullback Ed Wheatley was the Saginaw News’ All-Area scoring champion with 18 touchdowns and nine PATs for a total of 117 points. He was named first team All-State by the Associated Press, United Press International, and the Detroit Free Press. Zuzula and Duane Fisher were All-State honorable mention selections. Named to the Class C-D All-Area first team were Wheatley, Fisher, and John Wilson. Zuzula and Wachowicz were second team selections, while Gary Taylor, Gary Mendyk and Phil Lisik were honorable mention honorees. The ‘Dogs were a perfect 9-0 in the 1963 state championship season. Senior tackle Alan Hahn was named first team All-State. Taylor and Lisik were All-State honorable mention selections. Taking home Class C-D All-Area first team honors were Hahn, Taylor and Lisik.Gordon Lake landed on the second team, whileGary Hunt, Mendyk, and Don Robbins were selected to the honorable mention list. In 1964, St. Charles chalked up an 8-1 record. Mendyk, a senior guard, received first team All-State honors from the AP.Class C-D All-Area first team selections included Mendyk and Bill Adams.George Roux was a second team selection.Honorable mention honorees included Bruce Lake, Craig White, Ron Thomas, Gary Hoffman and Buck Flory. The Bulldogs were a spotless 9-0 in 1965. Lake, a senior end, earned second team All-State honors from the AP. Hoffman and Flory were All-State honorable mention picks. Taking home Class C-D All-Area first team honors were Lake and Tom Nelson. Bob Schroder and Hoffman were on the second team, while Gary Shur, Flory and Mike Vrable picked up honorable mention laurels.