Recently, the Mount Gilead class of 1972 held its 5oth reunion. The event brought many alumni back to the area, including a few members of the 1972 MOC champion football team that missed the first ever OHSAA playoffs that fall. Two members of the team, Tom Tennant and Dave Hobson, brought a trophy ball with them from that season and presented it to current head coach Mike Reid.
The 1972 Mount Gilead football team finished its season with an 8-1 record, with the only loss happening by six points in a non-league game. The team was undefeated in league play as they captured the outright MOC championship. The conference was very strong that year with many teams having state-wide rankings.
Highlights of the season were three straight victories over previously undefeated teams: Big Walnut (16-6), Marion Catholic (22-6) and North Union (40-17). These victories brought the team much media and state-wide attention. Their season ended with a 70-14 victory over rival Cardington, which is the second-highest point total by an Indian offense in school history.
The team barely missed the first ever OHSAA football playoffs. In 1972, there were only three football divisions and only four teams per division qualified. The Indians were edged out for the appearance by Marion Pleasant, who would go on to win the state title. They scored 276 points on the season (31 per game) and only gave up 70 (eight per game).
The team was led by head coach Paul (Bear) Bremigan, who was assisted by Olen Jackson, Bob Castner and Chris King. The team manager was Brad Keenan. Team members were: Jeff Carr, Arlen Chapman, John Chapman, Brad Dodrill, Mike Fath, Mark Foust, Charlie Harmon, Ron Harper, Mike Hartman, Claude Hetrick, Dave Hobson, Randy Hord, Kevin Irwin, Doug Kemp, Steve Kemp, Art Korody, Matt Long, Steve Lyman, Bruce McChesney, Ron Matthews, Steve Matson, Mike Mosher, Jim Rizor, Keith Robinson, Rick Shoultz, Richard Smith, Dan Stacy, Tom Tennant, Monty Ward, Alan West, Mark Zwayer and Tom Zwayer.
In addition to a championship trophy, a football commemorating the championship was given to Bremigan. He passed away in 2008 and his wife, Donna, passed away in 2019. An estate sale was held in August 2020 and the football was purchased by “On the Square Antiques”. Dana Maggs (class of ‘74) and Craig Hornbeck (class of ‘77), with the assistance of Donna Carver, purchased the ball with the intent of having it returned to the school. Its return this year has a special meaning as it marks 50 years since the team won the conference championship in 1972.
Current head coach Reid, “Is honored to have both received the championship football and to have visited and traded stories with Dave and Tom as they visited to deliver the ball. The ball is back home where it belongs and will be an inspiration to return the program back to league prominence in the coming seasons.”
Information received from Mike Reid.