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1974 Cardinal Football Team,“The Forgotten Team”

February 17, 2021 - 00:00

Last week, I received a strange email from classmate Susan Baumgart. She sits on some type of Cardinal football statistical committee. She said they are compiling some Cardinal football statistics for Matt Schobel and he listed all playoff teams from 1935 to 2020. Susan asked me why there was no mention of the 1974 Cardinal Football team.

I called my college roommate and right tackle of that 1974 team. Gary Leopold did some extensive research into that season. The 1974 Cardinal team was a really special team. We lost our first game to Gonzales, we lost our last game in the regional finals to Newton. Newton went on to win the state title. Our record was 9-2-1. We tied Brenham, whom Columbus lost to for many previous years. Brenham had two players that went on to play professional football. Dave Campbell magazine ranked Columbus 4th in the district in 1974.

We went undefeated in district play and won the title, which had not been done since 1969! We broke the color barrier with the first African American starting at quarterback in Cardinal football history! We were short, quick, and strong. Almost all of us were under 200 pounds and under six feet tall.

In the 1970s, we restored the pride back into Cardinal football! I hope Mr. Matt Schobel will recognize the 1974 Cardinal football team as an accomplished addition to the history of Cardinal football.


Terry Sablatura