“It matters not that you won or lost,
but how you played the game.”

— GRANTLAND RICE

1971 St. Mary’s Golden Rams Football Team

1971 St. Mary’s Golden Rams Football Team

Top row, left to right: Paul Picchi, David Poggi, Hardy Cook, Mike Hayes, Rick Rideldy, Alex Simpson, David LeBeauf, Randy Baysinger, David Ratto, Ron Inge, Greg Balcao, Rick Giovando. Third row: Coach Al Caton, Michael McNally, David Wainwright, John Zidich, Bill Stewart, Peter Craig, Bill Snyder, Greg Domench, Richard Rivera, Dan Morrow, Bob Rusk, Phillip Raya, Albert Mendez, Mgr., Coach Bob Crawford. Second row: Coach Scott Oechel, Mike Sanchez, Billy Contreras, Art Carey, Dave Cruz, Hoe Herrera, Michael Leary, Dale Balcao, Kiko Macias, Frank Linford, Tom Alieri, John Padilla, Ernie Biscaia, Head Coach Duane Isetti. Bottom row: Jeff Tiffany, Mike Sousa, Steve Rosso, John Pinasco, Bob Caffese, Ferdinad Pracale, Bill Toso, David Lozano, Jimmy Deed, Larry Gaines. Not pictured: Asst. Coach & Trainer Bob Perasso, Manager Ronnie Lozano, Asst. Coach John Little, Fred Tozi.

The undefeated 1971 St. Mary’s Golden Rams football team finished at 9-0. The 1971-72 team returned only six starters from a team that went 9-1 for the year. This team was led by an outstanding coaching staff consisting of Coach Duane Isetti, assistant coaches Al Aton, newcomer Bob Crawford, All-American at University of the Pacific, and Scott Oechel, who had been drafted by the St. louis Cardinals after his playing days at UOP. This team started by having a week-long training camp at St. Pius Seminary in Galt, where the team woke up every morning to the shout of John Pinasco, “Rise and shine—it’s hitting time!” It was a great experience as the team practiced three times a day.

The season began with a bye week. The opening game was against the Manteca High Buffaloes, who had given the Rams their only loss for the year in the 1970-71 season. The Rams prevailed with a victory.Two juniors, Ron Inge and Frank Linford, who both played on the team as sophomores, were keys to the team’s success. The Rams played through an undefeated season and were rarely challenged until St. Mary’s played Lincoln at Stagg Memorial Stadium, drawing 12,000 fans. The Rams prevailed 14-6 to give the school its second undefeated season since 1960. The team was recognized with Coach Duane Isetti being named All-League and All-City Coach of the Year. Seven players were also named All-League and All-City. This was a great accomplishment for a school of 650 students.

 

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