1960 Football

1960 Football Team

The undefeated 1960 Football Team put Glen Rock High School on the map in New Jersey interscholastic sports.

The 1960 football team finished its season with a 9-0 record, scoring 262 points, nearly 30 points per game, and giving up only 26 points, less than 3 points per game. In addition to being North Jersey Conference Champions, the team was selected by The Bergen Record as mythical County Co-Champions with Pascack Valley, the only other undefeated and untied team in Bergen County.

An offensive juggernaut, the team was led by a trio of running backs that possessed strength, speed and deceptiveness: Brian Flynn, Hall of Fame Inductee Ron Duncan and Hall of Fame Inductee Dave Percival. All three were named to the First Team, All-NJC four member backfield. Dave was also selected for the Third Team, All-County (by The Bergen Record) and First Team, All-Suburban (by The Ridgewood News); Ron was awarded Honorable Mention, All-County and named to the Second Team, All-Suburban. Brian was awarded Honorable Mention, All-County. Ed “Butch” Vanderbeck (Honorable Mention, All-Suburban) and Jim Tanis were outstanding backups. Quarterbacks (Captain) Chuck Saldarini and underclassmen Jim Omsberg led the team’s passing, running and option attack. The line was led by two outstanding ends in Jack Fleming and Hall of Fame Inductee Charlie Ingulli, both of whom were selected for the Second Team, All NJC and the First Team, All-Suburban (and received Honorable Mention, All-County). Finally, the team had six fierce interior linemen: Jack Tent  (Honorable Mention, All-NJC and Honorable Mention, All-Suburban), Bill Connor (Second Team, All-NJC), Dave King (Honorable Mention, All-NJC and Honorable Mention, All-Suburban), Bill Houser, Terry Overton and Roger Wates  (Second Team, All-NJC)

At a time when most high school athletes played both offense and defense, the above players were also standouts on the team’s nearly impregnable defense with Duncan, Fleming, Ingulli, King, Tent and Vanderbeck among those often receiving special plaudits. The team still holds the school’s record for the lowest number of points allowed per game (2.87).

The season was highlighted by the team’s games against Glen Ridge and Wood Ridge. After six straight victories, the team met Glen Ridge in week seven and delivered a 21-0 victory, thereby avenging Glen Rock’s lone loss in its otherwise perfect 1958 season. Omsberg consistently befuddled Glen Ridge with his execution of the option play, with one touchdown coming on a pitch to Percival, a second on Omsberg keeping the ball and scoring himself and the third on a 20 yard pass to Percival who then eluded defenders and sprinted the remaining 50 yards to the end zone.  

Now, like in that 1958 season, Glen Rock was playing another undefeated team, this time, Wood Ridge, in week eight for the NJC Championship. Ticket demand for the game was so great that the home team, Wood Ridge, added temporary stands to accommodate the nearly 4,000 spectators.

The game was an epic battle. Wood Ridge took the lead in the first half after benefiting from recovering a fumble on Glen Rock’s 22-yard line. However, with a defensive stand that would prove to be immensely significant, Glen Rock stopped Wood Ridge’s extra point rushing effort just inches from crossing into the end zone. In the second half, Glen Rock delivered a 94-yard march in 18 plays that began in the third quarter and extended into the fourth quarter. Percival delivered the game-tying touchdown with a 2-yard plunge. With the score now tied 6-6, Vanderbeck followed his Glen Rock linemen into the end zone and delivered the extra point – and a 7-6 lead. After stopping Wood Ridge’s next effort, Glen Rock almost added to its lead by marching to Wood Ridge’s 8-yard line before being stopped on downs. Although there was now less than four minutes left in the game, Wood Ridge successfully completed a series of passes and drove deep into Glen Rock territory. Fortunately, with time running out, Tanis intercepted Wood Ridge’s effort on Glen Rock’s 10-yard line – and sealed the well-earned 7-6 victory.

After those two victories, the team ended its season with a 33-7 victory over Midland Park on Thanksgiving Day with Percival scoring four touchdowns and thereby ending the season with a total of 112 points, the most of any Bergen County athlete.

Most befitting, in post season awards, Hall of Fame Head Coach Mickey Smith was named All-Suburban, Coach of the Year.

Among the long lasting anecdotes about this legendary team is how Duncan, Soldarini and Percival almost missed the crucial Wood Ridge game. The three teammates took the entrance exam for the U.S. Military Academy that morning and missed the team bus to the game. Needing to get to the game (and dress) in Duncan’s car, they arrived 30 seconds before game time to a wide smile of relief from a frantic Coach Smith. 

Because of the legendary accomplishments of the 1960 football team, a large photo board honoring the team had a prominent position in the Senior High School gym lobby for decades. As one of the greatest teams in Glen Rock history, the 1960 football team was the first boys team inducted into the Glen Rock High School Hall of Fame.

Head Coach Mickey Smith

Assisted by Carl Krause and Larry Thomas

Jack Fleming (Co-Captain)

Charles Ingulli (Co-Captain)

John Bloom

Bill Conner

Bob DeCarlo

Brian Flynn 

Ron Duncan

Roger Dunne

Dennis Herre

Bill Houser

Dave King

Jim Omsberg

Terry Overton

Al Parisi

Dave Percival

Chuck Saldarini

Peter Sunderberg

Jim Tanis

Jack Tent

Ed Vanderbeck

Roger Wales

Paul Zdziarski