Newspaper Article Archive of
On Friday night, Mid-Prairie will welcome members of the 1969 Golden Hawk football team to D.G. Sattler field on the 47th anniversary of the only undefeated season in Mid-Prairie football history.
The ’69 team finished the year with a 9-0 record and outscored their opponents by an average of 36 points per game.
The Mid-Prairie offense averaged over 43 points per game.
According to statistics kept by Coach Tim Grady, quarterbacks Dan Jirsa and Reed Edmundson threw for over 1,000 yards that year. Dan Dickel was on the receiving end of 330 of those yards on 22 receptions. Jim Beranek rushed for 664 yards and 15 touchdowns on 65 carries and Dave Spreacker was averaging 10 yards per carry when a knee injury ended his season. Fullback Dennis Miller added 337 yards on the ground as well.
Loren Southwick led the team in tackles in both his junior and senior seasons. The Golden Hawks had three shutouts and allowed eight points or less in the first eight games of the season on the way to the conference title.
Dickel, who played linebacker for the University of Iowa and spent five seasons in the NFL, explained that team’s achievements.
“I think the one big thing for the success of our team was that we were very experienced,” Dickel said. “We were pretty much a senior-dominated team. We had a lot of guys that had played previously and this was the last go-around. As they say, we had great chemistry.”
In a season full of highlights, one of the games that really was memorable for Dickel was the October 10 contest against Mount Vernon.
“I think the homecoming game was against Mt Vernon, who was undefeated at that time,” recalled Dickel. “Governor (Robert) Ray, actually was present. He was dedicating a memorial that was being done at the field that night (for Robert Karr, a former Mid-Prairie student who was killed in Vietnam).
“The interesting thing was that it was a muddy, rainy, night, but I think we jumped out to a big 22-0 lead before they came back and scored a touchdown late. That was probably the biggest game of the year.”
Dave Spreacker led Mid-Prairie in both rushing and receiving and threw a 44-yard touchdown in the 22-8 win. Spreacker carried eight times for 60 yards and a touchdown and caught two balls for 68 yards before he was carried off the field with a leg injury.
Dickel and Southwick each had 12 tackles as the Golden Hawk defense recovered two fumbles and shut out the Mustangs for three quarters. Mt Vernon had 174 rushing yards, but did not complete a pass in nine attempts.
While Mid-Prairie finished the season undefeated, the Iowa High School Athletic Association didn’t begin a football playoff until 1972, so we can only speculate where Mid-Prairie might have finished.
“It would’ve been fun if we could’ve had a playoff, but it’s alright,” Dickel said. “We finished ranked number four, so there were obviously some other teams that finished undefeated, but whether they were dominant like us, I have no idea.”
Attending Friday’s reunion at 6:00 pm are players: Harry Hale - Cedar Rapids, Loren Southwick - Sunrise Beach, MO, Charles Miksch - Cedar Rapids, Keith Davisson - Kalona, George Schaffer - Kalona, Dan Jirsa - Wellman, Russ Patterson, Mason City, John Goodwin - Lisbon, Pat Tadlock - Thousand Oaks, CA. Scott Pemberton - Washington, Lee Harland - Kalona, Larry Ehrenfeldt - Garden City, KS, Steve Yotty - Kalona, Dennis Miller - Iowa City, Jim Beranek - Charles City, Mike Forinash - West Chester, Dave Spreacker - Pella, John Stumpf – Richmond, John Sattler - Tyler, TX, and Dan Dickel - Iowa City. Also appearing are Assistant Coach John Orr - Palm Coast, FL, and Head Coach Tim Grady – Port St. Lucie FL.
Team cheerleaders in attendance will be: Bonnie Yoder Goodwin, Cheryl Martin Miller, Joette Hartley Armbruster, Bev Greiner Rutten, Denise Ralston Dickel, and Vicki Bauer Showalter.