Santa Paula Times

Dan Sweeny (above right) on an end sweep in a game against Camarillo.

Cardinals win Channel League Championship in 1959 season

August 25, 2004
1959 season ends in the mud at Glendale
By Joe Jauregui 5th In a SeriesThe decade of the 1950s began with a C.I.F. Championship and ended on a muddy field in Glendale.The Santa Paula High School football program has not been able to surpass the success of the 1950 team when they earned the school’s last C.I.F. Football Championship. The 1952 Cardinals were able to capture the County League Championship with an undefeated league record and the 1959 Cardinals captured the Channel League championship with a 3-1 league record. Both teams lost in the first round of playoffs.Although league championships were few, several Cardinal football players earned Prep All-American honors while playing for Santa Paula High School. Prep All-Americans from Santa Paula High School in the 1950s were Don Cardinal (1950), Tom Davis ( 1952), Fritz Kuester ( 1953) and George Gonzales (1955).The 1959 Cardinals earned a spot in Cardinal Football Lore as the only Santa Paula team to defeat the Santa Barbara High School Dons. The Cardinals outscored the Dons in a standing room only Peabody Stadium 13-6. Following the victory over Santa Barbara, the Cardinals went on to give the Ventura Cougars their only defeat of the season, 14-7, to earn the Channel League Championship . The Cardinal backfield was led by Channel League Player of the Year, Frank Sigala, and All C.I.F. fullback, Steve Williams.
From the 1960 El Solano: “ We won the Channel League Championship this year! It was a thrilling decision which came when we defeated Ventura. The Cardinals racked up during the season a total of 200 points as against their opponents 108. Our team’s average yards per carry was 5.6 yards; completed passes, 31, as against 69 attempts. The 57-0 win over the Camarillo Scorpions was the largest margin any Cardinal team has ever made.”The Cardinals potent running attack had to contend with a “sea of mud” (Campus on the Hill, Robert Raitt) when they traveled to Glendale for the first C.I.F. playoff game. When they arrived at Glendale High School, the Cardinal coaching staff was informed that the sprinkler system for the football field had malfunctioned, leaving the sprinklers on all night. Since the coaching staff was not aware of the situation before hand, “mud cleats” were not issued to the players to place on their shoes. (At the time, the cleats on the football shoes were screwed on the bottom of the shoes and different types of cleats could be used to address the various playing conditions.) Glendale won the contest, 33-0.