Eighteen players and one coach from the 1959 Goshen High School football team traveled to the Maple City Saturday to be honored at the 15th annual Goshen Football Gridiron Club golf outing at Maplecrest Country Club.
Some of the players traveled from as far away as Florida for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the season when the Redskins posted an 8-1 record and were ranked as high as No. 4 in the state.
Don Yoder was the team’s head coach. He took over the program in 1942 and posted a 67-64-12 record in his 16 seasons. The 67 wins is third in Goshen history behind Brad Park with 81 from 1993-2002 and Ken Mirer 81 from 1974-84.
Three of Yoder’s players at Goshen earned Northern Indiana Conference most valuable player honors. They were Stormy Pfohl (1943), Stan Lewallen (1949) and his son Jim Yoder (1959).
Jim Yoder was the quarterback and leader of the Goshen offense that scored a total of 199 points. The season total was at the point in time the third-highest season total in school history. Only the 1949 squad (6-3) that scored 210 points and the 1929 team (8-0-1) with 201 had higher totals.
The left-handed signal caller completed 115 of 272 passes for 1,728 yards.
Eight wins was the most by a Goshen team since the 8-0-1 mark in 1929.
The season roster as listed in the Sept. 8, 1959, edition of The Goshen News featured senior Jim Yoder, senior Steve Ellis, junior Jack Guipe and junior Devon Miller as quarterbacks; senior Jim Bowser, senior Steve Cripe, senior Bill Johnson, senior Bud Smith, senior Howard Stitt, senior Jim Webb, junior Bud Hursh and sophomore Gary Pletcher as halfbacks; senior Dan Berkey, senior Larry Widmeyer, junior Bob Goss and sophomore Jim Marks as fullbacks.
Senior Larry Biller, senior Tom Hutchinson, senior Steve McCann, senior Rex Widmeyer, junior Howard Burkholder, junior Terry Emmons, junior Gary Green, junior Byron Holden, sophomore Jim Berkey and sophomore Jim VanWinkle were listed as ends; senior Bruce Bender, senior Dennis Gill, senior Charles Parcell, senior Dennis Warstler, junior Phil Saal, junior Jerry Smith and sophomore David Lantz as tackles; senior Bob Bender, senior Gary Hoke, senior Lamar Shidler, junior Vern Leatherman, senior Fred Yoder, junior Tom VanderReyden and junior Terry Snyder as guards; senior Dave Guipe, senior Leroy Rassi, junior Tam Dalka and sophomore Darby Mast as centers.
Assistant coaches were Bob Rumsey, Jim Phend, Beets Hoke and James “Doc” Nelson. The 93-year-old Rumsey was in attendance Saturday.
Following are the '59 season results.
GOSHEN 26, GARRETT 12
The winners gained 302 yards of total offense, 139 rushing and 163 passing on a hot and muggy night that several players said made it difficult to breathe. Hutchinson, Johnson, Marks and Webb scored TDs. Ellis and Jim Yoder recorded PATs.
GOSHEN 14, ELKHART 7
The Redskins hadn’t defeated Elkhart since a 13-6 home decision in 1955. Hutchinson and Jim Yoder tallied TDs and Ellis kicked two PATs for the winners.
GOSHEN 19, MISHAWAKA 0
Goshen’s last win over Mishawaka was a in 1948 (13-0 at home). The Redskins ran for 164 yards and passed for 29. The defense limited the Cavemen to 73 yards of total offense. Dan Berkey scored a pair of TDs and Jim Yoder one. Ellis booted a PAT.
GOSHEN 34, PENN 13
This was Penn’s second season of football. The Kingsmen finished the season with an 8-2 record after going 3-5 in their first campaign in 1958. Goshen led 27-0 at halftime. Hursh, Johnson, McCann, Larry Widmeyer and Jim Yoder accounted for Goshen TDs. Ellis kicked four PATs.
MICHIGAN CITY 19, GOSHEN 12
Dave Liebig rushed for 140 yards on 18 carries and scored two TDs for the MC Red Devils. His second score with :28 left to play proved to be the game-winner. The Redskins had a 256-255 advantage in total yards. Michigan City led 249-186 on the ground and Goshen 70-6 in the air. Johnson and Jim Yoder notched TDs for Goshen.
GOSHEN 47, FW NORTH 20
This was Goshen’s highest scoring game since opening the 1951 season with a 53-0 victory over South Bend Central Catholic. Goshen was up 14-0 at halftime on North before netting 13 points in the third period and 20 in the fourth. The Redskins rolled up 438 total yards, rushing for 242 and passing for 196. McCann led the team with three TDs, all on passes from Jim Yoder, covering 21, 35 and 56 yards. Dan Berkey scored two TDs, Webb and Rex Widmeyer both one. Eills booted five PATs,
GOSHEN 33, FW SOUTH 0
The game was on the road and was played on a very muddy field. One of the Goshen players said it had rained for four straight days. Jim Yoder had two TDs and a PAT, Hutchinson one and one, Hursh and Smith TDs and Ellis a PAT for the winners.
GOSHEN 6, SB ADAMS 0
Jim Yoder scored on a four-yard run around left end in the fourth quarter. The contest was a School Field in South Bend before an estimated crowd of 3.700.
GOSHEN 8, SB WASHINGTON 7
The Redskins tallied a first-quarter safety and Johnson added a touchdown to hold off the Panthers on a snow-covered field.
Greg Keim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN