marked the 50th year of football at Heartbreak Ridge.
to celebrate the past and the present as we remember
the beginning of
at Heartbreak Ridge.
Concrete Stands completed in 1963.
More info here.
Neshaminy Redskins stadium aka "Heartbreak Ridge",
was constructed in 1956 under the watchful eye of
Harry E. Franks.
Friday, September 7, 1956, the Neshaminy Redskins
played their first game under the lights of the new
field. At that time, the lights
were on wooden poles, right on the edges of the
field. At that time, the bleachers were also wooden.
opening game featured the Redskins vs. Hatboro
first Neshaminy Redskin to score in the new stadium
was George Rumsey. Jack Reilly threw 4 touchdown
passes. Three passes were to to George Rumsey, and
the other was to Bill Fischer. George Rumsey (from
the Rumsey Farm family, whose farm was located at
the spot now occupied by the Reedman-Toll test
added 3 PAT's, as the Redskins debut at the Ridge
ended in a 27-6 victory using the single wing
formation. This victory was the first of many that
year as Coach Franks' 11 finished unbeaten at 9-0-1
with only a 7-7 tie with Pennsbury preventing a
repeat of the performance of his "perfect" 1954 team
which had posted a 10-0 record.
following articles are from the Courier and were
published just before and just after the Hatboro
Neshaminy Opens Area Football Season
September 5th, 1956)
Dougherty (Courier Times)
The 1956 high
school football season will get underway on Friday
night and the word that is going around the Lower
Bucks County League again is that "Neshaminy will be
and Lower Bucks grid fans will have a chance to form
opinions Friday when the Redskins play host to the
Hatters of Hatboro High.
conference "Powerhouse" for the past four seasons,
is in the midst of rebuilding. Seven of the 15
seniors on the squad will probably start against
The Neshaminy club
has an equal amount of juniors listed on the team
with a crop of 26 sophomores to fit into future
coaching staff, Harry Franks, John Petercuskie, and
John Swartz have been busily preparing for it's
Franks stated that 8
boys have varsity experience from last year. The
list includes Don Boyer, center, Frank Conroy,
guard, George Rumsey, right-half, Bob Picciotti,
quarter-back, Dale Puff, guard, Charles Orfe,
fullback, Jack Reilly, left-half, and Bill Fischer,
Graduation swept 13
varsity performers from the squad. All-County
selections missing this year include Monty Ahlum,
Andy Davis, Errol Faunce and Ned Moyer. Second
string picks were Steve Nieckoski and Bill Barrett.
Others who graduated
include Gary Nielsen, Charles Koch, Dick Apache, Ed
Pellegrine, Bob Armstrong, and Jim Cummings.
Franks does not have
too many big boys and must offset the lack of brawn
with speed. That should not be any trouble as
Redskin backs are noted for their speed. The biggest
back is Rumsey, weighing 164. Tom George will
be in for varsity action and is the largest lineman,
tipping the scales at 179.
The Redskins have two
tracksters ready for action. Jim Foster, a sprinter,
and Rumsey, also a runner. Rumsey was a
second-string All-County end pick last year but now
has been transferred to the backfield.
"The club is in good
physical shape" said Franks, "Excepting Jerry
Mladjen, who is a doubtful starter for Friday
night." Mladjen is being groomed for the fullback
slot. Max Oestreich, a senior center hopeful, has a
Cheltenham last week and the report of the scrap was
good. Neshaminy opens with Hatboro, the first of
three non-league games. Franks has the boys ready
for the fracas and remarked, "It's hard to say what
Hatboro will have, we've never seen them play."
Pennridge and Upper
Dublin join Hatboro as the pre-league opposition.
Neshaminy is the opener for all of those clubs.
usually discuss the coming season. He did say,
however, "All teams will give us trouble." Looking
over the last season, when Franks captured his
fourth straight title, the grid mentor stated,
"Bristol gave us the most trouble."
builds rugged lines, said, "We'll be as tough as
anybody. Everybody will bear watching, including
Pennsbury." Petercuskie believes that Pennridge will
be "loaded" and will be plenty of trouble.
and Swartz are all graduates of East Stroudsburg
State Teachers College. Franks is starting his fifth
year at the helm of the Redskins and is seeking his
fifth consecutive championship.
coached at Old Forge High school for three years.
Swartz directed Carbondale High for four campaigns.
Swartz moved up from junior high coach this year and
was replaced by Pal Allison, a former Morrisville
High School athlete.
Neshaminy has a new
gridiron, replacing Playwicki field on Cherry
Street, Langhorne. The field has been worked on for
the past several months. Seating for the Hatboro
game 2,000 and new seats will bring the capacity to
Neshaminy will have
new dress suits for home games according to Franks.
The Redskins will don all red apparel trimmed in
blue. The shoulders of the jerseys will have five
stars. The backs will wear "tear-away" shirts.
Neshaminy Plays Host to Hatboro on New Gridiron
September 7th, 1956)
Dougherty (Courier Times)
is the night.
night which scholastic football fans have been
awaiting since last November 22. It's the start of
the football season and Neshaminy High gets things
going by playing host to Hatboro High.
Redskins will play on their new gridiron and under
their new lighting system at the high school on
Old Lincoln Highway, Langhorne. Kickoff time is 8
Neshaminy, the defending Lower Bucks County League
Champions, will face Hatboro, loser of all it's 1955
football games. Both teams are in the process of
Franks, the Neshaminy mentor, will start several new
faces tonight. In the backfield will be fullback
Charles Orfe, quarter-back Bob Picciotti, left-half
Jack O'Reilly and right-half, George Rumsey.
Redskins line will have only Don Boyer, a regular
center last season, as a veteran. Boys starting
tonight will be ends Bill Fischer and Russ
Covington, tackles Joe Werner and Tom George, and
guards Dale Puff and Frank Conroy.
Gallagher will pilot the Hatters for his first game
tonight. Gallagher moved from LaSalle High,
Philadelphia, to Hatboro this season.
Gallagher has a rebuilt team for the Lower Bucks
League kingpins. Hatboro will start seven seniors,
three juniors and a sophomore against the Redskins.
will have two big tackles in the line. Both seniors,
John Brabazon, 6-2, 200 pounds, and Les Tinner, 6-1,
210 pounds, have drawn starting posts. Other linemen
listed as starters are ends Ed Marsey, 145, and Dave
Marsden, 149, guards Tom Hesser, 191, and Charles
Meyers, 139, and center Charles Hamburg, 150.
Hatters' backfield will include quarter-back Bill
Hughes, 166, left-half, Lou Sayland, 163, right-half
Joe Mattson, 174, and full-back Ed Stanford, 156.
should provide interesting as both coaches have
outstanding records. Franks, a builder of
powerhouses, has won the Lower Bucks conference
four years straight, including one co-championship
and boasts an overall mark of 35-5. Neshaminy has
lost one league game in 28 battles.
Gallagher on the other hand leaves an undefeated
season behind at LaSalle High. He coached LaSalle to
the Catholic League and City titles last year with a
LaSalle Gallagher ran up 15 straight victories. In
his last seven games he was unscored upon. In seven
league games LaSalle gave up only one touchdown. It
was LaSalle's first title in 32 years.
John Petercuskie, and John Swartz, the Redskin
coaches, were non-committal on the game. Gallagher
said "We're coming along OK, but i could use another
week before opening." Gallagher is assisted by Don
Puglisi and Harry Houllihan.
Neshaminy Wins Football Opener, 27-6
(Saturday September 8, 1956 - Bucks County Courier)
Reilly to Rumsey
Passing Combo Sparks Victory
Beginners in the Neshaminy
school district are immediately taught the three
R's. However, today the talk in the Neshaminy area
is how the Neshaminy football team began it's 1956
season by giving Hatboro High a grid lesson with the
use of two R's - Reilly and Rumsey.
This pair, Jack Reilly and
George Rumsey, were responsible for all the points
as the Redskins -smothered the Hatters 27-6, on the
new Neshaminy field before 3,000 fans. Reilly threw
four touchdown passes with Rumsey being on the
receiving end of three and Bill Fischer the other.
Then Rumsey place-kicked three conversions.
When Joe Mattson scored from
the three-yard line for Hatboro after three and
one-half minutes of play, the fans figured Coach
Harry Franks' team would be in for a bad night. But
in five plays after the touchdown kickoff, Neshaminy
hit pay dirt and tied the score at 6-6.
Hitting the air constantly,
Neshaminy scored two more TD's in the second period
to make it 20-6 at the half. The third session
saw the Redskins again cross the goal line for it's
final touchdown and with Rumsey booting the extra
points after the last three touchdowns, it was 27-6
at the end of the third quarter. Neither team scored
in the last period.
Commenting after his team's
victory, coach Franks said, "They need plenty of
work. They could d much better."
But as far as the figures go,
Neshaminy could not have dome much better on the
offense as it netter 363 yards, 108 on the ground
and 255 in the air. It completed 14 of its 18 passes
with two being intercepted. On both passes missed,
the ball bounced out of the receiver's hands. The
net yardage gave Neshaminy a total of 15 first
Reilly's touchdown passes were
good for 50 yards, nine yards, three yards, and 24
yards. Occasionally, although not on touchdown
passes, the procedure would be reversed and Rumsey
would hit either Reilly or Fischer with a pass.
On the ground, Reilly netted
29 yards with Rumsey Chewing up 36. Neshaminy was
set back 70 yards with penalties.
Hatboro registered five first
downs and it's total yardage was 121 yards with 52
of these being made on two runs.
The Hatters upset an apple
cart with an early score against the Redskins.
Reilly fumbled the first running play after the
kickoff and John Bogle recovered for Hatboro. Two
line plays lost five yards to put Hatboro 29 to the
34. Mattson then broke loose on a jaunt around the
left end and made 31 yards being dropped on the
three. Lou Sayland failed to gain but on the next
play, Mattson went over for the first score on the
Following the kickoff, there
was another fumble with Erwin Mayer falling on the
ball on the Neshaminy 44. Two plays brought the ball
to midfield from where Reilly heaved a thirty yard
pass to Rumsey. Rumsey caught the ball on the 20 and
had clear sailing for the first 1956 Neshaminy
Neshaminy made a 66-yard drive
for it's second score with Rumsey getting off to a
nice 34-yard run and then putting the ball on the
nine-yard line with a rifle pass to Rumsey which was
good for 14 yards. When three plays failed to move
the ball, Reilly threw a TD aerial to Fischer.
It wasn't long afterwards that
Rumsey intercepted a pass on his 33 and ran to the
Hatboro 24 before he was spilled. On the first play
it was the Reilly-Rumsey for a touchdown, making the
Coach Franks' boys almost had
another six pointer before time ran out. It took
over on it's 27 and in three plays moved the ball to
Hatboro's four before the half-time whistle sounded.
There were two passes, 30 and 32 yards, both thrown
by Reilly to Rumsey and Fischer, respectively, to
help eat up the yardage.
Hatboro only had four plays in
the third quarter and they were after the opening
kickoff. From then on, Neshaminy predominated,
scoring midway in the half on a short three yard
pass, Reilly to Rumsey, and after the touchdown
kickoff, Neshaminy took possession on a short kick
which was recovered by Dale Puff.
Coach Franks used many of his
substitutes in the last period and the combination
of Jerry Levans, Jim Foster, Jerry Mladjen and
Charlie Orfe almost pushed over a score, getting to
the Hatboro 22.
The Concrete bleachers
The Concrete bleachers were added in 1963. You can
read more about that event in this
Neshaminy Great Moment story that we ran
after the 1956 home opener, Harry E. Franks stadium
is still as beautiful as ever,
and it has been
the home of some of the best football Bucks County
has ever seen.
This photo was taken September, 2005
New LED Lighting
Neshaminy High School was the first High School on the East Coast to have LED lights installed.
The new lighting was installed on July 16, 2015
This photo was taken July 16, 2015 right after the installation
The Shot of a Lifetime
Neshaminy High School - Homecoming Night 2015 Neshaminy Vs. Souderton
This photo was taken October 16, 2015 on Homecoming Night by Mr. Chris Stanley using the School's new drone.