Roll Call of Championship Teams

 
 

December 24, 2016

 

Championship Teams

 

 

1946

1947

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

1960

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1969

1970

1971

1975

1986

1987

1988

2001

2002

2004

2005

2008

2010

2013

2016

 

 

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Redskin leagues, conferences and all-time
championship seasons

The beginning: Langhorne-Middletown and the
Lower Bucks County League (1935-1981)

Starting their football program in 1928, and with no scholastic gridiron league in Lower Bucks, the Redskins played as an independent through the 1934 season, seven years in all. But even though no conference then existed most schools in the area scheduled some of the others with the coaches voting for the champion at the end of each year; however, looking to determine the best team on the field, by the mid-1930s it made sense for the schools to form an alliance. So in 1935 the Lower Bucks County League opened for business with its seven members including Bensalem, Bristol, Fallsington/Pennsbury, Langhorne-Middletown/Neshaminy, Morrisville, Newtown/Council Rock and Yardley/Pennsbury (as some of the schools would later change their names, or in the case of Fallsington and Yardley merge with each other, their original names are listed first with current names separated by a slash). And as an interesting aside, since there was no requirement in the early LBCL that its members play all the others round-robin style, Bristol was able to claim the first championship with just a 3-0 overall conference record.

Nevertheless, and whether or not there was full league play during the early years, the LBCL was a good idea as evidenced by its existence until the completion of the 1981 campaign, a total of 47 seasons. That was not by chance either as officials did what was necessary to keep the league relevant for its nearly five decades which included recognition of a time when population shifts had created "big" and "small" schools among its constituents. Thus, from 1961 to 1975, a Section One and a Section Two allowed for more competitive games. And in addition to the original seven schools, five more joined the league over its run including Delhaas, Harry S. Truman (a result of Delhaas and Woodrow Wilson merging), Maple Point, Southampton/William Tennent and Woodrow Wilson. Then of note is that over the decades, mergers, name changes and "split" Neshaminy would be the only school that was a member of the LBCL all of its years while the 'Skins 15 championships and 4 co-championships also represent the most of any team that was a league member at one time or another.

Lastly, and despite Neshaminy's long affiliation with the Lower Bucks County League, the LBCL is actually just one of the four football alliances the 'Skins have been part of over the years. The other three are the East Penn Conference (1963 to 1964), the Big 6/7/8 Conference (1965 to 1975) and the Suburban One League (1982 to present).

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Neshaminy expands its horizons:
The East Penn Conference (1963-1964)

Easton Game program By the very late 1950s the Lower Bucks region was decidedly different than it had been when the LBCL was set up in the mid-1930s. For as it developed, the Bristol and Morrisville districts had by then been replaced by the Neshaminy, Pennsbury and Bristol Township areas as the major population centers with three factors leading to the explosive student body growth of those latter schools, to wit: The opening of US Steel's Fairless Works, the expansion of the PA Turnpike and the completion of Levittown and Fairless Hills, all during the post-war boom times. And with mis-matches among its affiliates then becoming common officials were forced to acknowledge the divergent sizes of its then nine members which included Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas, Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury, William Tennent and Woodrow Wilson. So to provide for more balanced grid play in 1961 LBCL bosses split off the larger schools of Neshaminy, Pennsbury, William Tennent and Woodrow Wilson into a Section One division with the others put into a corresponding Section Two.

And although insuring more competitive contests, the downside to the split was that Neshaminy's regular season LBCL games were reduced from eight in 1960, the last year of the consolidated league, to just three in 1961. But sensing an opportunity Harry Franks, by then Neshaminy's Athletic Director, used his connections with the big Lehigh Valley schools to forge a new amalgamation of teams. Underway by 1963 the fledgling football group consisted of Easton, Liberty, Louis E. Dieruff, William Allen and Neshaminy while it named itself as the East Penn Conference.

An immediate success the new confederation was also a great platform to showcase Neshaminy's football prowess as it had grown from a small school team of some note in the late 1940s to a Southeastern Pennsylvania powerhouse by the end of the 1950s. Plus not going unnoticed, the new conference also caught the attention of Pennsbury which became an "unofficial" member in 1965 and then an "official" one in 1966. Then in the meantime, and besides filling in Neshaminy's schedule, the 1963 and 1964 seasons saw many memorable East Penn match-ups. And with the Redskins grabbing the spotlight during the two years of the league's life their 7-0-1 overall league record earned a championship in 1963 and a co-championship with the Louis E. Dieruff Huskies in 1964.

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Scheduling the best: The Big Six,
Seven and Eight Conferences (1965-1975)

1970 Logo With the success of the East Penn Conference, and the attention it drew, Neshaminy's next-door neighbor and longtime rival, Pennsbury, couldn't help but notice the party and it wanted in. So with the Falcons joining in 1965 and the membership expanded by one, the league was caused to change its name to the Big Six Conference. Still, the Falcons did not play a full schedule that year and games with them were not considered league play as Neshaminy took the initial championship that year with a record of 3-0-1. But getting their calendars in order, 1966 saw the schools enjoy full league action of five games each while the Falcons, in their first season, were immediately in the mix sharing a co-championship with Easton.

And featuring some of the best football schools in eastern Pennsylvania, fans and sports writers quickly focused their eyes on the Big Six as they watched the Falcons and Red Rovers dominate in 1966, 1967 and 1968 (Easton's 1968 title team was regarded as the top club in the state that year). Then with the league continuing to evolve, the 1969 "split" of the Bethlehem school district saw its new school, Freedom, join the union which renamed itself as the Big Seven Conference. Kicking off the festivities for the enlarged group in that expansion year, Neshaminy claimed a tri-championship with Louis E. Dieruff and Pennsbury.

As the tough league continued to turn out great teams, 1970 would see Liberty take the crown while also garnering votes as the Keystone state's top club. Next up was Neshaminy as it fielded a perfect 11-0-0 team in 1971 with the UPI then voting the 'Skins the number one team in the state. But as the AP selected Kiski Area as the best in PA the mythical state championship was shared between the Redskins and the Cavaliers.

Reading's admission to the league in 1973 then saw another name change to the Big Eight Conference which is as it would remain during its last three years. But despite nearing its end, the conference was a force through its final season with a memorable team during that time being Pennsbury's 1974 squad. A terrific team, the Falcons went 11-0-0 that year with both the AP and UPI crowning them as the number one club in Pennsylvania.

As various reasons then combined to see the Big Eight disband after 1975, it was Liberty that banked the final title. And having always been competitive during its 11 years, four of them had seen the league's top school also proclaimed as the number one in Pennsylvania. Additionally, with Pennsbury's four titles the most of its members, followed by Neshaminy's three outright or shared championships, Lower Bucks had been well represented in one of the state's toughest leagues.

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The last stop:
The Suburban One League (1982-present)

1988 action shot By the late 1970s the landscape of suburban Philadelphia scholastic football had changed dramatically from the beginning of the modern era of the sport in the early 1950s. As a result, and not immune to demographics, population changes and shifts as well as socio-economic pressures, Lower Bucks' high school athletic directors, football coaches and administrators were by then considering alternatives conferences to the LBCL. One that was particularly intriguing was the Suburban One League.

Not a new idea, the Suburban One League actually traces its roots to 1922 when it was set up as a basketball conference. Initially called the Suburban League, its members were primarily drawn from suburban schools located to the northwest, west and southwest of Philadelphia with most from the Delaware and Chester Counties. And with the basketball season of 1922-1923 a big hit a 16 member football league was quickly set in place for the 1923 season. A playoff game was also included that initial year with Norristown beating Ridley Park, 23-6, to lay claim to the first championship of the brand new high school football confederation.

With the conference continually evolving it has experienced many changes over the years and which are far too numerous to list; however, suffice it to say that some 40 to 50 teams have at one time or another been included in its ranks. And owing to school size considerations among its members there have also been many varied divisions and then names that have come and gone. One moniker that stuck, though, is its current name of Suburban One League or "SOL". Additionally, the league had also seen its base area move to the north and northwest of Philadelphia so that during their early 1980s search for a new league Lower Bucks schools saw the SOL as a perfect fit. Thus, after the LBCL closed down following the '81 season, its members moved over in time for full SOL competition in 1982.

Remaining flexible since the early 1980s mass migration by the LBCL schools, the SOL has continued to reinvent and rearrange itself. Then with Neshaminy staying the course throughout, it has flourished as one of the SOL's premier clubs claiming 10 championships and co-championships through the 2016 season. And as a number of SOL teams have gained statewide and national notice during those years, the league has also earned a reputation as one of PA's top scholastic football leagues.

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The biggest stage:
The PIAA statewide playoffs (1988-present)

A last category to be considered, and not a league or conference, is focused on the Keystone state. And in that regard, it's a result of the efforts of the governing body of the state's high school sports, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association or PIAA. No doubt too, fans of Pennsylvania scholastic football are well aware that can mean only one thing: The statewide football playoffs or "Second Season".

Unveiled for the 1988 season, that initial effort saw four teams selected from each class of 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A. And included in that first year was a tough 11-0 Neshaminy as it was one of the two 4A Eastern schools with two more from the West. Drawing Harrisburg's Cedar Cliff high, the Eastern semi-final game was played at Allentown's J. Birney Crum Stadium where a lackluster Redskins' performance saw the Mustangs win, 24-0. Moving on from there, Cedar Cliff then played Pittsburgh Central Catholic for the state championship with the Vikings prevailing, 14-7.

With the success of the first arrangement in '88 immediately evident, the PIAA has continued to tweak and perfect the post-season system so that by 2016 there were six school size classifications of 1A through 6A with 64 teams involved at each level. And with each year's championship games played at Hershey Park Stadium, during a three-day period in early December, the playoffs have come to dominate the thoughts, focus and efforts of players, coaches, fans and officials season after season.

Then with the mindset of the Neshaminy grid family and program as determined as the rest of the schools in Pennsylvania, almost every campaign sees the Redskins as "Second Season" participants. And their work and efforts to make and succeed in playoff action have not gone unrewarded either for in 2001 the Blue & Red were declared state champions while in 2004 the team took the Eastern Championship with the 2013 club crowned as the District One Champions.

The "Roll Call of Champions":
Four leagues, the playoffs and the many crowns

Associated with four leagues and conferences since 1935, as well as participating in the post-season state playoff competition since 1988, Redskin footballers have enjoyed great success in their pursuits. And as a result Neshaminy's trophy case is well stocked with the flags and crowns its teams have won. So to insure that each Redskins squad is recognized that has brought home a trophy for a league championship, a District One Title, an eastern Pennsylvania or state of Pennsylvania championship, below is a compilation of all of the great Neshaminy football teams that have earned the right to be called champions:

1946
Lower Bucks County League - Champions
League record: 2-0   Overall record: 7-2-1
League members: Bristol, Langhorne-Middletown & Morrisville

 

1947
Lower Bucks County League - Champions
League record: 3-0   Overall record: 7-2-1
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Langhorne-Middletown & Morrisville

 

1952
Lower Bucks County League - Champions
League record: 6-0   Overall record: 9-1
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury & Southampton

 

1953
Lower Bucks County League - co-Champions
(Neshaminy Redskins & Bensalem Owls)
League record: 6-1   Overall record: 9-1
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury & Southampton

 

1954
Lower Bucks County League - Champions
League record: 7-0   Overall record: 10-0
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury & Southampton

 

1955
Lower Bucks County League - Champions
League record: 7-0   Overall record: 7-3
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

1956
Lower Bucks County League - Champions
League record: 6-0-1   Overall record: 9-0-1
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

1957
Lower Bucks County League - co-Champions
(Neshaminy Redskins & Pennsbury Falcons)
League record: 6-1   Overall record: 7-3
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

1958
Lower Bucks County League - co-Champions
(Neshaminy Redskins & Morrisville Bulldogs)
League record: 6-0-1   Overall record: 8-1-1
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

1959
Lower Bucks County League - Champions
League record: 8-0   Overall record: 10-1
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury, William Tennent
& Woodrow Wilson

 

1960
Lower Bucks County League - Champions
League record: 8-0   Overall record: 10-0-1
League members: Bensalem, Bristol, Council Rock, Delhaas,
Morrisville, Neshaminy, Pennsbury,
William Tennent & Woodrow Wilson

 

1961
Lower Bucks County League,
Section One - Champions

League record: 3-0   Overall record: 11-1
League members: Neshaminy, Pennsbury, William Tennent
& Woodrow Wilson

 

1962
Lower Bucks County League,
Section One - Champions

League record: 3-0   Overall record: 10-0-1
League members: Neshaminy, Pennsbury, William Tennent
& Woodrow Wilson

 

1963
Lower Bucks County League,
Section One - Champions

League record: 3-0   Overall record: 9-0-1
League members: Neshaminy, Pennsbury, William Tennent
& Woodrow Wilson

East Penn Conference - Champions
Conference record: 4-0   Overall record: 9-0-1
Conference members: Easton, Liberty, Louis E. Dieruff,
Neshaminy & William Allen

 

1964
Lower Bucks County League,
Section One - Champions

League record: 3-0   Overall record: 9-0-1
League members: Neshaminy, Pennsbury, William Tennent
& Woodrow Wilson

East Penn Conference - co-Champions
(Neshaminy Redskins & Louis E. Dieruff Huskies)
Conference record: 3-0-1   Overall record: 9-0-1
Conference members: Easton, Liberty, Louis E. Dieruff,
Neshaminy & William Allen

 

1965
Lower Bucks County League,
Section One - Champions

League record: 3-0   Overall record: 10-0-1
League members: Neshaminy, Pennsbury, William Tennent
& Woodrow Wilson

Big Six Conference - Champions
Conference record: 3-0-1   Overall record: 10-0-1
Conference members: Easton, Liberty, Louis E. Dieruff,
Neshaminy & William Allen

 

1969
Big Seven Conference − tri-Champions
(Neshaminy Redskins, Louis E. Dieruff Huskies
& Pennsbury Falcons)
Conference record: 4-2   Overall record: 7-4
Conference members: Easton, Freedom, Liberty,
Louis E. Dieruff, Neshaminy, Pennsbury
& William Allen

 

1970
Lower Bucks County League,
Section One - Champions

League record: 3-0-1   Overall record: 9-1-1
League members: Bensalem, Neshaminy, Pennsbury,
William Tennent & Woodrow Wilson

 

1971
Lower Bucks County League,
Section One - Champions

League record: 4-0   Overall record: 11-0
League members: Bensalem, Council Rock, Neshaminy,
Pennsbury & Woodrow Wilson

Big Seven Conference - Champions
Conference record: 6-0   Overall record: 11-0
Conference members: Easton, Freedom, Liberty, Louis E. Dieruff,
Neshaminy, Pennsbury & William Allen

 

1975
Lower Bucks County League,
Section One - co-Champions

(Neshaminy Redskins & Council Rock Indians)
League record: 4-1   Overall record: 7-4
League members: Bensalem, Council Rock, Delhaas, Neshaminy,
Pennsbury & Woodrow Wilson

 

1986
Suburban One League, National Conference,
Patriot Division - co-Champions

(Neshaminy Redskins & Council Rock Indians)
Conference record: 4-1   Overall record: 8-3
Conference members: Bensalem, Council Rock, Harry S. Truman,
Neshaminy, Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

1987
Suburban One League, National Conference,
Patriot Division - tri-Champions

(Neshaminy Redskins, Council Rock Indians & Pennsbury Falcons)
Conference record: 4-1   Overall record: 9-2
Conference members: Bensalem, Council Rock, Harry S. Truman,
Neshaminy, Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

1988
Suburban One League, National Conference,
Patriot Division - Champions

Conference record: 5-0   Overall record: 11-1
Conference members: Bensalem, Council Rock, Harry S. Truman,
Neshaminy, Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

2001
Suburban One League, National Conference,
Patriot Division - Champions

Conference record: 5-0   Overall record: 15-0
Conference members: Abington, Bensalem, Council Rock North,
Neshaminy, North Penn & Pennsbury

District One, Eastern State and
Pennsylvania State - Champions

 

2002
Suburban One League, National Conference,
Patriot Division − co-Champions

(Neshaminy Redskins & North Penn Knights)
Conference record: 3-1   Overall record: 8-3
Conference members: Abington, Council Rock North,
Neshaminy, North Penn & Pennsbury

 

2004
Suburban One League,
National Conference - tri-Champions

(Neshaminy Redskins, North Penn Knights & Pennridge Rams)
Conference record: 6-1   Overall record: 13-2
Conference members: Abington, Bensalem, Council Rock North,
Harry S. Truman, Neshaminy, North Penn,
Pennridge & Pennsbury

District One, Eastern State - Champions

 

2005
Suburban One League,
National Conference - Champions

Conference record: 7-0   Overall record: 10-2
Conference members: Abington, Bensalem, Council Rock North,
Harry S. Truman, Neshaminy, North Penn,
Pennridge & Pennsbury

 

2008
Suburban One League,
National Conference - Champions

Conference record: 7-0   Overall record: 12-2
Conference members: Abington, Bensalem, Council Rock North,
Council Rock South, Harry S. Truman, Neshaminy,
Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

2010
Suburban One League,
National Conference - tri-Champions

(Neshaminy Redskins, Abington Galloping Ghosts &
Council Rock South Golden Hawks)
Conference record: 6-1   Overall record: 12-2
Conference members: Abington, Bensalem, Council Rock North,
Council Rock South, Harry S. Truman, Neshaminy,
Pennsbury & William Tennent

 

2013
District One - Champions
Overall record: 13-2

 

2016
Suburban One League,
National Conference - Champions

Conference record: 6-0   Overall record: 11-1
Conference members: Abington, Bensalem, Council Rock North,
Council Rock South, Harry S. Truman, Neshaminy & Pennsbury

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