The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


September 11, 2013

Perry is our only hope...

Only one area high school football team will carry an unscathed record into its Week 3 contest, that being coach Matt Rosati’s Perry squad.

Meaning it has fallen on the shoulders of Rosati’s crew if the Star Beacon coverage area is to sport a team to finish the regular season with a 10-0 record.

Having said that, we dove into our record books, searching the teams from our coverage area that were able to navigate their way through a 10-game regular season and do so perfectly.

Turns out, a 10-0 season is a very, very race occurrence.

So much so, in fact, it’s been 16 long seasons since any area squad has turned the trick.

Ashtabula County Hall of Fame coach Jim Henson had three 10-0 seasons during his storied tenure leading the Grand Valley Mustangs.

The last of which — the 1997 campaign — represents the last time an area team faced 10 opponents and beat every single one of them.

That Mustang team followed the lead of the 1996 squad, which also went 10-0 under Henson’s tutelage.

Both of those Grand Valley teams reached the playoffs, something his first perfect Mustang team — the 1992 squad — was denied.

In area football history, our research indicates there have been only 17 teams record 10-0 seasons.

Henson, with three such squads, is one of only three men to lead more than one, the others being Geneva’s Bob Herpy, like Henson, a member of the Ashtabula County Hall of Fame, and Madison’s Jack Hribar, each of whom had two.

Here’s the rundown of the 17 teams in our coverage area to finish 10 up and zero down:

  • 1997 — Grand Valley, coach Jim Henson.
  • 1996 — Grand Valley, coach Jim Henson.
  • 1993 — Madison, Art Bortnick.
  • 1992 — Grand Valley, Jim Henson.
  • 1990 — Perry, Bob Ritley.
  • 1990 — Riverside, Don Andersen.
  • 1985 — Conneaut, Jeff Whittaker.
  • 1985 — Pymatuning Valley, Ken Parise.
  • 1983 — Conneaut, Steve Nolan.
  • 1976 — Geneva, Bob Herpy.
  • 1975 — Geneva, Bob Herpy.
  • 1973 — Madison, Jack Hribar.
  • 1971 — Harbor, Jim Smith.
  • 1968 — Harbor, Jim Orr.
  • 1960 — Madison, Jack Hribar.
  • 1958 — Harbor, Norb Soltys.
  • 1939 — Conneaut, Dutch Hoppes.

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