Members of the 1969 Essex football team were honored, Friday, Oct. 18 at halftime of the football game in Essex.
The 1969 team was coached by Ken Winkler and finished undefeated, easily winning every game on their schedule.
Dave Jauron was an assistant coach on the team and said the most points they gave up in a single game that season was 22 during a 65-22 win over New Market. They pitched multiple shutouts.
Jauron said Hamburg and Sidney had been the strong teams in past years, but Essex beat the Wildcats 32-2 and the Cowboys 32-6.
“No one gave us much of a contest all season,” said Jauron.
The unbeaten season came just a few years before a playoff system was implemented by the Iowa High School Athletic Association, meaning the Trojans weren’t able to see how they matched up against the rest of the state.
Jauron said the Trojans were ranked second in the area by the Council Bluffs Nonpareil and fifth by the Omaha World-Herald.
Five different players received first team all-conference recognition and several more were either second team or honorable mention.
“We had a lot of balance,” said Jauron. “There really weren’t too many stars. It was just a lot of good kids working together.”
Jauron was on the Essex football staff for more than 30 years and said the 35 athletes they had on the team that year was more than any other year he can remember.
The unbeaten season of 1969 was also the first year the Trojans played on the current field, located on the school campus in Essex.
“There was a lot of sweat and tears from a lot of Essex people,” said Jauron, “that built that field and made it in to what it is today.”
Jauron said not only were there several contractors working to build the field, but many community members would go help after their work day was complete.
More than a dozen of the players from the 1969 team attended the game and were recognized at halftime.