1944 Varsity Football Team

The 1944 team was certainly a championship team. Led by legendary coaches Mickey Shuman and then-Athletic Director George Weed, two of Peddie’s greatest teacher-coaches, the squad finished as State Prep Champions with a 7-1 record, defeating Peddie’s big three rivals (Hill, Lawrenceville and Blair) by a combined score of 45-6!

In addition, the 1943 gridders bowled over St. John’s Prep, Newark Academy, Wyoming Seminary and Valley Forge Military Academy, losing only to Lower Merion High School, a team which had won 24 games in a row in the Philadelphia Suburban Conference.

The ‘44 defense was outstanding. Aside from the Lower Merion game, it gave up only five touchdowns all season. And the offense was prolific, scoring 18 times in the same contests.

The team received many honors as a result of its performance. Among them was the Crusader Trophy from the Holy Cross College Club, awarded by virtue of its ranking under the Coalition System, which rated the squad 120 points above the closest New Jersey team.

The team was captained by H. Farquhar Jones ‘44, who earned first team All-State honors. Other individual honors went to All-Prep players Larry Coe, Jack Killinger, Jim Hitchner, George “Juice” Harris, Bob Ludman, “Lin” Pratt and Frank Thropp.

The 26-man varsity squad is part of a tradition of athletic and football greatness that includes other teams, players and coaches already in the Hall of Fame.