The 1948 Soccer Team

In the Fabled Fall of ‘48, Peddie athletes harvested a bumper crop of 52 wins and 10 ties with only 14 defeats for all varsity and junior varsity fall teams combined. But the end-of-season Peddie News front-page lead story and banner headline, “Varsity Soccer Squad Undefeated,” were reserved for Coach Evans Hicks’ unbeaten booters. Apart from scoreless ties against the Princeton Freshman and eventual state high school champ Hightstown High, this stellar squad beat all comers and outscored the season’s opposition 41-4. Nine of those teams in ten of those games were utterly unable to score against Peddie.

The season’s high drama was relieved by the occasional comic moment: Late in the Blair game, Dave Hunter passed to Fred Mayorca...who simply wasn’t there. The Case of the Missing Center Forward was solved when Cach Hicks spied a nonchalant figure draped over the bench and explained the situation to an amused referee. Unique enthusiasm came from exchange teacher Peter Way’s spirited “Foot to it, Peddie” and “Well Played, Peddie” cheers in his inimitable English accent.

The team was unusually strong down the middle. Halfback Skip Cox cites, “Fernando Mayorca at center forward, English exchange student Alan Fenn at center halfback, ‘All Everything’ Ken Eiker at fullback, and ‘Go Get It’ Horace Brown in the goal” as the team’s key players. Skip and fellow halfback Cal Perrine joined these four on the All Mercer County Team drawn from all public, parochial, and private schools. Ken and Skip also have high praise for “our wonderful coach Hicks who started a team with five foreign-born players, five day boys, and one native boarder.” Coach Hicks and his assistant Oscar “Ozzie” Rand, who went on to have fine teams of his own, are both already Hall of Fame members.

At this magic season’s end, each player received an engraved miniature gold state championship soccer ball for his trophy shelf, and Peddie pride took home the legacy of a team that was arguably the finest in its boys’ soccer history.