Pygmies of ’69 remain Brighton’s last undefeated football team

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Democrat and Chronicle, 2 Nov, 1969, Sun, Metro edition

In the history of Brighton sports, the recent year and a half stretch has been a memorable one.

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from Brighton fans celebrate hometown hero Ernie Clement in victory

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from In grand fashion, Brighton celebrates its volleyball champions and the first Boys state team sports title in school history

In June 2015, we cheered at the Otter as baseball Baron Ernie Clement played second base for his national champions, the Virginia Cavaliers.

Last February we marched from the fire house to the High School to celebrate the first Boys state team sports title in school history.

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from Wildcats strike out our undermanned Barons

Then in May, my chess Barons won the regular season title before falling to Wilson in the playoff finals.

And this season, the football Barons started 4 – 0 for the first time since 1999.

Last year, quarterbacked by Austin Carr, the Barons had a solid season.

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2015 with Austin pre-game see No Jills; no playoffs for the Bills

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Refs gathering before the Homecoming game see Encore for the Roc City Steelers at Buckland Park 9/16/16

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Cheerleading squads before the Homecoming game see No Jills, No Playoffs for the Bills

austin-2Converted to safety, Austin now plays at the University of Rochester. Austin plays almost every special teams down and is second on the safety depth chart, Having only made two tackles his senior year, Austin loves the physical experience of playing defense.

Building on the success of last season, the Barons broke out with a 4 – 0 start, including a rare Homecoming victory and a nail biter against Canandaigua.

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Reifsteck Field 9/30/16

Last night, the undefeated Greece Athena Trojans were at Reifsteck Field. As reported by James Johnson, the Trojans prevailed in a taut contest 28 –  21. The Barons final drive made the Athena 24, but the Trojans defense held.

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Jenna Cottrell with WHAM news before the game; cameraman Toby Motyka 9/30/16

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from “Athena Undefeated,” Democrat and Chronicle, 10/01/16

coach-deverSo now the 8- 0 1969 Barons, nicknamed the Pygmies or Pygmy remain Brighton’s last undefeated team. The 1999 squad went 8 – 0 in the regular season before losing in the sections.

Brighton’s other and first undefeated season was 1955. Led by Coach Jim Dever, the squad went 7-0 including a 14 -13 win over Irondequoit in the season finale.

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1955, Democrat and Chronicle

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BHS 1955 yearbook, Crossroads from In grand fashion, Brighton celebrates its volleyball champions and the first Boys state team sports title in school history

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Democrat and Chronicle. 1 Nov, 1969, Sat, Metro edition

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Democrat and Chronicle. 1 Nov, 1969, Sat, Metro edition

At the game, no one I spoke with remembered the 1955 team. John Parinello had graduated from Aquinas in ’56, but didn’t recall Brighton’s title run.

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2 Nov, 1969, Sun, Metro edition

A few people knew of the ’69 team coached by Barney tv-democrat-and-chronicle-1-nov-1969-sat-metro-editionSullivan, including one of the women at the concessions stands who was a freshman. Those who remembered all mentioned the team’s nickname, the Pygmies.

Led by 152-pound halfback John Lambrix, the Barons were talented but small. Fans and D & C sportswriters took to “Pgymy Power,” and the nickname endures in Baron lore.

The season highlight was the highly anticipated November 1st match up against against undefeated jefff-crane-democrat-and-chronicle-2-nov-1969-sun-metro-editionFairport.  WXXI’s Chanel 21 broadcast the game. The Red Raiders were led by Jeff Crane, now the West Irondequoit CSD Superintendent.

And before 8,000 fans, in the biggest game in the history of Brighton sports, the little Pygmies won the Big One.

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2 Nov, 1969, Sun, Metro edition

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from City baseball opens. Defending champion East’s Coach Crandall previews season. And Cruz Control is back.

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11/8/69

Still, the debate continued as to who was the best Section V. In 1969, there were no sectionals. So Brighton never played Aquinas. The Aquinas coach claimed his team would win easily. Barney Sullivan thought otherwise.

TEASE: for next week’s game, Brighton AD Nate Merritt invited me to the Press Box (we’ve visited the East Press Box for a baseball game) for perhaps a cameo call. “Touchdown, Barons!”

from the 1970 BHS yearbook Crossroads. Scanned courtesy of the Brighton Memorial Library

from the 1970 BHS yearbook Crossroads. Scanned courtesy of the Brighton Memorial Library

ALSO ON THE GAME Working on the Chain Gang at Reifsteck Field

SEE MORE BELOW

Congratulations Barons on a magical season.

Working on the Chain Gang at Reifsteck Field

No Jills; no playoffs for the Bills

New Team in Town: Roc City Steelers debut at Buckland Park

Encore for the Roc City Steelers at Buckland Park

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