WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – During Friday night’s football game in Warren between Harding and Ursuline, players from the 1972 Warren Western Reserve football team were honored for the state championship they won 50 years ago in 1972. Before the game, they gathered in the high school cafeteria to talk about old times.
Aaron Brown (defensive tackle) is one of the stars of the ’72 Warren Western Reserve football team. When he entered the cafeteria Friday evening, everyone wanted to greet and hug him. Brown went on to play at Ohio State and in the NFL.
“We were outstanding. We were always prepared to play. We had great coaches,” Brown said.
Greg Patterson (safety): “We’d stack up against anybody.”
Reporter Stan Boney: “Today?”
Stan: “No matter what era?”
Patterson: “No matter what era (laughs).”
Brandon Giovannone produced a video presentation on the ’72 team describing how Western Reserve High School, in just its sixth year, went 12-0 and won Ohio’s first state championship decided by way of a computer playoff, not a sportswriters’ poll.
“We had some big-time players but we had a whole bunch of great high school players, kids that competed and played hard,” said Joe Novak (head coach).
“We loved to hit and that was one that was our trait. If you played us, you’re going to hurt at the end of the game,” said Dr. Calvin Washington (co-captain).
Dr. Washington went on to Cornell and has been a veterinarian in Columbus for 40 years. His wife says he often recalls his football days in Warren.
“He is proud of what he accomplished. In fact, he thinks it is the foundation for all the success he’s had,” said Janet Butler Reid.
At one point, four players posed with their championship rings.
It was an evening to reminisce about the glory days and renew old acquaintances.
“Plus, we were a confident team. We had been together since junior high school so we knew each other inside and out,” said Chris Mason (offensive tackle).
Mason went on to the General Motors Institute and had a successful career in business. Five of its team members graduated from Ivy League Schools.
The ’72 Warren Western Reserve Team also sent three players to the NFL, Brown and brothers Ross and Jimmy Browner.