Looking back at the state champion 1976 Churchill Chargers

This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Churchill Chargers state title.

In the past 50 years there have only been three teams from San Antonio to win the state championship at high school football's highest level. I know Judson and Steele have too, and we claim them as our own, but, technically, they're from Converse and Cibolo.

There was Tommy Kramer's 1971 Lee Vols; the 1995 Roosevelt team and this weekend is the 40th anniversary of my favorite high school football team of all time: the 1976 Churchill Chargers.

I was 11 years old. A 6th grader at Eisenhower Middle School. These guys were my idols.

Maybe the best defensive team ever. Maybe even better than those '95 Rough Riders. They rolled through the regular season, gave up only three touchdowns in the playoffs, including three shut-outs. And that included a shutout against Temple in the title game.

It was my first game at Memorial Stadium in Austin. We sat on the visitors side. Todd Alderman caught a touchdown pass. Shane Hans, an offensive lineman who got pressed into kicking duties because of an injury, kicked a field goal and an extra point and the Chargers won their first and only state championship. One of only a handful in San Antonio history.

Mark Harrelson and David Darr were the stars. Darr was all-state both ways as a running back and defensive back. Ronnie Nipper was the quarterback. Jerry Comalander was a 35-year-old head coach on his way to being in every hall of fame in this state.

December 18, 1976. Has it been 40 years? Where does the time go?

Go Chargers.

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