1955-59 Return to Football Year-by-Year HOME Last update : 1/22/2005
Hayden competed as an Independent during this period while still playing many of the old Jayhawk League opponents. More Catholic schools were added to the schedule including powerhouse Rockhurst of Kansas City, Mo. Topeka High also found a place on the regular season schedule for the first time. More information will follow on this period, but the highlights of the era were the back-to back wins over Topeka High. Hayden was a heavy underdog for both of those games.
1955 TDC Kansas State Champion: Topeka High Trojans (Class AA)
|9/25/55||Ward - Kansas City||L||6||20||Hayden Field|
|10/16/55||Maur Hill - Atchison||T||13||13||Atchison|
|10/21/55||Haskell - Lawrence||L||0||6||Hayden Field|
|10/28/55||Highland Park||L||7||13||Highland Park|
|11/2/55||St. Mary's - Wichita||L||7||18||Hayden Field|
|11/17/55||Washburn Rural||W||26||6||Washburn Rural|
1955 turned into a rebuilding year for Coach Byard. Top seniors were Jim Rafferty, John Etzel, Ascension Hernandez and Ray Dechand. Frank Munoz 3 TD performance against Washburn Rural was one of the few highlights on the offensive side for Hayden in 1955.
A win that got away was the Maur Hill game in Atchison. Atchison scored their last TD on a 4th down pass that was accidently deflected into the Maur Hill receiver's hands by Tom Ortiz. Maur Hill made the extra point and neither team could score in the 4th quarter. The tie did stop a 14 game winning streak by the Jr. Ravens.
|Missing Haskell Individual Yardage|
|1955 Statistics||RTD||PTD||RCTD||PAT||PAT-K||FG||RA||R YDS||CT||RCYDS||PA||C||PYDS||INT||S||TP|
|Larry Huerter *||2||2||57||308||14|
|9-26-55 Gonzales 14 Yd Interception return counted in RCTD|
|10-1-55 Rafferty 45 Yd Fumble return counted in RTD|
|11-18-55 Sanderson 41 Yd Fumble return counted in RTD|
|* Missed 4 games w injury|
Coach Byard had high hopes for the 1956 season - his biggest concern was a lack of depth. Therlo Conner and Don Wunder were the top running backs for the Wildcats. Hayden's season opening win over Ward was a rare road victory in Kansas City. Strong defensive line play against Holton caused several fumbles to help the revitalized offense (324 yds). The Topeka State Journal described Hayden's offensive bread and butter as "quick thrusts from a split-T operated by Tommy Ortiz with Thurlo Conner, Don Wunder and Larry Huerter ... doing the carrying." (10/6/56). Future Hayden coach Joe Lieber had one of his better games against Ottawa. When the team disposed of previously undefeated Haskell (called an upset by the TDC), the team and the fans began to think about an undefeated season. Without a state play-off system, the undefeated season was the ultimate goal of the 1950's era and Hayden had no conference championship to claim.
The Highland Park game was hyped by the publication of a note sent by Coach Byard to a reporter about the upcoming game. Coach Byard wanted to stick up for his team that he felt had not received enough credit for their 5 straight victories - he also predicted that Hayden would defeat Highland Park. Coach Byard really did not think this letter would be published - but none the less - it was. Still, Hayden was the favorite and was playing at home. Hayden field was jammed for the contest . Hayden lost 3 fumbles and ruined an extra point attempt with another to limit the offense to only 6 points. Coach admitted that this game was the most disappointing of the games he coached.
Hayden rebounded to defeat Wichita Kapaun on the road - Sil Meier had his best game scoring 2 TD's. The team was hobbled by many injuries - so this win was impressive even though Kapaun had not won a game all year. The team fell flat in the game against Seaman as the defense had no answer for the single wing attack displayed by the Vikings. Larry Huerter, Ortiz and Conner closed out their career with a great win over Christian Brothers of St. Joseph, MO at Hayden Field. Huerter blocked an extra point attempt to preserve the victory. All in all, this was a great season and 7-2 in this era was a major accomplishment.
SENIOR LINEMEN not mentioned: Bob Mainey (T) Paul Fasching (C) Henry Etzel (E) Tom Melchoir (G)
TDC State Champions: Lawrence (Class AA)
|9/21/56||Ward - Kansas City||W||13||6||Kansas City|
|10/7/56||Maur Hill - Atchison||W||6||0||Hayden Field|
|10/19/56||Haskell - Lawrence||W||19||0||Lawrence|
|10/26/56||Highland Park||L||6||7||Hayden Field|
|11/18/56||Christian Bros - S.J.||W||7||6||Hayden Field|
|1956 Statistics||RTD||PTD||RCTD||PAT||PAT-K||FG||RA||R YDS||CT||RCYDS||PA||C||PYDS||INT||S||TP|
|Therlo Conner HB||6||1||101||472||9||231||10||5||58||42|
|Don Wunder HB||3||1||2||101||489||3||77||5||3||67||30|
|Larry Huerter FB||2||3||71||325||1||0||0||15|
|Sil Meier E||2||1||2||33||7||165||13|
|Joe Lieber E||1||1||4||8||123||1||1||15||6|
|Tom Ortiz QB||1||3||47||133||3||63||36||14||323||6|
|John Custenborder FB||1||6|
|Don Schwerdt G||1||2|
|Manuel Perez G||1||1|
|Bob Mainey T||4||11|
|Bob Drotts T|
|Augustin Lopez T||4||13|
|John Kessinger FB||8||24|
|Pete Serrano HB||1||2|
|Joe Grennan HB||4||4|
|Dan Valdivia HB||2||9|
|Jerome Stadler HB||1||6|
|Gene Smith QB||2||5||-18||2||13||20||9||218|
|Pat O'Brien QB||1||-1||2||0||0|
|Dick Steinbock HB||2||9|
TDC State Champions: Lawrence (Class AA) Clay Center (Class A) Arma (Class B)
|9/22/57||Ward - Kansas City||L||7||26||Hayden Field|
|10/5/57||Maur Hill - Atchison||L||0||6||Atchison|
|10/18/57||Haskell - Lawrence||W||26||13||Hayden Field|
|10/25/57||Highland Park||W||37||21||Highland Park|
|11/1/57||Topeka High||W||7||6||Moore Bowl|
|11/17/57||Christian Bros - S.J.||L||6||20||St. Joseph, MO|
October 5, 1957 Maur Hill vs Hayden program
Top running backs of the late 1950s : Stadler, Sanders & Steinbock
Coach Byard was optimistic about the 1957 season, although he knew it would take time for the new backfield to gain experience. Hayden's linemen were described as "mammoth" by the TDC (9-22-57). Article showed photo of "1,253 pounds of beef" - Lindel Cornelison (201), Augie Lopez (228), John Mick (201), Don Schwerdt (200) Manuel Perez (202) and Fred Spencer (221). Hayden was pounded by the first two opponents Ward & Holton. The Maur Hill game probably should have been played to a tie - a Perez punt was blocked to set up the only score of the game.
Then the offense got untracked with a blowout win over Ottawa. The defense started the rally by causing 4 Ottawa fumbles. Quarterback Gene Smith used Bob Evans, I.C. Sanders and Jerome Stadler (known as "Fireball") as rushers and receivers to upset the Cyclones. Hayden and Haskell slugged it out at Hayden Field with the Wildcats gaining a Homecoming victory. Haskell star Kenny Bailey ripped off 2 long TD runs - but was ejected from the game in the final minutes for "rough play". Hayden lineman Bob Drotts and 2 other Haskell players were also given the night off by the officiating crew. Coach Byard says that Billy Mills, a future Olympic gold medal winner, played for Haskell during this period. ( Maybe this game or the following year ?).
Coach Byard finally got his first win over Highland Park 37-21. Manuel Perez kicked a rare field goal to start the scoring. The era of the soccer style kick was a few years away in 1957 and few coaches had even a dependable PAT kicker. Sophomores Dick Steinbock and I.C. Sanders both had an excellent game against Highland Park.
Hayden was deemed the "heavy underdog" by the local press for the next game with Topeka High. This was the first regular schedule game against the Trojans (the two teams had met once before in a Thanksgiving Day post-season game that was allowed back in 1951). Topeka High was one of the largest schools in the state (Topeka West would not come into existence until 1961) and had won the mythical state championship in 1955. WIBW-TV was allowed to broadcast the game live - the first high school football game ever televised in the state of Kansas. The upset win by Hayden was probably the most memorable game of the 1950's. Topeka High's speed advantage was neutralized due to the steady rain during the first half. Still, Topeka High had a 6-0 lead after the 3rd quarter and had led the Wildcats in yardage. A THS touchdown had also been called back due to off-setting penalties. But Hayden rallied after a pass interception by Pat O'Brien and "Fireball" Stadler scored on a 4th down 1 yard run with only 2 minutes left in the game.
Hayden and Seaman played to a tie at half time - but Hayden could do nothing right in the second half as Seaman scored 4 times. Fumbles and the running of Viking back Kessinger ended Hayden's 4 game winning streak.
|Bob Evans FB||4||2||40||178||26|
|Manuel Perez G||6||1||9|
|John Mick C|
|Dick Steinbock HB||3||2||67||295||6||179||30|
|Pete Serrano HB||5||0||1||10||1||0||0|
|Gene Smith QB||3||3||55||352||63||20||395||18|
|I.C. Sanders HB||1||1||39||239||2||102||1||0||0||12|
|Bob Drotts T|
|Jerome Stadler HB||4||63||279||1||4||24|
|John Blankenship FB||1||1||73||291||7|
|Larry Johnson E||1||6||11||2||12||1|
|Pat O'Brien QB||15||78||8||0||0|
|Jerry Gannon E||4||55|
|Charles Kennedy E||1||16|
|Bob Trieber E||2||14|
|Terry Elston E||1||13|
|John Custenborder FB||4||5|
|Joe Grennan HB||4||13|
1958 TDC Kansas State Champion: Lawrence Lions (Class AA) Goodland (Class A) Peabody (Class B)
|9/21/58||Ward - Kansas City||L||6||20||Kansas City|
|10/3/58||Rockhurst - Kansas City||L||6||19||Kansas City, MO|
|10/17/58||Shawnee Mission East||L||0||21||Prairie Village-K.C.|
|10/24/58||Highland Park||L||6||14||Hayden Field|
|11/1/58||Topeka High||W||6||0||Moore Bowl|
|11/7/58||Haskell - Lawrence||L||6||7||Lawrence|
|11/16/58||Miege - Kansas City||L||0||27||Hayden Field|
The 1958 roster had 14 returning lettermen with veterans Dick Steinbock, I.C. Sanders, Jerry Stadler and Bob Evans leading the running attack. Starting linemen returning were John Mick, Fred Spencer, Jim Herynk, Augustine Lopez and Jerry Gannon. The opener against Ward was a demoralizing loss to Ward - however Ward turned out to be a state power going undefeated in 1958 and ranked No. 2 in the state behind Lawrence. Seaman took advantage of a Hayden 4th quarter fumble deep inside Hayden territory to win the traditional rivalry game. Rockhurst was a power in 1958 and Hayden played them tough - Steinbock was the offensive standout. Hayden finally got a win against Ottawa rolling up over 300 yards rushing - Sanders, Evans and Steinbock led the way.
After a disappointing loss to Highland Park (Steinbock was injured early in that game) it appeared that Hayden would face another loss against Topeka High. New coach Larry Reid had only a 2-4 record but Hayden was still an underdog for this game that featured an improved Hayden passing attack. I.C. Sanders scored the only points in the game with a 7 yard run at the end of the first half.
Sometimes Hayden was just punished by bad breaks and according to the TDC poor officiating. Hayden drove to the goal line in the final minutes of this game trailing by 1. Sanders picked up a 1st down on the "one inch (and that's stretching it)" line. Pat O'Brien fumbled as he went into the end zone- but the officials claimed the fumble occurred in the playing field even though Haskell recovered the ball in the end zone. Earlier in the 3rd quarter the scoreboard clock deducted two minutes in error from the playing time. The finale of the season saw future PGA great Jim Colbert pass for 156 yards in leading Miege to a win over the Wildcats. That completed an undefeated season for Miege and a number 8 ranking in the final TDC poll.
Coach Byard called it quits shortly after this game. The demands of coaching, teaching, counseling and trying to provide for a growing family were too great and he decided to step down from the coaching position. Assistant Joe Hammerschmidt would take over in 1959 while Byard would pursue business interests.
|1958 Statistics||RTD||PTD||RCTD||PAT||PAT-K||FG||RA||R YDS||CT||RCYDS||PA||C||PYDS||INT||S||TP|
|Rockhurst Game *||255||82||82|
|SME Game *||92||22||22|
|11/7/1958 Sanders 82 Yard KO Return included in RTD|
|*Missing Inividual yardage figures for this game.|
1958 Football Program shows coaching staff - Hayden vs Miege November 16, 1958. Miege coached by Paul Martel.
TDC State Champions: Lawrence (Class AA) Colby (Class A) Gridley (Class B)
|9/21/59||Washburn Rural||T||13||13||Hayden Field|
|10/3/59||Rockhurst - Kansas City||L||0||21||Hayden Field|
|10/16/59||Haskell - Lawrence||L||0||13||Hayden Field|
|10/23/59||Highland Park||L||6||27||Highland Park|
|11/8/59||Christian Bros - S.J.||L||13||33||St. Joseph, MO|
|11/15/59||Miege - K.C.||W||7||6||Hayden Field|
|11/20/59||Topeka High||L||12||20||Moore Bowl|
|1959 Statistics||RTD||PTD||RCTD||PAT||PAT-K||FG||RA||R YDS||CT||RCYDS||PA||C||PYDS||INT||S||TP|
|11-20-1959 Meier 53 Yd Intercepted Pitch-out included in RCTD|
|11-20-1959 Steinbock 38 Yd Intercepted Pass return included in RCTD|
Hammerschmidt's crew tied an improved Washburn Rural team in the 1959 opener. Terry Elston recovered a fumble near the end of the 1st half that was converted into a touchdown to tie the score. The 21-0 nothing loss to Rockhurst will be remembered for the strong play of the defense that stopped several Rockhurst drives. TCJ reported "there was no such thing" in regard to a Hayden offense. Steinbock got 22 yards "but the Wildcats are still looking for their initial first down" was reporter Curt Mosher's final line in the game story. OUCH!
Somebody had to win the Ottawa game and Steinbock was the difference gaining 97 of the team's 157 rushing yards. Larry Johnson scored the TD on a pass from Phil Rolsing. Bob Charay contributed with a key interception. The Haskell Indians were Jayhawk League champions in 1959 - Laverne Buffalomeat (one of many unique surnames on this team) scored one of 2 touchdowns - Hayden's defense prevented a major blowout. Hayden was in the game against Christian Brothers until a 83 yard game tying touchdown run by Steinbock was called back in the 3rd quarter.
BELOW: Dick Steinbock - top running back 1957, 1958 & 1959.
Steinbock led the team to a big upset win over Miege 11-15-59. He was the biggest offensive threat all year for the Wildcats and was key in defensive stops especially against Miege. Miege had defeated Rockhurst 14-13 the week before meeting Hayden. Dick Durow stole the ball from a Stag runner and Tom Meier recovered a kick return fumble to slow down the Miege offense. Miege was coached by former Hayden assistant Dick Byard.