Zwelling: Blue Devils victory 40 years ago stands the test of time

Zwelling: Blue Devils victory 40 years ago stands the test of time


Zwelling: Blue Devils victory 40 years ago stands the test of time


Where were you 40 years ago? For many of us, it’s a challenge to try to remember what we did today, let alone four decades ago. But not for me, and hopefully not for many of my fellow Blue Devil teammates, fans, band members, cheerleaders, Devilettes and our opponent — the mighty Golden Bears of Upper Arlington.

A great group of men took their blessed talents and skills to the field on an October night in 1972 and provided me with one memory that still is very much a part of my life. These men, under the coaching of Apperson, Drobney, Phillips and Toler, battled for 48 minutes in a winning struggle against the vaunted team of Columbus Upper Arlington. Led by senior quarterback Kevin Upton, everyone on that team battled to the end — a 28-21 victory.

With a little less than 2 minutes remaining, it was a late touchdown by Don Bohus that put the Blue Devils ahead for good. What was weather-wise a cool, fall evening then turned to heavy rains and strong winds. The defense held on to keep the Golden Bears from tying it on their last drive of the game.

That evening there were too many heroes to name, but everyone had a goal of doing the unthinkable — recover from an early two-loss season to rise to the challenge of eventually claiming an eight-game winning streak, and winning the former Central Ohio League.

What a season!

I do remember that special night, as years later I have had the opportunity to share that evening with some friends of mine who played for Zanesville and cherish this win. I also have shared that evening with some friends of Upper Arlington who thought that day never could happen. It now is in the past, and we have learned and build on it, making many friends along the way who have become leaders in the community today.

Go Blue Devils. Remain strong and focused. Remember you can win any battle.

Stuart M. Zwelling was a member manager of the Zanesville Blue Devil football team (1972-73).


More USA TODAY High School Sports