Football Alumni Gather for Anniversary


The Salida High School 1971 football state champions stand for a photo at their reunion game on October 16, 2021.

Makiah Parris, Sports Editor

On Saturday, October 16th, 2021, Salida High School was proud to welcome back our 1971 SHS football team to celebrate the commemorative 50-year anniversary of the State AA Championship game against the Monte Vista Pirates. SHS honored and represented the players of 1971 who dominated in 13 games leading to the state championship in their undefeated season.

The team was led by head coaches Joe Hergert, Jim Gentile, John Quirin and Tom Breunich. The quarter-finals against Fort Lupton end- ed with a winning score of 42-12 making way for Salida’s 37-18 win over Lafayette in the semifinals. The overall state championship score be- tween Salida and Monte Vista was 32-0, with Salida taking home the 1971 AA State Championship trophy.

The team consisted of 15 seniors, ten juniors, six sophomores, and two freshmen. Captains of the team were seniors Dave Salvi, Tim Berry, and Steve Lucero. The offensive lineup consisted of Rich Young, Dave Salvi, Tom Murphy, Larry Medina, Rick Meyers, Terry Gipson, Steve Davis, Ed Budd and Tim Berry (who played defense as well). Berry was joined by the defensive lineup of George Osborne, Steve Lucero, John Stokes, Jim Passerelli, Mike Argys, Leo Leonardi, Doug Davis and Rich Young.

The committee who hosted the 50-year anniversary consisted of Marc and Anna Martellaro, Cherith Marchase, Gus Argys, Mike Nance, and Mike Argys. Local businesses, including Jeff Post with First Colorado Land Office, Wade Harris with Pueblo Bank and Trust, Michael Luchetta with Masterson & Luchetta LLP including many others who generously financed the weekend event.

During the state championships of 1971, the community of Salida was electrified for their boys’ team.

“Lights and sirens and police cars, everyone was just

lined up. Everyone in town greeted us on the highway, we thought there was an accident,” reminisced Steven Davis, a team member from 1971.

The accomplishment was huge and exciting. The 1971 team remembers their successful season together during which they created lifelong memories.

“I felt invincible.” expressed Davis.

Coming out to support the 2021 boys football team, brought out a lot of fond memories for the alumni. This year Salida had a losing score of 28-36 against the Monte Vista Pirates but kept up with hard work, determination and finished the game strong as one of their last games of the season.

“I wouldn’t have missed it, you couldn’t have kept me away. I was screaming at them, and I think they heard me,” stated Davis.

Over five decades later the 1971 team continues to stay close and connected. They grew up together and played hard together because a successful team beats with one heart.

“They’re my brothers,” said Davis.