When glory days make a triumphant return

It’s a special kind of wonderful that the Marquette Senior High School 1968 football team is having a reunion Friday, which is homecoming day at the school.

This reunion will be a chance for the younger generation to witness the long-lasting unity created as one of the rewards from a group of people working together toward a common goal.

That goal was an undefeated season and that’s what the 1968 MSHS team achieved, finishing with a 7-0-1 record overall under the guidance of head coach Jerry Pangrazzi.

The ’68 gridiron heroes will be honored at halftime of Friday’s homecoming football game at William R. Hart Stadium. The present-day Redmen will be hosting Great Northern Conference foe Gladstone in a contest that begins at 7 p.m.

Homecoming is always an exciting time for the high school crowd. It’s a time of hall decorating, spirit contests and the crowning of a queen and king.

It’s exciting, too, for alumni of a school to be reminded of the fun and excitement of those teen years. Nostalgia might put a rose-colored haze on high school days, but those four years in many ways can be the best time of one’s life.

With the team members gathering again 45 years later, we know stories will be shared and memories will be re-ignited. The ’68 team – the Great Lakes Conference champions that year – will continue to reminisce after the game during a gathering at the American Legion building in Marquette.

Bruce Springsteen might have sang that glory days “they’ll pass you by,” but we think those sort of special memories of youthful triumph, if you’re fortunate enough to have them, will last a lifetime.

“As we get older, we appreciate what happened more,” said Bill Michelin, a co-captain of the team. “I think it will be a great time.”

Coach Pangrazzi pointed out: “They played together so well. They didn’t care who got credit, just as long as they won. They were relatively small, but very hard workers.”

We congratulate the MSHS football team from 1968 not only on that undefeated season but on planning this weekend gathering.

We hope the young women and men experiencing homecoming take note of the achievement and devote themselves to creating last memories of their own, times so special they can never be forgotten.

Hard work has its rewards: The MSHS football team of ’68 proves that.