Banner displayed by the Holy Cross football team from a window at Hanselman Hall, where the team was quarantined in the fall of 1969. Most of them have turned 70 years old. Like almost everyone else in America, they practice social distancing and miss the daily box scores.
But the aging men who played on the Holy Cross football team in 1969 understand what is happening more than most because they lived through something similar a half-century ago when their season was canceled after 90 players and coaches tested positive for hepatitis A. The ’69 Crusaders finished 0-2 and spent the balance of their season quarantined in Hanselman Hall near the top of Pakachoag Hill. For many, it meant their final days of football were erased by a virus.
“I just got a notice in the mail that our 50th class reunion is canceled,” said Bob DeSaulniers, a senior defensive lineman for the 1969 Crusaders. "Reminded me of what happened to us back then.”
Holy Cross was still a Division 1 football school in 1969, annually scheduling the likes of Syracuse, Rutgers, and Boston College. The Crusaders had a new coach and high hopes when they went through workouts late in the summer of 1969, and they put up a decent battle, losing their opener, 13-0, at Harvard Sept. 27.
"It felt like our feet were stuck in the mud in that game,” recalled running back Eddie Jenkins, who went on to become a member of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins before he started his own law practice in Boston (Jenkins’s Holy Cross roommate was the infamous Ted Wells). “We should have been […]