One of my favorite subjects is the history of “Big Ball” Football at Loyola University; now called Loyola Marymount University. The fact that LMU was once a West Coast football powerhouse has all but been lost in the towns’ collective memory.
I grew up living next door to one of the Teams All Stars; Harry Joseph Acquarelli. I did not know it then, but Harry played for Coach Tom Lieb during the Teams glory days in the 1930’s. He later would coach for Head Coach Jordan Oliver, and those teams of the early 1950’are near mythical; partly because of their outstanding performance, and because those were the last years that LMU fielded a team.
Harry, a good friend, Westchester neighbor and LMU Hall of Famer, passed away peacefully in June; but all that knew him will remember his roar.
The 1950 season saw the Lions go nearly undefeated; only losing by a narrow margin; 28-26, to Santa Clara on November 25th. The 1950 University Yearbook remembered the team;
We saw the fabulous "Golden Boy" legend that began in 1947 become a reality as the Loyolans gained national recognition. The legend seemed doomed to oblivion when the injured Al Pollard left campus for Army, but suddenly we found the boy that could do more for us than even Pollard, the boy who could round-out and vary our attack, and run eleven men as a single unit. Don "the Duke" Klosterman is the boy, one of the top passers in the nation and by far the greatest in Del Rey History. Our backfield, rated by many as the best unit on the entire coast, was paced by such stars as Musacco, Captain and "Most Valuable Player"; Ferris, Giancanelli, Klosterman, Nolan, and Coniglio on offense; and Englidh, Dwyer, Rubio, and Robinson on defense. Among those who have played their last in that unforgettable line are Brito, Klinkhammer, Berberet, LaPlacette, Russell, Monroy, Nanry, Machtolf, Manzo, and Menotti. These are the guys that open up the holes, that made the headlines possible for the ball carriers.
On November 4, 1950, the Lions played their Homecoming game against Hardin-Simmons. The night before the big game, all of Sepulveda Boulevard in Uptown Westchester closed for a full-blown parade; complete with floats and a Homecoming Queen, followed by a pep rally and dance.
This amazing event was filmed, and can be seen on your computer here; http://100.lmu.edu/mediavault.htm