Eastwick twins recall Haddonfield's last perfect season
Dick Eastwick remembers his twin brother helping him with the plays. Bob Eastwick remembers his twin brother helping him in other ways.
Dick Eastwick remembers his twin brother helping him with the plays.
Bob Eastwick remembers his twin brother helping him in other ways.
"It would be hot at practice, say in September," Bob Eastwick recalled. "They didn't let you drink water back then. You would be feeling sorry for yourself and I'd see my brother looking at me like, 'What the hell is the matter with you?' "
Bob Eastwick would tough it out, thanks to his brother, Dick, thanks to legendary Haddonfield coach Russ Spicer and his assistants, and thanks to the sense of responsibility and camaraderie that swirled around that special football team.
It has been 50 years since Haddonfield put together a perfect season. The Eastwick twins were the senior scoring leaders for a team that went 9-0 in 1964, long before the days of playoff games and state tournament competition.
On Sunday, Haddonfield will bring an 11-0 record into the South Jersey Group 2 title game against archrival West Deptford at Rowan University.
Two of the Bulldogs' biggest fans will be a pair of brothers who look back across the years as easily as they used to navigate those 100 yards of open field.
"We had our 50th reunion [for the Class of 1965] a year early," Bob Eastwick said of a gathering in Mount Laurel in October. "It doesn't seem like 50 years. It seems like last year. A lot of those guys, they look like they could still go out and play."
Dick Eastwick put the passage of time into the context of his experiences as a high school player.
"If you had told me in 1965 that these guys played 50 years ago, I would have said, 'Wow, 1915, those guys are old,' " Dick Eastwick said. "It doesn't seem like 50 years. It feels like last year."
The Eastwicks and some of their classmates were starters as sophomores for a team that took its lumps and went 2-7. They were part of a resurgence the next season as the Haddons - as the team was nicknamed in those days - improved to 6-2-1.
"I'm turning my equipment in after junior year and Russ says, 'I think I'm going to put you in the backfield next year,' " Dick Eastwick recalled. "I was an offensive and defensive end. All summer, my brother taught me how to carry the football, the numbering system, everything I needed to know to play halfback."
Running the belly option out of a full-house backfield, Haddonfield dominated the competition. Bob Eastwick led South Jersey with 126 points, and Dick Eastwick was second with 102 points.
It was the first time in South Jersey history that two teammates scored 100 points in a season, and it wasn't matched until Glassboro's Sean Redman and Gordie Lockbaum did it in 1983.
"We had such great blocking," Bob Eastwick said, citing the play of guys such as Stephen Tyler, the Brooks-Irvine Football Club's lineman of the year, and others. "In those days, there was such great fundamental blocking."
Both Eastwicks, who are retired teachers and coaches, cited the influence of the late Spicer, a legend in South Jersey sports circles for his work as both a football and baseball coach.
"Every one of us learned so many lessons that carried over from football to the rest of our lives," Bob Eastwick said.
Dick Eastwick said Spicer, who also coached a 9-0 Haddonfield team in 1956, was a stickler for details.
"We would just do the basic things, but we would do them over and over again," Dick Eastwick said.
Haddonfield wasn't really challenged that season. The team's closest game was a 13-point win over Woodbury. The Haddons allowed just 42 points all season.
That's one similarity with the current Haddonfield team, beyond the black-and-red uniforms and the support of the tight-knit town and the cramped locker room in the bowels of that big, concrete stadium.
Haddonfield this season has allowed just 66 points. The Bulldogs will take the field Sunday morning with a chance to join the 1964 team as one of the tradition-rich program's handful of undefeated squads.
Two 67-year-olds who sometimes feel as if they are still 17 will be pulling hard for these new kids to join the club.