150th anniversary of college football honors former Rams
SHEPHERDSTOWN — This fall will mark the 150th season with college football in the fall. Leather helmets, round-tummied footballs, the single wing and cardboard-like shoulder pads are long gone. But not much about the earlier uniforms, awkward formations and ill-protected players has been forgotten.
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference — Shepherd’s new home — joined other leagues across the country to honor each of its 16 school’s most illustrious players and coaches. Even though it has never played in an official PSAC game, Shepherd had six former players or coaches named to the 150th anniversary’s list of superlatives now representing the PSAC.
Each of the league’s 16 football-playing schools had at least six individuals selected.
Shepherd’s six representatives were Walter Barr, Monte Cater, Damian Beane, George Hott, Wayne Wilson and Myles Humphrey.
Barr guided Shepherd teams to the school’s first postseason playoff berths and first playoff wins. Teams coached by Barr won WVIAC championships and established Shepherd as a team that could beat you with conditioning, no-frills toughness and skilled players that included running back Wayne Wilson, a nine-year NFL performer.
Wilson was drafted by the NFL and had seasons where he played with Houston, New Orleans, Minnesota and Washington.
Cater coached the Rams for 31 seasons and reeled off WVIAC and MEC championships as if they were programmed from his computer. He led the nation in career victories when he retired following an undefeated 2017 regular season. His last three seasons showed the Rams with unbeaten regular seasons, a berth in the NCAA Division II national championship game and a place in the national semifinals.
Damian Beane is Shepherd’s all-time leader in career rushing yards with over 6,000. He was a four-time All-America selection. Beane played for Cater.
George Hott is most known for his contributions to the 1955 Shepherd team that steamrolled the opposition in an 8-0-0 season. The lanky running back played two seasons at Shepherd and was drafted by the Washington Redskins.
Defensive end Myles Humphrey played on three undefeated teams, the last being the 2017 edition. He had the Shepherd career sacks record and led the MEC in tackles for lost yardage in two seasons.
The PSAC held its annual Football Media Day the first week of August and the 16 coaches predicted they thought each team would finish in its respective division of the league.
Shepherd drew attention when it was voted to finish second in the East Division. The Rams were behind only West Chester (a playoff entrant in both 2017 and 2018). Selected to finish third in that same division was Kutztown, coming off a 9-2 record in 2018. Shippensburg was picked fourth and then came Bloomsburg. East Stroudsburg, Millersville and Lock Haven.
Slippery Rock gained the most recognition in the eight-team West Division. “The Rock” was in the 2018 national playoffs. In second behind Slippery Rock was California and in third was Indiana. Mercyhurst was fourth and the Lakers were followed in order by Edinboro, Gannon, Clarion and Seton Hill.
Shepherd faces all seven of its East Division rivals as well as West Division teams Mercyhurst, Clarion and Seton Hill. On Sept. 7, the Rams open the season at home at 1 p.m. against rugged Ohio Dominican, a team that went 9-2 last year.
Celebrating 150 years of college football . . . and the first for Shepherd in the highly regarded PSAC.