E-town, Ephrata ‘56 teams

By on August 20, 2015

Reminisce over breakfast

ER20150722DSC_56ephmounts202_2They met on the field as adversaries 59 years ago.

Recently, a few members of both the Ephrata and Elizabethtown football teams from the year 1956 got together again, although this time it was on much friendlier terms.

About four weeks ago, a few members of the E-town team joined several of their Mountaineer counterparts for breakfast at Gus’s Diner in Ephrata. It was a time to break bread, reminisce about the good old days and get to know one another.

E-town’s Hal Royer, Bob Fackler, Jack Cassebaum and Teufel joined Ephrata’s Ken Sensenig, Larry Loose, Claude Lynch, Lance Steierwald and Darryl Sensenig

“We had a real good time and some nice conversations,” Ken Sensenig, a halfback and co-captain of the Ephrata team, said. “To get together 59 years later was kind of neat.”

The whole breakfast meeting came together when Tuefel, one of E-town’s all-star players from that team, met someone from Ephrata earlier this summer. He asked if they know Lynch, which they did, and they put Tuefel in touch with Lynch. While talking with Tuefel on the phone one day, Lynch mentioned that some of the Ephrata players get together once in a while for breakfast. Both thought it would be neat to get some guys from both teams to meet for breakfast, and it finally happened last month.

What made this meeting special, and most certainly gave them a lot to talk about, was the time they met on the football field back in 1956.

There was a lot on the line that mid-October night in Ephrata. Both squads came into the game undefeated at 5-0, and the winner would gain the inside track to a Conference of the Roses championship.

Ephrata struck first with scores by Lynch and Ken Sensenig to take a 12-0 lead into the half. E-town narrowed Ephrata’s lead with a third-period touchdown, but the Mountaineers put it away for good with a late 85-yard touchdown pass from Loose to Bob McCoy, which led to an eventual 18-13 Ephrata victory.

Ephrata did indeed use that game as a springboard as the Mountaineers finished the season off at 10-0 to clinch its third conference championship in 11 years. The ‘56 squad remains the only unbeaten team in school history.

“We weren’t expected to do anything that year,” Ken Sensenig remembered. “E-town had a great team and at that time Palmyra was a powerhouse. When we played E-town, they expected to kill us…but we found a way to win.”

According to Sensenig, Loose was the missing link and turned what would have been a solid team into a championship squad.

“(Lynch) was our star player that year but I think the difference was Larry Loose was in the band and had never played football before,” Sensenig explained. “But we thought he’d be a pretty good quarterback so we urged him on and he ended up coming out his senior year. He was a real good athlete and he ended up winning the starting quarterback job.”

And the rest was history.

As for the breakfast meeting, Sensenig said all in attendance had a great time telling stories and reminiscing, and they even talked about making it an annual thing.

“There was talk of getting together next year again but who knows?,” Sensenig said. “We did talk about meeting up at some of our grand kids games this year, which would be great. That would be a lot of fun.”

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