Oct 27, 2010 10:27 PM by Lee Douglas

Mitchell players remember that championship season

The new class of the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted Wednesday night at World Arena.

And one of the inductees will be the famed 1981 Mitchell high school football team.

"Riding silently all the way up [to Garry Berry Stadium] and then turning the corner and hearing all the chin straps just pop, that would raise the hairs on the back of your neck," said John Walker, a defensive back on the '81 Mitchell team.

Walker and Dwayne Cunningham were teammates on what some people call the best Colorado Springs high school football team of all time.

"It was really, without trying to sound too corny, some kind of destiny situation," said Walker.

"We all kind of went through the young leagues together," said Cunningham, also a defensive back for the team. "We played in junior high and C-squad two different times, then joined JV and just everybody kind of knew it was our team and our year."

Their coach, Jim Hartman, was inducted to the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame last year, but says his entire team getting inducted is something even more special.

"This is going to be a whole lot better because there's a whole lot more people involved," said Hartman. "They had an impact on my career, but they're the ones who accomplished everything for this ‘81 squad. Just unbelievable memories and I think we've all relived it many, many times and it gets better every time."

"I think it's incredible to be part of a group with Goose Gossage and some of the other famous names," Cunningham.

And now, 1981 Mitchell, a team that averaged 40 points-per-game while giving up just 12, is the newest "famous team" in the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame.

Jim Hartman won three total state titles with the Mitchell Marauders. And the players on that 1981 Mitchell team truly have a very unique brotherhood. They will have eight tables and 80 people representing the team at the Hall of Fame banquet, many of whom are coming from all over the country.



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