(KMAland) -- Throughout the month of August, KMA Sports is announcing our latest Hall of Fame class. Today, we go back to 1970 and welcome one of five teams in this year’s class.
The 1970 Fremont-Mills football team went unbeaten and didn’t allow a point in the final eight games they played that season. One of the key members of that squad, Steve Dinville, talked with KMA Sports about their dream season.
“We all played very well together,” Dinville said. “There was no real superstar. We all just had a lot of fun playing together.”
Leading the way for the Knights in 1970 was head coach Buck Riley and his trusted assistant Carl Leffingwell.
“They must have foreseen that we had some good things coming in the future,” Dinville said. “My sophomore year, we did more fundamental football before the season than we’d done after that. It paid off in the long run.”
Dinville described the lead-in to the 1970 season for the program as an uprising.
“It was a building process,” he said. “My freshman year, we were about even for the year, but my sophomore year we had a good team. We were kind of in our upswing at that time. The football team was going in a (positive) direction.”
While the team had no real superstars, Dinville was their lone representative on an All-State team that 1970 season.
“I could play anywhere across the line,” he said. “I was long snapper in my sophomore year. I played some guard and could have played anywhere along the front line. I was well-coached by then.”
The Knights — known as “Buck’s Bruisers” on the defensive side — didn’t allow a point for the final eight games of the season. And they wouldn’t allow any points in the first five games of 1971, shutting out 13 straight opponents — a state record.
“Amongst ourselves, we probably talked about it,” Dinville said of the shutout streak. “Especially toward the latter part of it. We got to a point where we just thought, we can do this. And we did.”
State playoffs were not held in Iowa until the 1972 season, so neither the 1970 nor the 1971 team had a chance to see how they stacked up with the rest of the state.
“It would have been fun to find out,” Dinville said. “We’ve been compared to the (2011 state champion team). I would have loved to tried (playing in the playoffs). I’m not saying we could beat everyone, but we would have liked to try. The coaches would have pushed us every inch of the way to get there.”
The 1970 team will be honored at some point this fall during the Fremont-Mills football season. Stay tuned for more information. Listen to the complete interview with Dinville linked below.
2020 KMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS