More from the vault…Silver Bowl and OAL history

I did some more digging through the library at the Oakland Tribune today while researching some stuff for Friday’s Silver Bowl. Namely, I was trying to confirm that McClymonds is seeking to become the first team in school history to go undefeated. That’s what I had been told by coach Curtis McCauley, but a couple calls filtered in to refute the claim. A caller claimed the 1961 team went undefeated. So I did some digging. I believe our caller was actually referring to the 1960 team, which did win the Oakland Athletic League title.

However, reports mention that team was winners in seven of its eight games. It doesn’t confirm if that one game was a loss or a tie, but it is worded to assume it was a loss. Mack went undefeated in league play that year, so maybe that’s where the confusion lies. Outside of that, I can’t find any evidence of a McClymonds team going undefeated, so I’m pretty comfortable saying this would be the first time in school history, if of course they can beat Fremont on Friday. It seems it would at least be the first perfect team (no losses, no ties).

It also appears a 12th win would set an Oakland Section record for wins in a season. Skyline went 11-0-1 in 2002, but I can’t find another OAL team winning 12 games. It wasn’t even until 1989 that any OAL teams could’ve played as many as 12 games. Before 1989, the league champion was simply determined during the regular season. Even from 1980-88, the Silver Bowl was awarded to the team who won the league champion through the regular season. That’s why the first several years list the score of the Skyline-Oakland game for the Silver Bowl, since those were the top two teams in the league and it was their regular season game to end the year that usually decided the Silver Bowl. The four-game playoff format began in 1989 and finally added postseason games to the schedule.

Some more nuggets I found during my research include this from the 1983 season. That year, Oakland beat Skyline 27-14 to win the Silver Bowl, but initially wasn’t interested in accepting the trophy. It was a protest in response to not being able to participate in the North Coast Section playoffs and have the potential to play a championship game in the Oakland Coliseum. Oakland eventually accepted the trophy, after it had been tossed in some mud. He’s what was reported in the Tribune.

“We really did want it (the trophy),” Oakland quarterback Lonnie Hosley said, “but we want to go to the Coliseum more. We think we belong there. But now, this trophy is ours and it’s going to stay ours.”
NCS officials have invited the OAL several times in the past to join the section, but OAL Commissioner Lou Jones said several months ago that his league prefers to be a section unto itself.
The players, however, apparently do not agree. “Playoffs mean more to us than a trophy,” said senior John Lewis. “I mean, we’re satisfied with this, but we really reject the idea.”

That’s pretty interesting stuff, considering the debate about whether or not the OAL should join the NCS continues to rage on. It’s a little bit different nowadays, because at least the OAL does have a postseason now. Back then, as soon as the regular season ended, the Silver Bowl was awarded and the season was done while the NCS had playoffs. But it’s interesting to see how passionate the players were back then about wanting to participate in NCS. Nearly every story mentioning the Silver Bowl, particularly around the beginning of it, mentions something about the OAL teams not being able to participate in the NCS playoffs, so obviously it was a hot topic.

I also learned that in 1984, Skyline went 10-0 to win the title and finished ranked No. 1 in the East Bay. Among their nonleague wins were against NCS 2A champion and the No. 2 team in the East Bay, De La Salle. They also beat No. 4 ranked Miramonte. I think it’s safe to call them the best team in the OAL in the┬ápast 30 years at least.

Probably the best info I gathered from my time in the library is a comprehensive list I compiled of every OAL champion since 1931. OAL football began in 1921, with Fremont winning the title. I couldn’t find records for 1922-30, but I have every year after that. Here goes that list.

1921: Fremont
1922-30: unknown
1931: Oakland Tech/Oakland
1932: Roosevelt
1933: Oakland
1934: Castlemont
1935: Oakland/San Leandro
1936: Castlemont
1937: Castlemont/Fremont
1938: Oakland Tech
1939: Castlemont
1940: San Leandro
1941: Castlemont
1942: Castlemont
1943: Castlemont/San Leandro
1944: Castlemont
1945: McClymonds
1946: San Leandro
1947: San Leandro
1948: Oakland/San Leandro
1949: Oakland
1950: Oakland Tech
1951: Oakland Tech
1952: Fremont/McClymonds
1953: Castlemont
1954: Fremont/McClymonds
1955: Castlemont/San Leandro
1956: Castlemont
1957: Castlemont
1958: Castlemont
1959: Oakland
1960: McClymonds
1961: Oakland
1962: Oakland
1963: Castlemont/Oakland/Fremont
1964: Castlemont
1965: Skyline/Oakland/Castlemont
1966: Oakland
1967: Castlemont
1968: Castlemont
1969: Oakland
1970: Oakland
1971: Fremont
1972: Oakland/Skyline
1973: Skyline
1974: Skyline
1975: Skyline
1976: Castlemont/Skyline
1977: Oakland
1978: Skyline
1979: McClymonds/Castlemont
1980: Oakland
1981: Skyline
1982: Oakland
1983: Oakland
1984: Skyline
1985: Skyline
1986: Skyline
1987: McClymonds
1988: Skyline
1989: Skyline
1990: Skyline
1991: Skyline
1992: Oakland
1993: Oakland
1994: Skyline
1995: Skyline
1996: Skyline
1997: Skyline
1998: no winner, game ppd. due to fighting
1999: Skyline
2000: Skyline
2001: McClymonds
2002: Skyline
2003: Oakland Tech
2004: Skyline
2005: McClymonds
2006: McClymonds
2007: McClymonds
2008: Castlemont
2009: Fremont

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • Hey

    I loled at 1998. How typical!

  • E_CULB


    Can I come kick it in the vault sometime and make a couple of copies?

  • E_CULB,
    Yeah, hit me up and we’ll work out a time for you to come by.

  • Prep Fan

    Nice job Jimmy!

  • Jimmy,
    Explain the 1965 Castlemont/SL championships. Or the 1963 Castlemont/Oakland/Fremont championships. Was the teams combined or something?

  • All of those were co-championships. Since there was no postseason, those teams finished tied for first and we co-champs.

  • S1lverngreen

    Great research..good reading! Amazing that you were able to gather so much data on this great tradition…good work!

  • Qbcoach

    The 1997 Skyline team went 12-0. How’d you miss that one?

  • Hey

    what school is Roosevelt now?

  • We actually have a bit of a gap in our archives in the late 90s because we switched to online archiving around ’95. So I had a hard time finding stuff in the late 90s, but checked today with then-Skyline coach John Beam today and found out about the ’97 team.

  • Having played against the ’71 Fremont team and seeing the “68 castlemont team, I can tell you they were very tough. Fremont team had sprinters Polk, Bartholmew, OAL player of the year Williams and Donnie Waters.

  • XTower


    I don’t remember when it ran (before I got there, maybe like 97 or 98?), but Josh Suchon wrote a GREAT story about the history of the actual Silver Bowl trophy. It has some hysterical anecdotes, like how it was tossed out of a bus one time if I remember right. I think it was in the “Sports1” desk, but I don’t know if that still exists in the vault.
    If you can find it, it’s worth reading for sure.


    PS: still think the 2003 game was the greatest ever.

  • Jimmy, any score on DLS game tonite? Can you keep us updated?

  • E_CULB

    I wonder which Silver Bowl had teh most NFL player play in it?

  • dgreen

    Great question Eculb!

  • e mack

    does mack get an nsc bid???????????

  • Scl alum

    Mack’s not in the NCS, though I believe they potentially could make the State Bowl in their bowl division

  • Prep Fan

    Mack would need some major help. First of all, they need DLS to lose and Grant of SJS to get the Open Division bid. Otherwise, Grant or Folsom would get selected ahead of Mack for D2 for certain. Then, they would need to have the weakest teams win D2 in NCS, CCS & NS. If all that happens, they stand a chance but it is not likely.

    If DLS wins NCS, they’ll get the Open bid and the winner of SJS (Grant or Folsom) will get the D2 bid. The same scenario holds for fans of Concord, PV, Casa or Cotate. For one of them to get to State, they’ll need to win NCS, have DLS to lose and Grant to take the Open bid. Then prayer always helps.

  • Don Pollard

    Hi Jimmy,

    Was just wondering if you any Silver Bowl articles from the Skyline Oakland High game in 1982. It was a good one last second win by the O-High. If you do is there any way I could get a copy of that?

  • Ed Tanner

    I was a member of the 1979-80 Castlemont football team. The season ended with a league tie between Castlemont & McClymonds. ( Actually Castlemont beat Skyline, Skyline beat McClymonds and McClymonds beat Castlemont). I remember our & Mack players, coaches & staff met with the OAL League officials and asked for a “playoff and or championship” game(s) to decide who wins OAL title. After several of these meetings, Coach Lawson advised us that the decision came out to NOT play a game and that Castlemont & McClymonds would share the 1979 league title. You can imagine how disappointing for us( we wanted to see who was the best in the OAL). Subsequently the “Silverbowl” was created in 1980….

  • Titan pride”01″#5

    I played on the ”98,99,2000″ squads on the hill.the 2000 silver bowl had the most talent on the field hands down!!!