It may be the greatest high school football team that you’ve never heard of. The year was 1964. The Ridgeview High School football team in Hickory, known as the Panthers, went through the season undefeated. That led them to a western division playoff game. They won that game. That sent them to the state championship where they took on powerhouse Hamlet. It was a tough game and no one scored in the first half. But in the second half, the Panthers poured it on and finally won the game, 16 – 0.
Now, many high school teams have gone through the season undefeated.
And many teams have won state championships.
But what the Panthers did is something that may never again be duplicated by another team. Not only did they go the season undefeated…and not only did they win the state championship…they never let anyone score on them the entire season. That’s right…no team scored on the Panthers the entire season and through their state championship run. The Panthers outscored their opponents 446 – 0.
Yet…through the years, the Panthers have gotten very little recognition of their incredible accomplishment. In fact, only one or two still photos from the game can be found to exist. And no film/video of the game can be found. But in an extraordinary piece of storytelling, director Richard Eller has put together a documentary on the team’s 1964 season that will have its official premiere later this spring. In the newest Carolina Camera, we talk to members of that 1964 team…as well as Eller…and what it means to finally be getting some much-deserved recognition.
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