From Class Act: College of San Mateo: A History by Michael Svanevik & Shirley Burgett
By the 1990s, attending football games was a thing of the past. Years ago such attendance was virtually mandatory. Those who failed to show up to root for the San Mateo College Bulldogs, as students chose to call themselves, faced being ostracized by friends.
San Mateo Junior College was the youngest and smallest jaysee (as such institutions were called) in California. Thus, its gridiron performance in the first year was perhaps its original unique accomplishment. Of the 19 men enrolled, only four had played football. Undaunted, Coach John Wasley, a high school administrator, glued together an 11-man team. There were no substitutes.
Cheering on "the Dogs" became de rigueur during the college's early years. Local newspaper reporters, impressed by the obvious spirit and the "machine-like" quality of the players, termed the "Fighting Bulldogs" the "pluckiest football eleven on the Pacific Coast." The inaugural season will always stand out in the annals of the college as amazing.
Rain or shine, every member of the student body attended games. The San Mateo squad squared off against larger, more experienced opponents. San Jose State Teachers College fell to the Bulldogs in a scrappy contest by a score of 6 to 3. Santa Rosa Junior College crumbled 35-0. In the season finale, the Bulldogs "snapped and clawed" their way to a 33-0 victory over previously undefeated Sacramento Junior College.
In the years before World War II, San Mateo's football prowess was an awesome force to be reckoned with...
(During World War II)
News-hungry servicemen asked about friends or inquired about the successes of the Bulldog football team.
(Murius) McFadden unlocked the doors of the Bulldog kennel and led the Dogs to their first California Coast Conference Championship in football in 1925.
The Bulldogs, acting as a smoothly oiled powerful machine, won every conference game. There was pandemonium in the streets of San Mateo after the local boys rolled over San Jose State Teachers College by an impressive 44 to 12 score. Jubilation reigned in the last game of the season when the Bulldogs plowed their way to a 7 to 6 victory over Chico.
The following year, not having lost a football game to a jaysee team in three consecutive years, San Mateo travelled to Southern California to play Pasadena for a Thanksgiving Day classic, the Junior College Championship of California.
Twenty-two players and coaches boarded the S.S. Harvard, an overnight streamer to Los Angeles. But the ship sailed into the eye of a Pacific storm and all abroad became seasick, causing player to arrive weak and wobbly. Heavy rains before the game kep the "Macmen" from exercising stiff muscles and joints. On game day, the skies were bright and the Bulldog defensive game was dazzling, but in their weakened state they were unable to withstand a fourth quarter thrust by the Pasedena Pirates and fell in a 7 to 6 defeat. Spirits dampened, McFadden and his team had their Thanksgiving feast in Pasedena.
McFadden's well-oiled gridiron machines dominated jaycee football for years. Championships were won in 1925 and again in 1928 when San Mateo won 10 consecutive games. The team took second place in the conference in 1924 and 1926...
Murius McFadden's footballers in 1929 won the California Coast Conference Crown...
Ray Daba ('35) recounted amazing tales of 1934 when the Bulldogs, the strongest team ever fielded at Baldwin, smashed their way to the state championship by ripping through San Francisco State, Stanford, St. Mary's, Marin, the University of California, Santa Rosa and Modesto.
The Big Game that year was played in Sacramento. A paddle wheeled riverboat was chartered to carry several hundred enthusiastic rooters on the overnight cruise. "There was a bit of drinking aboard." Daba admitted. "Nobody slept that night. Most students didn't have cabins except those who were especially affluent or who had planned to do special entertaining." Late in his career, McFadden admitted that the tradition of going to the Sacramento game by riverboat had to be stopped after the year 1935 when San Mateo students almost destroyed the boat.
By the time the team took to the field they were pretty exhausted. Nevertheless, the "Goddess of Fortune" shone on the Bulldogs. The stubborn and determined Sacramento Panthers led the first half, but the Blue and White came away triumphant with a 14 to 6 victory.
Although not completed until 1964, a football stadium surrounded by a nine-lane, all weather-track was provided with 4,300 bleacher seats. Dedication of the new field Oct. 17, 1964 was cause for celebration. It was the first home gridiron in the college's 42-year history. (The field received a "baptism of fire" in a Golden Gate Conference clash between College of San Mateo and Diablo Valley College, a matchup the Bulldogs won by an impressive 29 to 13 score. The first touchdown was scored by CSM quarterback Chuck Hunt, No. 19, on an eight yard run around his right end.
Super Bowl winning coaches and broadcasers Bill Walsh of the San Francisco Forty Niners and John Madden of the Oakland Raiders, were Bulldogs and played on the College of San Mateo gridiron during the 1950s. Running back Bill Ring ('79), played with the champion Forty Niners (1981-1986). He majored in business and felt "prepared academically in all areas." He graduated from Brigham Young University. (SR's Note: His son, Billy Ring, played at the College of San Mateo under Coach Larry Owens. Billy then enrolled at the University of Arizona in 2005 and redshirted the season. Right now he is on his second season with the Spartans. He first joined the team for 2008 spring practice and was a Safety prospect in 2009. Andrew Moeaki won a scholarship this year to play with the San Jose Spartans =D)