Good Sports: Mural to honor dominant Exeter football team from 1920s

EXETER, Calif. (KFSN) -- A new piece of artwork is bringing the community of Exeter together while celebrating a team most people in town had forgotten.

Soon after the end of World War I, Exeter formed a football team that would go on to dominate the American Legion semi-pro league.

Members of the historic squad, known as the "Invincibles," will now forever be remembered with this touching mural.

"As a guy who grew up in Exeter and played football, I had never heard this story," said Dwight Miller.

Exeter Historian Dwight Miller got interested in learning more about the team and found it was made up of former local high school athletes and college football stars who brought notoriety to the small South Valley town after winning consecutive state championships in 1920 and 1921.

"The All-Stars were basically a bunch of guys that Jim Pogue and Al Griggs recruited. Some Cal guys, some St. Mary's guys, a guy who had played at USC, a couple of stars from Visalia and a couple of brothers who had moved out from Minnesota, a guy who had played at Marquette and he was All-Conference back in Wisconsin," he said.

Exeter High School recently hosted a special ceremony on its campus to unveil the mural painted on the school's gym walls by local artists Colleen Mitchell-Veyna and Kelsey Gilles.

City leaders joined residents and descendants of the team for the big reveal.

The painting offers a nostalgic window into the town's football forefathers and the glory they achieved on the gridiron.

"If you're line to get a ticket to go into the football stadium and you're waiting, you're going to be looking to your right and seeing an image of these guys who played in 1920," Miller said. "There's another action shot of the state championship in San Bernadino."

Miller is now working on a book about the team, with hopes to have it ready sometime next year.
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