Tucson High School Sports

76 Days of Champions: St. David 16-0 streak nets two state championships from 1947-48

We have 76 days until the high school football season gets underway in Southern Arizona and we will attempt to relive the state championship teams over the last 80 days starting with 1944. The AIA started to recognize state champions in 1959 but teams like Tucson High claimed ten “mythical” state championships before then, starting in 1911 under Pop McKale.

Like last year, the season will roll out with 1A, 2A and 3A starting early on Aug. 23 and the bigger school will start a week later. Flag Football will start on Sept. 17 with Sunnyside, Buena, Tucson, Mountain View and Palo Verde playing on that Tuesday.


Coolidge at Sabino, 7 p.m.

Phoenix Christian at Tanque Verde, 7 p.m.
Willcox at Arizona Lutheran, 7 p.m.
Catalina at Highland Prep, 7 p.m.
Benson at Shadow Mountain, 7 p.m.

Lincoln Prep at San Manuel, 7 p.m.
Fort Thomas at Baboquivari, 7 p.m.
Desert Christian at Bagdad, 7 p.m.
St. David at Cicero Prep, 7 p.m.

1947 & 1948: ST. DAVID (16-0)

News of the Day: President Truman beat New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey.
Notable: Coached by Robert Bateman, St. David went 16-0 in 1947 and 1948 to win back-to-back mythical Class C state championships. Dwight Stapley would take over in 1949 and he would win his first five games before dropping the next two before going undefeated in 1950.

The clipping below has some very familiar names from that part of Arizona: “Merrill,” “Mayberry” and “Judd.” Also, the St. David “Tigers” went by “Saints” and Tigers at the time.

Tucson Citizen. (Nov. 4, 1948)

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