Thanks to Hoover alumnus and school historian Chuck Hansen, we were able to acquire footage of Hoover’s celebrated football victory over San Diego in 1956, plus a 1992 televised interview with the late Walt Baranski, a star on that Cardinals team.
Baranski, who was slowed by a progressive, crippling disease and passed away at age 69 in 2008, was a three-sport standout at Hoover and played end and placekicked for the team that upset San Diego and went on to win the City Prep League championship.
Baranski was a starting guard on two Hoover basketball teams that were a combined 47-9, a young member of the 1954 American Legion Post 6 championship squad, a starting third baseman on the Hoover club that reached the 1957 Southern California finals, and played baseball and basketball at the University of Oregon.
The game film reflects the technology of the day, but has been preserved by Mr. Hansen and is a memorable moment in school history.
No turnout in the 80-plus seasons of Hoover football ever approached the estimated 7,000 which overflowed the Cardinals’ stadium on the night they came from a 12-0 deficit to defeat arch-rival San Diego, 20-12.
Baranski, No. 84, played end and was on offense and defense for Hoover, kicked off, and kicked points after touchdowns in the memorable game.
The video is 9 minutes, 48 seconds. It does not include the entire game film. San Diego scored when Bobby Staten ran 20 yards with a recovered fumble and on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone.
Hoover’s touchdowns were scored by Bob Williams, quarterback Gary Bailey, and fullback Denny Berg.
Search “1956: Then and Now for Hoover’s Engle” and “1956: “Smiley Was San Diego High Legend” for a review of the County’s 1956 football season.