By Kevin Eickman
The Milford High School’s (MHS) 12th Man Gridiron Club is continuing their effort this year to remember the games finest with their annual induction to the Milford High School Football Hall of Fame this fall. Started by Jack Simon, Mike Tkach and Glen Stevenson in 2007, the Gridiron Club selects prominent Milford High School Football players from the past and honors them for their commitment and support to the local football program.
The Hall of Fame inducted their first class in 2008 which included the local football legend Bernard “Bernie” Briggs, whom the current Milford High School Football stadium is named after. It is past individuals like Briggs that the Gridiron Club looks to help celebrate Milford’s football history and encourage its future. All of the efforts to recognize the inductees of the Hall of Fame are done in the hopes that the MHS football family will create a special bond that will extend throughout the years of Milford Football’s existence and spread the tradition and pride in the program.
“We want to get Milford interested in football again,” commented Jack Simon, President of the 12th Man Gridiron Club. “We want the community to be more involved with football in more ways than just the Friday night games.”
The idea for the Gridiron Club was conceived after Jack Simon and Mike Tkach, both football players at West Chester University (WCU) and Head Coaches at MHS, visited WCU and saw the camaraderie and fellowship between past and current players at the school. Both men decided then that Milford needed to bring this fraternal attitude to their football program.
During the first Friday night game of the 2015 season the 12th Man Gridiron Club will honor 4 new individuals during halftime. Dean “Buddy” Betts , Ryan McNulty Jeff Bieber and Jack Simom will join over 20 others in the Milford Football Hall of Fame in an effort to honor the past, support the present and encourage the future of Milford Football. All nominees have been voted on by Board Members of the 12th Man Gridiron Club and will receive a plaque of recognition that will be placed on the back of the MHS ticket booth at Briggs Stadium.
This summer, MilfordLIVE.com will interview the new inductees leading up to the 2015 Milford High School Football season. Stay tuned !
Dean “Buddy” Betts 1965: Betts was also a three year letter winner with the Buccaneers. Playing center on offense and end on defense, Betts was a two way player for all three years that he lettered. Betts was recognized as third team all state his senior season and walked on to play junior varsity football at East Carolina University from 1972-1974.
Ryan McNulty 2003: Playing guard on offense and linebacker on defense, McNulty was a thee year letter winner for Milford. McNulty was recognized as the defensive MVP in both his junior and senior seasons. He was also named the team MVP in 2002. He finished his career second all time with 239 tackles, including 113 in his senior season.
Jeff Bieber 1980: Excelling at both running back and linebacker, Bieber was a three year letter winner for the Buccaneers. Bieber was named the 1979 team MVP. In addition he was named the 1980 Milford High School Athlete of The Year.
Jack Simon 2006: Simon was a three year varsity letter winner, stepping in at center his sophomore season, before playing on both offense and defense in his junior and senior seasons. During his three years as a starter, Simon never missed a game.