Ben Gerber ’19, who served as quarterback and a team captain for Haverford’s football team, was honored by the National Football Foundation and named to their ingural 2019 Team of Distinction, which honors 82 high school football players around the United States.
- Meet the Coach
- Team News
- 2018 Season Recap
- Sabol Field / NFL Films
The Haverford School football team is a member of the Inter-Academic Athletic League of Philadelphia and Vicinity (Inter-Ac), the oldest high school league in the country.
Haverford has won or shared 28 Inter-Ac Championships.
The 2009 season was one of the best in school history, with the Fords compiling eight wins and finishing tied for the Inter-Ac Championship, their first since 1971. 2010 saw one of the most remarkable turnarounds in school and league history; after starting 0-6 against a tough non-league schedule, the Fords finished the season 5-0, winning all of their league games and capturing Haverford's first outright Inter-Ac title in 39 years. In 2012, Coach Murphy again led the Fords to the championship game undefeated. 2013 saw another share of the Inter-Ac. The 2014 season saw the Fords compile a 9-1 record, another high water mark in the school's history, and go undefeated in the Inter-Ac. The 2015 season bested that by one win with the team going undefeated at 10-0 (most wins in a season all time) and capturing their third straight Inter-Ac Title and fifth in seven years.
The football team boasts many time-honored traditions, including sports competition during Haverford/EA Day, dating back to 1889.
Head Coach: Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy was appointed to the position of Director of Athletics in 2019 after serving as Associate Director of Athletics for 14 years and has been head coach of the varsity football team since 2005.
He was the 2008 Main Line Times Coach of the Year, 2009 Philadelphia Daily News Coach of the Year, and the 2016 recipient of the Inter-Ac League's Michael F. Mayock Distinguished Teacher/Coach Award for excellence in teaching/coaching.
Murphy has produced over 77 All-Inter-Ac selections and 12 All-State selections. Two of his players, Matt Galambos '13 and Asim Richards '19, have played in the PA BIG 33 game (the only 2 in Haverford's history). Over 40 of his players have competed at the collegiate level. Murphy has led the Fords to the second most wins in school history and captured 6 Inter-Ac titles. Murphy's overall record is 76-59-0, with an I-AC record of 39-30-0.
During his time at The Haverford School, he established Mike Murphy Football Camp, L.L.C., allowing many young boys to learn and enjoy the game of football. The camp has grown into one of the top non-contact, competitive and fun camps in the area.
Prior to joining The Haverford School in 2005, Murphy taught and coached at The Episcopal Academy (EA) for eight years. He was a member of the Varsity Football coaching staff for five years as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach. At EA he helped lead the school to a share of the Inter-Ac title in 2004, their first in 21 years, and QB Brian FitzPatrick was named City Player of the Year.
Murphy is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University (B.A. '93 M.Ed. '96).
More than two dozen Haverford students will continue their athletic careers at their respective colleges and universities in 11 different sports. Go Fords!
Asim Richards signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I ACC football at the University of North Carolina. Ben Gerber was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, and will be a member of the Ivy League Penn Quakers football team.
By Christopher A. Vito / Correspondent, Bucks County Courier Times
WHITEMARSH TWP. — While Germantown Academy’s defense endured a slicing and dicing at the hands of The Haverford School’s multiple running backs, GA’s offensive linemen sat on the bench and hung their heads. The team’s quarterback stared blankly. It didn’t take a psychologist to guess the collective mood of the Patriots’ players. Read the Bucks County Courier Times story >
- All football players, grades 9-12, should be prepared to begin practice on Monday, Aug. 12. Note: this is one week prior to the other I-AC sports, as this heat acclimation week is mandatory.
- During the week of Aug. 12, practice will be 3-8:30 p.m.
- Players should report with the following items: Black cleats, fitted mouthguard, a padded football girdle (hip/spine/thigh pads included). The School will provide the rest of the needed equipment.
- For detailed information on the remainder of the camp schedule - parents and players should download the free mobile app - TEAMS by MaxPreps and enter the code: BOOAI-HAPLY this will register them for the team, and give them access to the full calendar.
Head coach: Michael Murphy
Overall record: 3-6
League record: 1-4
League finish: 6th place
All-Inter-Ac First Team – Asim Richards
All-Inter-Ac Second Team – Daiyaan Hawkins, Sean Clark
- Defeated Northeast High School, ranked no. 12 in the state week one
- Defeated Chester High School, scoring 69 points
- Defeated GA for the only league win of the season
- Asim Richards, OT, committed to play college football for the University of North Carolina
SABOL FIELD’S MAGIC ENDURES
By Michael Bradley '79
It seems ridiculous now, when every moment of every athletic event is memorialized on some version of video. From the most insignificant T-ball scrum to an Olympic final, there is a visual record available, easily accessed at the tap of a mouse or the click of a remote button. Not only has the revolution been televised; it’s available on Amazon for $29.99.
Back in the 1950s, there was no such ubiquitous lens. We can retrieve some archival footage of significant events, but it is often in poor condition, hampered by inadequate equipment, the vagaries of weather, operator inconsistency, and of course, the ravages of time. When Ed Sabol climbed a makeshift tower to chronicle his son’s football games at Haverford School, he was taking the home movie concept another step forward. Instead of filming young Steve smiling at a picnic or hugging some unidentified relative, Ed would track his athletic progress – for family eyes only.
Ed Sabol certainly didn’t look at it as a precursor to one of the most famous film companies ever established. What began as an exercise in creating a record of a son’s football exploits grew into NFL Films, which has served as a remarkable means for telling professional football’s story. Sabol’s first project, a recap of the 1962 league title game, was the springboard for today’s sizeable enterprise, which produces a menagerie of content that has helped the NFL grow from a sad sister to Major League Baseball into the nation’s most popular sporting religion.
And, to think, it all started on Haverford’s football field.
In 2009, that portion of historic Main Line real estate was named for the Sabols, whose impact on the game has stretched well beyond any crazy dreams Ed could have had when he convinced Pete Rozelle over drinks at legendary New York saloon Toots Shor’s to let him film that ’62 championship tilt. The plaque sitting hard by Haverford’s playing surface credits Sabol Field as being “the birthplace of NFL Films”, quite a designation.
“Steve played at Haverford, and the first filming his dad did of him was at Haverford,” says Mike Mayock, ’76, a charter member in the Haverford Athletic Hall of Fame. “His dad was a coat salesman, but he had a love of football, and he exhibited that through his son’s playing football. How fitting is it that the field where the whole thing effectively started is named for them?”
The Sabols’ impact on professional football – and the sport in general – cannot be overstated. They presented the sport not merely as a contest between two teams but as a dramatic saga. Men didn’t just compete against each other for an improved spot in the standings but to prove themselves, and by extension, demonstrate the unique American will to succeed. By placing cameras all over the field and going onto the sidelines, into the huddles and among the locker and meeting rooms that had been mysterious – if known at all – by fans, NFL Films created a vivid world that went beyond the wins and losses to humanize the sport and its participants. All of a sudden, players weren’t merely anonymous, helmeted gladiators. They became heroes and villains, strategists and generals, stars and tragic figures. And, yes, when the follies reel rolled, they were also comedians.
And there was music. NFL Films’ sights were amazing. The sounds were just as impressive. Long before music videos became part of the national consciousness, the Sabols were setting football action to tunes that made the presentation more exciting.
“Who would have thought of bringing an orchestra into the NFL Films building and setting football plays to a symphony?” Mayock asks.
That was Steve Sabol. His father was the consummate salesman, but it was Steve’s creativity that helped NFL Films break new ground and create a template for sports videos that continues today. When Sabol arrived at Colorado College in the early ‘60s, he decided he would add a little imagination to the work ethic he honed while an honors student at Haverford. He created a new persona for himself. “Sudden Death” Sabol from Coaltown Township, PA became a folk hero on and around the Colorado College campus. Sabol created press releases that hollered, “The Prince of Pigskin Pageantry was now at the Pinnacle of his Power”. Sabol’s genius for self-promotion was part of his brain’s magic, and when his father called him home to work for NFL Films, Steve took that creative energy and fashioned a football production worthy of Hollywood’s most famous cinematic giants.
“He was the most unique individual I ever met,” Mayock says.
Mayock speaks of walking into the NFL Films headquarters in Mount Laurel, NJ and observing Sabol’s “Picassos” producing projects unlike any others he – or anybody else – had seen. “Steve didn’t care about dollars and cents,” Mayock says. “He cared about what the project looked like. He hired great people and let them do their jobs.”
Steve Sabol succumbed to brain cancer in 2012, just shy of his 70th birthday. Ed passed away earlier this year at 98. Though they are no longer with us, what they built remains a bulwark of the American sporting scene and a transformative part of our athletic culture.
At Haverford, the Sabols live on at each practice and game that takes place on the field named for them. Their contributions to the NFL were enormous, and their impact on Haverford School is equally impressive. As the 2015 season dawns, and another Fords team charges out to battle the opposition on Sabol Field, the memory of Ed Sabol above the fray, capturing the action, of Steve on the turf below, wearing the Maroon and Gold enters the mind.
After all the magic the Sabols created over the years, how can we not feel their presence? It’s football, and nobody made it more vibrant than they did.
- 1915 A. W.Palmer 6-0-0
- 1944 Doc Wallace 9-0-0
- 1961 Ed Baker 8-0-0
- 1965 Ed Baker 8-0-0
- 1970 Mike Mayock 8-0-0
- 1971 Mike Mayock 8-0-0
- 2015 Michael Murphy 10-0-0
INTER-AC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS*
1888, 1891, 1902, 1904, 1925, 1926, 1931, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1951, 1953, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015
*Haverford stepped out of the Inter-Ac from 1906 through 1920, a self-imposed exile of 15 seasons
MOST ALL INTER-AC SELECTIONS FOR ONE SEASON
- 2015 Undefeated Inter-Ac Champ – 9 First Team, 3 Second Team
- 2014 Undefeated (league) Inter-Ac Champs - 8 First Team, 5 Second Team
- 2010 Undefeated (league) Inter-Ac Champs - 9 First Team, 4 Second Team
- 1971 Undefeated Inter- Ac Champs- 9 First Team, Unavailable Second Team
- 1970 Undefeated Inter-Ac Champs- 8 First Team, Unavailable Second Team
- 1961 Undefeated Inter-Ac Champs- 6 First Team, 2 Second Team
- 1968 Co-Inter-Ac Champs- 6 First Team, Unavailable Second Team
- 1965 Undefeated(league) Inter-Ac Champs- 4 First Team, 1 Second Team 1951 Solo Inter-Ac Champs- 3 First Team, 3 Second Team
- 1953 Co-Inter-Ac Champs- 3 First Team, 1 Second Team
- 2013 Bill Ward ’55 (inaugural year)
- 2014 Michael Bradley ’79, P’14 2015 Kevin Burke '79, P'13
- 2016 John Haldeman ‘71
- 2017 Michael Mayock, Jr. ‘76