By Vern Cahak
One of Antigo High School’s greatest athletes of yesteryear will return to the turf of Schofield Stadium as honorary captain when the Red Robins meet the Rhinelander Hodags in the AHS Homecoming and Bell Trophy game Friday night.
He is Dick Schumitsch, who led Antigo to the 1963 Wisconsin Valley Conference championship, in scoring with 90 points and rushed for 720 yards with an impressive 6.8 yards per carry average. He passed for 300 yards and seven touchdowns.
Schumitsch was also an outstanding defensive player. In addition, he was a multi-sport athlete as a basketball and baseball player.
After graduating from AHS in 1964, Schumitsch went on to play football for the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
His playmaking helped the Red Robins of ‘63 become one of the greatest offensive teams in school history. While going 6-0 in conference games and 7-1 overall, Antigo outscored the opposition, 290-54 and averaged 38 points a game. The tremendous ground attack produced an average of 334 yards per game.
After a tough 19-13 opening game loss to Marinette, the Robins reeled off seven consecutive wins. They whipped Merrill, 41-20, in their Valley inaugural and followed with wins of 41-0 over Marshfield and 47-6 over Stevens Point.
One of the most memorable games in Antigo football history occurred on Oct. 12, 1963 when the Red Robins took on mighty D. C. Everest at Steihm Stadium. Everest was ranked No. 1 in the state and had a 22-game winning streak. The Evergreens jumped off to a 14-0 lead and Antigo trailed, 21-14 at halftime. In one of the greatest comebacks ever, the Red Robins outscored Everest 20-0 in the second half for a 34-21 victory.
The rest of the season was a breeze as Antigo rolled over Menominee, 48-0, Rhinelander, 39-7, and Wisconsin Rapids, 40-0.
AHS landed eight players on the All-conference first team, including All-State end Mike Curran. Joining Curran and Schumitsch on the All-Valley squad were Mike Schleinz, Bob Hunter, Ed Hoffman, Tim Rasman, Mike Turecek and Skip Payne. Hunter is still involved in Antigo football as a participant in radio broadcasting of Red Robin games, which he has done for several years.