Crystal Falls Forest Park

Crystal Falls Forest Park team photoCrystal Falls Forest Park 1975 Class D State Championship football team.
Image courtesy of the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
On the very same day in 1975 that Ishpeming de­feated Hudson for the Class C Title, Crystal Falls Forest Park Trojans won the most lopsided State Final in Michigan history, in the Class D champion­ship in Kalamazoo. After pounding Posen 67-0 in the State Semifinal, CFFP soundly defeated Flint Holy Rosary in the final, 50-0. The team was led with four rushing touchdowns by Bill Santilli, a state final record that stood for 35 years. The Trojans, under the coaching legend Richard Mettlach, would return the next year to beat Holy Rosary again by a much closer score of 14-6. But a dynasty had been created that represents the U.P.s most dominant and success­ful football program to date.

1975 Team Roster - click to display or hide

Crystal Falls Forest Park - Class D - Region 2

Principal - Ronald L, Johnson; Superintendent - Wilbur H, Schenk;
Athletic Director - Ronald L, Johnson; Head Coach - Richard Mettlach;
School Colors - Red and Black; Assistant Coaches - Rudolph Valesano, Kirby Smith;
Band Director - Mr, Thad Stender.

NO.NAMEPOS.AGEHT.WT.YR.
10 Maskus, James B 16 5’7" 130 JR
70 Beck, Alan T 17 5'9" 160 SR
11 Maenpaa, Larry B 17 5'7" 160 JR
71 Tollefson, Mark G 17 5'7" 145 JR
60 Sundquist, John R. B 16 5'8" 135 JR
73 Corbett, Charles T 16 6'1" 220 SO
28 Valesano, Mark QB 15 5'11” 150 SO
74 Ross, Edward G 17 5'11" 155 JR
22 Mettlach, Richard - Captain QB 18 5'9” 155 SR
75 Davis, Charles T 16 6'0" 200 JR
21 Skibo, John B 16 5'8" 130 FR
81 Martwick, James T 16 5'8" 160 JR
30 Skibo, Jim E 15 6'0" 170 SO
82 Ball, Marty QB 16 5'10" 160 JR
31 Pagel, Robert B 17 5'11” 155 JR
83 LaChapelle, Bryan - Captain B 17 6'1" 190 SR
40 Santilli, William - Captain B 16 5'9" 200 SR
84 Peterson, Michael E 17 5'11” 165 SR
41 Willman, Brian B 15 5'10” 165 JR
85 Hendrickson, Dale G 17 5'10" 150 SR
80 Oberlin, Mark B 16 6'0" 150 JR
51 Absolon, Randy C 17 5'11" 185 SR
52 Oliverius, Mark G 16 5'10" 200 JR
61 DeNell, Darryl G 15 5'8" 155 JR
62 Gervenak, Robert G 17 6'11" 180 SR
63 Nylund, Bob G 17 5'7" 130 JR
64 Trepasso, Mark G 17 6'0" 165 SR
65 Stebbins, Frank G 17 5'8" 225 SO
MANAGERS
Jim Mettlach Gerard Valesano Mark Nylund
CHEERLEADERS
Lon Casagranda Chris Morkin
Christine Dishaw Julie Schiavo
Linda Dishaw Kay Mettlach
Julie HoHke  

Crystal Falls Forest Park first consolidated as schools in 1967. Before that time, the Crystal Falls Trojans had already built an incredibly strong foot­ball program under the leadership of Coach Mettlach starting in 1956. Between 1955 and 1966, the school had a record of 69-29-2, including undefeated seasons in 1957, 1958 and 1965. In 1965, they also won the Barber Trophy, given to the best team in the Upper Peninsula. Mettlach would continue to coach the Tro­jans until 1990 and finished his career with a record of 239-73-6. Since consolidation, the CFFP program has the best winning percentage of program in the U.P. (.751), which is far ahead of the second place Kingsford Flivvers (.677).

CFFP Trojans celebrate division championshipTrojans celebrate their 2007 Division 8 State Championship.
Image courtesy of Detroit Free Press.
In 1996 Bill Santilli, former Trojan and star of the 1975 championship team, took the reins of the CFFP program. For the past 15 seasons, the Trojans have never failed to make the playoffs. They have won eight regional titles and have reached the State Final seven times. In 2007, after making it to the State Final the previous three seasons, the Trojans won the Division 8 State Championship (their first in 31 years) with a 22-14 victory over Fulton-Middle- ton. Santilli’s record through the 2011 season was 152-42.

Several CFFP players hold Upper Peninsula football records. These include the following:

  • Rushing touchdowns in Season - 30 - Seth Chernach (2005)
  • Career Points - 522 - Dan Lato (1976-78)
  • Career Extra Points - 97 - Levi Jarvi (1996-1999)
  • Consecutive 100 Yard games - 23 - Dean Arcand (1981-83)

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