Bill Engelhardt's MUSTANGS GRIDIRON Corner

This site is currently dedicated to covering the fortunes of the South Western High School MUSTANGS football team in York County, Pennsylvania. SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON columns will be posted for a preseason review and following each game during the season. And we will follow my Alma Mater, the CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High School in Bergen County, New Jersey, with THE GRIDIRON columns by my twin brother Dick, the stadium announcer "Voice of the CUTTERS."

Location: Glenville, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, October 12, 2013


By Dick Engelhardt

The CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High drew a bye last week while the IRONMEN of Don Bosco, who they were scheduled to play, traveled to Washington D.C. to take on the KNIGHTS of Friendship Collegiate Academy. This is a good time to take a look at the origin of “The CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High,” that happened 70 years ago! It all started September 13th, 1943 when FLHS opened without seniors, who stayed at Paterson Eastside, Hawthorne and Ridgewood to graduate in 1944. Coach Marty Fischbein led the CUTTERS to a fine 9-4-2 (.692) record in independent action in 1943 and 44 after starting up with 3 JV games. Some called the new team the COMETS because they scored quickly in their first game, a 7-6   loss to the RAMS of Lodi, and others called them the CLIPPERS. The Lodi loss was followed by a 12-6 victory over the MAROONS of Ridgewood. It’s been said that some team members would leave school early to visit Doc Gurney, after whom Gurney Terrace is named, for taping and disappear for a time forcing Coach Fischbein to wait for the arrival of these "cutters" before he could run a full practice. And then, leading into the Leonia game, team co-captain Jack Van Olden led Tony DiNegri, Art Jaeggi, Jack Knowles, Al Livingstone and Bill Perkins on a sneak trip to the Rivoli Theater in Paterson to see “Holy Matrimony” and “The Seventh Victim” during school hours. The miscreants were caught and coach Fischbein kept those “cutters” out of the game. With the LIONS up 12-0, he put our heroes in and Fair Lawn roared back to win 13-12. Livingstone, who passed away, in 2008, took a pass from Van Olden, who passed away in 1992, and ran it 43 yards for a TD. In the 4th quarter, he ran 20 yards for a TD and plunged for the extra point winning the game. The student body, having chosen Crimson and Gray as the school colors, said “The Cutters won the game!” They insisted that the athletic teams be known as “The CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High.” And so it still is! The “original” 1943 CUTTERS were inducted into the Fair Lawn High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009 along with this writer. Van Olden had been inducted individually in 2007.  

Marty Fischbein’s brand new 1943 CUTTERS followed those 3 JV games with a 4-1-1 (.800) record in varsity action in a truly remarkable first season! There is a still lot of connection with those “Cutters.” Van Olden’s son, Jack, lives in town as does his daughter, Karen Van Olden Coles. Van Olden’s brother, Wayne and his nephew, Glen Van Olden, live here too. Al Livingstone’s nephew, Jim Livingstone, was the crew chief and line judge at the Fair Lawn – Passaic game. He lives in Fair Lawn.

In Fair Lawn’s Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division, the defending champion BULLDOGS of Passaic County Technical Institute beat the GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside 39-18. The Division went 1-0 against outside opposition as the FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High beat the BENGALS of Bloomfield 21-7. The Division is 5-8 (.385) against outside opposition.

On Saturday at 1:00 our CUTTERS host those Passaic Tech BULLDOGS at SASSO FIELD. The defending champs are 5-0 and have outscored their foes 174-40 for an average 35-8 win. Fair Lawn is 0-4 and has been outscored 127-53 for an average 32-13 loss. I know our Cutters will go all out and battle to keep it closer than those scores indicate. I can hardly wait. Til then, GO GUTTERS GO!!!


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