Now in their sixth decade as a football program, the Generals have had many stars to match those which adorn their helmets over the last 50-plus years. Here are the players we feel are the best in Hamilton-Wenham gridiron history:
No. 1: MIKE MCGOWAN
* Greatest two-way player in Hamilton-Wenham history
* Loved to dish out hits, whether he was making tackles or trying to break them
* Holds school record for most touchdowns (21) and points scored (157) in a season
* Led Generals to back-to-back Cape Ann League titles
* Named MVP of Agganis Football Game in 1992 while starting on both sides of the football, the first player to do so since Harry Agganis himself
* Went on to play linebacker at Division 1-AA William & Mary and was a senior captain on team that went 8-2 and boasted the No. 1 defensive in the country
* Had an interception in overtime that sealed a 10-7 win over Delaware to capture the Atlantic-10 Championship as a senior
Tight end/Defensive end
* Four-year varsity player is widely considered the greatest defensive end to play at Hamilton-Wenham.
* Was recruited by Norwich to play defensive end but was eventually moved to tight end, where he’d go on to finish in the top five in Cadets’ history in receiving yards (1430) and yards per reception (18.8).
* Played two seasons in the United States Football League (USFL), winning a conference championship with the Arizona Rattlers playing for legendary coach George Allen.
* Caught 78 passes for 1,007 yards and 6 touchdowns in his USFL career
* Earned a tryout for the Patriots and was the last man cut in training camp the year New England went to Super Bowl XX
* Starting quarterback for two years, including the 1986 squad that went 8-2
* Dual-threat quarterback and excellent game manager who also handled all the kicking duties
* Was 5-of-7 for 91 yards passing, rushed for 59 yards on 10 carries and booted 22-yard field goal in 10-0 win over Pentucket
* Stood 6-foot-3 and weighed 175 pounds, a signal caller who stood tall in the pocket but could also take (and deliver) big hits
* Went on to play for Boston University, where he perfected his punting game and was named to the Atlantic All-League team in 1992.
* Is the only Hamilton-Wenham player to make the NFL as he punted for both the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos
* Tied school record for most points in a game (30), most touchdowns in a game (5) and most passing touchdowns in game (4)
* Rushed for a single season school record 1,420 yards as a junior
* Made the transition to become an elite passer as a senior when he tossed a school record 15 touchdowns
* One of the fastest players in H-W history, he finished with a combined 63 rushing, passing and receiving TDs in three seasons
* Helped the Generals to a 25-8 record over three seasons while going 17-5 as the team’s starting quarterback
* Top player on one of H-W’s two undefeated regular season teams in school history, having led the Generals to the Super Bowl in 2011
* Averaged a whopping six yards per carry in his final two seasons
* Guided the Generals to a combined 16-4 record during that time, as well as back-to-back CAL titles
* Rushed for a combined 2,071 yards and 16 TDs in 2002-03, rushing for over 1,000 yards both years
* Rushed for the longest TD in school history (98 yards) with under two minutes to play vs. Wilmington that ensured H-W a share of the CAL title
* Had the rare combination of speed and tackle-breaking ability that made him the CAL Player of the Year as a senior
* One of the all-time great big-game backs in H-W history