2021 Team of Honor
1982 & 1983 Liverpool HS Football Teams
The 2021 Team of Honor is the Liverpool High School Football teams of 1982 and 1983 that won back to back Section III championships and had a combined record of 18-2 during the two year period and were ranked first in the state in 1982.
It’s been nearly 40 years since the Liverpool Warriors authored perhaps the greatest back-to-back high-school football seasons this area has ever seen. And all this time later, the guy who coached that bunch can explain his clubs’ excellence.
“We had the players,” said George Mangicaro. “There is no question about that.”
Those players combined to go 18-2 during the 1982 and ’83 campaigns, win consecutive Section III Class AA championships and outscore their foes by an average score of 36-13.
“Talentwise, from top to bottom, you’d be hard-pressed to match those teams,” said Mangicaro, who coached at Liverpool between 1980-2002. “We had very physically-talented athletes who were mentally tough and stuck together. There were no animosities and no jealousies. Everybody got along. I tell you, that was a special group of kids.”
Some two dozen of them would go on to play college football, including three of the four starters in the Warriors’ Wishbone backfield: Hank Flournory (halfback, Syracuse University), Todd Richardson (halfback, University of Alabama) and JJ Grant (fullback, University of Michigan).
The fourth? That was Chris Jones, the quarterback who was bound for Rutgers University before the Cincinnati Reds signed him to a baseball contract that yielded a nine-year major-league career covering more than 1,000 at-bats.
“I don’t know if you’ll find too many schools around the country that had four guys in the backfield, at the same time, who ended up getting Division I scholarships,” says Mangicaro. “But it wasn’t just them. Anybody who saw those teams would attest to how good they were.”
And just how good were those Liverpool squads? They were good enough to defeat West Genesee and Rome Free Academy by a combined score of 60-0 — 21-0 and 39-0, respectively — in those consecutive Sectional title games in '82 and '83.
Moreover, they were good enough to humble the boss.
“I mean, come on,” Mangicaro said. “Anybody could have coached that bunch.”
It would have been an honor. Which makes for an appropriate thought for the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame’s 2021 “Team of Honor.”
"We are once again proud be associated with the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame – an organization that does so much to recognize outstanding athletic achievements in our community and want to congratulate the 1982 and 1983 Liverpool High School Boys Championship Football teams for being the 2021 Team of Honor recipient," said Team of Honor Sponsor and Romano Auto President Mike Romano.
This is the fifth year that The Romano Auto Dealerships is the Team of Honor Sponsor of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony.