MSSU to honor ‘72 national champs

The book is largely still unwritten on the 2012 Missouri Southern football team, but it’s has long been closed on a team from 1972.

That team, Southern’s only football national championship team, will be back in town this weekend and will be honored at halftime of tomorrow night’s game.

“It’s all part of our 75th anniversary thing this year with the school,” Justin Maskus, sports information director, said.

Aside from honoring the national champion team, the athletic department will unveil a list of 75 moments in Southern sports history.

That list will go to the Joplin Globe and be posted online where students, alumni and fans can vote to determine the top 13 moments in Lion history.

Those moments will be memorialized in a calendar published by the newspaper. Funds from sales will be split between community projects within the athletic department and the Globe could. The calendar is expected to hit stands just before basketball season.

About 30 former players, mostly in their 60’s, and Head Coach Jim Frazier will be on hand to enjoy the football game against MIAA newcomer Northeastern State University. A few players will be missing, however, as four players have passed away since their days as Lions.

“They’ve got pictures of them, actual [headshots], that will be on display,” Maskus said.

That 1972 team, members of the NAIA at the time, finished the season 12-0, including a victory over Division-I UNLV. The team won the championship on it’s home field, Junge Stadium in Joplin. Each player honored this weekend will be presented with a copy of the original game program from that national championship game.