This is the first in a series of articles about the initial class of athletes to be inducted into Somerset’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Each week the Commonwealth Journal will feature a former Somerset athlete or group of athletes that will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in late October.

In the storied history of high school football in our great nation, only one team has produced three college All Americans from a single high school football team.

No, it’s not Massillon, Ohio or Odessa, Texas. That honor falls to none other than the 1916 Somerset squad coached by Paul Dexheimer.

Those three future All-Americans were “Bo” McMillin, “Red” Roberts, and “Red” Weaver.

The highlight of the 1916 season had been a 51-16 spanking of the then, number-one ranked team, Louisville Boy’s High, which would later come to be known as Male High School.

The Somerset backs were too quick and swift footed for their Louisville counterparts.

Courier Journal sportswriter Johnny Head used a term from the “Uncle Remus” stories — “Bawn and bred in de briar patch,” to describe the Somerset team. Immediately, he christened the Somerset team the Briar Jumpers.

Somerset finished that season undefeated, and was voted the mythical national champions by the sportswriters in the southern states.

Roberts, Weaver, and McMillin would all leave Somerset and would attend Centre College together to begin their collegiate careers.

In 1921, all three players would take the field against a Harvard team that hadn’t lost a game in five consecutive seasons. A decided underdog, Centre would defeat Harvard 6-0 in a game still known as, “The Greatest Upset in College History.”

Bo McMillin would score a second half touchdown that made him the toast of all America. Bo would later become the head football coach at Kansas State and Indiana. His last coaching job was head coach of the Detroit Lions in the NFL. He was inducted into the Collegiate Hall of Fame shortly after his death in 1952.

“Red” Weaver was a linebacker and a kicker. His record of 99 straight extra points is still a Centre College record today.

Weaver was a player for the Columbus Tigers in the NFL. He finished his football career as head coach at Morris Harvey College. He retired as coach there in 1933.

“Red” Roberts was easily recognizable by his flaming red hair. The “Gentle Giant” played without a helmet, choosing instead to wear a white scarf around his head.

As a blocker, Roberts paved the way for many of McMillin’s touchdown runs.

Roberts went on to play professionally with the Toledo Maroons and the Akron Pros.

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