JOHNSTOWN - In 1962 a group of young men who used to play tackle football at Knox Field donned pads and the red and black uniforms of the Glove Cities Colonials to play a game against the Amsterdam Zephyrs.
The result was a 33-0 victory by the Colonials and the start of a 5-0 season.
It also was the start of a tradition of semi-pro football that has lasted for 50 years.
Several former Glove Cities Colonials players pose for a group photo after a halftime ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the team at Knox Field in Johnstown on Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
During Saturday's halftime ceremonies, the Glove Cities Colonials honored members of that 1962 squad and all the teams that have graced the Knox Field gridiron over the past five decades.
"We were able to contact more than 80 former players from all around the area," Mike Tracy said. "Many of the guys from the 1962 team planned to be on hand. We were still hearing from players Friday who wanted to be part of the celebration."
Through its half-century of semi-pro football, the Colonials have competed in several leagues including the Empire Football League, the New York Amateur Football League, the North American Football League and now compete in the Northeastern Football Alliance.
Glove Cities won the Empire Football League championship in 1974 and ran off a 26-game winning streak between 1966 and 1970, including undefeated seasons in '67 and '68. They also went undefeated in 1962.
The Colonials posted a 9-1 season in 2010 to go with an 11-1 season in 1978 and 11-2 in 1977.
In 2009 the Colonials made an impression in the North American Football League, a national AAA minor league football system with four conferences made up of 72 teams playing in 40 states, postseason play.
The Colonials opened their late-season surge through the NAFL consolation bracket by defeating the Ithaca Aggression 60-6 before defeating the Western New York Cougars, 20-18, on the strength of a goal-line stand on four straight plays in the final two minutes.
The victory earned the Colonials the trip to the semifinals in Washington, D.C.
The trek ended in unfavorable fashion at the hands of the Explosion 42-13.