The 1952 Everett High School football team chalked up an undefeated season that would go unforgotten. This team inspired many, and set the gold standard for future Seagull teams. The Gulls, with an abundant of talent at hand, generated great excitement on both sides of the ball. Coached by the legendary Jim Ennis, a fiery taskmaster, the Seagulls outscored their opponents 248-45 during the regular eight-game season.
On November 27, 1952, as underdogs on Thanksgiving Day, the Seagulls defeated the powerful and undefeated Seattle Champions Franklin High School, 26-13 at Seattle Memorial Stadium in the season finale. With a perfect record in hand, the Seagulls were overwhelmingly named the state champions in the final Associated Press poll.
Nine Everett players were named to the Cross-State All-Star first team offensive and defensive units. It was reported that the first team defense did not give up a touchdown all season until the final game against Franklin High School. The Seattle P-I newspaper dubbed the ‘52 backfield of Dan Michel, Les Nelson, Wes Nelson, and Chuck McAninch as the “Miniature 4 Horseman,” in reference to Notre Dame’s legendary “Four Horseman” of the 1920’s.
Fullback and team captain, Chuck McAninch, and halfback, Wes Nelson (“The Flying Swede”), were both selected to the Scholastic Magazine’s High School All-American football team that year. Jim Ennis was named the Everett Daily Herald’s 1952 Man of the Year in Sports.
In 1984, the ’52 team was named as the best Everett High School football team of the modern era and was ranked as the number two team in Snohomish County high school football history. Many players from the 1952 team recall the coaches teaching them much more than football and one said, .……. “We learned the importance of being responsible, productive citizens and the success that most of us had in life is a testament to the lessons taught by those men.”