KEYSER - In the span of two weeks, Keyser Golden Tornado football fans have had the privilege of both witnessing history, and remembering history.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - In the span of two weeks, Keyser Golden Tornado football fans have had the privilege of both witnessing history, and remembering history.  
Though it passed with little fanfare, until now, Keyser’s 35-0 victory over Frankfort in the Mineral Bowl represented the 600th victory in Keyser football history.
It doesn’t end there: today, this very day, Nov. 22, 2019, marks exactly the 50th anniversary of Keyser’s 1969 football state championship victory over Winfield High School. That victory marked the third and most recent football state championship in Keyser football history.
It’s fitting that Keyser’s 2019 version of Golden Tornado football is at the helm, earning and presiding over the 600th victory, and playing on the very night the 50th anniversary of the 1969 state championship is commemorated.  It’s fitting because this year’s Golden Tornado squad has been a record breaking, winning bunch themselves. Going into tonight’s contest, Keyser is 10-1 and has outscored their opponents 553-49, for an average of 50-4 per game, producing eight shutouts in 11 games.
As the 2019 version of Keyser Golden Tornado football strives to break records and capture a state championship of their own, it’s important that supporters of Keyser High School football pause to honor the accomplishment of the 600th victory and the 1969 state championship squad.
600 Victories
Keyser earned its first victory all the way back in 1914, as Abraham Lincoln might phrase it, five score and five years ago. On Friday, Nov. 8, just two weeks ago, the Golden Tornado earned victory 600 against no other than their arch-rival Frankfort.
Interestingly enough, just over ten percent of Keyser’s wins, 62 to be exact, have come over Frankfort (30), and predecessor schools Ridgeley (29) and Fort Ashby (3). Next, Keyser has claimed 56 victories over Hampshire (39) and predecessor school Romney (17).  After that, Petersburg is the next victim in line, losing to Keyser 43 times, followed by Moorefield with 41 losses to the Black and Gold.  Finally, Allegany (33) and its predecessor school Allegany County Academy (3) have fallen victim to Keyser 36 times.
With last week’s 53-0 victory over Liberty-Harrison, Keyser’s all-time record currently stands at 601-383-22, with the Black and Gold winning 61 percent of all contests played.  With that 600th victory, Keyser joins local schools Fort Hill and Allegany in the “600 wins club.”
“I believe that speaks volumes about our strong winning tradition and the legacy that is passed down from one generation to the next. There have been a lot of great individual players, teams and coaches that have helped to produce those 600+ wins and we make sure that we keep those memories and contributions alive in our program. It really is one long line of brothers,” Keyser coach Sean Biser said of the accomplishment.
As the head coach at Keyser since 2004, Sean Biser has collected 127 of those wins in a coaching capacity, and many more when you include those won during his playing days.
According to Biser, “It is very special to me. This is my home and this is where I'm from and where I live.  I grew up going to Keyser football games and watching my childhood heroes play in the black and gold.  Knowing that I have had a very small hand as a player and a coach to those wins and being able to contribute to that legacy is truly humbling. It also reminds me how lucky I have been to have great teammates, coaches, assistant coaches and players.”
The largest chunk of those 600 Keyser victories were of course earned under the tenure of the late, great, Coach Frederick “Tack” Clark, head coach at Keyser from 1944-1973.  During Clark’s tenure, Keyser earned three football state championships (1956, 1962, 1969).
It’s that 1969 state championship victory over Winfield that Keyser fans commemorate today, exactly 50 years to the date.
1969 State Championship: 50 years ago
In 1956, Keyser finished 11-0 and defeated Mullens 12-0 at Beckley’s Woodrow Wilson Athletic Field to claim the Black and Gold’s first state championship.  In 1957, Keyser would finish 10-1, losing in heartbreaking fashion 14-13 to Huntington’s Vinson High School in Buckhannon.
In 1962, Keyser lost their home opener 13-7 to Martinsburg, then ran off 10 straight wins, including a 35-20 victory over Nicholas County in Weston to claim their second state championship.  
Finally, in 1969, Keyser finished the season 10-1, losing only to Fort Hill (20-14) in the final regular season game, but more importantly defeating Winfield 21-20 for the state championship at Parkersburg’s Stadium Field.  Despite another title game appearance in 2012, the 1969 state championship remains Keyser’s last to date.
It was exactly 50 years ago today, Nov. 22, 2019, that Keyser defeated Winfield to earn the school’s last football banner. That Keyser squad, under the direction of “Tack” Clark, began the season with a close 7-0 win over Charles Town at home. Then came three straight road wins, 34-8 over the Blackhawks in Ridgeley, 21-8 over Bishop Walsh at what is now Greenway Avenue Stadium, and 40-13 over Bruce in Westernport.
Next came five additional straight victories, 27-2 over Moorefield at home, 33-0 over Allegany again at what is now Greenway Avenue Stadium, 35-16 over Petersburg in Moorefield, 46-0 over Beall at home, and 32-0 over Hampshire at Rannells Field.
In their third trip to Cumberland on the season, Keyser’s only hiccup became a 20-14 loss to Fort Hill. Despite that loss, Keyser qualified for the state championship game against Winfield, and the rest is history, with the Golden Tornado finishing with the 21-20 victory.
That Winfield squad entered the state championship game in Parkersburg undefeated at 10-0.  The Generals earned victories over Hannan, Hamlin, Fort Gay, Buffalo Putnam, Guyan Valley, Spencer, Hurricane, Crum, Duval and Poca.  Keyser ended their quest for a perfect season as the Tornado earned a close, 21-20 victory.
Today, we commemorate that 1969 Keyser state championship squad, even as the 2019 squad, exactly 50 years to the date, continues the battle in the quest for Keyser’s next state championship.