Crusader bound for Army hall

Charlie Jarvis, who played in the 1960s and was cited by the coach as the best player ever, will be inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

Charlie Jarvis, a Father Judge grad, rushed for 1,100 yards during his senior year at Army. PHOTO: CHARLIE JARVIS

You’d think that L.T. would be the greatest player the longtime coach ever worked with, but according to the Hall of Fame skipper, it wasn’t him, or any of the guys who helped the Giants win the Super Bowl.

That honor belongs to Charlie Jarvis, a 1965 graduate of Father Judge High School.

“During his time at West Point, Bill Parcells was Charlie’s freshman coach,” said Jarvis’ friend and fellow Father Judge grad Mike Dufner. “At some point during or after his NFL coaching career, Parcells was asked, who was the best football player (he) ever coached. Parcells responded it was Jarvis.”

While Taylor was one of the best, it’s hard to argue with Parcells’ verdict.

Just as he was as a Crusader, Jarvis was a star for the Cadets. During his three-year career, he rushed for 2,334 yards, leading the school in rushing all three seasons.

During his final year, he went for 1,100 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per attempt. That was good enough to make him third team All-American and earned him MVP honors on the team.

While he was at Army, the program picked up wins over Penn State, California, Boston College and three wins over Pittsburgh.

The team was so good in 1967 that it was invited to play in the Sugar Bowl, but at the time armed forces academies were ineligible to play in bowl games.

When you combine these accomplishments with a fantastic lacrosse career, Jarvis had one of the best athletic careers in the history of Army. And on Friday, he will be inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame. Jarvis and the other five inductees will also be honored prior to the game Saturday against the University of Texas El Paso at Michie Stadium.

“It’s a huge honor, it’s something I’m very excited about,” said Jarvis, who ranked second on Army’s career rushing list with 2,334 yards and fourth all-time in rushing touchdowns with 22. “I’m going out with about 20 family members, including my mom, and a lot of friends. It’s a very big honor for me, I know it’s an exceptional honor. Not many have been inducted, so it means a lot.”

Jarvis looks back on all his playing days fondly.

While at Judge, he helped the Crusaders win a Catholic League title during his senior year. He also was a very good forward on the basketball team, and in the spring, he played shortstop for the Crusaders, the co-Catholic League champions.

“My dad would drive me in the morning, and after school, I would hitchhike home,” said Jarvis, who is now living in the Lehigh Valley. “Everyone did that back then. I don’t think it was dangerous. Maybe it was.”

Athletically, he kept it rolling at Army.

Not only was he a star football player, but soon after he arrived at West Point, he was recruited to give lacrosse a try.

He was a natural.

“The lacrosse coach came to the football practice to look for the biggest, the toughest, the meanest to possibly be defense,” Jarvis said. “We played great over the four year period and were able to perfect what he wanted. I don’t know if it was tough, it was new. Is new tough? It was just new.”

He may have been new to the sport, but he caught on quickly.

He was a two-time honorable mention All-American, he won a national championship and during his two seasons on the squad, his team went 18–3–1.

Jarvis was drafted by the San Diego Chargers after his senior year, but instead he spent two years in Germany. When he came home, he spent two years as an assistant football coach.

After his football career, the now-retired Jarvis worked as a financial sales investment manager.

But now he’s just ready to celebrate with his friends, including many from Judge.

“I was lucky to play on some very good teams with some very good players,” Jarvis said. “I had a great career at Father Judge and at Army. It was a great career. At Army, we won 23 of 30 games and basically, overall, it was a very good career.

“I’m happy about going. There will be some teammates from Army and teammates from Judge. It’s a honor to be elected, and it’s an honor to go to the Hall of Fame.” ••