Podcast: Author Hank Gola discusses his book “City of Champions” about 1939 national championship high school football game

hank gola city of champions
gamestrat high school football sideline instant replay

On Christmas night 1939, the Garfield High School football team from New Jersey squared-off with Miami High in the Orange Bowl for high school football’s “mythical” national championship. Thanks to a Benny Babula 22-yard field goal, the Boilermakers of Garfield claimed the title with a 16-13 win.

That game became an obsession for award-winning football writer Hank Gola. The veteran sports writer’s book City of Champions unveils the long-forgotten game through research spanning newspaper accounts, over 75 personal interviews, letters, oral histories, game films, recordings and photos.

Gola joins High School Football America co-founder Jeff Fisher on the HSFA Podcast to talk about his book and his passion for the ’39 game and the City of Garfield, itself. Listen below.

Hank Gola on High School Football America Podcast

Believe it or not, there’s footage from the game that you can watch below.

Click here to order City of Champions on Amazon

Click here to learn more at Gola’s website

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.