Peter Demmerle is the only player in New Canaan Football history to have his number retired (23). At New Canaan for the Rams he set several receiving records during his career.
He played for the Rams half a century ago, and even today with the progress of the passing game throughout the sport of football, his records are still at or near the top of the list.
Pete played on three State Football Champuionship teams (1968, ’69 and ’70) and was also co-captain of the Rams’ 1970 football and baseball teams. He set the CIAC state record for most receptions in a season (102), the single game receiving yardage record (18 catches for 316 yards) in the 10-game 1970 season.
He had 28 carrer touchdown receptions and 2,550 career receiving yards at NCHS. He was a New Haven Register First Team All-State honoree in 1969 and 1970 and was a “Kickoff Magazine” High Schoo All-American.
Pete went on to play for the University of Notre Dame where he starred for the Irish. As a key member of the 11-0 team in 1973, Pete was a catalyst in the Sugar Bowl when Notre Dame defeated Alabama for the National Championship.
But it wasn’t his accomplishments on the field that made Demmerle a remarkable person. At Notre Dame, as well as being a Consenus All-American, he was also an Academic All-American. He was one of only six athletes in Notre Dame football history to win both of these honors. Pete was also nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship and after graduating form Notre Dame in 1975, he earned a degree from Fordham Law School in 1979.
After years of a successful career practicing law, Pete was diagnosed with ALS and passed away in May of 2007.
Pete Demmerle still serves as a legend, a hero and a role model for all New Canaan Football players and will never be forgotten.
1973 SUGAR BOWL: