Number one fan


Lauren Montano

Mr. and Mrs. Gunderson stand on the field in front of the football team as they practice after school on October 22, 2012, in preparation for the homecoming game. Mr. Gunderson attends all home games and nearly every away game.

Hanna Suarez, Editor-in-Chief

While parents and students socialize in the stands at Friday-night football games, a dedicated fan scrutinizes the plays down by the sideline. Dave Gunderson, father of Downey High’s Statistics teacher, Michelle Gunderson, has been attending varsity home games since the 1970s. It all started when he began dating his current wife, Vicki Todd, who was attending Downey High School at the time.


The family recollects that the accidental tradition began when the couple started going to church together. The youths in their congregation played varsity football, so Gunderson watched the games avidly, seeing as his main form of entertainment has always been sports.


“I think I like high school sports more than anything else,” Gunderson said. “It’s fun to see them very excited, it’s intense.”


While he admits to enjoying pro sports as well, Gunderson feels that sports at the high school level are played more genuinely. As a teenager, he played for Bellflower High School and he understands what it means and how it feels to be part of the ream.


“I’m not surprised [that he still attends the games],” wife Vicki said. “I was never very involved in school but I did go to all the games. I thought it was great he went too.”


For this husband and wife couple, high school never came to an end. They started dating in 1971 during their final years of high school, however they did not hang out at school as much until after they graduated. Once they were married with the children, the sports just kept on coming. Since their daughter Michelle Gunderson became a track star, Dave Gunderson and his family have never left the stadium.


“I remember there was a guy my age who played at one of the Downey- Warren games,” Gunderson said, “he got a concussion—he doesn’t even remember playing!”


Over the years, Gunderson has witnessed many unforgettable moments on the field. His family and friends have grown up playing sports; for him to be able to enjoy what he loves with who he loves is a great coincidence.


“I’ll keep going to the games as long as they [his wife and daughter] let me,” Gunderson said. “It’s something to do…I enjoy it”


Dave Gunderson can be spotted down at Allen Lane Stadium during varsity games. For this sports fan, the last quarter never ends.