Randy Meadows

Randy Meadows put Downey High School on the map for football and athletics. He was a player who could run over, run around, and through the best high school football teams in California. Downey alumnus remember what it was like to suffer through some lean, losing years, but that changed in 1956 when the Downey Vikings played the Anaheim Colonials in front of a record crowd of 41,383 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Randy also played in front of another record crowd of 85,931 for the High School All American game that same year. That awe-inspiring Downey Vikings played some of the best teams in the area – Compton, Long Beach Poly and Long Beach Wilson and in all of those games, Randy Meadows stood out, averaging 16 yards per carry and scoring touchdowns almost every time he had the ball.

He was the top scorer in southern California in 1956 and went on to be the co-winner, along with Anaheim’s Mickey Flynn, of the 1956 CIF Southern Section Player of the Year. Randy was also a High School All American and was recruited by Notre Dame, Air Force, Oregon, and USC. High school heroes come and go, but only a rare few are vividly remembered, as Meadows and Flynn and those teams representing Downey and Anaheim still are, 50 years after their historic meeting on the Coliseum turf. Randy was injured at USC and did not go on to play much more, but will always be remembered as one of the most outstanding high school football players of his time.

On and off the field, he carried himself with dignity and class, and a modesty that was rare in star athletes, even in 1956. He and his teammates brought back the pride in the Downey High School football program that had been missing for years. And Randy, in particular, epitomized that spirit. After his football career, Randy went on to serve in the Armed Forces in Germany and earned a decent living until his untimely death from lung cancer in 2000.