Al Nemetz was born in Prince George, Virginia in 1922. He played football for Hopewell High School and upon his graduation entered Wake Forest University. He transferred to West Point, whereby, the legendary football coach at the Military Academy, Earl “Red” Blaik, described Nemetz as the greatest lineman he had ever coached.
Nemetz played tackle on both offense and defense, a thing of the past in present-day football. Both the Associated Press and the United Press named Nemetz to the All-American First Team. He became Hopewell’s first full All-American in 1945.
The Army team with Nemetz was almost unstoppable, breaking the 16 consecutive wins record set by Notre Dame’s Four Horsemen of 1924. With no losses and no ties, Army piled up a total of 823 points to its opponents’ 68.
Nemetz served the United States in two wars. He was an Air Force bomber pilot in World War II and later was stationed in the Burma-China Theater. Nemetz went on to a military career while still involving himself in intramural and youth athletics. Nemetz passed away on February 5, 2000, but he will always be remembered for his contributions to sports in the state of Virginia.