James Dowd Continues Family Football Legacy

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season

One of the keys for South Pasadena’s varsity football team success this year is one of their biggest returning players, James Dowd. Not only is he a two-way star, playing both offensively and defensively, but comes from a distinguished football family. Dowd is the grandson of the late Merlin Olsen, the legendary all-pro Ram, and member of the famed fearsome foursome. For his entire 15-year professional football career he was a defensive tackle with the Rams in the NFL. He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl 14 times.

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season

The former San Marino resident, who passed away in 2010 after a prominent football, acting, and announcing career, was also a well-known resident who was often seen locally. He was known for his friendly and down to earth character. His young grandson is trying to live up to his grandpa’s reputation as he leads his team in both on field play and sideline enthusiasm. He is also a pre-season all CIF pick to watch.

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season

For those of you who don’t follow football and Olsen’s acting career, he might be remembered as one of the stars of ” Little House on the Prairie” as well starring on “Father Murphy”. He was a familiar face on many TV shows, commercials, and as a football announcer for NBC where he covered many Superbowls as well as the regular season.

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PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season

Dowd, showing the Olsen toughness, went off injured on several occasions during early season play but persevered each time, returning to the field to continue play. He will definitely be one to watch this season.

PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season
PHOTO: Henk Friezer | The South Pasadenan | James Down plays for South Pasadena High School 2023-24 season