High School Football Intersectional Contests, 1902-1914: Proxy Battles between the East and the West for College Football Supremacy; Essay by Robert Pruter

To illustraate concept in text

Hyde Park High, Chicago, beat Polytechnic High, Brooklyn, 102-0, in 1902, the first intersectional football game in America.

 

American football began intersectional competition in the first decades of the twentieth century, the first of which was between the East (meaning the Northeast) and the West (meaning the Midwest).  But this competition began erratically, and because of the lack of intersectional contests among the colleges, they therefore used high schools in their respective sections as proxy competitors.  What prevailed was the Midwest showing its superiority with its fast, open game, making the most of the forward pass, as the  high schools in Chicago dominated competition over those in New York City and Massachusetts.

 

 

During the decade and a half prior  to World War I the interscholastic world of football was driven to compete beyond not merely city and county boundaries, or even state  borders, but to compete in other sections of the nation. The genesis of this competition came from the colleges, where intersectional competition the source of debate and discussion, but far too infrequently on the field. Football arose in the Eastern colleges, and for the first several decades the game was dominated by the big three—Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. The Midwest schools, or Western Schools as they were then called, were considered backwaters by the Poobahs of the Eastern football establishment.

The West’s desire to assert its equality dates back to 1898, when Stagg arranged an annual series with the University of Pennsylvania, which was coming off several spectacular years of success. Stagg felt the series was the start of something big, contending that, “in time if both of us keep to near the top, a game between us will come to be regarded in the light of a national championship.”1

That was not to be. After the 1899 season, where Chicago’s 12-0-1 team tied Pennsylvania, both programs regressed during 1900 and 1901. Chicago also lost three out of the four meetings. However, when Stagg’s program came back to prominence with his 1902 team—with an 11-1 overall record–there was no Eastern opponent on the schedule. He surely saw that the 1902 season was a lost opportunity for revenge against the East.2

In 1901, the University of Michigan hired a new coach for its football team, Fielding Yost. He was a West Virginia native who had just come off three years of extraordinary success coaching a variety of high school and college teams in the Midwest and Far West. Yost introduced a new speedy game to the institution spearheaded by his captain and quarterback, Harrison “Boss” Weeks and an extremely fast halfback, Willie Heston. Using rapid play and speedy fast running, Michigan so overwhelmed its opposition that in its eleven games it outscored the other teams 550 to 0. The season was capped by a win over Stanford in the first Rose Bowl game in history. Yost’s drilling his team to move into formation quickly after each play with shouts of “hurry up” earned him his sobriquet of “Hurry Up,” and the spectacular production of points earned by his teams earned them the legendary “Point-a-Minute” designation.3

By the end of the 1902 season, Yost had yet to have an opportunity to show what his Michigan team could do against the Eastern powers. In 1901 he had a contest with one Eastern team, Buffalo, but the opponent was so unskilled and so unrepresentative that Michigan walloped them 128 to 0. During the 1902 season, Michigan had outscored its opponents 644 to 12 in garnering 11 wins with 0 losses. Aside from games with Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Chicago, the remaining opponents were cupcakes. Not one Eastern team was on his schedule. Fielding was itching to show the superiority of his style of football to that of the East, which he considered slow and cumbersome.4

Under the influence of Yost’s incredible success in the 1901 season, “speed” thus became the byword in the Western conference during the 1902 season. The Chicago Daily News remarked, “Speed is what the western college teams are after. Chicago is bustling for it and the fans following other teams are demanding a pace at least equal to Michigan’s of last year.” Stagg understood the necessity of this new approach and began drilling his team to develop speedy play. In a practice preparing for the Michigan game Stagg complimented his players for their “snap and speed.” Other coaches in the Western conference were also emphasizing fast play.5

On the high school level in Chicago a parallel development was occurring. Historically, in the Cook County League, Hyde Park was one of the dominant powers, since the league began annual competition in the fall of 1889. Hyde Park teams were traditionally noted for their speed, and used it for advantage against heavier teams. In 1901, the school had won the Cook County league with a light and speedy team. In the fall of 1902 team that featured quarterback Walter Eckersall (Hall of Famer who starred at Chicago), halfback Sam Ransom (famed black all-around athlete who starred at Beloit), and the brothers Harry and Tom Hammond (end and halfback mainstays on Michigan’s point-a-minute juggernaut of 1904). The Chicago Daily News noted that the 1902 team resembled “Michigan in the quick work more than they do Chicago.” The paper cited the team’s quickness in lining up when they had the ball and in their fast charging when the other team had the ball. The paper also described the team’s approach as “a little straight football, plenty of trick plays, and long end runs on plays directed just off tackle.” The team’s captain and quarterback, Walter Eckersall, was primarily responsible for the coaching, and the papers reported that it was Eckersall who was drilling his team to achieve even more speed than the previous year’s team, with “vicious snaps” by him to the ball carriers.6

Chicago high schools also were learning Western-style college football by playing practice games with the university teams. Hyde Park, for example, in late September played two close games with the University of Chicago, a team of candidates and a second team. Also during September, North Division played a Chicago team of member try-outs, the West Division high school team played the Northwestern scrubs, and Englewood played the University of Illinois first team. In October, Hyde Park met the regular Wisconsin team and got beat 24 to 5. The sportswriters considered these practice games as excellent preparation for the high schools prior to the regular season. Regarding the Wisconsin game, the Inter Ocean sportswriter noted that Hyde Park “put up a fast, snappy game, while the Badgers’ playing was slow and ragged.”7

Early in the 1902 season, a debate on the respective merits of Eastern and Western football appeared in the Chicago American. It was initiated by George Foster Sanford, the superb former coach at Columbia, who in an article derided the West for using “antique” methods on defense and offense. This brought a flurry of responses from the sportswriters, one in a non-bylined article in the rival Inter Ocean, which contended that the West was where the football innovators were located and where the best coaches were located. The writer conceded that the West gets fewer boys well grounded in the fundamentals. He then cited the Hyde Park-Wisconsin game as an example of the “limitations” of Western football. The Wisconsin team in the game showed “surprising weaknesses,” and this was because the Wisconsin coach was forced to bring his boys along slowly to learn fundamentals first. By the end of the season, however, the writer assured the reader that Wisconsin would be “fully up to speed.”8

To illustraate concept in text

Hyde Park High School, Chicago, football team, 1903; Capt. Walter Eckersall center with ball.

Hyde Park ran through the Cook County schedule with lopsided scores. However, Hyde Park played only four regular season opponents, outscoring them 231 to 0, and averaging 56 points to 0. Such lopsided scoring was exceedingly willful, as current standards of sportsmanship did not prevail then. At the beginning of the season the Hyde Park team announced that it would show “no mercy on any weak team,” and it would attempt to surpass Michigan’s total of 550 points from the previous season. This would not happen because the league was in such sad shape. Three schools in the division disbanded during the season, and Hyde Park had no success in finding teams to be willing victims in replacement games. With such one-sided contests and so few games, it is a wonder that the Hyde Park could be sufficiently honed and toughened for an intersectional match. Nonetheless, Hyde Park wanted an intersectional game to prove its worth, and put out feelers to various high schools in the New York area.9

To explain concept in text

Polytechnic Prep football team, Brooklyn, 1902

On November 30, the Chicago Tribune listed its Cook County all-star selections, in which 10 of the 11 first-team players were Hyde Park men. Elsewhere in the paper there was a small announcement that the Polytechnic Preparatory school of Brooklyn (Poly Prep) was considering coming to Chicago to meet Hyde Park for the first high school intersectional match in history. Hyde Park guaranteed Poly Prep $750 for the game. Once the game was firmed up for the following week on December 6, Hyde Park began a week of heavy practice.10

The football coaches of the Western conference also took notice. Here was an opportunity to demonstrate to the East the quality of football in the West and that the faster more open style of play was superior to the slow line-bucking play of the East. After the season was over, following the Thanksgiving Day games of November 27 Michigan was accredited by sportswriters to be the champion of the West and Yale was considered the champion of the East. There was a huge desire by followers of football to see the two teams meet, and much lamenting of the fact that there would be no way to prove which section was the best. The Chicago American reflected this view when it wrote, “There will always be an argument as to which is the best team in the country, but there is no prospect of settling that dispute.”11

The preparation of the team for the big game became a collective effort of the best minds in the West. Tom Hammond went to Stagg and asked for assistance in coaching the team, and the coach readily assented. He also gave them Marshall Field to practice on, but according to one report Hyde Park had been conducting “secret practice[s]” for several weeks on the field, and now the practices would be open. This would be the same field on which Hyde Park would meet Poly Prep. The ostensible coach of the team, Lee Grennan, spent much of the week in Nashville, and when he came back he prepared the team on physical conditioning.12

Stagg gave the Hyde Park team hard two-hour workouts each day during the week. He focused his work with Hyde Park on defense and the prevention of fumbles. On defense, Stagg taught the team a shifting defense that was used by the University of Chicago. Because he had a concern that the speed of Hyde Park would lead to many fumbles, he also taught the team how to execute their “lightning like” plays to minimize fumbling. Stagg downplayed his contribution, “I have not done much in the way of coaching except to prepare new defenses and to perfect offensive play, and especially the interference. The team was pretty well coached before I took charge, and needed but little work.”13

The Friday prior to game day, Fielding Yost came in from Michigan to work with Stagg and the Hyde Park team. Yost’s contribution was mainly strategy talk, but he did give a few pointers to Tom Hammond on placekicking. Yost expressed appreciation for Hyde Park’s fast style, noting that it resembled Michigan’s. The coaches stressed to the Hyde Park team the necessity of “getting the jump” on Brooklyn offensively and defensively. Eckersall would be used for “fast-round-the-end” plays and double passes (so-called trick plays), while Ransom was slated for straight line plunging. These college coaches were out there to prove a point.14

Hyde Park and Polytechnic were viewed as proxies for the major football powers by observers in both the East and the West. The way the game was promoted reflected this. Several days before the big game, the South Side of Chicago was placarded with big posters with the heading, “The East vs. The West at Marshall Field Saturday.” Reported the Chicago Tribune: “The game is expected to bring out the comparative quality of play of representative scholastic teams of the east and west, and indirectly to determine which [section of the country] has the stronger teams.” Regarding the task of Poly Prep, the Tribune scribe said, “The boys realize thoroughly that the game is not so much Poly against Hyde Park as it is east against the west. The question of which section of the country played the better game was a problem that offered no solution, except an actual contest between representative teams, and now the opportunity to decide the matter is afforded…”15

The paper further noted that the Polytechnic’s style of play was identical to that of Yale, and that the school’s coach used defensive formations and trick plays used by Yale in 1902. Poly Prep’s coach, Oscar Aubut commented, “Eastern men say football originated in the east and think the best methods are still used there. Our team uses the styles of the eastern colleges and will do its best to uphold the standard.” To show how little Aubut knew about the Hyde Park team, he thought that his team would have an advantage over Hyde Park in quickness.16

While Hyde Park was recognized unreservedly as the best in the West, the Brooklyn team had suffered two early season losses, to St. Paul and Erasmus Hall respectively, in its eight-game regular season. There was no team in the New York Metropolitan area that was unambiguously the best. The Poly Prep’s faculty president, John D. Lane, recognized this, when he said, “This team is simply going as a representative Eastern eleven and not as a champion eleven. We wish that understood distinctly, and the Western people understand it in that light.” Appears as though Mr. Lane really suspected the worst.17

There was considerable concern by the parents of the Poly Prep players over Chicago water. The city throughout much of the nineteenth century had a reputation for having unsanitary water. Despite correcting its water ills a decade earlier, the parents prevailed on Poly Prep to bring two large casks of Brooklyn water. They not only drank it but rubbed themselves down with it. This attitude reflected a widespread sense in the East that the Midwest was still a bit backward and behind the East culturally, institutionally, and civilized development.18

Game day proved to be a disaster for the Brooklyn team and for the East. On December 6, at University of Chicago’s Marshall Field, Hyde Park slaughtered the Brooklyn boys 105 to 0. There were eighteen touchdowns, which at that time were worth five points apiece. On a snow-covered and slippery field Hyde Park backs made dramatic gains on each down and scored a good percentage of its touchdowns on long running plays. Defense was so formidable that Brooklyn managed only one first down in the entire game. The Polytechnic boys were utterly bewildered by what hit them. Said the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “The variety of plays at the finger tips of the winners baffled the Brooklyn boys, and the latter were stage struck from the very start of the game.” At the half, the score stood at 40-0, but Coach Stagg apparently did not think that was enough, as he went into the locker room and urged Hyde Park to step up the slaughter and break 100 points.19

The consensus of the reporters was that had it not been for the slippery field and the falling snow, the score would have been even more lopsided. Chicago newspapers more than New York papers recognized the outcome as a triumph of the West over the East. The Inter Ocean headlined the story, “West Defeats the East by 105 to 0,” and the Tribune said, ‘The east against the west,’ was the general characterization of the contest before the game commenced.”   The Brooklyn Daily Eagle noted that calling the game a “United States championship” was a local Chicago rendering, but conceded that “it was safe to say that the winners outclass any scholastic eleven in New York State and probably anything in New England.”20

Post game commentary was along those lines. The Chicago Daily News reporter asserted, “Eastern methods of playing the gridiron game received a severe shock as the result of the battle, for eastern critics feel confident that the west does not know as much football as the east.” The writer gleefully noted, that “this pet theory received a shock that it will take some time to overcome.” Yost was quoted as saying, “The game makes the Eastern methods look bad.” The Chicago American had Yost write a commentary on the game for the next day’s edition. Said Yost awkwardly (he was probably being quoted by a reporter who did the actual piece), “If as a scholastic team they reflected the collegiate football of that section as high school teams usually reflect the college football about them, that Eastern football didn’t seem to be in it with the West.” He also said that, “Brooklyn was most frightfully slow.”21

The dazed Brooklyn coach, Oscar Aubut, said to the Chicago Tribune, “I never saw such fast playing in all my life, and our team was not prepared to meet the open game used by Hyde Park. We have always played a plunging game, and it is much slower.” To the Chicago Daily News, he noted a particular difference on kick-offs, “[The Hyde Park players] don’t wait for their opponents to charge when the ball is kicked off, but wade right into them. In our game, they more than met us half-way and by the time the Brooklyn player caught the ball he was tackled in his tracks…they don’t play that way in the East…the team kicking off is suppose to meet its opponents half-way and not charge right through to the man catching the ball.” The New York World reported him saying, “The Western style of game is a revelation. Nothing down our way can touch it. I have learned more football today than I ever have in any one year of my life. I am certain that this open style of game introduced by a team would be a winner in the East.”  Coach Grennan of Hyde Park was then hired by Polytechnic to coach their team for the following season.22

Post game assessment in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle summed it all up: “The Western game of open plays with frequent passing of the pigskin triumphed over the close formation and line plunging game of the East.” Coach Yost was naturally asked if Hyde Park reminded him of his Michigan game, and he enthusiastically agreed, automatically thinking “Michigan’s ball” whenever Hyde Park recovered a fumble. Coach Stagg made the point that in regard to the college game that since the last meeting of the East and West the Western game had “improved so much” that a “match with the Eastern champions versus the Western champions might open the eyes of the East.” The Chicago Chronicle reporter during the massacre had looked up in the stands at Yost getting animated over the Hyde Park feats and mused, “He wondered no doubt just how a game between Yale and Michigan would have resulted.”23

The high school football season in Chicago in 1903 was much like the previous year, dominated by a few good teams, while the rest of the teams were cream puffs. As usual, a few teams disbanded before the schedule was completed. In pre-season write-ups, the city’s sportswriters posited North Division and Englewood as the possible Cook County champs. Both North Division and Englewood were coached largely by their team captains, quarterback Walter Steffen (future Hall of Famer) and guard Arthur Badenach respectively. At intermittent times, North Division used as coaches first ex-Northwestern player Charlie Daly (who introduced some Northwestern plays that he learned from the new Northwestern coach, Wallie McCornack) and later ex-Northwestern player Al Johnson. Typically, North Division also had a variety of alumni come out to lend coaching assistance each week. Steffen was the team’s heart. He was assisted by such players as halfback Leo De Tray (future All Western at Chicago), end Leslie Pollard (older brother of Hall of Famer Fritz Pollard), Norbert Nelson (a future All American basketball standout), and center Joe Paupa (future coach for DePaul Academy).

North Division also benefited from transfers from other schools, obtaining the 240-pound tackle Chubby Graham from English High, halfback Roy Rennacker from Lake View, and fullback Ed Hill from Albion College. A protest was made regarding Hill, but the Board of Education said he could play as long as he was under 21. Hyde Park was given an outside chance, and its approach to coaching was to use alumni coaches chosen ad hoc from week to week. For example Walter Eckersall coached the Hyde Park team for a few weeks.24

As with the previous season, the Cook County high schools began their season with practice games against the universities. North Division played two such games, losing against Northwestern and Chicago. Englewood boasted of and played four such games against Chicago, Illinois, Northwestern, and Purdue, losing all four by lopsided scores.25

To explain concept in text

North Division High School, Chicago, 1903

Again as in the previous season, three weaker teams dropped out of the high school league, truncating the schedules of the stronger teams. Games were also eliminated from North Division’s schedule when Morgan Park Academy refused to play North Division with transfer Graham in the line-up, and Culver Military Academy refused to play as long as an African-American, Leslie Pollard, was in the line-up. Thus, after North Division beat East Aurora 26-0 on September 26 and West Division 56-0 on October 10, North Division had to quickly schedule some new opponents through early November—meeting Northwestern Military Academy, Central YMCA, and Chalmer Athletic Club, all which they beat handedly.26

North Division kept sharp for its key match up against Englewood by holding nearly daily scrimmage practices with small north side private schools, Chicago Latin, Francis Parker, and University School. In late October, the North Division boys built and began using a charging machine (today we would say tackling sled), pioneering its use in Chicago high school football. McCornack of Northwestern had brought from the east, and this innovation apparently stemmed from the coaching assistance North Division was getting from ex-Northwestern players. Englewood responded to this new development by having its squad charge against a “railroad fence.” In early November North Division implemented a training table, starting with a Sunday night dinner, and continuing nightly through the week. In mid-November North Division met its toughest rival for the title, Englewood, and only managed a 0-0 tie. Personnel-wise Englewood was outclassed but equalized the contest by a lot of slugging.27

On November 18, the Cook County League received an invitation for one of its members to play Boys’ High of Brooklyn. After North Division prevailed over Hyde Park 17 to 6 in a hard-fought game on November 21, North Division was chosen to represent the West in the game against Boys’ High. The game was scheduled for Saturday, November 28, in Washington Park in Brooklyn. Englewood, which was also undefeated, was not chosen because it was scheduled to play Hyde Park on the same day.28

Unlike the in the previous year, this Cook County representative did not attract Stagg or Yost in its preparation. Both Stagg and Yost were still in the midst of their season and were busy coaching their respective teams for their key match-up on Thanksgiving Day. Nonetheless, a Michigan alumnus, Bartelme, worked with North Division in the days leading up to the game. The newspapers treated the game as one of “scholastic supremacy” between the two cities rather than one of supremacy between East and West.29

The East vs. West issue was surely not far from anybody’s minds, however. Chicago had played Army on November 14, and lost 10 to 6, a bitter defeat in which the Maroons won every statistic except that on the scoreboard. The loss was attributed to an unfair decision by an eastern official. The Inter Ocean commented, “The defeat of Chicago does not bring discredit upon the teams of the West, in comparing them with Eastern College elevens.” “The After Michigan beat Chicago on Thanksgiving Day 28 to 0, capping a 11-0-1 season in which they outscored opponents 565 to 6, Yost was reported anxious to prove Michigan’s mettle against the East by announcing it plans to play an eastern opponent the following year.30

Toa explain concept iin text

Boys High, Brooklyn, 1903

As in 1902, the New York representative was not of champion caliber. Boys’ High had seven wins, one loss to Erasmus Hall, and one tie with DeWitt Clinton in mid-November. The loss to Erasmus Hall was considered an aberration, but the tie with DeWitt Clinton could not be dismissed. Only a coin toss between Boys’ High and Clinton determined that Boy’s would meet the Chicago representative. After Brooklyn massacred Poly Prep 38-0 on Thanksgiving Day, the Poly Prep coach and former Hyde Park coach, Lee Grennan, predicted that Boys’ would give North Division a “hard game.” He didn’t dare predict a win. The New York Herald noted that the school was “not too confident of victory,” but believed it would make a good showing. When the North Division team arrived in New York, the local papers could not help but notice that the players are “extremely heavy for a school team,” and terms like “sturdy” and “husky” was used to describe them. They were probably older—their average age 18 ½– and they outweighed the Boys’ High team by an average of three pounds per man.31

But as in the previous year, Brooklyn’s less than stellar record was not important. Papers in both part of the country represented Boys’ High as representing the East, in a game that was considered the high school championship of the United States. Only one paper, the Brooklyn Eagle, called attention to the obvious point –that Boston high schools were excluded in consideration for representation of the East.32

The game at Washington Park in Brooklyn attracted 5,000 spectators eager to take a look at the fast, open style of play of a western schoolboy team. They were not disappointed. The Chicago Record-Herald commented, “The open-style, end-running game had never been seen in New York before, and the crowd went wild every time a long run was made.” North Division completely dominated play, leading 60 to 0 at the half, which is considerably better than the 40-0 half time score Hyde Park had over Polytechnic the previous year. Most of the touchdowns were made in long runs of thirty to seventy-five yards, plus three long kick-off returns. Most all the gains were made runs around the ends rather than into the line.33

New York sportswriters were effusive on North Division’s style of play. The New York Herald said, “Each [player] had been so well drilled as to instantly obey a command of Captain Steffen. There was a rhythm in their teamwork that was lacking in that of their opponents. They tackled better, they interfered better, and in fact they did almost everything better.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle commented on the rapid play, “The visitors knew just where the next play was to be sent and there was no delay in getting down to crouching positions. Half the time the boys would be off before the crowd in the stands realized a down had been made.” The first half lasted 35 minutes, but the second half was terminated at 21 minutes on account of darkness. The final score had North Division winning 75 to 0, for a total of 13 touchdowns and one dropkicked field goal.34

Game assessments focused on the difference style of play between the East and West. In the East, the New York World captured it all when it said, “The style of game which the Westerners played was a revelation to those present, who had never seen anything but slow moving mass formations common on the ‘prep’ school gridirons of the East. Whirlwind football is what the Chicago boys played. A play was no sooner ended than the Westerners, with lightning quickness, were back in their places and going again. Their opponents were completely taken by surprise and were run off their feet. Line-bucking was seldom resorted to, but speedy dashes around end, and quarter-back runs, with good interference all the time, made possible the enormous score in the first half. The Brooklyn coach, McLaughlin, who learned his football at Cornell, said, “That North Division team was the fastest school team I ever saw. We did not expect such a score, but it was simply a case of better style of play. The east will, in time, have to adopt that fast play. I believe North Division could beat all the small college elevens in the east, and could even beat this year’s Cornell team.”35

In the East, the Chicago Tribune commented that the North Division victory was “a great tribute to the skill of western high schools, and causes one to wonder how the east so long maintained its supremacy in football among the colleges.” The Chicago Record-Herald reported, “The game was a revelation to eastern football enthusiasts…Eastern critics at the game stated after seeing the contest that they wondered why the eastern teams did not copy the western style, and that the West was far ahead of the East in its methods. Others thought that the eastern teams would gradually adopt the more open style and the quick charging.”36

After this second massacre in as many years New York lost its enthusiasm for intersectional contests against Chicago public school teams and terminated the series with Chicago.

The disparity in the contests between the Brooklyn and Chicago schools was striking and a bit mystifying. The Brooklyn schools had a slightly longer tradition than Chicago schools in playing organized football. Polytechnic Prep had been competing since at least 1885, and Brooklyn Boys’ had been competing since 1888. And since 1892 Boys’ High and Polytechnic played each Thanksgiving Day for bragging rights to Brooklyn, and were in a well-organized conference, the Long Island League. Both schools were coached by adult faculty members with football knowledge and expertise, while the Chicago schools largely relied on the team captain and alumni volunteers week to week to develop their teams.37

On the other hand, both North Division and Hyde Park were apparently loaded with extraordinary talent that included future Hall of Famers and All Americans. So there was probably a considerable talent disparity between the Chicago and New York teams. But we must go back to what the newspapers of the day emphasized—that the superior speed and open style of play that had developed in the Chicago schools was the principal factor that allowed West to triumph over East.

The champions of Western football were onto something about what was going on in the Midwest, but unfortunately the East remained closed off to these developments as subsequent intersectional contests between Chicago area high schools and Eastern schools would demonstrate a few years later. Under the standard story of football, the forward pass era was ushered in when Notre Dame traveled east to play Army and crushed their opponents with forward passes from Gus Dorais to Knute Rockne. The famed Illinois coach Bob Zuppke, who began his career coaching high school football in Muskegon, Michigan, and Oak Park, Illinois, during 1906 to 1912, slyly remarked on this interpretation, “that is perfectly true—except that 70,000 forward passes had already been completed by that time.” Undoubtedly, a good percentage of them came from innovative coaching of Zuppke in those years. John Sayle Watterson gave a more nuance understanding of the impact of the game in College Football, where he explained that the Notre Dame was the first to show the East the virtues of the slimmer more elongated dimensions of the football that made possible longer and more accurate passes.38

In two intersectional matchups whereby Oak Park High of Illinois easily defeated St. Johns and Everett highs of Massachusetts, in 1911 and 1912 respectively, and demonstrated to Eastern football mavens the advanced developments in the use of the forward pass and other open innovations representative of Midwest football. To understand why Oak Park prevailed, a step back to the 1906 season is necessary. That year saw the introduction of a new open game of football as a result of the national reform of the rules implemented by the colleges following the 1905 season that were designed to make the game less brutal. In Chicago, the students and coaches were apparently attuned to the changes in the football rules and adapted with remarkable facility.

The Chicago Tribune reported in early November on a University High 5 to 4 defeat of Hyde Park: “The new game was played brilliantly by both teams. Forward passes, onside kicks, long punts, and wide end runs made the contest spectacular in the extreme. There was little semblance to the old style game even among the high school boys.” In another match-up, Rockford with successful forward passes beat West Division, which threw unsuccessful forward passes. The Cook County championship game between North Division and Oak Park, in which the former prevailed 22 to 9, was described by the Inter Ocean as a “good demonstration of reformed football, and the play was fast, with no rough work and no man on either side compelled to retire from the field. The schoolboys demonstrated that they had applied themselves to a thorough study of the new rules. The forward pass, the onside kick, quarterback runs, and the end runs were tried and executed with remarkable ability.” In North Division’s drive for its first touchdown two forward passes netted 40 yards.39

In contrast the descriptions of the games in Boston, where high school football had been played since the 1860s, were not nearly so exuberant. The most positive comment was in an Everett-Cambridge Latin game, where the Boston Globe noted that the Everett quarterback, “worked the forward pass well and the team made considerable gain on it.” The Boston Globe would note a success but tempered its comments with an equal failure, such as in the Roxbury-Dorchester game, said “In the second half the forward pass was tried twice and once it was successful. Hoernie succeeded in advancing the ball 20 yards before he was downed. Whit, who substituted for Leonard for Dorchester…dropped a beautiful pass from Capt. Riley and the ball went to Roxbury.” Like in an Exeter-Haverhill game, the Globe related, “Exeter’s forward pass went to a Haverhill man, and this play was not again attempted.” In a South Boston-Dorchester game, the paper said the “prettiest play” of the game was an interception of a Dorchester forward pass. The key match up of the season, between two of Boston’s strongest teams, Rindge Manual Training and Somerville, yielded this mixed result: [Rindge] executed one forward pass with success, although gaining but eight yards on it. None of Somerville’s attempts with the forward pass was successful.” The year-end wrap up on the season made no mention of the forward pass, but tellingly did say that there were many more “no-score” games in 1906, and the paper said that the players attribute it to the new rules, particularly the 10-yard limit to make down.40

Meanwhile, the Midwest universities, already playing a more open game than their Eastern brethren, likewise quickly adopted the forward pass—notably Chicago, Michigan, and St. Louis University. Only Michigan, however, was contesting the game with Eastern powers, however. Michigan beginning in 1906, with a contest against Pennsylvania, each year regularly competed against Eastern powers, adding Syracuse in 1908 and Cornell in 1911. From 1910 through 1914, Michigan’s record against these three eastern mid-level powers stood even, at nine wins, nine losses, and two ties, not a record that could compel the East to take notice. Yet during this time Michigan was developing the forward pass. In a key match-up against powerful Minnesota in 1910, Michigan beat the Gophers with a drive down field using consecutive forward passes. Yost maintained that it was this game that established the forward pass, and not the Notre Dame-Army game three years later.41

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Bob Zuppke, the brilliant coach at Oak Park High School.

And 1910 would also be an important milestone in the Midwest prep ranks. The year Oak Park High hired Bob Zuppke to be its new football coach. Zuppke during 1906-1909 had developed a reputation at Muskegon High in Michigan for winning with a new open type of game. The open style of game differed from the prevailing mass movement style, in that it combined a mixed passing and running assault, making use of forward passes, laterals, reverses, and fake reverses. Red Grange in his book on Zuppke, said this, “With the advent of the forward pass, many coaches of the day used the aerial merely as a threat or a bluff, to set the stage for their running or plunging plays. Zup’s Muskegon and Oak Park teams used the pass for strictly business purposes, to gain ground.”42

Bringing his innovative techniques to Oak Park, Zuppke made the school the predominant football power in Illinois, and by a heavy schedule of intersectional games a nationally renowned football power. He won the Cook County championship his first year, 1910. Reported Kellogg M. Patterson in his year-end wrap-up for the Spalding Guide, that Zuppke “startled the entire league with his mode of play and in one year’s time took his place in league circles as one of the premier coaches.”43

Oak Park’s first season under Zuppke was capped with a Pacific Northwest trip over the Christmas/New Year holidays, where Oak Park played two games. The trip was arranged by league representative and trip manager Kellogg Patterson with the idea that Oak Park would avenge defeats that Chicago suffered to Pacific Northwest teams in a North Division trip in 1906 and an Englewood trip in 1908. Oak Park redeemed Chicago’s reputation when it defeated Seattle Wenatchee and Portland Washington. Reported Kellogg on the Wenatchee game, “Outweighed by almost nine pounds to the man, the Oak Park team fairly swept their opponents off the field with a constant bombardment of forward passes and trick plays.” On the team were future All-Americans quarterback Milton Ghee (who went to Dartmouth), halfback Paul “Pete” Russell (who went to Chicago), and guard Bart Macomber (who played at Illinois).44

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, the schools were adapting to the use of the forward pass. In the season-end report in the Spalding Guide, John J. Hallahan said, “Forward passes were also more prominent than before. Many teams showed more deception in their efforts to advance the ball by the toss. Very few times were the passes too long, and few penalties were meted out because of interference with the catcher of the pass.” Patterson, who had arranged the Englewood and Oak Park trips to the Pacific Northwest, concluded his report to the Spalding Guide, saying, ”My plans for the coming season will be toward the East.”45

To illustrate concept on text

St. John’s Preparatory, Danvers, Massachusetts, 1911

The following year, the 1911 season, with Macomber ensconced in the quarterback position and brilliant runner Russell leading the team as captain, Oak Park went through the regular season undefeated. New player Johnny Barrett, who later starred at Washington & Jefferson, added zip at end position. At the end of the season, Patterson was able to persuade St John’s Preparatory  of Danvers, Massachusetts, to make the trip to Chicago to play Oak Park in a game billed as a “national interscholastic football title.” Even though St. John’s came out of one of Massachusetts’ lesser conferences, and had one tie and one loss on its record, the Boston Globe reported that the St. John’s was the favorite. St. John’s, however, played a traditional Eastern style game, where attacking the line on the ground was the norm. Overall, Boston area schools that year had not been adapting well to the open game. Hallahan in his report on the Boston schools to Spalding Guide noted that, “Forward passing was also poor, very few teams having what might be called good formations for this method of attack. It was used many times, but failed 75 per cent of the times tried.”46

?o illustrate concept in text

Oak Park High School football team, Oak Park, Illinois, 1911

Oak Park, on the other hand, upped its open game to even a higher level in 1911, relying on frequent forward passes, usually set up with trick plays involving three to five flea-flicker passes. Game time at Marshall Field, the West being well-aware of the tradition it was trying to uphold used the same game whistle that was use din the Hyde Park-Poly Prep game of 1902, the North Division-Brooklyn Boys’ game of 1903, and all the Pacific northwest games played 1906 to 1910. The game for Oak Park was a walkover, 17 to 0, the score not indicative of Oak Park’s complete dominance on the field, and of St. John’s utter bewilderment.47

Chicago Daily News reported: “The winners outclassed the eastern men using open style of football. The visitors played the old style football, hammering Oak Park’s line on nearly every play…[while] Macomber used the forward pass combined with trick formations with great success.” Chicago correspondent Kellogg Patterson noted that the eastern sportswriters “were willing to admit that neither Harvard, Yale, Princeton, nor any of the Eastern teams were able to adapt themselves to the open game as readily and with such brilliancy as the Cook County League champions.” Tribune writer Walter Eckersall knew something about intersectional triumphs and placed the win in context with the college season. He said, “Western football scored another victory over the east yesterday on Marshall Field when the haughty Oak Park High School eleven repeated the performances of Chicago and Michigan, which defeated Cornell and Pennsylvania respectively, by decisively humbling St. John’s Preparatory school of Danvers, Mass., 17 to 0, by open play in which the forward pass was the deciding factor.”48

To illustrate concept in text

Everett High School football team of 1912

In the 1912 season the West would have the opportunity to exhibit their open game to their less enlightened brethren in the East on their home turf. Oak Park with Macomber and Russell both back, was destroying all opposition with the prominent use of the forward pass and other open plays. After winning the Cook County League again, Oak Park traveled to Massachusetts to play Everett High, which was a member of the powerful Suburban League and recognized as one the top teams in Massachusetts and the East.

Everett had one blemish on its record, a come-from-behind loss to Suburban League rival Malden, which won the league title and the “Greater Boston” titular title. Nonetheless, the Malden victory was considered a fluke upset, and the Oak Park-Everett match-up was deemed as the best match up between Eastern and Western teams. Everett outscored its opponents in eleven games 437 to 21 (Malden being the only opponent to score against Everett). Oak Park romped through its schedule of ten games outscoring opponents 517 to 3. After the school ended its league season, it took up a last-minute challenge of unbeaten Lake Forest Academy to play for the “state championship.” Oak Park demolished Lake Forest Academy 40 to 0. The Chicago Tribune scribe wrote that the school was “beaten and humiliated before the powerful onslaught of the Oak Park High School eleven, and bewildered and puzzled by some of the most complicated plays ever engineered by a local high school team.” Little did Everett know what it would be facing on November 30 in Fenway Park.49

Toa explain concept iin text

Oak Park High School football team, Oak Park, Illinois, 1912

The build up to the game by the newspapers in both cities was extraordinary. On the day before the game, the Boston Globe devoted almost an entire page of its broadsheet to various stories relating to the game. One of the stories on the page was by Chicago’s premier intersectional advocate, Kellogg M. Patterson. In it, he gave a history of Chicago’s intersectional competition since the Hyde Park-Poly Tech game in 1902, and a table of “Chicago Schools’ Coast-To-Coast Record for 10 Years.” Patterson contended, and he was undoubtedly correct, that the 1912 Oak Park team was Chicago’s best since the 1902 Hyde Park team.50

The next day before a crowd of 10,000 football fans, and the entire suburb of Everett, Oak Park whipped Everett 32 to 14, and in the process gave the Easterner an education in Western-style open football. The Boston Globe exclaimed:  The possibilities of new football against the old game were demonstrated at Fenway Park yesterday afternoon when Oak Park High School…defeated the Everett High eleven…Oak Park possessed the most versatile and varied attack ever shown by any school team in the East. Its passing game, which resembled basketball, consisted of forward, double, triple, and even quadruple passes, which not only baffled Everett’s ends, but also wore down the Home team’s defensive backs.51

To illustraate concept in text

Boston Globe cartoon captures the extraordinary impact that Oak Park’s football team had on the East.

John J. Hallahan in the Spalding Guide retrospectively concluded that, “It was an exhibition of straight football against a bewildering open style of play, in which the forward pass, as displayed by Oak Park High, was a revelation to the followers of the game in this section.” Zuppke was rewarded for his work by being named coach of the University of Illinois football team.52

Massachusetts was rewarded as well. During the 1913 season the lessons learned were being put into play all over the state. Said Hallahan, “the season was probably more interesting than any since the open style of play became prominent. There was more of an attempt to perfect the forward pass, the possibilities of which were well displayed the year before, when Oak Park of Chicago uncovered it to such wonderful proportions against Everett High.”53

On the last weekend of November 1914, Oak Park would pay the penalty for educating the East. They again met Everett High, but this team under coach Cleo O’Donnell had become a powerhouse, winning all 13 of its games by a grand total of 600 points to 0, an average of 40 points a game. Said Hallahan, “Everett High’s style of play comprised frequent use of the forward pass and a running attack that was propelled by a swift quartet of backs, reinforced by a line that was able to tear open holes through an opposing front that was more like a finished varsity eleven than that of a schoolboy team.” Oak Park on the other hand had only an average team under their new coach Glen Thistethwaite. The school sported only a 7-2 record and was smashed for the conference championship by University High, 31-7. Yet Chicago sportswriters—deluded by Oak Park’s spectacular legacy—considered Oak Park the favorite. Everett massacred Oak Park, 80 to 0. The Globe reporter said, “Oak Park’s line was poor offensively and defensively. Their tackling was high and uncertain, their interference ragged.” Most tellingly for the future, the reporter noted that Everett was “so superior to the Westerners that open play was not necessary.” The story headlined in the Chicago Tribune called the game an “upset,” a bit of delusion by the headline writer. O’Donnell was later rewarded by getting the Purdue coaching job.54

To illustraate concept in text

DePaul Academy football team, Chicago, 1914.

A week later DePaul Academy became the first Roman Catholic school in Chicago to play an intersectional game, when St. John’s Preparatory, of Danvers, Massachusetts, came to White Sox Park to play DePaul. The contest was billed as being for the “national Catholic prep title.” St. John’s was champion of the Essex County League. DePaul under Coach Joe Paupau was the Catholic League champion for the second year in the row. Helping him prepare the team were a dozen alumni assistant coaches from DePaul and North Division, which included North Division stars Leo De Tray and Walter Steffen. The newspapers built up the contest with extensive daily reports on training and travel of the contestants, but the crowd was kept down to about 2,000 because of cold drizzling rain on game day. DePaul was nipped by their Bay State opponents, 8 to 6, and the Tribune noted “for hard, earnest, and diligent playing no prep game of the year excelled this one.”55

The two victories that Boston schools achieved over Chicago schools on successive weekends in 1914 probably did much to banish out of the minds of the champions of Eastern football the lessons of 1911 and 1912, where Oak Park triumphed with a spectacular open style of play using the forward pass.

Then there was the lesson of 1913, where Notre Dame triumphed over Army with a spectacular use of the forward pass. The East acted as though the Notre Game’s exploitation of the open game was a complete revelation. The New York Times headlined the game, “Notre Dame’s Open Play Amazes Army.” Yet the East had been amazed by open play of the Western teams time and again in a series of so-called national interscholastic championship games between Chicago area high schools and Eastern high schools. They were amazed in 1902 when Hyde Park beat Poly Prep of Brooklyn 103 to 0, they were amazed in 1903 when North Division beat Boys’ High of Brooklyn 75 to 0, they were amazed in 1911 when Oak Park beat St Johns’ of Danvers, Massachusetts 17 to 0, and they were amazed in 1912 when Oak Park beat Everett of Massachusetts 32 to 14. And after each game they did not appear to finally learn that the West had something to teach the East.56

Chicago’s pride in its high school intersectional champions was manifested in 1914, when Chicago school sports administrator, Kellogg M. Patterson, took the lead in organizing a permanent group called the “National Interscholastic Foot Ball Champions of Chicago.” Members by Patterson included such high school football standouts as Walter Eckersall (who was now writing for the Chicago Tribune), Walter Steffen, and Tom Hammond. To Patterson reported on this new organization in an article for the 1915 Spalding Guide, where he gave a history of Chicago high school participation in intersectional contests. The purpose of the organization as described by Patterson was to protect, “Chicago’s record and also the cities of the country from being imposed upon by teams unworthy of representing this section.” The organizers apparently thought it would make the decision on which schools from Chicago could engage in intersectional contests. Besides this vainglorious aim, the organization would also work to obtain better athletic directors for the Chicago schools and better football fields for their games. The group also began a fund for the purpose of holding an intersectional football game in Chicago each year. This attempt to institutionalize the intersectional games failed. The organization never got off the ground, and exigencies of World War I brought a halt to intersectional contests for several years. When intersectional contests resumed after the war, a plethora of schools began competing with no organization to tell them that they were unworthy.57

The role of Chicago in high school intersectional contests would never be so great as during the years 1902-1914. The city’s central location and its ability to generate football teams that exemplified Midwest football helped it immensely to gain prominence on the national level. The 1920s would see a different region come to the forefront in intersectional football wars, Ohio.

Notes

1. Stagg letter to S. W. Woodruff of University of Pennsylvania, 6 May 1898, A. A. Stagg Papers, Football Correspondence to Set Up Games, Pennsylvania 1898-1907, Box 42, Folder 6.

2 University of Chicago vs. Elmhurst College, September 20, 2003 [program] (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2003): 47; Mark F. Bernstein, Football: The Ivy League Origins of An American Obsession (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2001): 59.

3.  Will Perry, The Wolverines: A Story of Michigan Football (Huntsville, Alabama: Strode Publishers, 1974): 48-54, 62-65.

4.  Ibid., 54,  399.

5. “Trains Maroons for Endurance,” Chicago Daily News, 30 September 1902; “All Call For Speed,” Chicago Daily News, 15 October 1902; “Think They Have A Good Show With Michigan,” Chicago American, 4 November 1902.

6.  The faculty coach, Lee Grennan, was in some reports thought to be sharing coaching duties with Eckersall, in one report was merely listed as “trainer,” and in another report the team was said to have been without a coach. In any case, Grennan’s responsibilities appear to have been minimal. “High School Teams Active,” Chicago Daily News, 15 September 1902; ”Close Call For the Maroons,” Chicago Daily News, 25 September 1902; “Ginger In Hyde Park’s Work,” Chicago Daily News, 2 October 1902; “Eckersall A Future Maroon,” Chicago Tribune, 26 October 1902; “Has Hyde Park At Sea,” Chicago Daily News, 3 December 1902.

7.  ”Maroons Win First Game of the Season,” Inter Ocean, 12 September 1902; “Close Call For the Maroons,” Chicago Daily News, 25 September 1902; “Second Eleven, 6; Hyde Park, 0,” Inter Ocean, 28 September 1902; “Trains Maroons for Endurance,” Chicago Daily News, 30 September 1902; “Hyde Park Scores On Badgers,” Inter Ocean, 5 October 1902.

8.  G. Foster Sanford, “Principles of Western Football Are Antique,” Chicago American, 6 October 1902; “Western Football As Good As Eastern,” Inter Ocean, 7 October 1902. It is no accident that these stories were clipped by Stagg for his files.

9.  Schoolboys Are Stubborn,” Chicago Tribune, 5 October 1902; “Boys Take Up Rules,” Chicago Daily News, 15 October 1902; “Hyde Park After Big Game,” Chicago Daily News, 25 October 1902; “Hyde Park Looks Best, Chicago Tribune, 9 November 1902.

10,  “All Star School Team,” Chicago Tribune, 30 November 1902; “Hyde Park Game Hangs In Balance,” Chicago Tribune, 30 November 1902.

11.  “Michigan and Yale Are Undisputed Champions,” Chicago American, 28 November 1902.

12.  “Sectional Game of High Schools,” Chicago Tribune, 6 December 1902; “Arrangements Not Made,” Inter Ocean, 2 December 1902; “Stagg Will Coach Hyde Park Eleven,” Chicago American, 2 December 1902.

13.  “Gives Hyde Park Men Practice In Defense,” Chicago Record-Herald, 4 December 1902; “Big Game Is Sure,” Chicago Chronicle, 4 December 1902; “Brooklyn Team Arrives Today,” Chicago Tribune, 5 December 1902.

14.  “Yost Aids Hyde Park,” Chicago Daily News, 5 December 1902;

15.  “Hyde Park Team Coached in Defense,” Chicago American, 4 December 1902; “Brooklyn Team Arrives Today,” Chicago Tribune, 5 December 1902; “Sectional Game of High Schools.”

16. “Brooklyn Team Arrives Today;” “Poly Prep Team On Its Way To the West,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 5 December 1902.

17.  “Football Team Leaves,” New York Times, 5 December 1902; “Brooklyn Team Arrives Today,” Chicago Tribune, 5 December 1902; “’Poly’ Snowed Under—105 to 0,” New York World, 7 December 1902.

18.  “’Poly’ Boys On Way,” Chicago Record-Herald, 5 December 1902.

19.  “Hyde Park Eleven Overwhelms Poly Prep,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 7 December 1902; “Poly Preps Home; Echoes of the Game,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 9 December 1902.

20.  “West Defeats the East by 105 to 0,” Inter Ocean, 7 December 1902; “Hyde Park, 105; Brooklyn Poly, 0,” Chicago Tribune, 7 December 1902; “Hyde Park Eleven Overwhelms Poly Prep,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 7 December 1902.

21. “Speed Bewilders Poly Coach,” Chicago Daily News, 8 December 1902; F.H. Yost, “Hyde Park Very Fast; Brooklyn Is Slow,” Chicago American, 7 December 1902.

22.  “Officials Praise Hyde Park,” Chicago Tribune, 7 December 1902; “Speed Bewilders Poly Coach,” Chicago Daily News, 8 December 1902; “’Poly’ Snowed Under—105 to 0,” New York World, 7 December 1902;

23.  “Poly Preps Home: Echoes of the Game,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 9 December 1902; “Rolls Up A Score of 105,” Chicago Chronicle, 7 December 1902.

24.  “Football At The High Schools,” Inter Ocean, 13 September 1903; “Looks For A Big Team,” Chicago Daily News, 17 September 1903; “School Teams At Work,” Chicago Tribune, 20 September 1903; “School Teams In Trouble,” Chicago Tribune, 18 October 1903; “High School Football Notes,” Chicago Daily News, 20 October 1903; “North Division Football Players Build One for Themselves,” Chicago Daily News, 27 October 1903; “High School Football Gossip,” Chicago Daily News, 11 November 1903; “High School Fight Near End,” Inter Ocean, 18 November 1903.

25.  “Two Games At Evanston,” Chicago Tribune, 20 September 1903; “Maroons Shut Out North Division,” Chicago Daily News, 24 September 1903; “Is A Team That Suits Stagg,” Chicago Daily News, 1 October 1903.

26.  “North Division, 20; East Aurora, 0,” Chicago Tribune, 27 September 1903; “High School At Outs,” Chicago Tribune, 4 October 1903; “High School Boys Begin,” Chicago Tribune, 11 October 1913; “Games In The High School League,” Chicago Tribune, 24 October 1903; “High School Football Gossip,” Chicago Daily News, 29 October 1902; “High School Football Gossip,” Chicago Daily News, 30 October 1903; “North Division’s Big Score,” Chicago Tribune, 8 November 1903. “Chicago Schoolboys Arrive in Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 27 November 1903;   “Plays of the High Schools,” Chicago Daily News, 22 September 1903 shows North Division games scheduled against league opponents Evanston, South Division, and English, all of which were never played.

27.  “High School Football Notes,” Chicago Daily News, 17 October 1903; “Charging Machine For Boys,” Chicago Daily News, 27 October 1903; “Will Play Game on West Side,” Chicago Daily News, 4 November 1903; “High School Football Gossip,” Chicago Daily News, 30 October 1903; “Will Lose Full-Back Hill,” Chicago Daily News, 7 November 1903; “High School Teams Tie,” Chicago Tribune, 15 November 1903; “May Not Play for Title,” Chicago Tribune, 17 November 1903.

28.  “Trip East for School Team,” Chicago Tribune, 19 November 1903; “North Division Wins Hard-Fought Game,” Inter Ocean, 22 November 1903.

29.  “Good Week For High Schools,” Chicago Tribune, 23 November 1903; “Bartelme Aids School Team,” Chicago Tribune, 24 November 1903; “School Boys Ready For Trip,” Chicago Tribune, 25 November 1903.

30. “Chicago Loses to Soldiers, 10 to 6,” Inter Ocean, 15 November 1903; “Chicago’s Rooters Are Still Hopeful,” Inter Ocean, 16 November 1903; “Michigan May Play In East,” Chicago Tribune, 27 November 1903.

31.  “Banner Day for Boys,” Chicago Daily News, 13 November 1903; “B.H.S. Swamps Poly Prep,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 27 November 1903; “Chicago Schoolboys Arrive in Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 27 November 1903; “Play In the East Today,” Chicago Tribune, 28 November 1903; “Schoolboys Ready For Gridiron Battle,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 28 November 1903; “School Teams In Final Struggle,” New York Herald, 28 November 1903. In Boys’ High official record, the 5 to 6 loss it experienced to Erasmus Hall is counted as a 6 to 0 win, because of a reputed Erasmus Hall forfeit.

32. “Chicago Schoolboys Arrive In Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 27 November 1903; “North Division Swamps Brooklyn,” Inter Ocean, 29 November 1903;

33.  “Easy Prey for North Division,” Chicago Tribune, 29 November 1903; “North Division Swamps Brooklyn,” Inter Ocean, 29 November 1903; ”Back From Brooklyn: Train For Englewood,” Chicago Record-Herald, 1 December 1903.

34.  “Brooklyn High Meets Waterloo,” New York Herald, 29 November 1903; “Crushing Defeat for Boys High School Team,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 29 November 1903.

35.  “An Easy Victory for Chicago Boys,” New York World, 29 November 1903;   “Easy Prey for North Division,” Chicago Tribune, 29 November 1903.

36.  “Easy Prey for North Division;” “One More School Game,” Chicago Tribune, 30 November 1903; “Back From Brooklyn; Train For Englewood.”

37.  “Canadians The Victors,” New York Times, 29 November 1885; Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac 1889 (Brooklyn: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1889): 42; Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac 1893 (Brooklyn: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1893): 70.

38.  Harold E. (Red) Grange, Zuppke of Illinois (Chicago: A.L. Glaser, 1937): 15; John Sayle Watterson, College Football (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 2000): 132-135.

39.  “Fight After Boys’ Game,” Chicago Tribune, 4 November 1906; “West Division Is Defeated,” Inter Ocean, 25 November 1906; “North Siders Win County Honors,” Inter Ocean, 2 December 1906.

40.  “Exeter 12, Haverhill R., 0,” Boston Globe, 4 October 1906; “Roxbury 8, Dorchester 0,” Boston Globe, 7 October 1906; “South Boston 5, Dorchester 4,” Boston Globe, 14 October 1906; “Everett H. S. 16, Cambridge Latin 0,” Boston Globe, 4 November 1906; “Somerville Barely Pulls Through,” Boston Globe, 10 November 1906; “Selections for the All-Interscholastic Eleven,” Boston Globe, 3 December 1906.

41.  John Sayle Watterson, College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2000): 106; Will Perry, The Wolverines: A Story of Michigan Football (Huntsville, Alabama: Strode Publishers, 1974): 78-81, 400.

42.  Grange, p. 15.

43.  Kelllogg M. Patterson, “Cook County High School All-Star Selection, 1910,” Spalding’s Official Football Guide 1911 (New York: American Sports Publishing, 1911): 227.

44.   Patterson (1911), p. 233.

45.  John J. Hallahan, “Scholastic Football of Greater Boston,” Spalding’s Official Football Guide 1911 (New York: American Sports Publishing Company, 1911): 207-208; Patterson (1911), p. 235.

46.  “Eastern ‘Prep’ Team Will Arrive Today,” Inter Ocean, 1 December 1911; “St. John’s Eleven Is Favorite In Chicago,” Boston Globe, 2 December 1911; John J. Hallahan, “Scholastic Foot Ball in Greater Boston,” Spalding’s Official Foot Ball Guide 1912 (New York: American Sports Publishing, 1912): 237.

47.  Kellogg M. Patterson, “Cook County High School All-Star Selection, 1911,” Spalding’s Official Foot Ball Guide 1912 (New York: American Sports Publishing, 1912): 265; Walter Eckersall, “’Prep Champions of West Humble St. John’s by 17-0,” Chicago Tribune, 3 December 1911; “Oak Park, 17; St. John, 0,” Chicago Daily News, 2 December 1911.

48.  Ibid.

49.  “From 15,000 to 20,000 Will See Oak Park-Everett Game Today,” Boston Globe, 30 November 1912; “Oak Park to Play Everett for National ‘Prep’ Title,” Chicago Tribune, 22 November 1912; “Oak Park Victor by Score of 40 to 0,” Chicago Tribune, 23 November 1912.

50.  Kellogg M. Patterson, “Next Best School Team Chicago Ever Turned Out,” Boston Globe, 30 November 1912.

51.  “Everett High Overwhelmed,” Boston Globe, 1 December 1912.

52.  John J. Hallahan, “Scholastic Foot Ball in Greater Boston,” Spalding’s Official Foot Ball Guide 1913 (New York: American Sports Publishing, 1913): 169.

53.  J. Hallahan, “Scholastic Foot Ball in Greater Boston,” Spalding’s Official Foot Ball Guide 1914 (New York: American Sports Publishing, 1914): 191.

54. John J. Hallahan, “Scholastic Foot Ball in Greater Boston,” Spalding’s Official Foot Ball Guide 1915 (New York: American Sports Publishing, 1915): 187; “Oak Park On Boston Field,” Chicago Daily News, 27 November 1914; “Everett High Will Be Favorite When It Faces Oak Park High of Chicago at South End Grounds Today,” Boston Globe, 28 November 1914; “Everett Upsets Oak Park, 80 to 0,” Chicago Tribune, 29 November 1914; “Everett Rolls Up Score of 80 Points Against Oak Park High,” Boston Globe, 29 November 1914.

55.  “DePaul Eleven Given Real Test,” Chicago Tribune, 3 December 1914; “St John’s and DePaul Meet This Afternoon,” Chicago Herald, 5 December 1914; “St John’s Wins From DePaul by Safety, 8-6,” Chicago Tribune, 6 December 1914.

56.  “Notre Dame’s Open Play Amazes Army, “ New York Times, 2 November 1913.

57.  Kellogg M. Patterson, “National Interscholastic Championship,” Spalding’s Official Foot Ball Guide 1915 (New York: American Sports Publishing, 1915): 252-57.

 

 

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