Researching the 1909 Aggies

I’m writing an article about the 1909 Texas A & M football team for the College Football Historical Society August newsletter and am making some interesting discoveries. Now you may be asking how this article relates to Carlisle Indian School. After being on the Carlisle team in 1908, Victor Kelley (backup quarterback) and Charlie Moran (assistant coach) left for College Station after a year in Carlisle bringing Mike Balenti (starting quarterback) with them. The three led the Aggies to an undefeated season and won the Southwest Championship. The article is the story of that team’s season, but writing it isn’t as easy as it first seemed.

That a fire destroyed many of A & M’s old records is unfortunately not an unusual circumstance that researchers encounter. The library does have a copy of the yearbook – always a good place to get an overview but often not as accurate as one would expect – and a librarian graciously scanned the section on the championship team into a PDF for me. The A & M library has incomplete sets of school and local newspapers on microfilms that aren’t available for inter-library loan, something else that is not uncommon.

Everything I previously read credited Charlie Moran with being the team’s head coach, but the yearbook stated that someone else started the season in that position and quit after the second game, at which time Moran was elevated into the position. The mystery is: why did the first coach quit. listed one more game – a game with Dallas University – that the yearbook didn’t include. One Wiki site listed this game but another listed a game on the same date with the same score with Trinity. David DeLassus of bailed me out. The Aggies beat Holy Trinity College 47-0 on 11-13-1909 at College Station. His source? The 1910 Spalding Football Guide. He also explained that Trinity changed its name to the University of Dallas in 1910.

Membership in the College Football Historical Society is a modest $17.00 a year. Send a check to: Ray Schmidt, PO Box 6460, Ventura, CA 93006 Subscriptions also make great gifts.


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3 Responses to “Researching the 1909 Aggies”

  1. Les Easterling Junior Says:

    Sir, this is not a Texas A&M item but if you are one of the contributors to College Football Data Warehouse, I have done a bit of research to find the answer for the game date diiscrepancy question on the General Data Questions or Missing/Incomplete Data/Game Data Question #4 regarding the Notre Dame and Mjchigan State game in 1905. Michigan State’s date of October 7 was a Tuesday and Notre Dame’s date of October 10 was a Saturday. Unless there was some sort of unrecorded reason, this would seem to validate Notre Dame’s date because almost all college football games were played on Saturday during the given time frame..



    Les Easterling, Jr.

    • tombenjey Says:


      I didn’t know anything about the 1905 Notre Dame-Michigan State game but do know that Carlisle sometimes played midweek games. The 1905 Spalding’s Guide, for some unknown reason, didn’t list either Notre Dame’s or M.A.C.’s games. However, several of the midwestern schools were scheduled to play two games that week: one on Wednesday the 4th, the other on Saturday the 7th. The 1906 Spalding’s Guide listed M.A.C. as losing their first game of the season to Notre Dame 28-0 but gave no date. An October 7, 1905 morning newspaper listed the game among those that were scheduled that day. A Sunday, October 8, 1905 newspaper gave the score of the game in a list of other games played that day. These newspaper articles confirm that Notre Dame played M.A.C. on Saturday, October 7, 1905. I hope this helps. Semd an email to to inform of this or other information you might have.


  2. Les Easterling Junior Says:

    Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Thank’s for the swift reply and the email info. College football is my favorite sport and I go to CFDW many, many times at this point in each year.Now, if I can just figure out a way to get my Ole Miss Rebels back to the glory days when Johnny Vaught was Head Coach. I don’t think that I can replicate any player like my classmate, Archie Manning but I think Bo Wallace will continue to improve game by game. The addition of quality players at several other positions will do naught but good.

    Thanks again for the swift reply,

    Les Easterling, Jr.

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