More 1903 Carlisle All Stars

Walter Camp didn’t name any other Carlisle players to All-America team teams that year but James Johnson wasn’t the only Carlisle player to receive an honor. Walter Camp also picked an All-Western Team for 1903 “from the University teams of the Middle West,” essentially the teams that would become the Big Ten plus Notre Dame. “What does this have to do with Carlisle Indian School?” you say. Plenty.

Camp’s All-Western Team included Ed Rogers, Captain of the 1903 University of Minnesota team, at end and James Phillips, Northwestern University guard. Perhaps Camp shed some light on his picks when he wrote, “Rogers is an Indian, experienced, quick, and certain” and “Phillips is another Indian, and as he would not play against Carlisle, Northwestern’s line was correspondingly weakened. That game also showed what a large part Phillips had been in Northwestern’s defense.” Rogers and Phillips had both starred at Carlisle before leaving to embark on careers as lawyers. While at Carlisle, Rogers had taken courses at Dickinson College and Dickinson School of Law while playing football for Carlisle. However, in 1898 as a Dickinson College student, Ed played for Dickinson in their game against Penn State. The college’s school newspaper claimed that he was a bona fide player because Carlisle’s season was already over and he was a legitimate student enrolled in the college. However, his Dickinson College football career was limited to that one game. Later, he starred at Minnesota and captained his teammates to a 6—6 tie with Fielding Yost’s undefeated Point-a-Minute team in the first Little Brown Jug battle.

James Johnson and Ed Rogers were eventually inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. James Phillips ended his collegiate football career at the end of the 1903 season, married, and migrated west to Aberdeen, Washington where he had an illustrious career, but that is a story for another time.

The story of Carlisle Indians starring for colleges and universities in 1903 is far from complete…

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One Response to “More 1903 Carlisle All Stars”

  1. tim Says:

    ed was my greatgrandfather and it is nice to see details on the stories i grew up with. he was kind and gentle man who went on to become county attorney in leach lake area on northern minnesota where he was able to continue the link to his indian heratage and look out for the well being of the indians on the nearby reservation in addition to all his other daily duties. thanks to the author.
    timjones2020@gmail.com

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