College Players in Carlisle-Haskell Game

Due to misreading a few lines in an article, I thought they have played another game that wasn’t included in Steckbeck’s Fabulous Redmen, but a closer reading cleared up the confusion. Before rereading it, I came across an article in a Wisconsin newspaper about the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game that included a couple of statements that caught my eye:

The program stated that every one of the players was a full-blooded Indian, but we doubted it in the case of one man with curley [sic] hair, and in the case of another who formerly played with the U. W. [University of Wisconsin–Madison] team and at least made no claim of Indian ancestry at that time. Most of them really were Indians, though they didn’t look the part except when they wrapped themselves in red blankets waiting to begin.

It is well known that a number of the Haskell players later enrolled at Carlisle, but not so well known that some players played on major college football teams before or after playing for Carlisle or, in a few cases, both.

I haven’t figured out which University of Wisconsin player the newspaper reporter had in mind yet. The only player on the 1903 Wisconsin squad that I know for sure played for either Carlisle or Haskell was William Baine. But he didn’t play in the World’s Fair game. However, two former University of Minnesota players played for their old alma mater, Carlisle. Perhaps, the writer confused players for his neighboring state’s team with those of his home state. Ed Rogers and John B. Warren both played for Minnesota in 1903. Rogers played for Carlisle from 1897 to 1901 before enrolling at the University of Minnesota law school. John B. Warren eventually came to play for Minnesota but by a more circuitous route. The April 22, 1904 edition of The Red Man & Helper included an article about him that included his football history. He played for Carlisle in 1898 and 1899. After graduating in 1900, he enrolled at the Indiana Pa. Normal School where he continued to play football in 1900 and 1901. He enrolled at Minnesota in 1902 and lettered at right tackle. In 1903, Warren shifted to right guard and Rogers was elected captain of the Minnesota squad.

1904 found both Ed Rogers and John Warren working as football coaches. Rogers coached at Carlisle and Warren was hired as coach and athletic director of Chilocco Indian School. Because Chilocco played a major role in the operation of the model government Indian school exhibit at the World’s Fair, Warren and his athletes spent the summer at the Fair, most likely playing baseball. He could have easily made contact with Haskell officials that summer and fall. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Rogers suited up as a player for Carlisle and Warren donned the moleskins for Haskell.

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