Posts Tagged ‘Coach Holmes’

Utah Prepares for Carlisle Game

May 5, 2011

Coach Holmes wasn’t wasting any time in preparing for the Carlisle Indians because, as The Salt Lake Herald reported the next day, December 12, the varsity was out for signal practice the day before and would be practicing again that day. As predicted, Fred Bennion and “Fat” Robbins had joined the team for the big game. Benny was a fleet-footed halfback, and one supposes, a relative of Fat Robbins.

Holmes also shared with the press that Pop Warner had written him the previous day informing him that a game had been arranged with Reliance Athletic Club on Christmas Day in San Francisco. A third game was mentioned—a New Year’s Day game in Los Angeles—but the Indians’ opponent was not mentioned by name.

A friend of Holmes who lived in the east wrote him that he had seen Carlisle play that year and that they would be a formidable opponent. He pointed out their use of the tackles-back and wing-shift formations. The latter formation was used more often and confused the defenders. No Utah team had used this puzzling formation and it was expected to cause Utah’s varsity a lot of trouble.

The next day, The Herald reported that Warner had telegraphed Holmes the day before that the Indians would arrive in Salt Lake on Friday morning and would remain there to Monday. Warner and Superintendent Pratt both felt that travel was a broadening experience for their students and had them take in as much as possible when traveling for games. Carlisle players didn’t just come into town at the last minute and leave as soon as the game was over. They availed themselves of the cultural opportunities that existed wherever they were playing.

Warner also requested that the game consist of two 30-minute halves. In those days, football games didn’t have a standard length. Sometimes, the two halves were even of different lengths. The Utah players were enthusiastic about meeting the Indians and said they would be perfectly happy if they could just score on them.

To be continued….

Carlisle-Utah Game Settled

May 3, 2011

The Friday, December 11 Sporting section of The Salt Lake Herald was more definitive as it led with “Date Settled for Big Game.” Other headings included, “Carlisle and University to Meet One Week from Tomorrow,” Varsity Will Strengthen,” and “Holmes Picks Several Stars to Play with team.” The article started “The big football game between the Carlisle Indians and the state university will come off one week from tomorrow on Cummings Field. This was definitely settled yesterday, when Coach Holmes received a telegram from Coach Warner stating that it would be agreeable for the Indians to play on this date and that they would probably arrange a game for Christmas to be played in San Francisco.” The reporter mentioned that this news was received well by University of Utah students because those who planned on going home for Christmas would then have the opportunity to see the famous Carlisle Indians play the local squad.

The rest of the article dealt with Coach Holmes’s plans to strengthen his team for the game against Carlisle. His Utah team had only gone 3-4 for the regular season. Wins were over Ogden High School, the Fort Douglas soldiers, and the 12th Infantry. Losses were to the four college teams they played that year: Colorado, Utah State, Denver and Colorado State. These results did not portend good things for them against the Indians. To give Carlisle a little better competition, Holmes added “Fat” Robbins, Utah’s greatest center to that time, Fred Bennion the old line-smashing fullback, Paul Nelden a high school tackle, and Joe Anderson former University tackle.

An article titled “Why Not Play Christmas?” appeared further down the page. In it, Coach Gay of the 12th Infantry team was reported as saying that he was going to Logan to arrange a game with Utah State in Salt Lake City on Christmas Day now that the date was open. He thought the local fans would enjoy seeing the 3-0-0 championship team play. That game did not materialize as the Christmas edition of The Salt Lake Herald mentioned Carlisle’s game to be played that day on the West Coast but was silent about any local game.

To be continued….