Posts Tagged ‘Ray Schmidt’

Researching the 1909 Aggies

April 29, 2009

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. CFbDataWarehouse.com 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 CFbDataWarehouse.com 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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Radio Tour Kicks off in Lawrence, Kansas

August 21, 2008

With the release of a new book starts another adventure – radio interviews. The first one I’m doing for Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs is with Warner Lewis on his Lewis at Large Smart Talk Radio show out of Lawrence, Kansas. The interview is being taped and will be aired the week of August 25 to 31 on KLWN Lawrence, KFRM Clay Center, KLKC Parsons and possibly other stations in eastern Kansas. Warner interviewed me two years ago on his sports talk show after Keep A-goin’: the life of Lone Star Dietz was released. It was a great experience. There are strong ties between Carlisle, PA and Lawrence, KS beside the fact that Lone Star Dietz played for Carlisle Indian School and coached Haskell Institute (now Haskell Indian Nations University) in Lawrence. When athletics were deemphasized at Carlisle, the leadership mantle was passed to Haskell where, during the 1920s and very early 1930s, the Fightin’ Indians were, as Ray Schmidt described, the lords of the prairie.

 

But more than the mantle passed from Carlisle to Haskell. Students also transferred to Haskell as well, Nick Lassaw for one. Nick was perhaps better known by the moniker given to him when he played for the Oorang Indians: Long Time Sleep. However, transferring between the two government Indian schools did not start at that time; it had a long tradition. The most notable example was after the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game held at the St. Louis World’s Fair, the only time the schools played each other, when eight football players including the Guyon and Hauser brothers and several others came east to play for the stronger team.

 

There are other reasons that make Lawrence an appropriate to kick off my radio tour. Bernie Kish, Executive Director of the College Football Hall of Fame, 1995-2005, now lives in Lawrence. Bernie wrote a forward for Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs and I’m waiting for him to write a history of Haskell.