Posts Tagged ‘War Eagle’

Hawkeagle Also Played in 1917

April 23, 2012

Page 110 includes headshots of soldiers who played on the Camp Funston (Fort Riley, Kansas) football team in 1917.  Number 29 is Pvt. Thomas Hawkeagle (aka Pretty Boy and Hawk Eagle).  Nothing further could be found about him in the book but it is well known that he played on the 1914 Carlisle team and distinguished himself so much against Auburn that he figures prominently in the legends of the origin of the War Eagle cheer.  Hawkeagle was the last Carlisle player mentioned in the 1918 Spalding Guide for activity in the 1917 season.  There were likely others but they weren’t mention by Spalding or I just missed them.  John Flinchum was listed on page 224 as the captain of the 1918 team, playing at left tackle.  No coach was listed for 1918 because none had been hired at that point.

Non-players in the form of officials were listed in the back of the book on pages 233 through 249.  Officials were separated into various groups: collegiate, service and scholastic, as well as by region, state or conference.  Southern Officials were grouped by white and colored.  Even the officials that were set apart as being active-duty military had this separation even though the Service Officials did not.  Indians were not segregated from other officials as Indian players had been allowed to play on otherwise all-white teams for many years.  Oddly, only one former Carlisle player was listed as an official and that was Mike Balenti.

The advertisement for Warner’s 1912 book was still being run in the 1918 guide.  This time, it included an anonymous testimonial for “The coach of an unbeaten Western college” who was surely Lone Star Dietz whose Washington State team had gone unbeaten in 1917.  Dietz’s team was not invited to the Rose Bowl that year because military teams were drawing large crowds at that time.  Dietz and his players would be invited at the end of the 1918 season but that time they wore Mare Island Marine uniforms.

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More on Pop Warner’s last game with Carlisle

June 15, 2010

Apparently, Pop Warner added three post-season games to the 1914 schedule very late in the season, quickly or while on the road or all three. The first mention of the post-season games came in the December 4 issue of The Carlisle Arrow, after the first two of these games had been played. The team likely did not return home after the Thanksgiving game with Brown because the first pot-season game was played two days later in Boston. On December 6, the Indians met Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn) in a game played in Atlanta that figures prominently in Auburn folklore. It was Pop Warner’s last at Carlisle’s helm and Lone Star Dietz’s last before embarking on a career as a head coach.

Some research into student files uncovered the fact that former Carlisle end Charles Guyon, aka Wahoo, was instrumental in setting up that game. At that time, he was th Atlanta branch manager for Spalding Sporting Goods and, as such, was closely involved in athletics in that city. Unfortunately for him, the game had been set up too quickly to generate much publicity and, due to having a bad season, the Indians weren’t a big draw at that time. Guyon fronted the money for the game and lost it. Attempts to have the government refund part of it were fruitless.

The game itself was a defensive struggle. The Indians had the ball in Auburn territory much of the first quarter but failed to score. Auburn stiffened. The second and third quarters were fought to a standstill with neither team able to generate much offense, let alone score. In the final period, Auburn moved the ball with a series of line plunges followed by pass from quarterback Hairston to left end Kearly, who carried the ball to the Carlisle six-yard line. “On the next play Hairston catapulted through the Indian line for the touchdown.” Louiselle kicked the extra point. Carlisle moved the ball with a series of lateral and pass plays but fell short when a pass was intercepted.

The game lives on in Auburn folklore, not for the victory so much as for the play of a Carlisle substitute named Hawkeagle.

Pretty Boy – part 3

October 5, 2009

A May 4, 1915 letter from Superintendent Campbell of the Cheyenne River Agency to Oscar Lipps, Superintendent of Carlisle Indian School, stated, “…you are advised that Pretty Boy and Thomas Hawk Eagle represent one and the same person.” Carlisle officials continued to call him Thomas Hawkeagle as they had always done.

Sports reporters followed suit. Thomas Hawkeagle made the varsity squad in 1914. He didn’t start the first game of the season against Albright College, but got some playing time at right guard in place of Captain Elmer Busch. That pattern continued pretty much through the season. On December 6, in a game played in Atlanta against Auburn, he apparently became part of a football legend. The Auburn website cites a possible origin of the War Eagle cheer:

The 1914 contest with the Carlisle Indians provides another story. The toughest player on the Indians’ team was a tackle named Bald Eagle. Trying to tire the big man, Auburn began to run play after play at his position. Without even huddling, the Auburn quarterback would yell “Bald Eagle,” letting the rest of the team know that the play would be run at the imposing defensive man. Spectators, however, thought the quarterback was saying “War Eagle,” and in unison, they began to chant the resounding cry.

The problem with this explanation is that Carlisle had no player named Baldeagle or War Eagle. However, as we know, Hawkeagle was on the team. The Washington Post coverage of the game reported that Hawkeagle substituted for Hill at left guard in this game. Hawkeagle could have been misunderstood as War Eagle. Thomas Hawkeagle may live today if this attribution of the legend is true.

Next time – Part four of Pretty Boy’s tale.