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There were no state championships in the 2020 season due to the COVID protocols.  The year was split into two parts…the regular 2020 fall season and the 2020 (2021) alternate Spring season.  Fall was the most challenging as the teams that were able to play were scheduling opponents like it was the early days of the sport (1890’s-1920’s) when it was a week-to-week scramble to fill the spot for the next game. 


After the two seasons, The WFCA released their All-state teams on May 17, 2021.  Travis Wilson of WisSports posted his year-end review the next day on May 18.  Travis posted his ratings the top teams for the All-Season team rankings, 10-20 schools plus several special mentions overall.  the Large Schools (1,000 students or more) having 16 rated teams.  The Medium Schools (999-400 students) had 15 rated teams, the Small Schools (399 students or less) had 20 rated teams. For the 8-player teams, 10 teams were rated by Travis.  In all, he got to see firsthand many of the top schools during the seasons.  On December 1, 2020, he did a recap of the teams, players, and moments that defined the Fall 2020 season. 


The recap posted on May 18, 2021, for Large Schools listed a premier battle between Muskego (The 2018 and 2019 undefeated Division 1 champions) vs. Fond du Lac (12-1 in 2018 and 9-2 in 2019), two of the season powerhouses for the COVID seasons.  I looked up WIAA playoff schedules for 2018 and 2019 and the two schools were in different qualifying brackets, so in 2020 the two teams had a real chance to meet.  Clearly these were the two top Division 1 squads. Looking at the other divisions there was not as clear choice for a potential championship, but I have my preferences as to what would have been great matchups.


DIVISION 1 Muskego vs. Fond du Lac


#3 on Travis Wilson’s list was Sun Prairie (Now Sun Prairie East) which went 6-0 during the Spring season but because the Madison schools in the Big Eight Conference (Like Milwaukee Public Schools) they failed to field teams for either of the split season sessions Sun Prairie played Verona, Middleton and Beloit Memorial twice.  #4 was Franklin who played in the Fall.  While the WIAA didn’t officially have a state title they allowed some schools to matchup in a Level 1 and Level 2 round to give some sort of a playoff feel to the year.  In Muskego’s bracket Franklin, Menomonee Falls and Arrowhead were the other potential opponents in what was called a Super-Pod.  Franklin was 5-0 before their expected battle with Menomonee Falls but they cancelled the season as the school went to virtual teaching and the game was declared a forfeit win for Falls.


At the start of the season Muskego’s first two games were cancelled but they won their next regularly conference game with their first victory against Arrowhead, that being their only close game, a 32-24 victory. The rest were blowouts.  In what would have been week nine their game with Waukesha South was cancelled but Muskego was able to schedule a game with Hudson to fill the schedule.  The Super-Pod had Muskego first meet with Arrowhead for a second time and this turned out to be a 38-0 win.  The next week they defeated Menomonee Falls 31-7 to end the year with a 9-0 record.  Muskego was known in 2020 as mainly a defensive powerhouse with a very good offense.  I should note that the Warriors averaged 40.4 points per game (Not a slouchy offence) and defensively they allowed only 66 points, a 7.3 average.  They posted three shutouts, four games with allowing only seven points but they did allow 14 points in a 48-14 victory over Kettle Moraine in the third game.  While defense carried them, they were well balanced overall.

The #2 Fond du Lac Cardinals sat out the fall session and they had a mixed opponent season schedule in the Spring with teams that were available.  There was no Super-Pod and so they were able to post a 7-0 record.  It’s not that their defense was poor as they allowed an average of only 14.9 points per game.  It was really on offense where they shown brightly as they averaged 58.4 points per game!!!  Their 47-7 win over Appleton East was the “low” point of the season.  In their other six games Fond du Lac scored over 60 points. Their season ending battle against Kimberly (6-1) turned out to be a 71-47 win.


So, from the obvious great records, I think these two teams would have marched their way to Camp Randall and possibly the best matchup in years for the Division 1 title.  Check out the WFCA All-State teams.  Muskego had five first team players and Fond du Lac had three but the Cardinals had five players make the honorable mention list while the Warriors had none.  Of the three Fondy players to make the first team Braelonn Allen made it on both sides of the ball as an offensive back and as a defensive back to give his team four overall first team players.


How would they have matched up offensively? Defensively?


Muskego Passing

QB Dylan Krause   18-28-2-530-8

Fond du Lac Passing

QB Kyle Walljasper   36-57-3-769-9

Muskego Rushing

Alex Current           66-973-14.7-16

Josh Bulski              122-802-6.6-8

Carson Holman      43-595-13.8-6  

Laydyn Rogers       27-244-9.0-6

Fond du lac Rushing

Kyle Walljasper        77-1,467-19.1-21

Braelon Allen           71-1,047-14.7-21

Muskego Receiving

Alex Jamroziak        10-301-30.1-4

Fond du Lac Receiving

Tyler Collien               18-397-22.1-6

Team Stats

Muskego Offense

530 yards passing     2,959 yards rushing   3,489 total yards

A 387.7 yards per game average with a 9.8 yards per carry avg.

Fond du lac Offense

905 yards passing   2,825 yards rushing   3,730 total yards

A 532.9 yards per game average with a 13.0 yards per carry avg.

Muskego Defense

893 yards passing   802 yards rushing   1,695 total yards

A 188.3 yards per game average with 31.5 sacks and 10 interceptions

Fond du Lac Defense

844 yards passing   952 yards rushing   1,796 total yards

A 256.6 yards per game average with 13 sacks and 5 interceptions


Very well balanced for both teams.  The final game for Fondy was the 70-47 shoot-out with Kinberly.  Kyle Walljasper was 4 of 7 passing with 83 yards and a score but on the ground, he carried 15 times for 306 yards and five touchdowns.  Hed has since gone on to star at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where last season he ran for 705 yards and 11 touchdowns while passing for 772 yards and 10 scores.  His backfield teammate that day against Kimberly, Braelon Allen, carried the ball only 12 times but gained 278 yards and scored four times!  Allen just completed three seasons at UW-Madison, gaining 3,494 yards and 35 touchdowns.  Allen was just recently drafted by the New York Jets.  Walljasper was named by the WFCA as the Offensive Player-of the Year.


Two-way player and Defensive Player-of-the Year was defensive back Hunter Wohler who earned that honor for the second year in a row.  Hunter was also named the Gatorade Wisconsin Player-of-the Year and was named twice (2019 and 2020) to the Associated Press Player-of-the-Year.  During his three-year career with the Warriors Hunter posted 355 tackles, nine interceptions as he helped Muskego to a 37-0 record in his three years on the varsity team.


Before I end this story, I want to point out a few stars for Kimberly in the game against Fond du Lac.  The Papermakers were a good team that had only allowed 53 points prior to the game with Fond du Lac.  They were ranked #6 in the WSN (WisSports Network) and might have been higher if the score had been closer.  They end the year with a 6-1 record.  In the 71-47 loss quarterback Caden Pendleton completed 19 of 29 passes, no interceptions, for 356 yards and two scores.   Caleb Frazer ran for 189 yards and three touchdowns while receivers Owen Pawlikowski (9 catches for 181 yards) and Cam Wnek (Hauled in six balls for 115 yards and a score).  Kimberly gained 639 yards that day but allowed Fond du Lac to gain a total of 606 yards on the ground along with their 83 yards through the air (689 total yards).  What a game.


So, who would have won?  We’ll never know but it would have been exciting to watch.


More next time as I explore the 2020-21 COVID season and maybe some predictions. 

Since 1990 Milwaukee Marquette University High School has been the winningest state football program.  It was a long road for a school that started playing the sport in 1907 to forge to the top spot.  Since 1885, when Delafield St. John’ Military Academy began playing football the school led the state in each decade, for 100+ years.


While St. John’s is no longer number one, they still are in the top five of all-time wins.  They built up a large lead in the top spot that allowed them to maintain the lead until that lead began to slip in the 1960’s. 


Thanks to the advent of the state playoffs, first with the private schools beginning in 1969 followed by the public schools in 1975, a number of teams have been able to climb the lists.  St. John’s made the WISAA playoffs a few times and even won a title, schools like Milwaukee Marquette, Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs and Waukesha Catholic Memorial have been able to play extra games to move up the ladder.  These three schools have won a number of titles since the WIAA allowed the private schools to join their organization at the end of the 1999 season.

What’s incredible is the fact that several schools…Edgar, St. Mary’s Springs, Catholic Memorial and Waunakee didn’t start their programs until the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.  But, thanks to the playoffs and superb coaching by the likes of Jerry Sinz, Bob Hyland, Bill Young and three HOF coaches for Waunakee (Dick Trotta, Gayle Quinn and Pat Rice) these schools have jumped up the ladder. These guy’s have won a combined 46 state titles (19 WISAA and 27 WIAA) in the last 54 seasons.  But remember there were no title games during the 2020 COVID year. 

 

Back in 2021 I sent information to MaxPrepos.com (High school football: Programs with the most wins at end of each decade for last 120 years (maxpreps.com)) for a similar story by Kevin Askeland, but of course, it was a national article.  Looking at the WISSORTS FORUM that Kenosha’s Bill Dorst posts for the ALL_TIME WON/LOST (All-Time Win/Loss Records - WisSports Playground…scroll down to the December 10. 2023 listing) I began to research seasonal records and while my numbers may differ from that by Bill Dorst, I think my overall listing is correct.  Why?  Because most of my records were supplied by the schools themselves or my personal research.

 

The following is the progressive list of the Top 10 winningest programs for each decade beginning with 1899 which covers the first period of Wisconsin high school football beginning 1885.  After that it is each for each decade…1900-1909, 1910-1919. 1920-1929, etc.  My original list included 26 schools but I’ve parred things down.  If I had put all the schools into this story, it would take ages to sift through for you, the reader.  So, like the MaxPreps story I’ve kept it at 10 schools. There are a few schools that the records are incomplete with a lack of information…Milwaukee South Side/South Division, Milwaukee Boy’s Tech/Bradley Tech, Milwaukee Washington, Lancaster and Burlington to name a few.  While I have the records for Platteville beginning in the 1920’s their early records are missing. 

 

Speaking of Platteville, I’m sure that if you have read some of my previous stories, particularly DARLINGTON: THEN AND NOW (wihifootball.com).  You will see that some of the “other” lists that are online aren’t up to date.  The person who has the early Platteville records has not sent me the early season by season records otherwise that school would be on the lists much earlier than I have them and in the top 5, if the numbers match up.  Another list has Waunakee with 700+ wins which, according to the school’s official web page tally is not even close.

 

What you should do is look and see how teams rose and fell from decade to decade.  Madison High School was a great program until the mid-1920’s and then they began to lose more than they won after the opening of Madison East and Madison West.  The same is for Wausau East but in a different matter.  Wausau had been a good winning program but picked up steam when Win Brockmeyer became the head coach.  After he left in 1970 the program seemed to deteriorate with the opening of Wausau West and Wausau Newman.  Look at Green Bay East and West as the two schools were some of the top programs in the state for many years but since 2000, they have had few winning teams. Delafield St. John’s, the school that first played the sport in 1885 hasn’t fielded a varsity 11-player squad since 2021 and has dropped down the list.  On the other hand, look at Milwaukee Marquette’s records since the 1980’s.  That school won 94 games in the 1980’s, 91 in the 1990’s, 96 in 2000-2009 and 93 in the 2010’s and quickly rose top the top 10.

 

With Pat Rice stepping down at Waunakee, will they be able to keep their winning ways?  What will happen with St. Mary’s Springs when Bob Hyland steps down after the 2024 season?  How long will Edgar’s Jerry Sinz and Catholic Memorial Coach

Bill Young keep at it; and will their programs continue strong after they leave?  I just wish they all would continue to coach for many years to come as they add so much more to the sport than just wins.  We’ll see where the programs are at the end of 2029. 

 

Thanks to all the schools who helped with the original list which really is about 23 schools that I tracked.  Thanks to Patrick Foran at Marquette, Travis Winkers at Darlington, Troy Andreshak at Edgar and the people from Bloomer, Peshtigo and West De Pere and Catholic Memorial who helped greatly with the research and the school and city libraries of Marinette, Waunakee, Muskego, Port Washington, Oshkosh and the Milwaukee Public Library and the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

And a special thanks to Bill Dorst and Cliff Christal for helping in so many ways.


Delafield St. John’s Military Academy


Most football wins at the end of each decade:

 

1885-1899

Delafield St. John’s Military Academy             68

Madison H.S.                                                       30

Oshkosh                                                                29

Darlington                                                            24

Milwaukee South Side                                       19

Eau Claire                                                             17

Beaver Dam                                                         16

Neenah                                                                  16

Green Bay East                                                     15

Marinette                                                               9

 

1900-1909

Delafield St. John’s M.A.                                    129

Madison H.S.                                                         72

Oshkosh                                                                 69

Eau Claire                                                               61

Marinette                                                                49

Beaver Dam                                                             48

Darlington                                                                47

Green Bay East                                                        40

Green Bay West                                                      29

Neenah                                                                    24

 

1910-1919

Delafield St. John’s M.A.                                       176

Madison H. S.                                                        118

Oshkosh                                                                  112

Eau Claire                                                                  94

Marinette                                                                  89

Green Bay East                                                         81

Green Bay West                                                       72

Darlington                                                                 63

Beaver Dam                                                              60                                           

Marquette                                                                 51

 

1920-1929

Delafield St. John’s M.A.                                          226

Madison H.S./Central (Name changed in 1929) 181                                         Marionette                                                                 161

Green Bay East                                                          148

Oshkosh                                                                     140

Eau Claire                                                                   138

Green Bay West                                                        128

Darlington                                                                  101

Beaver Dam                                                                97

Marquette                                                                  97

 

1930-1939

Delafield St. John’s M.A.                                           286

Green Bay East                                                           213

Madison Central                                                        210

Marinette                                                                     195

Eau Claire                                                                    190

Green Bay West                                                         183

Oshkosh                                                                      176

Darlington                                                                   145

Beaver Dam                                                                130

Milwaukee Marquette                                               129

 

1940-1949

Delafield St. John’s M.A.                                           335

Green Bay East                                                           259

Marinette                                                                    258

Green Bay West                                                         239

Madison Central                                                       239

Eau Claire                                                                    224

Oshkosh                                                                        207

Darlington                                                                   196

Wausau                                                                       195

Milwaukee Marquette                                              185

 

1950-1959

Delafield St. John’s M.A                                            369

Marinette                                                                    309

Green Bay East                                                           306

Green Bay West                                                          300

Eau Claire                                                                     276

Madison Central                                                         267

Wausau                                                                        262

Darlington                                                                    257

Milwaukee Marquette                                               240

Oshkosh                                                                       240


1960-1969

Delafield St. John’s M.A.                                            395

Green Bay West                                                           352 

Marinette                                                                       347

Green Bay East                                                             340  

Eau Claire Memorial (Name changed in1962)        337

Wausau                                                                         331

Beaver Dam                                                                  305

Darlington                                                                     304

Oshkosh                                                                         303

Milwaukee Marquette                                                301

#11 on the list is Madison Central which closed after

the 1968 football season with 275 wins.

 

1970-1979

Delafield St. John’s M.A.                                               436

Marinette                                                                        413

Green Bay East                                                               402

Green Bay West                                                             385

Eau Claire Memorial                                                      384

Beaver Dam                                                                    370

Milwaukee Marquette                                                  369

Wausau East (Name changed to East in 1971)         361

Darlington                                                                       354 

Oshkosh West (Name changed to West in 1972)    351

 

1980-1989

Delafield St. John’s M.A.                                               479

Marinette                                                                        476

Milwaukee Marquette                                                  463

Green Bay East                                                               454

Green Bay West                                                             442

Eau Claire Memorial                                                      439

Beaver Dam                                                                    419

Darlington                                                                       402

Antigo                                                                              395

Wausau East                                                                     386



1990-1999

Milwaukee Marquette                                                    554

Marinette                                                                          549

St. John’s Northwestern Academies (Name changed

when St. John’s and Lake Geneva’s Northwestern Naval

and Military Academy merged in 1995)                       517

Green Bay East                                                                   515

Darlington                                                                          514

Green Bay West                                                                483

Eau Claire Memorial                                                        482

Beaver Dam                                                                      449

Mayville                                                                              435

Antigo                                                                                 431   

 

2000-2009

Milwaukee Marquette                                                     650

Darlington                                                                          584

Marinette                                                                           575

Green Bay East                                                                   555

St. John’s Northwestern Academies                           545

Eau Claire Memorial                                                         521

Mayville                                                                              509  

Mayville                                                                              509

Green Bay West                                                                495

Peshtigo                                                                              482

 

2010-2019

Milwaukee Marquette                                                        733

Darlington                                                                              675

Marinette                                                                               605

Green Bay East                                                                    576

St. John’s Northwestern Academies                           576

Eau Claire Memorial                                                           575

Platteville                                                                               547

Peshtigo                                                                                 541

Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs                                    534

Mayville                                                                                  533

 

2020-2023

Milwaukee Marquette                                                         765  

Darlington                                                                              713

Marinette                                                                               610

Eau Claire Memorial                                                            584

Delafield St. John’s Northwestern Academies        579

Green Bay East                                                                       578

Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs                                        575

Mayville                                                                                   567

Platteville                                                                                  566

Waunakee                                                                                561 

 

Other schools I tracked: 

Stevens Point                                                                          553

Peshtigo                                                                                   545

Antigo                                                                                      540

Beaver Dam                                                                            529

Bloomer                                                                                  529

West De Pere                                                                          528

Neenah                                                                                     518

Edgar                                                                                        513

Waukesha Catholic Memorial                                           513  

Oshkosh West                                                                        503

Green Bay West (They have won only 2 games in the 2020’s) 

                                                                                                   500

Wausau East (They have also won only 2 games in the 2020’s).

                                                                                                   479

Prairie du Chien                                                                      474  


If you have season by season records for a team that might make my list, please let me know. Thanks.

Harry Cochems…Born ion Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on January 11, 1875.  He was the older brother of Eddie Cochems, “The Father of the Forward Pass”.  Harry played football for the first time upon entering UW and played only two years, first as a backup in 1894.  He didn’t play in 1895 and 1896 but then started at halfback 1897.  Harry was an outstanding debater, student and in track he was the Intercollegiate shot up and hammer throw champion.  Cochems stood 6’ tall and weighed a robust 185 pounds.  He was an advocate for ending “mass” plays and changing some of the kicking and scoring rules.



















Harry Cochems at UW 1896  Harry in about 1917


The above pictures were found at Frank Hinkey on a web site dedicated to the life of North Tonawanda coach Frank Hinkey.  This is the only photo collage of the four team pictures taken of the 1897 Madison team that I have located.


After graduating UW, he attended Harvard Law School earning his law degree in two years instead of the usual three., the first to ever do so.  While at Harvard he participated on the school’s strength team (Weightlifting) and his score of 1,766 points (Not sure how they were computed) earned him the title of the “world’s strongest man”.   He also played on the Harvard reserves football team but as a tackle, a position he had never played, rather than as a halfback. 


At age 23 Harry went into politics, first with Robert La Follette, a Republican who in 1924 ran for President under the Progressive Party that he founded. Harry stumped for La Follette who ran for governor in 1898.  At the state Republican convention, he presented to the organization the nominating speech for La Follette who was running for governor for a third time. “Fighting Bob” won the nomination and with Cochems help won the election.  In 1901 La Follette suggested that Harry run for the state senate in the Wisconsin Fifth District.  Over time he would run for the office three times but lost in all three races by a close margin each time to a Socialist opponent. 


Harry found himself, a few years later, working for President Teddy Roosevelt as an advisor and a bodyguard.  Following Roosevelt’s second term Cochems moved around various political contests making speeches for his fellow Republicans.  In early 1912 Harry and several other influential Republicans approached Roosevelt about running again for president as a third-party candidate.  Teddy had been unhappy with the way his former VP and current President William Howard Taft was running the country.  Roosevelt ran under the Progressive Bull Moose Party name.


Visiting Milwaukee on October 14, 1912, in an attempt to regain the presidency, Harry was waiting by the car outside the Hotel Gilpatrick, and he held the door for the former President. Roosevelt got into the car and stood to wave to the crowd.  John Schrank of New Youk stepped out of the crowd as Cochems was about to get in the car to take Roosevelt to his speaking engagement before 9,000 supporters at the Milwaukee Auditorium.  Schrank pulled a pistol and shot the former president in the chest.  The bullet hit Roosevelt’s glass case and his 50-page speech.  Cochems and another man grabbed the shooter, wrestled him to the ground and then turned him over to the police. The former president was bleeding, but he insisted on going to his speech which he did, speaking for 80-minutes.  Following the speech Teddy went to the Johnston Emergency Hospital (Located on 3rd and Michigan) after the speech and was x-rayed.  A special train was arraigned and Cochems and Roosevelt went to Chicago the next morning for a stay at Mercy Hospital.  The shooting may have helped lead to Roosevelt’s defeat in November.  The split in the Republican Party didn’t help as Roosevelt garnered 27.4% and Taft received 23.2% to Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s 41.8%.


Harry stepped away from active politics and practiced law in Milwaukee.  He was well respected throughout the community.  But, in 1921 he developed cancer and went to Colorado to his brother’s hospital in Salida for a second opinion and surgery.  A noted Chicago surgeon and brother-in-law, Dr. A.E. Halstead, went out to Colorado and assisted by Dr. Frank Cochems, performed the surgery. The surgery was performed on September 11 but it was a matter of the surgery being successful, but the patient was too weak, and he passed.  Harry died on September 23, 1921.  Seven siblings attended the funeral. A brother received the news of Harry’s death late and did not attend.   60+ lawyers, judges, business associates and politicians from the Milwaukee area plus a large group of mourners from around the state attended. A blanket composed of 4,000 red roses. Created by a florist in Chicago and brought north by three of Harry’s friends from the Windy City to the funeral in Sturgeon Bay.  Christian Doerfler, the chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court gave the oration at the funeral. A delegation of representatives from Buffalo, New York attended the services.  One of the Buffalo delegation attendees was Frank Hinkey who was living in Springfield (IL) and met the group in Chicago before they took the train to Sturgeon Bay. 


In 1930 George F. Downer, of the Wisconsin News Service, wrote a series of stories about famous University of Wisconsin athletes.  The second of his series featured Harry Cochems and it offered even more Insite into the man. Some of those incites have been posted above.   I found the story in the February 22, 1930, edition of the Green Bay Press Gazette.  If you have my book, the next story after the one on the 1897 Madison team was about Milwaukee South Side (Division), coached by Downer who directed the team to an undefeated, untied and unscored upon season.


Frank Hinkey…Born on December 23, 1870 (Or 1871), third of nine children in Tonawanda, New York.


Tonawanda is located in an area between Buffalo on the south and Niagara Falls on the north.  It was on the south side of the Erie Canal.  On the north side of the canal were the villages of Wheatfield and Martinsville.  In 1896 and early 1897 the three, Tonawanda, Wheatfield, and Martinsville wanted to merge into one city, but the New York legislature would not agree to the three merging as the canal was the border of Erie County and Niagara County.  In early 1897 the area villages merged and the new town became known as Nort Tonawanda. 


There had been bridges over the canal and Frank Hinkey’s father was a prosperous owner of several hardware stores located on both sides of the canal.  The real reason for wanting the merger was to help eliminate what had been “price wars” between the merchants, one side of the canal having lower prices than the other in an effort to lure customers.  The area on the north side of the canal contained a large of forest land.  In the 1870’s on his way from Canada to eventually settle in Menomonee, Michigan, Samual Stephenson (See THE PESHTIGO FIRE AND THE FIRST MARINETTE VS. MENOMONEE GAME FOOTBALL (wihifootball.com) purchased a large number of acres for his vast lumber cutting business.


Frank Hinkey lived at various times on both sides of the canal as he grew up and attended the Tonawanda elementary school.  Because his father was able to earn a good living Frank was sent to several private schools before he entered Yale in New Haven, Connececticut.  While attending Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Frank learned to play football.  When he enrolled at Yale, he stood 5’8 and weighed 130 pounds.  He would “grow” to 140 pounds when he graduated.  Yale had a tradition that the senior team captain from the precious season would be the head coach.  Sometimes the “captain” would coach for several years but for the first 40-years of Yale football, the coaching position was unpaid. The coach only received room and board for their duties.  In 1872 Walter Camp, “The Father of American Football” began playing the sport at Yale and after 1882 he worked in his family clock business before taking over as the unpaid coach in 1888.  His last two teams at Yale, 1891 and 1892, were undefeated squads and the first two seasons that Frank Hinkey played at Yale.


Camp was greatly involved in the rules of the sport and began to write numerous articles on the game as well as coming up with the first All-America teams.  While a writer named Casper Whitney printed the first team in 1889, Camps teams in the 1890’s became the “official” mentions.  The first four-time All-American was Marshall Newall, a tackle from Harvard who earned honors from 1890 to 1893.  Frank Hinkey, all of his 5’8, 130 pounds made the team as a freshman in 1891 as an end, and defensive specialist (They played both ways in those days but passing on offense was not an option.  Ends on offense blocked, of course, and ran reverses.) On defense, even with his slight stature he was a demon.  He was known as a clean tackler, but Harvard spread the word that he was dirty.  The reason came about in the 1891 game when a 200-pound (Huge for this era) fullback named Corbett tried to run around Harvard’s left end when he met Hinkey.  The ball had been marked close to the Harvard goal.  Frank went low and then picked Corbett off his feet, tossed him over his shoulder.  Corbett fumbled after Hinkey threw him on the ground. Harvard’s Bliss picked the ball up and Yale tackle William Walter “Punge” Heffelfinger (6’3, 210 pounds) picked Bliss up by the collar and rode him back into the endzone for a touchdown. Harvard thought that Hinkey had been too rough. By the way, “Pudge”, besides being a three-time All-American he is credited as being the first professional football player (Pudge Heffelfinger - Wikipedia).








Boston Globe December 31, 1925 







American Football Database    



After the 1891 season Hinkey would be named All-American in 1892, 1893 and 1894.  There have only been five four-time All-Americans, and all played between 1890 and 1900 and Frank was second one. Yale went 52-1 over the four seasons and the team only allowed 25 points in that time span.  Walter Camp coached the first two seasons before moving on to a paying coaching position at Stanford.  While this was going on Franks father suffered great financial losses due to the various recessions in the 1890’s and poor health. After coaching Yale in 1895 he returned to Tonawanda to help with the hardware business after his father’s death.  He was elected as a trustee of Tonawanda and coached the North Tonawanda high school football team.


Following the championship game in Detroit Frank went into various business’s…coaching, hardware, stock/investment broker, mining and farming. Some worked and others did not so well.  He continued to coach the local high school as well as a semi-professional All-Tonawanda team.  His brother Louis assisted him after he graduated from Yale.  In 1899 Frank became the head coach at the University of Buffalo only to turn it down because of financial differences.  Subsequent Yale coaches asked for his assistance and despite there be no monitory reward he felt he owed his time in New Haven.  Despite Frank and Louis’s best efforts the hardware business failed in 1903.  At the request of a fellow Yale alum he travelled to Iola, Kansas to work at a zinc smelting business.  Respiratory complications for his employees ensued as the workers hours were expanded to meet product demand. Frank would came up with up with a patented process to help the employees with the fumes in the smelting after he moved to the companies Springfield plant in 1908.  While in Springfield he met Anna Elizabeth Thomas in 1911 and they married in 1912.  They lived on the Thomas farm until the 1914 football season rolled around.


 In 1913 Yale, after 40 years, decided to pay for a coach.  Former them captains and Walter Camp lobbied for Frank Hinkey, but the administration decided to go with future College Hall of Fame inductee, Howard Jones, a 1908 Yale graduate. He coached unpaid in 1909 but was paid $6,000 in 1913.  Yale came calling the next year and Hinkey took the job but at a $5,000 salary.  He lasted two years.  Frank was out of touch with the “modern” game.  The forward pass was allowed beginning in 1906 but, as Yale had used the lateral in Franks playing days, he continued to use plays like that and stayed away from the passing game.  He posted a two season record of 11-7-0.  While coaching as he roamed the side lines, he often seemed to be in a state of experiencing a nervous breakdown.  He later admitted he was always troubled when he watched his team. 


His exposure to the zinc process and his coaching experience was taking a toll on his health.  He took several jobs in various cities for friends selling stocks as well as working for a tin smelter near Cony Island.  His mother died in 1908, his two sisters never married and lived in Tonawanda and his brother Louis had mental problems and was in and out of mental sanatoriums.  Anna’s parents still lived on the farm in Thomasville, IL. Frank had to work harder to support everyone besides his wife.  He was paying the hospital bills for his brother plus paying the farm mortgage for his in-laws and supported his sisters.  He found time to meet up with the Syracuse contingent of businessmen and lawyers who ventured to Door County for the funeral of Harry Cochems in 1921.    


Newspaper report in the January 19, 1925, Brooklyn Daily Eagle


The above headline and story made it seem like Frank was having mental problems, but he had developed tuberculous and was at the Pine Crest Manor in Southern Pines, North Carolina, a hospice for those people with tuberculous.


The news stories began to pour off the news presses.  He was considered the greatest end of all-time as the headline states.  Stories of his football prowess flowed throughout the nation.  Anna stayed back in Tonawanda or on the Illinois farm as Frank didn’t want her to see how bad he was.  He died on December 29, 1925.  Frank was inducted into the College Football Hall of fame in 1951.  His wife Anna never remarried and they never had any children. 15 years younger than Frank, Anna lived on the Thomasville farm until her death in 1975.

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