STATE RECORD BOOK
Just to let you all know that the 11-player and 8-player record books have been updated again and have been posted on the WFCA web site. I’ve posted a link if you are interested… State Records (wifca.org) Thanks to all that submitted some 2021 stats that I missed and to those who sent in information about earlier seasons. One of the older updates deals with Coleman’s Mitch Champagne, 2009-11. I found that I had credited him with only 70 touchdowns on his career but it turns out that he scored 79 and an additional 23 2-point conversions which gave him a career total of 526 points. The total now places him #19 on the career scoring list. After the January 4 posting I was inundated with information and I want to thank Travis Wilson, first, for his article posted at WISSPORTS.NET alerting people to that original update and now I thank him for posting the new records on the WFCA web pages.
A SPECIAL NEWSPAPER STORY SHARED BY A READER
In late December Kerry Johnson sent me an interesting story from the November 18, 1933 Waukesha Freeman. Waukesha sure threw some wild post-game events back in the 1930s. It reads as follows:
Waukesha Loses Game
But Wins the Football
“West Milwaukee High school won the football game Saturday but Waukesha fans saw that the football used in the contest stayed in the Spring City.
While most of the spectators remained in the stands to watch, several hundred members of both factions crowded onto the field after the game to tussle for the oval, which someone had snatched from the referee.
For a half hour the fight waged. Noses were bloodied, hats trampled in the mud, and various and sundry articles of clothing torn as the ball passed from hand to hand in a swinging vortex of kicking, rushing, fist-waving humanity.
Even the law, in the person of Officer Tom Owen, entered the fray, but to no avail. It finally took Mike Rich, Carroll football star, to get into the clear with the ball. Given some nice interference, Mike reached the east exit.
He tossed a neat lateral to Frank De Santis who sprinted down the hill toward the railroad tracks by the West Milwaukee gangsters. Overtaken, De Santis handed the ball to a high school lad, who made a successful get-away and the last we heard, the ball was safely locked in the high school gym.
A tear gas squad was summoned at the height of the conflict but arrived too late to throw anything but dirty looks.”
Thanks again to Kerry for the story.
DECADES and NAMES
I have some new blogs in the pipeline. I intend to cover the best teams, coaches and players from the past each divided by decades. I'll be starting with the "decade" of 1884-1909 and then move onto actual 10-year periods. So, after the first story things will go 1910-1919, 1920-1929, etc. I hope you like it. While putting things together I’ve found that I needed to go back and re-look at previous research.
Do you like mystery novels? Some of the research is like reading an Agatha Christie novel with Hercule Poirot tracking down the murderer. Some of my new research has been trying to find first names for people that I hadn’t found in past tracings. As I’ve said before, many newspapers and yearbooks didn’t print first names which makes things frustrating for me. I actually was working on the 1910-1919 “Best Players of the Decade” and I’ve been working on finding the first names to a number of people from Fort Atkinson. Three players on my honorable mention list for the decade are from that school, mainly from the 1911 state champion team. Pottinger was an all-state center/guard, listed on all four of that season’s known all-state teams. Owens, a tackle, was named to two of the four all-state teams and Mussehl, an end, was also named to two of the all-state teams. Besides those three, I can’t find the first name of Coach Vosberg or for their fine coach on the period 1902-1909, Coach Lloyd.
I was reading the novel by Christie, “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”, rated by 600 major mystery writers from around the world in 2013 as the best mystery ever. Lots of twists and turns. I’m not Poirot but I do use my “little grey cells” to search for the names. I have reached out to the Fort Atkinson Wall of Fame organization, a group that honors past athletes and teams. I was surprised to find that none of their older players or coaches from their 1902 and 1911 state title football teams were not on the Wall. Even Howard Lee “Whitey” Woodin, their great guard from 1911-14 wasn’t even on their honored list. I’ve reached out to the group which will be honoring three new members on January 28 and I sent them info from my research and book and asked them to help with first names. Well, I'll see if they have information to help. With the cities historical society and the county historical society in Watertown closed because of COVID and the school and public library’s only have yearbooks dating back to about 1917 it’s looking like it might be difficult to “solve the case” but I’m still on it.
I expect to get a lot of feedback as I release my 1990-1999, 2000-2009 and 2010-2019 editions. Let me know who you think were the best coaches, teams and players of these or any decade and give me some reasons and I'll may include your thoughts in the blogs.
So, there you have it. Isn't it nice to read a short blog sometimes? I’ll catch you soon.