THE foot ball season of 1904 came in accompanied by a small bacillus which swaggered in quietly, took a good firm grip of us, shook us good and hard until only a remnant was left, made us yell typhoid four times and thenleft us feeling a little crestfallen and blue but still in the arena. We take our hats off to the measly little germ. He was too much for us, but he was kind to us, nevertheless, for he taught us our lesson, and it was a lesson of great consequence to Old West High. We now know not only that we can not take a drink out of any old ditch we come tounless we filter it through a sieve and call it city waterbut, that the time to get acquainted with ourselves and create a thing known distinctively as the West High spirit is the time of disaster such as the past season of 1904 furnished us. May we extol our virtue so far as to say we met this emergency in a way unexpected even to ourselves, and caused the awakening of that which shall long be known as the "Fighting Spirit" of Old West High.
The story of the season of 1904without recounting the series of mishaps which befell the team because of typhoid fever claiming as its victims Buell McCash, left guard; Lewis Strawthers, right half-back; Kenneth Macdonald, guard and quarter-back, and Locke Macomber, tackle and full backmay be briefly told.
With the opening of the school term the team was found without a coach. Practice was begun at once, however, under the direction of Captain Wells andTerrell '01, an old faithful of West High. The work of the team had passed through the stages of preliminary practice before Mr. John Middleton, an old time football player from Simpson College, was secured as coach. Mr. Middleton took immediate charge of the team and rounded it into shape as best he could in so short a time to meet the strong team from Capital Park, October 1st.
The defeat by Capital Park of 5 to 0, though not altogether unexpected, was disheartening to the team and put an end at the very beginning of the season to any hopes of championship. The coaches got busy during the next week's practice and by the time of the Panora game put a team into the field which succeeded in defeating the Farmer Lads of Guthrie County High School 12 to 0 in two short halves.
At the close of the Panora game Mr. Middleton, who had but gotten started on his duties as coach, took leave of the team as he wished to accept an offer from Utah which would permit of his carrying on his engineering work. Mr. Chase, a member of the 1899-1901-1902 Grinnell football teams, who as physical director had up to this time had charge of conditioning the team, was then given complete coaching charge of them. This change of coaches during the season naturally necessitated a slight change in the system of play, which [is] always hard on a team.
The week following the Panora game in the 41 to 0 game with Oskaloosa the team gave encouragement to its supporters as it displayed at times some of the best team work which it put forth during the season. The game with Lincoln resulted, as was to be expected with Macdonald, Hyland, Strawthers and McCash all out of the game, in favor of Lincoln16 to 6. West High's fumbling and erratic playing was all caused by the inability of the coach to find a man among either the first or the second team who could fill the quarter position acceptably. The playing of the team in the last twenty-five minutes when they scored a touch-down and were two other times within striking distance of Lincoln's goal gave the first indication of the fighting spirit the team showed during the remainder of the season. The only case of over-confidence the team showed during the season resulted very disastrously, and it was defeated at Marshalltown by inferior playing with a 5 to 0 score.
A week later, however, they braced up under the most discouraging conditions, for Locke Macomber was hopelessly out of the game and four of the remnant of the team had been out of the game during the week previous, sickness in the form of a slight attack of malaria fever being the cause. They defeated North High 16 to 0. The team which represented the school in the North High game remained intact for one whole week. To this fact in large measure may the splendid showing made against the State Champion be accounted for. The annual East-West High game came this year on November 18th. To describe in detail this magnificent game would be the only real way to give an adequate idea of that contest. Seldom do lookers-on have such a chance to see high-grade foot ball played. Seldom do supporters of two teams find teams so worthy of the splendid cheering and loyalty which was shown on that occasion. Seldom is it the privilege of two elevens to say the victory is theirs. To East High is all credit given for the consistent manner in which the took advantage of their one opportunity to scoreand for the score of six which they secured. To West High is all credit given for the stubborn fight they put up with a team hardly expected to hold their opponents to a better score than 30 to 0. Of both teams it can be said, that they fought their best fightthat they played a hard and clean, manly gamethat they put up an exceedingly high class article of foot ball.It was one of the hardest fought, best supported, and cleanest games of football ever played between these two schools. It was a game which will long be remembered by those who saw it played and by those who took part in it.
The game on Thanksgiving Day with Dubuque brought the season to a pleasant close as the score resulted 12 to 0 in favor of West High.
Not alone is the credit due for the showing made in the season of 1904 to the team and its supportersbut to a band of faithfuls whose names follow an who this year went to make up what was known as the scrubs, is a large share due. The second team had on its roll at different times during the season these men: Collins Denny, Allen Chapell, Joe Perry, Alfred Evans, Harry Loudermilk, Willard Halverson, Brahnan Hyde, Everett Stevans, Ralph Allen, John Burrows, Earl Coffee, Carl Heidt, Randolph Marshall, and Donald Wagner.
The second team played but two games during the fall. Their game with the C.C.C.C.'s resulted in a score favorable to C.C.C.C.'s; while on Thanksgiving Day they defeated North High Seconds 17 to 0.
SCHEDULE OF GAMES
|Oct. 1||Capital Park at Des Moines||0||5|
|Oct. 8||Panora at Panora||12||0|
|Oct. 15||Oskaloosa at Des Moines||41||0|
|Oct. 22||Lincoln at Des Moines||6||16|
|Nov. 5||Marshalltown at Marshalltown||0||5|
|Nov. 11||North High at Des Moines||16||0|
|Nov. 18||East High at Des Moines||0||6|
|Nov. 22||Dubuque at Dubuque||12||0|
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