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January 24, 1980

PIX #1 - W.R. "ROSS" ASH
         Athletic contributions were many

PIX #2 - First FHS football team--1897:  (left to right) top row:  Arthur
Fletcher, Roldon Nichols, Otis Wickerd, Clarence Fox, Ed Sill.  Second Row:
Manager Vic Stewart, Coach Will Rhoades, Lee Yates.  Third row:  Ray Lance,
Captain " C. Newcomb, Louis Jones, Carl Smith.  Fourth row:  George Shupe,
Earl Near, Chalmer N. Natfield.


PIX #4 - 1905 Champs of Northwest Ohio:  (left to right) top row:  Prentice
Callin, Delbert Stevens, Bill Maurer, Amos Dildine.  Broyles, Ollie Bender,
Dick Lyons, Ross Kipke.  Third row:  Coach "Mother" Clark, Tom Norris,
Charles Seichrist, Harry Arters, Earl Rosendale, John Pudge Johnson, Floyd
Mowery, Wayne Norris, Harry Mumma, Leonard Reycraft, Prof. Ross Ash (teacher
and faculty manager of sports).  Second row:  Clarence Stevens, Wells Callin,
Curt Guernsey, Nate Hatfield, Tal Cribbs, Box Fox, Earl Fox, Frank Friesner.
Bottom row:  Fred Cory, Byron Raiston, Charles Howell, mascot Bobby Dicken,
Carl Gasther, Carl Copley.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This is the first in a series about Fostoria High School's
early football teams.  The accompanying photos are just a few of the many
that could be included if space were available.  Today's story if not meant
to be a demeaning reflection on teams of later years.

It took a window display at Kaubish Library, and a little red booklet dis-
played there, to get me off deadcenter and start writing about Fostoria's
famous football teams of the past.

In one of my first Potluck articles I mentioned L. C. Boles, the Fostoria
High School coach who turned out many undefeated football teams, and I pro-
mised to write more about him and that era of Fostoria sports.  Since then,
a number of readers have inquired when I was going to write that story.  I
admit procrastination is part of the problem--however, I knew that story
would "keep" for awhile.

But, that little red booklet, which I had never seen before, aroused my curi-
osity.  Pat Bowman at the library let me look through it, and that did it.  I
knew, then, that it was time to let the football players in Fostoria, and the
younger prospective players know about this town's football heritage:  Ohio
champions many times, and national champions in 1912.

On the otherhand I'm sure other sports fans will welcome this story too, even
though they may have heard some of this tale as it has been repeated through
the years by their elders, and even by some of the football players still
living, who played on FHS football teams of the past.

Incidentally, the booklet, from which I will extract some details, was plan-
ned and written by Hal Stout and Clayton Kinsey, two employees of The Fostor-
ia Daily Review back in 1916.  Stout had been a member of some of the FHS
winning teams and a star player.  Kinsey was circulation and advertising man-
ager for The Review.


According to historical notes, football was introduced in Fostoria High
School in 1895 by Will and Clayt Holopeter.  The game as it is known today
had never been played in this part of the U.S.  The only style of football
played in Ohio had been the game similar to rugby, played with a round ball
which was kicked, not carried.

When the new game was introduced at FHS, it was not played competitively with
schools in other towns for two years.  By 1897 the game had caught on suffi-
ciently to schedule competition with other schools.  That year FHS won five
out of seven games.

The uniforms worn them would be considered a disgrace and unsafe today.  No
two players had the same uniform--all were different styles and colors.

The area in back of the high school was a woods, and it was not cleared and
made into a football field until 1901.  In the meantime, games were played
at Victor Field on Columbus Avenue, an area that is still a vacant field,
next to Cadwallader properties.


The first coach, Professor Will Rhoades, a high school instructor, and the
13 players are show in the photos accompanying this article.

In 1899, with Rhoades still coaching, the team had grown to 17 members and
northwestern became champions of northwestern Ohio, rolling up 228 points to
their opponents 36.  That year Heidelberg College, Tiffin, invited the team
to fill in an open date as a practice game.  The score was FHS 56, Heidelberg

In 1900, when Rhoades left Fostoria and became coach at Findlay, the Fostoria
team lost to them, 23-0.  But, the next year Fostoria won, 39-0.

So, there developed a strong rivalry between the neighboring schools.  Part
of it was related to the two school's colors.  In 1898 FHS selected red and
black as their colors, but it was later learned that Findlay had also chosen
those colors.  The two schools decided that whoever won the last game of that
year could keep the red and black.  Fostoria won the game on Thanksgiving, a
big day for football here, and has defended those colors ever since.

In 1901, Coach St. John led Fostoria to the championship of northwestern of
Ohio, outscoring opponents of 128 to 28.  St. John coached here only one
year, after which he went to Wooster, to Ohio Wesleyan and finally to Ohio
State where he was popular and successful for many years.


1902 found William Sweet from Ohio Wesleyan coaching the FHS team, and he led
them to a state championship, rolling up 270 points against their opponents.
The five points were won by Toledo in a tie score.

It seems like coaches came and went often back then.  1903 found Coach
Carlisle leading FHS to another northwestern Ohio championship.  This was the
first year that the players were outfitted with matching uniforms--shoulder
pads, leg guards, jerseys, and all the rest.

1904 was a good year for FHS, with a total scoring record of 214 points to
opponents 11.  However, they lost to Oberlin, one of their arch-enemies and
always a close scorer.  The score for the game was 6-5.

Coach "Mother" Clark arrived on the Fostoria scene in 1905.  Although he only
served one year, the FHS team again became champs of Northwestern Ohio with
a scoring record of 192 to opponents' 0.

1906 found Coach Keller instructing the football team and bringing another
Ohio championship to Fostoria.  The scoring totals that year were 333-0.


Starting in 1907 with Boles as coach there was a period of six years when
Fostoria probably experienced its greatest years in football.  Boles came
here from Ohio Wesleyan and that first year he made his team state champions
with a total scoring record of 367 to 11.

During those years it was not a matter of winning, but of how badly the oppo-
nents would be beaten.

In 1908, although FHS was champion of Northwestern Ohio, they lost to East
High of Cleveland 14-5.  Carl Peter, father of (today's) Carl Peter Jr.,
scored the only touchdown for Fostoria.  Scoring totals were that year 327 to

1909 was the worst year coach Boles experienced in Fostoria.  With all
"green" material he wa unable to lead his team to a championship.  That year
Lorain beat FHS 17-18, and Toledo also delivered a loss to the locals; it was
the last game ever played with Toledo during Boles' regime.  The last game of
that season Fostoria is said to have played a thriller against North High of
Columbus, with the score 0-0.  However, Fostoria still totalled 188 points as
opposed to 32 for opponents.


Boles turned out an Ohio championship team in 1910.  Back then, Fostoria and
Findlay played two games each season, one in each town.  The first game in
Findlay, played on a wet, slippery field, resulted in Findlay winning 2-0. 
At the return game at Fostoria, Findlay was defeated 29-0.  That same year,
Fostoria defeated Columbus North 11-0.  Fostoria ended the season with a to-
tal of 113 points to 7 for opponents.

In 1911, Boles led his team to another Ohio State championship, with Fostoria
accumulating 312 points to opponents' 14.  That year they defeated Findlay 3-0
and 5-0.
Continued next week
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