We got a really pleasant historical trivia surprise at Friday morning coffee from Boise lawyer Ernie Hoidal who is a fount knowledge on sports and history–especially local history.
According to Hoidal, the Friday night Boise-Borah football game at the new Dona Larsen Park will be played on the same real estate that hosted a football game 100 years ago between Boise High and Chicago. That’s right CHICAGO’s Wendell Phillips High. Local businessmen pooled their funds and came up with about $1,000 to bring the Midwesterners to Boise. The land was later East Jr. High and eventually the new athletic park which will see its first game with the local rivalry.
It was billed as the “GREATEST ATHLETIC EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF BOISE.” Apparently even then, Boise lacked a “strength of schedule” for the local football team that kept them from being taken seriously on a national level. In its day, the game probably rivaled the Humanitarian Bowls of late.
The game was played December 25, 1912. Associated PRess declared, “FOOTBALL NEWS PUTS BOISE ON THE MAP” after the 6-0 Boise win. According to a Statesman ad provided by Hoidal, tickets were $1 and the Braves capped an undefeated season as the “Intermountain Champs.” Boise high also beat Twin Falls that year 113-6. No doubt a reallly long ride back to Twin on the train.
Hoidal is looking to honor Oscar William Worthwine, the history teacher who coached the team and later went on to be a prominent lawyer until 1960, secretary of the Idaho State Bar, president of the Boise Chamber of Commerce, and president of Bronco Statium, Inc. in 1950. He had played fullback for the University of Chicago Maroons in the All-Western Conference in 1909. The conference was the predecessor of the Big Ten.
According to Hoidal, some of the players on that 1912 team possibly lost their lives during World War I. He would like to contact family members or friends who have any information regarding that team of a century ago. Just leave a comment on this post and we will put you in contact with him.
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Friday, August 24, 2012 (2)
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