Reflections: Return of football in Cardington


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I wonder how many readers know that exactly 71 years ago, today, Sept. 26, 1947, football returned to Cardington after a 37-year absence.

I have the souvenir news paper distributed that evening at a cost of 10 cents a copy.

The Cardington Pirates played the Centerburg Trojans. Because this was the inaugural game, there was a parade, the first football queen, Kathryn Nybladh and a dedication ceremony. Rev. Charles Stroh, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, gave the dedication talk.

Music was by the Johnsville High School Band and the flag was presented by Mayor Paul Richeson. It was accepted by Supt. J. L. Patterson.

Attending the queen were Betty Bennett, senior; Jeanne Benson, junior; Patricia Barton, sophomore and Paula Riggs, freshman. Dennis Bell was the coach, this being his first year at Cardington. Walter Long headed up the boosters. Thirty-eight businesses had ads in this newspaper — and not a one of them are functioning today.

The cover page was sponsored by 42 boosters with only one of them still living.

The Cardington High School band was directed by Charles Jackson and Barbara Roach and Charlotte Patterson were majorettes.

The following people were asked their opinion about football in Cardington:

Bob Bennett: “All right- We’ll win a few games,” JoAnn Westbrook: “I think it’s swell, except I don’t understand it,” Doyle Shoewalter: “O.K.,” Paula Riggs: “I think it’s a swell sport for All American boys,” Harley Crum: “I think it’s a swell idea,” Mellie Gist: “Fine! One of the greatest things for the school,” Everett Stevens: “We have a good team and we hold a chance against every team we play,” Betty Bennett: “We have a bunch of boys to make a good team”, Miss Lake: “I don’t know what I’m going to do at the Sunbury Cardington game,” Pat Barton: “Okay with a capital “O”, Barbara Roach: “It’s nice. Rah Rah Rah!”

Timer for this game was H. L. Schellenger and one announcer was Wilbur McAlister. Members of the 1947 team were Donald Clark, William Kern, Dalton Jenkins, Wilbur Gregory, Eugene Coomer, Fred Williamson, Richard Sherman, Harold Bean, Harold Clinger, Kenneth Beveridge, Paul Irons, Carl Stevens, James Richey, Glen Saunders, Dale Stephens, Gilbert Grady, Rollie Harris, Alton Roach, Henry Newcomer, Ray Robinson, Paul Bowman, Louis Levering, William Maxwell, Gene Louderback, Don Bowman and Leroy Bennett. Clyde Shaw and Wayne Miller were managers.

Cheerleaders were Kathryn Nybladh, Edna Harris, Jack Wilhelm Audrey Barton and Reita Sherman.

Sadly, the Pirates lost that first game 20-6. They lost all but one game that first year, beating Bellville 14-6.

60 years ago: September, 1958: Long’s Garage began selling The Goliath, a German-made automobile.

70 years ago, September, 1948: Helen Holland of east of Cardington sold her reserve grand champion 1165 pound Angus Steer at Mt Vernon for 55 cents per pound.

81 years ago, September, 1937: Ivan Logan of Congress Township was elected president of the Morrow County Junior Fair Board.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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