Early football teams in Cardington had their challenges

Reflections - By Evelyn Long - for the Morrow County Sentinel

This will be the third and final week I am writing about football at Cardington.

I have been asked about the 1909-1910 football teams and, in searching my archives of information, I found what may answer that question.

According to the information I found, the teams of 1909-1910 were the last two squads to represent the school prior to the 1947 team. There were three games a year played by those squads, two of the meets were with Mt Gilead,, each team meeting the other on its home field. The last game of the season for the 1910 squad was on Thanksgiving Day when the high school team defeated a group of ex-high school players (I noted that game in a prior Reflections). The Cardington Board of Education at that time, discouraged football and the local squad lacked team finances to take trips by train to Delaware or Galion or other near by cities which had teams and could be reached by rail. Traveling to Mt Gilead, the Cardington team went on a band wagon. The 1909-1910 teams had revived football in Cardington after a lapse of five or six years, the two having had several teams in the late 90’s and immediately after the turn of the century. Cardington played its games in 1909 and 1910 on the field better known as Mills Bottom. Earlier football games had been played in a field north of Glendale Cemetery.

Some of the names of those who played on those teams may be recognized as relatives or friends of our parents and grandparents: Walter Lauffer, who became a professional photographer; J. J. Faust, Charles Nulk, Guy Renz, Ralph Heacock, Nelson Campbell, George Stiles, Frank Kehrwecker, Frank Caton, Lloyd Heacock, James Turner, Cloyd Curtis, Rodney Willits, Harry Kirkpatrick, Pug Smith, Walter Yake, Paul Jones, Burr Starr and Frank Steffey I have not found what the record of these teams were- albeit, football is here to stay but thanks to these students, Cardington High School produced competitive teams back in the “good old days.”

Next week: The history of the Wornstaff Hotel.

100 years ago, October, 1915: “There were over six hundred buggies and automobiles in Cardington Saturday night. One of the largest crowds of the season was on the streets.” (I wonder who counted them!)

“Henry Axthelm has his eye on the fellow who took his wheel out of the alley west of the Peoples Store and requests him to return the wheel at once.”

90 years ago, October, 1925: Vesta Gayle Parmer, ages two months, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.H Parmer, scored the high score of 99 1/2 points to win first place and the Columbus Dispatch silver mug in the baby show contest held during the Cardington Fall Festival. There were 40 babies entered in the contest.

60 years ago, October, 1955: Carol Harris was pictured as the Cardington High School Homecoming queen. Her court members were Dorena Ruehrmund, Sylvia Barton, Marlene Koehler and Carol Thompson. Merle Toomey was the game captain and queen escort. Other escorts were John Bennett, James Estep, Olen Kaelber, and Richard Murphy. Planning the homecoming were William Phillips, Betty Henry, George Rengert, Vaughn Cole and Barbara Heimlich.

30 years ago, October, 1985: Ward Pace, the last surviving charter member of Rex D.Jenkins Post 97 of the American Legion, died at the age of 88. He was a member of Co A, Cardington of the 42nd Rainbow Division in World War I and his division was the first of American Troops to see action in World War I.



By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel