Thursday, September 28, 2006

1962-1963 Central Junior High School basketball team wins first championship since 1947

Pictured above are members of the 1962-1963 Central Junior High School basketball team, the first team since 1947 (the year before most of these guys were born) to win the city championship (with a10-0 record).

The photo appears on page 127 of the 1963 Tychoberahn. The original caption lists only first initial and last name, but I've added some of the first names. If you can help with the others, leave a comment or send me an email.

The photo shown above is the actual photo used in the yearbook (not a scan from the yearbook). I acquired it at one of Mr. Herreid's end of the year sales of photos used in the production of the Tychoberahn. The photo was cropped when it was used in the yearbook, so the man sitting in the bleachers on the right does not appear in the yearbook. I don't know who he is. Do you?

Here's the caption under the photo:

R. 1: David Williams, R. Epstein, G. Wiersma, B. Richter, John Allhiser, Bruce Victor, B. Cerniglia, G. Henderson. R. 2: John Olson (coach), Bill Bissett, R. Stuessey, Bill Withers, Dave Melum, Dave Orvold, Pat Corcoran, J. Goldsby. R. 3: Dan Gronli, John Anderson, Thomas Greene, Doug Rahn. R. 4: Moe Wee, Bill Blandino, Al Verdin, M. Hensen.

Note: For more information about Bill Withers, who died earlier this year, click HERE and HERE.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

When the Big Eight was still the Big Six and the Camp Randall field was frozen like cement: remembering the Madison Central High athletes of 1929-1930

The "Custer Files" in the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives contain a treasure trove of items about Madison. Many are related to the history of Madison Central High School.

The letter I've scanned and reproduced below is one of these items. It was written to the sports editor of The Capital Times in July 1980, by Frederic "Bud" Holt, who had recently retired as superintendent of schools in Janesville. In the letter, Holt notes that the Madison Central High School Class of 1930 is about to hold its 50th reunion, and he suggests that the sports editor should consider putting something into the sports section about the 1929-1930 athletes.

Apparently the letter was passed on to Frank Custer (Madison Central Class of 1931) who was writing the "Looking Backward Column" for the Capital Times. I think the various handwritten notes on the letter belong to Custer. I haven't had time to search through the microfilms from that time to determine whether or not Custer actually wrote about the teams, but I think you'll find the contents of the letter interesting.

I'm going to transcribe most of the contents of the letter so that (1) it's easier to read and (2) I can add some links. If you want to see the table of wins and losses for the 1929-1930 football and basketball teams, you'll have to click on the scanned image to enlarge it in your browser window, since tables aren't something does very well (or easily).

If you have information about any of the team members for whom there are no links, please contact me, so I can add it to these archives.


July 19, 1980

Dear Sports Editor, Capital Times

The Madison Central classes of 1930 will have their first reunion 50 years later on August 16th. In those days, there were graduating classes in January and June.

I hope you can put something in your sports pages about the 1929-1930 athletes prior to August 16th.

In football and basketball the records were outstanding in the then Big Six (which became the Big Seven in 1929 when Racine Horlick came in).

[Win and loss tables here]

Madison West opened in the fall of 1930 and thus the Big 8 was formed.

The 1930 grads included Ernie Kaeser, Bud Usilton, Eggs Schwoegler, Herb Dickenson, George Karstens, Fred Miller, Frank Miller, Red Logan, Jerry Hicks, Bob Karberg (President of the January class), Bill Reilly [note: Custer has crossed out "Bill" and written "Vince"], Norm Gjerde, Harry Younger, Red Hansen, Harold Tomarchenko, Larry Engelberger [note: Custer has crossed out "Larry" and written "Jim"], Bill Putnam, Chuck Olson, and Bud Holt.

Other "greats" in those days were Pip Nelson, Fred Staab, Stan Hankedahl, Jerry Femal, Stan Ferris, Harold Sylvester, Jim Madden, John Conlin, Jelly Williams, Stan Hungerford, Chuck Prieve, Len Forrest.

The final football game for the 1930 grads was the traditional Thanksgiving Day game in 1929 when the Camp Randall field was frozen like cement. Central beat East that day 13-0.

I'll appreciate hearing from you and hope that a story will appear in both the city and the state additions.


FRED HOLT, JANESVILLE [note: signature is in light blue, so it doesn't reproduce well]

Note: "Athletics" image is from 1927 Tychoberahn, which has a series of photographs of football games being played at Camp Randall field. If someone has photos of the 1929-1930 Madison Central High School football and basketball teams, please contact me by email, so I can arrange to post them,