PSB

Advanced search  

News:

Welcome - Use login button below to enter.

Author Topic: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)  (Read 196 times)

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« on: February 10, 2020, 10:02:56 PM »

I wanted to start a thread for this ONGOING project.  I was part of a similar project with about 20 others a while back, but it proved too difficult.  I have been working on it for a few months now in my free time, and even started posting some of the info on social media (though I rarely use that).  There are no right or wrong answers, but obviously certain teams will have stronger claims than others. I have tried to recruit a few others, and any and all help is appreciated (from all sources).  I used the Saylor Ratings and Gridfax as two starting points, along with Wire Services, Historical Data, WPIAL Champs, Eastern Conference Champs, and regional claims. There are still a lot of things that need pieced together, as so much of the info is incomplete.  One of the biggest problems is gathering enrollment data through the years, so there might have to be some educated guesses.  I decided to start at the beginning (1885 for now), and begin drudging through this.  So far, I have claims that are pretty cut and dry up to about 1900.  I'll start posting what I have thus far... 
Logged

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 10:46:24 PM »

THE EARLIEST YEARS

1885:  Shortlidge's Media Academy lost twice to the PA Military College.  It's tough to call a team the secondary school champ if they couldn't win a game!

1886:  GERMANTOWN ACADEMY (1-0).  First recorded win by secondary school to this point.  Defeated UPenn Frosh 6-0.  Gives GA the first-ever claim as champion.

1887:  GERMANTOWN ACADEMY (4-0) [500 SR].  First year of multiple games, loosely-based Inter-Ac League.  Also, first year any team received a Saylor Rating (SR).  De facto title game was 22-6 win over Rugby Academy.  GA was the first to ever hit the century mark, blanking Episcopal Academy 101-0 !  Haverford School (2-0) was also unbeaten, just not as impressive.

1888:  GERMANTOWN ACADEMY (7-1), Penn Charter (5-1-1), Haverford School (4-1-1) [470 SR].

Just a few years in, and we already would have a major ranking debate.  You really could make an argument for any of the 3 teams listed, but I think GA did enough to get listed first.  Haverford School got the highest retroactive Saylor Rating, and did beat GA 40-12.....but GA beat Penn Charter 37-8.....and Penn Charter went 1-0-1 against Haverford, winning 24-0 after a 6-6 tie.  Penn Charter probably had the most dominant wins, scoring at least 74 points twice.....but GA had as many on-the-field wins (non-forfeit) as PC and HS combined (6), and also defeated top public school Phila Central and the Haverford College Frosh.  Even if we discount the PC/HS tie blemish, GA stands out.  Plus, they were the reigning champion.


Gonna stop here for now, right before the start of arguably the most-dominant reign in PA football history.   
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 10:53:47 PM by hitman66 »
Logged

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 03:33:42 PM »

I meant to get more posted here the past few days, but reached a snag.  Have a minor discrepancy that I had forgotten about from 1889, and a major one from my ongoing 1900 research.  Both would affect the analysis as to who is the top team(s) for those years, but I'm determined to work through the snags this time.  Therefore, I'll resume posting here sometime tomorrow.  I won't keep anyone in suspense any longer about the dominant run, though.  The super-dynasty is The Hill School of Pottstown, who will get at least a share in 1889 (and maybe even a full claim, depending on the snag).  They were/are a boarding school, and were the dominant PA secondary school program BY FAR for about a quarter of a century -- from about 1889 until 1914. But even though there were no real competitive rules then, and post-grad prep schools dominated the landscape by far in the early years, I'll still be listing the public school-only champs as well.....starting in 1890, but more realistically 1892.  Then, after a while, the public school champs will become the base (PIAA), and the prep schools will get filtered out.
Logged

Downriver

  • Administrator
  • Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6969
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 05:47:44 PM »

Hitman, I ran into some of the same stuff locally here.  In those early days Middletown had 4 teams.  Middletown Athletic Club, Middletown YMCA, Middletown Army Base Club and Middletown High team.  Ironically, these teams were usually comprised of exactly the same players.  That was one reason Middletown chose to only count their football games from 1921 forward, even though they'd been playing since the 1880's. 
Logged

Crabber

  • Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5941
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 06:02:30 PM »

Back in the 80's their was a older man that used to travel with us from Coatesville he had a ton of stuff witch Bruce Emswiler got when he passed somehow I got a copy of what was supposed to be a Pa. top 10 starting a the year 1900
Logged

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 06:43:56 PM »

Hitman, I ran into some of the same stuff locally here.  In those early days Middletown had 4 teams.  Middletown Athletic Club, Middletown YMCA, Middletown Army Base Club and Middletown High team.  Ironically, these teams were usually comprised of exactly the same players.  That was one reason Middletown chose to only count their football games from 1921 forward, even though they'd been playing since the 1880's.



DR,

There's so much of that, LOL, as I'm sure you know!  It's amazing how things were back then!
Logged

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 06:47:29 PM »

Back in the 80's their was a older man that used to travel with us from Coatesville he had a ton of stuff witch Bruce Emswiler got when he passed somehow I got a copy of what was supposed to be a Pa. top 10 starting a the year 1900


Crabber,

That would be great to see!  I've been doing rough draft style top 5's pre-1900, but will start doing a top 5 for both public and private now in 1900, with an attempt at a top 10 each year.  It is hard with all the gaps and non-scholastic games (in some cases).

 

Logged

Crabber

  • Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5941
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2020, 09:31:03 PM »

Unfortunately when I was moved to a Personal Care place I lost 90% of what I had than when my brother died a couple days later I was in a nursing home for 8 months and as far as i know all his stuff got trashed. Its all so sad
Logged

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2020, 07:25:29 PM »

1889:  THE HILL SCHOOL (3-1)

The "state" title gets wrested away from Germantown and the Inter-Ac for the first time this season.  Dr Saylor's highest retroactive ranking for '89 went to Penn Charter (5-4-1) [460 SR], but that's only because The Hill School (Pottstown) didn't receive a ranking for this year.  3-time defending state champ Germantown Academy (5-2-2) was also in the conversation, with an unbelievably low 410 SR (at least one clearly worse team received a higher rating).  Penn Charter and GA tied in the de facto Inter-Ac title game 4-4, but PC (5-1-1 vs 4-1-2) had the better league record.  IMO, GA should be ranked higher than PC though, since their only non-forfeit loss was to the UPenn freshmen in a very tight game.  PC got blasted twice by the UPenn Frosh, who were handled by Hill School 16-4.   

I should also mention that Hill School's only loss was 8-0 to archrival Lawrenceville School (NJ), who was a national power at that time.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 07:46:00 PM by hitman66 »
Logged

Downriver

  • Administrator
  • Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6969
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2020, 11:10:16 PM »

Another great team from the early era was Harrisburg Tech who claimed the 1919 National Title with a 56-0 win over Portland, Maine.  In 12 games Tech outscored their opponents 701-0.
Logged

Crabber

  • Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5941
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2020, 11:27:12 PM »

I used to have a big story on  that team also with all their scores in fact I think their was a district 3 book that went all the way back also. I remember Harrisburg Central having some very good teams to.
Logged

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2020, 12:19:15 AM »

I used to have a big story on  that team also with all their scores in fact I think their was a district 3 book that went all the way back also. I remember Harrisburg Central having some very good teams to.


DR & Crabber,

I have a book called "Gridfax" that is mostly about District 3 that goes way back.  In fact, that book was used as a source by PA historian Hal Wilson in order to write a feature article about Hbg Tech 1918-1919 (back-to-back state and national champs).  Also, Gridfax has the first listing of mythical public school champs that I have seen from any source, and it was cited for this by another history book that I have.  I'll start listing the Gridfax champs next, as they begin with 1890.  However, they sometimes differ from what the opinion of the time would've been or from the Saylor Ratings, since they don't include any private schools or teams from certain areas like the WPIAL.  But they've been a great starting point, with slight adjustments for when their champ lost head-to-head to another team, etc.


PS:  My big 1900 discrepancy is because Dr Saylor's records and Gridfax disagree about who won between Harrisburg Central and Mercersburg Academy.  Dr Saylor has it listed as Mercersburg 48, Hbg Central 0.....and Gridfax has it 12-0 the other way, in favor of Hbg Central.  That's a 60-point gap!  The Hill School will get listed either way (undefeated/untied/unscored upon against a very tough schedule), but the other teams are in play for honors, depending on that result!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 12:35:22 AM by hitman66 »
Logged

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2020, 12:28:53 AM »

Another great team from the early era was Harrisburg Tech who claimed the 1919 National Title with a 56-0 win over Portland, Maine.  In 12 games Tech outscored their opponents 701-0.


DR & Crabber,

http://www.pawrsl.com/pfn/wilson_harrisburg19.htm

https://pafootballnews.com/district3/great-pa-teams-1919-national-champion-harrisburg-tech-high-hbgcougar_fball-hbgcougarcoach/
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 12:38:55 AM by hitman66 »
Logged

Crabber

  • Hall of Fame
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5941
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2020, 07:57:24 AM »

hitman66

"Gridfax" is the book I had. That is a  great book.
Logged

hitman66

  • All State
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Mythical State Football Champs (PA)
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2020, 12:14:49 AM »

1890:  THE HILL SCHOOL (1-3) [Yes, 1-3! (see below)]   

1890 was the first year where I could find a mythical state title claim by a public/"scholastic" school.  Philadelphia Central (0-1) was listed by Gridfax (GF) and others as the state champ, but only played once and failed to win a game for the 4th straight year (0-5 to date according to the Saylor Records).  As such, it would be tough to reward them for being the champs of anything!

Dr Saylor's highest retroactive ranking for '90 was split between Penn Charter (9-1) and Haverford School (5-1) [483 SR], but the teams met and PC trounced them 36-0!  Once again, The Hill School (Pottstown) didn't receive a ranking, and this was probably because for the second straight year they played 3 of their 4 games against college competition.  However, they made that one "other" game count, as they comfortably defeated a Penn Charter team that had run roughshod over any other secondary school (and had even won twice against college teams).  The score was 18-4 in favor of Hill School, and it was probably scheduled because a challenge had been issued.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 12:21:27 AM by hitman66 »
Logged