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Early Millinocket Football

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!

By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

The first Millinocket High School football game of the 1921 season was scheduled for a late September Tuesday afternoon. An article in the Bangor newspaper stated the game against Lee Academy would begin “promptly at two to allow the employees of the Great Northern Paper Co., who are this week on the four to twelve shift, a chance to see the game.” Tickets were 50 cents. The article continued admonishing the spectators to “give the boys who are our own high school lads and members of families of our own community at least a fraction of the interest which was displayed for the summer baseball team.”

In late November of 1921, MHS freshman class played a game in the rain and mud against the sophomore class. The classes chose who would play and the coaches for the game were two of the varsity football team players. The sophomores won 19-6.

In one game in 1923, the MHS football team went to Orono to play the University of Maine freshman team, “the pick of the high schools of Maine.” It was a losing effort, but a news article stated “the boys had a good time and no one was hurt. Good teams are never ashamed to be honorably beaten.”

The 1930’s SHS football team opened with about 30 men reporting for practices. As the team “took shape and prospects were looking bright, when fate intervened and team captain Pennings broke his leg. With the additional loss of Arthur McLain and John Simon the team was considerably crippled.” The yearbook article ended with “we hope for more successful season next year.” There is no mention of their season record!

The 1934 team was more successful and received more space in the yearbook athletics section. They went undefeated, didn’t allow any points and played every game at the opponent’s field. Coach Stevens looked for spirit and sportsmanship in his players. The squad was made up of 12 seniors featuring two quarterbacks who were playing their first year on the team.

The 40’s war years brought changes to the teams as some 18-year-olds left for the military as did Coach Wentworth who entered the Navy. The 1943 yearbook predicted “his accomplishments will never be forgotten.” He returned to his coaching duties for the 1946 season. Below is part of a student poem in the 1946 yearbook.

“We practiced football during the fall,

We practiced hard and steady,

And for every game that came along,

We were always more than ready.”

The first night football game took place under the lights at Caribou. “In spite of

new and unfamiliar conditions, Stearns has an easy 26-6 victory. When did Stearns football first play under lights at home…new Stearns on State Street 1975 or after?

SHS1925 Football Team

Back: E. McKeen, L. Barnes, F. Jenkins, J. White, J. Stevens, D. Bouchard

2nd: R. Waite, M. Hikel, S. Nickerson, S. Simon, J. Albert, P. Fraser

Front: H. Tibbitts, M. Adams, F. Daniels

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