The Chatterbox...SHS Football
Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
“The Chatterbox” was the Millinocket High School student newspaper. Foot Ball Notes was the title of the section highlighting results of the 1920 Millinocket High School football season. The unknown writer created the following attention-getting titles to his articles in the Fall Edition. “Millinocket Starts Foot-Ball Season in a Game Resembling a Tea Party” and “Houlton Wins in Uninteresting Game.” The articles themselves are a bit unflattering to the Millinocket team and mention a “bad start,” several fumbles and an intercepted forward pass that was “rushed over the line before our boys knew what had happened.”
On a later page, another article (perhaps by a different writer) states that school started late in September and most of the boys who had played the previous year had graduated. The “new team determined to make a good try.” The “tea party” loss mentioned occurred after only two weeks of practice. “Every man was new to his position and nearly half of the eleven had not even played before.” The coach that year was Joe O’Brien. The writer of this article was more optimistic stating that the team did break even on the season with the final result being three losses and three wins. Also, “only losing one-man next year, the boys are planning great things, maybe the State Championship.”
The manager of the team also an wrote an article in The Chatterbox stating “the Athletic Association was in debt, and only had money on hand to pay postage on letters to schedule games.” He also wrote, “The losing by accident, of our best football, put us in a tight place but Mr. A. B. Clay, a strong backer of the A. A. ordered a ball and paid for it. The money was returned after the first game.”
During the 1921 season, they did not get to the state championship, but they did win 6 of 7 games. They defeated Brownville twice with one game being a 27-0 rout during a drizzling rainstorm. They also defeated Ricker, Lee Academy, Old Town and Orono. The team traveled by car to Orono, played and won and then stayed overnight at various UMaine fraternity houses in order to play Old Town the next day. The only loss that 1921 season was at Mattanawcook in a game marred by fumbling (20-7). Don Coady was the new coach in 1921. He was a former UMaine baseball star. Information on the1921 season is from the 1922 yearbook.
The museum is missing copies of the 1921 and 1922 yearbooks, but perhaps none were published due to the fact that Millinocket High School (located where Katahdin Avenue School later built) burned November 13, 1921 and SHS did not open until fall, 1923. School continued in the interim with classes being held at the armory, Oxford Street School and Aroostook Avenue School. Double sessions were held at all locations.