Football in 1893

Nebraska football fans of 1893 could attend a number of high school and college games around the state. “The game of foot ball is only in its infancy in Nebraska,” said the Nebraska State Journal of October 8, 1893, “yet a great deal of interest is manifested in the approaching fall games. So far as the colleges are concerned, the state university is probably foremost in foot ball, but she has never shown the skill that Doane has shown.

“Cotner [Cotner College, Lincoln, now defunct] seems to have given up the ghost after the terrible defeat at Doane last year. The medical department, probably after subjects for their experimental work in anatomy, has organized and will begin on the Ashland high school. Wesleyan has a team in the field and a splendid coach with them every minute. The eleven from the Adventist college [Union College, Lincoln] is to some disadvantage as Saturday or the day for play is their Sabbath and they will hardly get games with the other colleges. Hastings college is fitting up a team to try Doane this year.

“But the most popular of all games will be those of the interscholastic foot ball league of Nebraska, comprising the high schools of Ashland, Lincoln, Omaha, Nebraska City and Plattsmouth. Of these Omaha has had a team in the field the longest. She has her first game to lose. . . . Plattsmouth has a new team. The other high schools are anxiously waiting to learn what she has. Lincoln tied Omaha in the last game last year and hopes this year to carry off the pennant. . . . A large number of boys left the [Lincoln] high school at the end of last year but still the eleven is to be one of the heaviest and stoutest of the high schools.

“Professor Lord will make good players out of the Nebraska City fellows if he has the material at hand and there is no doubt but there are a number of gritty boys down there. Ashland played one game last year, holding Omaha down to four points against 0, and had she her old players she would be sure of the championship this year. Ashland has some stout, risky lads but they are said to be wanting in skill.”

The Journal concluded of the coming high school contests, “Omaha and Lincoln will doubtless come out ahead, having so many more young men to select from in making up teams.”

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