The spirit lives on: PTHS football, 1913

Tom Camfield
Posted 7/10/19
Here’s a bit obviously for graduates of Port Townsend High School, especially the older ones and/or those descended in families from the city’s earlier years—and for any of the guys …

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The spirit lives on: PTHS football, 1913


Here’s a bit obviously for graduates of Port Townsend High School, especially the older ones and/or those descended in families from the city’s earlier years—and for any of the guys who have represented the school at any time on the gridiron.

I’ve always liked this photo of the 1913 PTHS football team, in large part because I knew several of the people in it—and the photographer Paul M. Richardson was my neighbor for a time years ago. This photo and brief story appear on page 429 of my 2000 book of local history.

The photo shows up on eBay in postcard form every 6 or 8 years. The message on the card featured here was dated Nov. 14, 1913, not long after this photo was taken. lt was written to Wanetta Molander (Molander: see Key City Boiler Works, p. 82 of my 2000 book) at Tacoma General Hospital. The message read: “You are on the mend. Wish you were here to attend the game tomorrow with Kirkland. This is the line up for last Saturday against Angeles. Our boys won by 54 to 0. Hurrah for old P.T.H.S. Hope you will be back soon.—E. S. Edwards.” I believe this was the Schuyler Edwards (then a PTHS senior) of the family I featured on pages 244-‘45 of my second history volume in 2002, a family well worthy of being read about these many years later.

The old school “athletic park” in those days was what is now the southwest corner of the city’s golf course. Seen dimly in the background are Lincoln elementary school and the old fir tree at the entrance to the later (and present) golf course.

I have seen one photo identification as (backfield, from left) Michael DeLeo, Gerald Moore, John Klasell and Walter Larson, (line, form left) C. Davis, Thane McInnes, Millard High, (unknown), Malcolm Stockand, Louis Hansen, Bill Daly and Otis Lockhart. Standing in center is said to be E. Morris Starrett, although he himself was a PTHS senior that year and authored in the yearbook an item referring to “Coach Carr.”

I don’t have an account of the home game referred to on the postcard, but I did find a write-up of a return game at Port Angeles on Oct. 18—with a different lineup. The team traveled aboard the steamer Sol Duc for the game. The lineup included Otis Lockhart at center, Hinton and F. Olson at guards, High and Stockand tackles, Leslie and Daly as ends. In the backfield DeLeo and Klasell were halfbacks, Larson quarterback and Moore fullback.

The squad had only the bare minimum 11 men that day as “several players were ineligible with regard to studies.” PTHS won 14-12.

Hansen and McInnes, mentioned as outstanding defensive ends during the first Angeles game, and Davis were among those disqualified for the return battle.

For the game at Port Angeles, Kirk Carr of the local army YMCA accompanied the team to serve as referee, the Leader reported. Another story of around the same time spoke of a Coach Carr who was new that season with the team.

PTHS teams did not have a nickname in those early years. “Redskins” came into being quite a few years later. Now it’s Red Hawks.

Early-season games against Coupeville and Bremerton apparently were either cancelled or postponed. The highly touted game against Kirkland was won by Townsend 61-0. The team also won a later game against Bremerton 53-13.

I preserve in history here to the best of my ability the names and exploits of those athletes of yesteryear, but the reporting of the era leaves me a limited amount of information with which to work. I socialized over beer now and then with Otis Lockhart in later years, crossed paths a lot with William J. Daly, long-time Jefferson County prosecuting attorney.

It’s hard to believe they starred on the PTHS football team 106 years ago.

I have the school annual (Wa-Wa) for 1914. Surnames matching mentioned players (and likely postcard writer) include seniors Arthur Klasell, Walter Larsen, Otis Lockhart, Schuyler Edwards, Thane McInnis, Gerald Moore, Malcolm Stockand, Millard High . . . plus Morris Starrett.

Michael DeLeo in the backfield was only a freshman in 1913-’14. In a story I found of a track meet in the spring of the previous school year, he was likened, while still in 8th grade, to Jim Thorpe. I’m pretty sure he also was the same Micky DeLeo who yeas later was selling me tickets to weekend matinees at the Rose Theatre back in 1941 and ’42.


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