Sunday, February 26, 2012

The legend of Carl A. Squires

A little high school football talk never hurt anybody in February, so ...

One area notation in the OHSAA state record book has always carried a bit of fascination.

The second-most points ever scored in Ohio by one player in a single game is 64 by University's Carl A. Squires way back on Oct. 20, 1894. Let's do something about unraveling that mystery.

This week while updating my state high school swimming reference, I discovered the Cuyahoga County Public Library has put all of its Plain Dealer microfilm page archives online. For my reference purposes, I can't tell you how happy I am about that.

Don't get me wrong - when needed, I like my own paper's microfilm, as well as that of the Painesville Telegraph. But for broader Greater Cleveland purposes from, say, before 1950, the PD is the way to go.

Especially with assistance on Carl A. Squires.

For obvious reasons, I can't show you the Oct. 21, 1894 edition of the Plain Dealer for copyright reasons. All I can do as a professional is quote what I found.

US played Cleveland South in what was reported to be the first game of the season in the Cleveland School Association and won, 100-0. The PD story explains the reason for this lopsided encounter was US had been practicing for six weeks, while Cleveland South had only been organized for two weeks. They played uneven halves - the first half was 35 minutes and the second 25 minutes.

The mystery deepens because, according to the PD story, his name was Squire, not Squires, and the box score lists him, the starting fullback, for nine touchdowns and 14 "goals" - I assume extra points of the era. Squire didn't even score US' first two touchdowns - its captain and left halfback, Harvey, did.

It was 54-0 at the half, which consisted of a 10-minute rest period, and then Squire scored four of his team's next five touchdowns.  "From this out," the PD writes, "the Universitys were trying to make 100 points, and they only had eight minutes to do it." So they did with - who else - Squire scoring his last touchdown and kicking a goal with a minute left to hit the century mark.

While this football thing was working so well at University, it wasn't elsewhere. In the column next to the US game story, it was reported "professional football drops out after today. This decision has been reached at a meeting of all the clubs. The experiment has not been successful in arousing public interest."

Hmmm ... I wonder how that experiment is going these days?

But there you have it - the legend of Carl A. Squires (or Squire apparently) lives on.

- Chris Lillstrung


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