As we approach the end of the year, century and millennium, the media will be searching for the "Something of the Century." I propose that the 1900 Masten Park football team was the "High School Team of the Century."
I contend that the 1900 Masten Park High School team was the best high school football ever produced by Buffalo, Western New York and New York State.
At a time when eleven players constituted the entire team playing both offense and defense, such things as weight, speed, and intelligence were critical for a player's and a team's success. Combine that with teammanship and school spirit, and a winning season is almost a given.
The 1900 team was truly an outstanding team, with all the traits listed above, and one not bettered in 100 years.
Coached by Seth Thomas (who also played left guard at the University of Buffalo) and captained by left end Harry Kerr, the Masten 11 outscored their 1899 opponents, 132-40, being defeated only by Syracuse for the state championship. The 1900 team outscored their opponents, 215-0. That's right, no team scored against them. (In two years, this team outscored its opponents 347-40.)
The 1900 team consisted of: Capt. Harry P. Kerr, left end; Bennett F. Lies, center; Eugene E. Person, fullback; Raymond R. Drake, right tackle; John Boardman Whitney, left tackle; Robert B. Summers, right guard; Wells Knibloe, left guard; Fred Schade, left halfback; James Maddigan, quarterback; Arthur Lewis Lane, right end; Harry D. Weil, right halfback; George Pottinger, right halfback; Benjamin Ellis, center; Abram Erisman, position unknown; and John Greenwood, Manager.
Other members of the team included: Robert Stuckey, Herbert Dowling, George R. Thompkins, a Mcmasters, a Meyer and an O'Dell.
The Yellow and Blue defeated Jamestown High School, 27-0, for the local title and Rochester Free Academy, 27-0, for the Western Division championship of the Interscholastic League. Then, on Nov. 3, 1900, they defeated Ithaca, 29-0, for the New York State Interscholastic League Championship. Three days later, on Nov. 6, the Masten Park team played the Ohio State Champions, Central High of Cleveland, and defeated them, 12-0. As a test of their ability they next played Niagara University, whom they defeated, 18-0. Wrapping up the season, they defeated Central High of Buffalo, 26-0, and Bradford (Pa.) High School, 18-0. These last two games were annual contests and many second string players from Masten Park saw action.
We Mastenites have always been proud of our teams, whether athletic, academic or fraternal, and this 1900 super team stands tall as something to remember.
GARY H. KENT
Class of 1954
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