"Concordia Men's Sports - The First One Hundred Years"Next Section
by Vernon Finn Grinaker
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Chapter 2 - Pre-MIAC Years - 1903-1921

College Athletic Association  | Athletic Facilities  | Sports in the Early Years, 1903-1910  | 1910-1911 | 1911-1912 | Interstate School Conference Founded  | 1912-1913 | 1913-1914 | 1914-1915 | 1915-1916 | 1916-1917 | 1917-1918 | 1918-1919 | 1919-1920 | 1920-1921 | Looking Back -- Early Years |

Sports in the Early Years, 1903-1910

The Cobber Chronicle reported that the first Concordia baseball team to leave the campus and play other schools was organized in the spring of 1903. Members of the team were Professor J. P. Hertsgaard, Albert Hager, John and Osvold Hellerud, Paul Gaarder, Hilmer Kjorsvik, Ole Olson, John Ellingson and Harry Reah.

The team played Northwestern College and Park Region in Fergus Falls and Fergus Falls High School. They beat the high school but lost to the two college teams.(5)

In 1906 the Red River Valley Athletic Association was formed. Member schools included Concordia, Moorhead Normal, NDAC, Fargo College, Northwestern College and Park Region Luther College of Fergus Falls. It regulated athletic contests between the schools.

According to the Concordia College Record in 1907 nine baseball games were played with outside teams, Concordia winning five. Practice games were arranged nearly every weekday between the first and second teams. That year most of the players were entirely inexperienced, but with seven of the best players returning and much promising material from the second team, prospects were good for next year.(6)

Also it was mentioned that an attempt will be made to organize a track team.

In 1908, 25 boys reported for the baseball team. Games were scheduled with Fergus Falls High School, Moorhead Normal, Moorhead High School and North Dakota Agricultural College. A game was played on May 17 (Norwegian Independence Day) with Park Region College.

In 1908 J. P. Hertsgaard was named baseball coach and also this same year monograms were awarded to participants in athletics. An athletic director, Mr. Burton Hanson, was also appointed. Members of the 1908 baseball team included Albert Haga, Harry Reah, Martin Peterson, Nicholas Peterson, Henry Hellerud, John Hellerud, Alfred Christianson, O. H. Bridston, Odin Bjornstad, John Thorpe and J. P. Hertsgaard.(7)

The Concordia College Record reported that the School of Elecution and Physical Culture offered private and class instruction. Stress is laid on correct enunciation, pronunciation, breath control and purity of voice, naturalness, animation, spontaneity and clearness of expression. Gymnastic classes gave exercises for breathing, walking, running, flexing of joints, muscular development, grace and ease of movement. Class instruction was free. Charges for private lessons ranged from $.50 to $1.50.(8)

At the beginning of the fall term in 1909, an attempt was made to introduce football at Concordia. It was thought that football was a desirable sport among students and should be encouraged by all. It was hoped that football would become a permanent feature of college athletics.

In the early 1900's football caused a number of deaths and many colleges dropped football. Concordia along with most Lutheran schools kept playing the game as they thought it provided a young man the opportunity to face the challenges of life as well as developing muscle.

In 1909 ten candidates showed up for the basketball team. Games were played with Fargo College, North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC), Mayville Normal and Moorhead Normal.

The girls also organized a team and showed great interest in the game. No schedule nor results of their games could be found.

Also in 1909 classes in gymnastics were arranged and regular training was given under the direction of Mr. Burton Hanson.(9)

The fall of 1910 was a busy time on the campus. Most of last year's basketball boys were back and they began systematic training the second week in October.

The track team made daily cross-country runs and they were able to make one continuous dash over a seven-mile track.

As intercollegiate football had not been indulged in in the past years, the interest for outdoor sports waned. But this year a new sport called soccer-football was introduced at Concordia. This game is similar to basketball except that one kicks the ball with the feet instead of passing it with the hands. In regard to roughness, the game was rather tame as it has not the fighting features of ordinary football. No schedule or scores could be found.

Only a few baseball scores were available in the May 1910 Crescent. In baseball Valley City Normal defeated Concordia 8-1 as a result of many costly Concordia errors. It was reported that Harold Vennes pitched gilt-edged ball striking out 15 batters and allowing only 4 hits. NDAC beat Concordia 8-1 and again Vennes was outstanding with 12 strikeouts and only 5 hits. In the other games reported the team defeated Perley 7-3. J. Hertsgaard, Concordia's star twirler, starred at the bat going 3 for 4. Some of the ardent baseball supporters went to Perley in their vehicles to help the boys carry home the wreath. The boys reported a good time and many nice things to eat.

Chapter 2

1. Concordia College Record, July 1907.

2. Cobber Chronicle, p. 52.

3. Concordia College Record, July 1907.

4. Crescent, December 1909.

5. Cobber Chronicle, p. 200.

6. Concordia College Record, July 1907.

7. Concordia College Record, March 1908.

8. Concordia College Record, May 1909.

9. Crescent, November 1909.

10. Crescent, May 1910.

11. Ibid.

12. Crescent, February 1910.

13. Crescent, January 1911.

14. Crescent, May-June 1911.

15. Crescent, November 1911.

16. Crescent, December 1911.

17. Crescent, April-May 1912.

18. Crescent, May-June 1911.

19. Crescent, October 1912.

20. Crescent, March 1913.

21. Crescent, April 1914.

22. Crescent, October 1914.

23. Crescent, March 1914.

24. Crescent, February 1914.

25. Crescent, May 1915.

26. Crescent, October 1915.

27. Crescent, December 1915.

28. Crescent, November 1915.

29. Crescent, March 1915.

30. Crescent, January 1916.

31. Crescent, October 1916.

32. Crescent, October 1916.

33. Crescent, November 1916.

34. Concordia College Record, January 1916.

35. Crescent, January 1916.

36. Crescent, January 1916.

37. Crescent, February 1916.

38. Crescent, February 1916.

39. Crescent, October 1916.

40. Crescent, October 1917.

41. Crescent, October 1917.

42. Crescent, April 1917.

43. Crescent, January 1918.

44. Crescent, October 1919.

45. Crescent, January 1919.

46. Crescent, November 1919.

47. Crescent, February 1919.

48. Crescent, April 1919.

49. Crescent, April 1920.

50. Crescent, March 1920.

51. Crescent, May 1920.

52. Crescent, October 1920.

53. Crescent, October 1920.

54. Concordian, December 22, 1920.

55. Concordian,. April 22, 1921.

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