"Concordia Men's Sports - The First One Hundred Years"Next Section
by Vernon Finn Grinaker
| Return to Index | Chapter 1 | 1903-1921 | 20's | 30's | 40's | 50's | 60' | 70's | 80's | 90's |

Chapter 3 Young College -- New Conference

Birth of the MIAC | 1921-1922  | Arrival of Coach Fenwick Watkins  | 1922-1923 | 1923-1924 | 1924-1925 | 1925-1926 | 1926-1927 | 1927-1928 | 1928-1929 | 1929-1930 | Looking Back -- The Twenties |

1923-1924   | Football | Men's Basketball | Baseball | All Sports | Booster Club |

In the fall of 1923, the football team under Coach Watkins had a 2 -3 - 1 record with an MIAC record of 1 - 3. All-Conference honorable mention was awarded to Sally Brewster. Standouts on the team were Captain Ira Meland, Captain-elect T. Anderson, Victor Severson, Victor Ahrens, Egbert Boe, Oliver Thoresen, Edward Bohnhoff, Ted Birkeland, Kalmer Ostby, Sylvester (Sally) Brewster, Karl Lawrence, Torfin Teigen, O. Halvorson, Robert Edwards, Leslie Ersland, Peter Onstad, Harold Melvey and Otto Knudtson.

Here are the season's results:

Concordia 7 St. Olaf 17
Concordia 25 Jamestown College 6
Concordia 3 St. John's 0
Concordia 0 Gustavus 12
Concordia 0 MSTC 0
Concordia 3 Macalester 13

Captain Ira Meland won the St. John's game by a drop kick 3 - 0..

1923-1924   | Football | Men's Basketball | Baseball | All Sports | Booster Club |

The Athletic Association purchased bleachers to seat 700 fans from the Fargo baseball club. A working crew of student volunteers tore them down at the Fargo ball park and hauled them by truck to the Concordia field (at the site where Brown Hall now stands.)

Even back in the early twenties, outside groups were interested in helping to develop the athletic programs at their favorite colleges. The 1923 Scout describes the development of a "Booster Club" at Concordia.

"A BOOST for Concordia is a boost for Moorhead. This is the slogan of a club of Moorhead citizens organized for the purpose of boosting Concordia, especially by fostering athletics at the institution. The aim of the club is expressed by this clipping from the Moorhead News:

"The people of Moorhead are gradually realizing that from small beginnings the College has developed into one of the leading colleges of the country and is a leader of its kind in the Northwest. The forward step now to be taken is to put the athletics of the College in the rank it is entitled to and that is the aim of the Concordia Booster Club."

The first days in November a committee of 17 prominent businessmen conducted a campaign for securing members for the club. It was opened with a parade of the students. Again, quoting the Moorhead News:

"The spirit exhibited by the students of Concordia College this afternoon showed plainly that they are a live and up-and-doing bunch, and that the people of the city should put their shoulders to the wheel and give them a boost in their athletics by joining the Booster Club. Every penny given toward the College for this purpose will come back many fold. Every boost for that institution comes right back as a boost for Moorhead."

The campaign was very successful and a large membership was secured for the club. Each member purchased a season ticket to the athletic games and thus help finance the athletic program.

The Booster Club is a manifestation of the cooperation of the city and the College. Concordia is year by year becoming a more valuable asset to the city, and on the other hand it needs more than ever the good will, loyalty and cooperation of the people of Moorhead. The Boosters are as elated over our athletic advances as the students. They are Boosters in the true sense of the word.(11)

1923-1924   | Football | Men's Basketball | Baseball | All Sports | Booster Club |

1923-1924 marked the first year that a Concordia basketball team became a reckoning factor in the MIAC. Coach Watkins guided the team to a 9 - 12 record overall, with a 5 - 7 record in the MIAC. There were eight letter winners: Captain Ted Birkeland, Captain-elect Kalmar Ostby, Thor Anderson, Rupert Edwards, Sally Brewster, Egbert Boe, Victor Severson and Karl Lawrence.

The season summary was as follows:

Concordia 28 Holzer "All Stars" 17
Concordia 37 Fargo Knights of Columbus 10
Concordia 25 MSTC 11
Concordia 15 NDAC 23
Concordia 27 St. Olaf 17
Concordia 16 St. Thomas 28
Concordia 16 Jamestown 26
Concordia 29 St. John's 15
Concordia 17 Gustavus 25
Concordia 27 Gustavus 20
Concordia 18 NDAC 30
Concordia 23 Macalester 21
Concordia 12 Jamestown 18
Concordia 18 St. John's 19
Concordia 27 Macalester 18
Concordia 16 Gustavus 20
Concordia 11 St. Olaf 18
Concordia 7 Cadets 20
Concordia 18 Hamline 61
Concordia 23 MSTC 11

Professor Tonning, the first faculty athletic coach at Concordia, tells of his experiences and the ups and downs of basketball:

"The first professional coach at Concordia was Burton Hanson of St. Olaf. There had been some basketball played before that time but it had been rather sporadic. Hanson developed a fairly good team for the two years he was here. He lacked experience as a coach and his material was rather limited.

"When he left it became my duty to take charge of athletics. I was no professional coach and received no extra pay for my work. When I took up my duties of coaching I had little material left from the previous year and had to try to build a team from green and raw material. Concordia did not have any high school graduates in those days and I had to rely on our own students and develop them.

"We had a large attendance during the winter months but many were farmer boys who had never seen a basketball. Many could not speak much English and took no interest in athletics.

"We did not play as many games as they do now. Twelve games were all we were allowed. Nearly all the teams we played were stronger than our team. There were few if any scholastic regulations and no uniformity in what constituted bona-fide students.

"I remember one instance we had defeated one team from out of town and played them again two weeks later. We discovered that there was only one member left of the team we had played two weeks earlier. The others were ringers. Of course we got a real beating.

"We did not have much of a gym. We used the east end of the basement in the main building which was long but very narrow and it was almost impossible to develop any teamwork. The ceiling was so low we could not practice long shots.(12)"

The "C" Club, the organization of college lettermen, held its first annual banquet at the new Columbia Hotel with the Moorhead High School basketball team as its guests. Following a five-course dinner, the club honored the high school team which had won third place in the state tournament. The banquet was a success and helped to strengthen the friendly relations existing between the two schools.(13)

1923-1924   | Football | Men's Basketball | Baseball | All Sports | Booster Club |

There was no Concordia baseball team in the spring of 1924 because no schedule could be arranged. Those interested would begin practice in May. Spring football began on April 7 and continued for four weeks.

Chapter 3

1. Hollingsworth, Gustavus Athletics, p. 77-78.

2. Concordian, December 22, 1920.

3. Concordian, October 24, 1921.

4. Concordian, Novemberf 28, 1921.

5. 1923 Scout, p. 131. .

6. 1920 Scout, p. .

7. Most all of the information including scores and rosters for the 1920's was found in the 1920, 1923, 1926 and 1929 Scout yearbooks.

8. 1923 Scout, p.

9. Concordian, December 15, 1922.

10. Concordian, May 18, 1923.

11. 1923 Scout, p. 132.

12. Concordian, March 5, 1924.

13. Concordian, April 11, 1924.

14. 1926 Scout, p.

15. Concordian, May 5, 1925.

16. 1929 Scout, p 196.

17. 1929 Scout, p. 197..

18. 1929 Scout, p. 199.

19. 1929 Scout, p.180.

20. 1929 Scout, p. 13.

21. 1929 Scout, p. 198.

22. Concordian, December 19, 1929.

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