"Concordia Men's Sports - The First One Hundred Years"Next Section
by Vernon Finn Grinaker
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Chapter 5 -- The War Years

 1940-1941 | 1941-1942 | 1942-1943 | 1943-1944 | 1944-1945 | 1945-1946 | 1946-1947 | 1947-1948 1948-1949 | 1949-1950 | Looking Back -- The War Years |

1949-1950 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | All Sports | Facilities and debate on Sport on Campus | MIAC News |

Jake Christiansen's 1949 football team posted a 4 - 5 overall record, 2 - 3 in the MIAC for fifth place. On the roster were Melberg, Seljevold, Meier, Hilleboe, Charles Basch, Bain, Hvidston, Gulsvig, Moe, Vraa, Lee, Johnson, Perkins, Christianson, Bergson, Davidson, Stenerson, Idso, Bale, Strandemo, Sellberg, Stromme, McIntyre, Gardner, D. Simonson, Anderson, Swanson, Lee, Alberts, Narveson, Strom and L. Simonson. Results for the season were:
Charles J. Basch, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball, Football and Hockey Coach 1946-1950, 1962-1967

Concordia 20 Valparaiso 28
Concordia 41 NDAC 6
Concordia 7 Gustavus 26
Concordia 35 St. Mary's 6
Concordia 7 Morningside 34
Concordia 14 St. Thomas 58
Concordia 14 Macalester 7
Concordia 12 Hamline 20
Concordia 14 MSTC 12

Conference standings were:
St. Thomas 6 - 0
Gustavus 5 - 1
St. John's 4 - 2
Hamline 3 - 3
Macalester 2 - 3
Concordia 2 - 3
St. Olaf 2 - 4
Augsburg 1 - 3
St. Mary's 0 - 6

Lack of numbers was a real problem for spring football. Coach Christiansen, in an effort to get more men out, said, "I would like to emphasize the fact that more than 50% of the boys who have made good on the football team at Concordia have never had any football experience in high school. This is a golden opportunity to play college football."(19)

1949-1950 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | All Sports | Facilities and debate on Sport on Campus | MIAC News |

The 1949-1950 basketball team ended the season with a 6 - 18 overall record and finished in eighth place in the MIAC with a 4 - 10 record. Conference standings were:

Hamline 13 - 0
St. Thomas 11 - 2
Augsburg 9 - 4
St. Mary's 6 - 7
Gustavus 6 - 7
Duluth 5 - 7
Macalester 5 - 8
St. Olaf 4 - 10
Concordia 4 - 10
St. John's 3 - 11

Coach Jake Christiansen had the following on the roster: Bob Peterson, Carl Zander, Arvid Skogerboe, Ken Severud, Robert Strand, Paul Fedje, Duane Albert, John Groven, Robert Underdahl, Sonny Gulsvig, Whitey Johnson, Mac Redmond, Charlie Basch, Don Smestad, Marlowe Davidson, Jim Gabrielson and Art Moe.
Edwin "Sonny" Gulsvig, basketball, baseball, football class of '50

Scores for the season were:
Concordia 55 Valley City 60
Concordia 48 Jamestown 54
Concordia 39 NDAC 49
Concordia 35 MSTC 56
Concordia 47 Wahpeton Science 43
Concordia 51 Mayville State 48
Concordia 51 MSTC 66
Concordia 51 Huron College 73
Concordia 33 Augsburg 65
Concordia 40 St. Thomas 58
Concordia 53 St. Mary's 49
Concordia 53 Macalester 49
Concordia 60 Gustavus 49
Concordia 45 Gustavus 50
Concordia 52 St. Olaf 59
Concordia 57 NDAC 60
Concordia 46 St. John's 50
Concordia 42 Hamline 59
Concordia 53 Duluth 75
Concordia 40 St. Thomas 48
Concordia 80 Duluth 81
Concordia 54 MSTC 69
Concordia 53 St. Mary's 75
Concordia 68 St. Olaf 57

1949-1950 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | All Sports | Facilities and debate on Sport on Campus | MIAC News |

The hockey team under student-coach John Bale played four games during the season. The team was hampered by lack of equipment, lack of student interest and the cancellation of four games. The season record was:

Concordia 5 Jamestown College 3
Concordia 3 Bemidji State 5
Concordia 0 Bemidji State 6
Concordia 3 Cando 5

1949-1950 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | All Sports | Facilities and debate on Sport on Campus | MIAC News |

The 1950 baseball season, with Coach Charlie Basch, was reduced to less than three weeks of play due to bad weather. The inclement weather forced cancellation of the Steve Gorman League schedule and other games were scheduled wherever possible.

Members of the team were Sather, Green, Anderson, Stensland, Johnson, Perkins, Gulsvig, Severud, Peterson, Gabrielson, Basch, Stenson, Fedje, Sanden, Rasmus and Olson.

Scores for the season:

Concordia 6 MSTC 11
Concordia 3 Jamestown College 5
Concordia 3 Jamestown College 4
Concordia 4 Hawley Hawks 3
Concordia 5 MSTC 3
Concordia 13 Moorhead Chix 14

1949-1950 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | All Sports | Facilities and debate on Sport on Campus | MIAC News |

Allan Sortland in his column in the Concordian suggested that Concordia is now in the stage where her athletic future is at stake. The key is the problem of funds as in all church colleges. The athletic budget is smaller than it should be. Other problems are lack of facilities and equipment and the geographical location of the college in relation to other schools in the MIAC. Coach Christiansen summed it up when he said, "We are a have-not college in a conference of haves and it will take a tremendous effort on the part of everyone if we are to stay in competition with the rest of the teams."(15)

Commenting further on the problem, Jake, when asked what effect the new fieldhouse would have on Concordia athletics, answered,

"With a new fieldhouse we will be able to build the material which we do have and attract some of the local boys. At least there will be no barrier to athletics as there is now." But he added with emphasis, "This is not the answer to Concordia's athletic problems."

Sensing something important in the sincere, emphatic answer, I asked, "What is the answer?"

Jake's reply was not long withheld. "The answer lies rather in cooperation from students and administration alike in setting up a new athletic policy for Concordia. Athletics must be worked at not by one man or by one staff, but by the whole school. We need material!"

"What can we do?" I asked.

"Students can encourage their friends to come here. Some organization is also needed to find the boys who should be coming to Concordia and encourage them to attend here. Somebody has to do it, the coach isn't allowed to, and who's doing it now? Nobody!"

Because of the limitations of space I will omit further information and arguments which Coach Christiansen presented in our chat. They were all on the same subject and can be fairly well summarized in one of Jake's closing statements. "Students, administration and the board of directors all should cooperate to set up a modern athletic policy at Concordia, a policy which will provide proper material for winning teams and Christian coaches."(16)

Soon after this article appeared in the Concordian, a letter to the editor expressed a different viewpoint.

On the sports page of the Concordian appears an article by Don Sponheim entitled: "'Not the Answer' States Coach Christiansen As Long-Awaited Fieldhouse Nears Reality." The article makes something of an attempt at stating a solution to the "athletic problem" of Concordia College. Suggested solution summarized: That the college should adopt a new public relations policy with a view to attracting more athletic "material" to the college.

We are back to the basic question: What is the purpose of athletics in a Christian college? To produce winning teams so as to give publicity to the college in the field of sports and thus attract more athletic "material"? Is the purpose to promote the Christian college?

When athletic emphasis in a Christian college becomes such that winning is considered most important, the result is a distraction from the purpose of the institution.(17)

In response to an article declaring that the construction of a new fieldhouse not being the answer to the athletic dilemma, Concordian sportswriter Howard Wagner received several suggestions offering solutions to this situation.

"Perhaps it would be well to clarify the situation and to state the problem again. The predicament which faces the Concordia athletic department is, in one respect, similar to the one which faces every college and university in the nation, that of attracting good athletic material.

"However, because Concordia is a Christian college the problem is different from that which confronts any state school, for the goals and aim are different. At Concordia the purpose of intercollegiate sports is not primarily that of producing winning teams as it is in most state institutions. The purpose of Cobber athletics is in accord with that of other departments of the college: to strengthen the students in their Christian faith while at the college and to train them to go into our church and the world to share Christ with others.

"One of the best means of accomplishing this end is by sending out Christian coaches, for we cannot evade the fact that America today is very sports minded. Few subjects, perhaps only politics and the weather, exceed sports as the topic of discussion in almost every city and town. And in most small towns no on is more in the public eye than than the high school coach.

"Why not then, send out coaches with firm Christian convictions? This sounds simple but a study of the athletic situation at Concordia reveals that many complications prevent us from carrying out this program. Among the reasons why we cannot get high school athletes to come to Concordia are: our competition for players with schools with lower tuition, our failure to provide work for athletes who cannot really afford college and the lack of any active group or organization which is willing to sponsor needy students. Yet unless we can produce teams that can hold their own in conference stands, the coaches that Concordia turns out are not likely to be wanted by any community.

"This condition is not the fault of the coaching staff of the Concordia athletic department. In Jake Christiansen and his staff we have one of the most competent group of athletic advisors in the conference.

"Rev. Roy W. Gilbertson, pastor at Hannaford, North Dakota, writes " . .It is too bad that there a number of good Lutheran athletes who graduate from high school with genuine leadership qualities, physical stamina and energy in abundance and yet find it impossible because of financial reasons to attend our Christian colleges. As a result, they don't attend college at all or else they go to a college where some financial assistance is given them.

While Concordia recognizes the value of scholastic achievement and grants scholarships to high school seniors on that basis, why shouldn't those students outstanding in athletics, music, or forensics be given similar encouragement?

It seems to me that the Brotherhoods in our Church, on a local level in some cases and at least on a circuit level, would have an excellent project in providing athletic scholarships for boys in their congregation or their circuit and, in so doing, make it possible for more of this athletic material to have the advantage of a Christian college training. The Brotherhood of our Church, being an organization especially interested in boys' work, would in most cases find that they were really doing boys' work by furnishing the Concordia college area with more Christian college-trained coaches.(18)

later that year, a fund drive was started within the student body to help finance improvements to the athletic field. An article in the Concordia stated that perhaps many have wondered where their money was used.

After a brief interview with Coach Christiansen the following information was learned: Students through a $5 deduction from their initial $15 deposit fee donated a sum totaling $1600.

This was not enough, however, to cover the entire project, but only gave it a vital foundation as the water installations alone cost approximately $1400. Jumping pits, including a pole vaulting pit, two broad jumping pits and a high jumping pit, were completed this summer. These pits were walled up and tiled so as to insure permanence and easy conditioning and are located in the ravine just east of the track."(20)

1949-1950 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | All Sports | Facilities and debate on Sport on Campus | MIAC News |

Student-coach Luther Hegland led the 1950 tennis team. The team was handicapped by bad weather and only a brief schedule was played. The team beat Jamestown College and split with MSTC. Members of the squad were Luther Hegland, Arvid Skogerboe, Palmer Gedde, Jim Lillo, Jim Stenerson and Carl Zander.

1949-1950 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | All Sports | Facilities and debate on Sport on Campus | MIAC News |

The golf team, coached by Professor Holvik, also suffered from bad weather and only three matches were held. The team lost twice to MSTC and finished in third place behind NDAC and MSTC in the Tainter Cup Intercollegiate Golf Tournament. At the MIAC meet the team finished in seventh place. Members of the team included Rod Nelson, Dick Moe, Ken Severud, Arland Elton, Robert Underdahl and Al Billingham.

1949-1950 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | All Sports | Facilities and debate on Sport on Campus | MIAC News |

Upon the death of Professor A.M. Sattre, Professor Ivan Larson was appointed by President Brown to serve as MIAC faculty representative.

Chapter 5

2. Concordian, November 28, 1940.
3. Concordian, February 13, 1941.
4. Concordian, May 8, 1941.
5. Concordian, May 15, 1941.
6. Concordian, March 5, 1942.
7. Concordian, November 13, 1941.
8. Concordian, May 14, 1942.
9. Concordian, February 25, 1943.
10. Concordian, May 20, 1944.
11. Concordian, May 24, 1946.
12. Concordian, October 27, 1948.
13. Concordian, November 1, 1948.
14. Concordian, April 1, 1949.
15. Concordian, June 1, 1948.
16. Don Sponheim, Concordian, March 24, 1950.
18. Howard Wagner, Concordian, March 31, 1950.
19. Concordian, March 17, 1950.
20. Concordian, , 1950.

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