Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

In the realm of athletics there was also substantial improvement and expansion, even though facilities for training and the playing of games were little better than in earlier years. The football seasons of 1901 and 1902 were crowded with defeats, but in 1903 the team led by Horace G. Chickering, '05, won four of its six preliminary games before being overwhelmed by Holy Cross in the final contest. The 1904 team, with William H. Burke, '05, as captain, made an equally good record, winning three and tying one of its six games. Captain Fred Peters, high-scoring quarterback, had little support the following year, and the season was anything but glorious. The 1906 and 1907 seasons were equally poor; that of 1908 was somewhat better, for the team won three games and lost the other four by small margins. A powerful 1909 team, led by Harold E. Waring, '10, won only three of its eight closely contested games, but achieved fame by holding Holy Cross to a scoreless tie. The event was celebrated by a nightshirt and torchlight parade through the city, followed by a bonfire on Alumni Field. This celebration was repeated in 1910, when the team captained by B. J. Halligan, '11, again held Holy Cross scoreless, at the end of an indifferent season.

Basketball was adopted in 1902, when an informal team arranged two games with Worcester Academy and won both. The following year the sport was sponsored by the Athletic Association, and the team made a reasonably good showing. Eight games were played in 1904; Tech won only the two played with M. I. T. In the winter of 1904-5, however, the team led by George R. Martin, '06, won seven games. The results of the next four seasons were not very satisfying, and in the spring of 1910, the sport was abolished. Teams were greatly handicapped by having no regular floor on which to practice, a makeshift gymnasium in the Mechanical Laboratories proving too crowded for developing team work. Moreover, Professor Coombs, vigorous treasurer of the Athletic Association, had stated convincingly that finances were not adequate to maintain more than three sports.


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Last Modified: Fri Jul 30 11:15:25 EDT 1999