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The Gridiron Digest


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  1. A total of 27 jamborees were played on Mishawaka's field. The "jamboree era" began in 1968, took 2 years off ('83 and '84 when the cluster system schedules eliminated the jamborees) and ended after the 1996 jamboree when the IHSAA allowed a 9th regular season game to replace the jamborees. The first 6 years ('68 - '73) featured Mishawaka, Marian, Penn and St. Joe. The next 7 years ('74 - '80) included the four original schools and added Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial. These years saw near capacity crowds for the Mishawaka jamboree (around 8,500). IN 1981 and 1982, Elkhart Central dropped and Warsaw was added. When the jamborees resumed in 1985 after the end of the cluster system, the Mishawaka event had only 5 teams --- the 4 originals and Elkhart Memorial. Warsaw joined those 5 in 1986 and for the final 11 years of the "jamboree era" ('86 - '96) the event featured Mishawaka, Marian, Penn, St. Joe, Elkhart Memorial and Warsaw. Always happy to provide way more information than anyone wants or needs. 😜
  2. Many years ago (1998) I shared a luncheon table with Walter Stuhldreher, nephew of Four Horsemen quarterback Harry Stuhldreher. He told several stories of his uncle and the Four Horsemen. One of my favorites involves Knute Rockne and “Sleepy” Jim Crowley. At practice during the week of the Army game in 1924 (where the legend of the Notre Dame Four Horsemen was born), Crowley had messed up a couple of plays. Rockne, ever the perfectionist and already frustrated with Crowley’s practice habits, screamed across the field, “What’s dumber than a dumb Irishman?” With no hesitation, Crowley shouted back… “a smart Swede”. Practice was interrupted only briefly as Crowley did a few extra calisthenics. Of course, Rockne was Norwegian rather than Swedish, but everyone got a kick out of it anyway.
  3. Sorry gbjemler... I haven't been on this board for a while. Here's your answer... Until 1941, Mishawaka’s field was known as “Mishawaka School Field”. In 1939, with the completion of the new permanent seating (the stadium still in use today), the field was dedicated without a name. On July 7, 1941 it was dedicated as “Tupper Field”. William Tupper was not a coach, or even a teacher. He is credited with bringing the first electric lighting system to the city of Mishawaka in about 1895 while he was the superintendent of the Dodge Power Plant. He also served for 22 consecutive years on the Mishawaka School Board and oversaw the construction of the stadium. The “Tupper Field” dedication coincided with his retirement from the School Board in 1941. On January 8, 1980, the Mishawaka School Board of Trustees voted to dedicate the stadium to Frank M. Steele. On August 29, 1980, the stadium was officially dedicated as “Frank M. Steele Stadium.”
  4. The 1960 Berne French Township High School Bears in their first year of football. Fun picture!
  5. The Mishawaka Cavemen play in Frank M. Steele Stadium. Steele was Mishawaka’s Coach 1924-1932 and his Cavemen claimed 2 mythical state championships (’25 and ’26). He was the Mishawaka High School Athletic Director 1934-1952 and then served as the head of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Safety for the Mishawaka School Corporation until his retirement in 1960. The stadium was built (completed) in 1939.
  6. It was 1991. Sectional championship. The middle of the field was solid ice. Valpo led 19-6 at the half and was "comfortably" ahead 26-6 in the third quarter. But after Valpo's TD to go up by 20, the Cavemen held them to only 1 first down for the rest of the game. The punt return occurred with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter - and yes @WolvesOnTheProwl, it was Mammolenti. He slipped and slid and at one point did a 360 spin, but somehow kept his feet and ran it back for a 64 yard touchdown. Mishawaka went for 2 and failed, making the score 26-12. After a Valpo punt, Mishawaka did use the pass because their running game was going nowhere. The Cavemen scored on an 11 play drive (5 passes). The touchdown was a 10 yard pass. After another Valpo punt, Mishawaka needed only 3 plays (2 passes) to go 30 yards to the Vikings 35 yard line where Mammolenti broke free for the touchdown run to tie the game at 26. Mishawaka made the PAT and went ahead 27-26 with 2:30 remaining. Valpo had one last chance but Mishawaka intercepted a pass at the Valpo 30 and ran out the clock. The Cavemen went on to defeat Crown Point in the regional, 14-7. They lost to Penn in the semi-state game.
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