Westerville North - Athletics!
If you find a mistake, can assist in helping identify the people in the pictures, or would like to contribute additional photographs, please contact Dr. Hartnell at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The year 1992 marked the 100th year of high school football in Westerville... technically. In 1892, a group of Westerville high school students decided to take up this relatively "new" game called "the foot of the ball". Their opponent for their first game... Otterbein College. Lacking proper equipment, the Westerville high school team borrowed uniforms from Otterbein before playing the Cardinals to a 0-0 tie. In the team photo above, the Westerville students are shown wearing Otterbein uniforms, although student W. M. Gantz can be seen covering the "O" on his jersey. (Their coach is the dude rocking the turtleneck... and mustache.) The following year saw the Superintendent of Westerville Schools, Professor Ed Ressler, break his leg in a game he participated in so Westerville would have enough players to field a team that day. This resulted in the suspension of football in Westerville until 1901. Football returned that year and saw Westerville lose 35-0 to their arch-rival Worthington who was, ironically, coached by W. M. Gantz. Westerville beat Worthington the following season 32-0, which wound up being the last season of football in Westerville... again. Broken bones and skulls resulted in the ladies of the Westerville Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) appealing to the Westerville School Board to abolish the "brutal" sport. They were successful, and football was officially removed from the list of high school sports from 1903-1921. (Of course, the WCTU was also successful in launching Prohibition with the ratification of the 18th Amendment in 1919.) In 1921, however, football returned to Westerville and has been played continuously since. The school posted a 1-1-4 in its first season back, including a peculiar loss to Methodist Sunday School. Still, things turned around by 1923, and an undefeated Westerville squad won the Central Buckeye League Championship. In 1924, the first female cheerleaders were "elected" by the student body, and in 1925, a 26-member marching band was organized. Westerville played its first night game in 1931, losing 86-0 at Columbus Central High School. Players complained that they were "confused by the bright lights and use of a white ball". Despite this setback, the sport was here to stay. [Click picture for a larger version.]