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Archive for Saturday, September 22, 2012

100 years ago: Assistant coach has football team playing leap-frog

September 22, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Sept. 22, 1912:

"Just what connection 'leap-frog' has with the modern game of football may not be apparent to the average observer of the college game, but those who were present at McCook field yesterday afternoon saw Varsity athletes playing the old-fashioned game on the green field. Had the little red school house been in evidence one might easily have come to the conclusion that he had made a mistake and was witnessing a bunch of school boys at play during recess time. Instead of that they were Kansas University students, candidates for honors in the strenuous sport of football, out there on the field, hopping over each other's backs and squatting to be in turn hopped over. Up and down the field the athletes hopped and squatted, but it was not merely just fun, they were doing training stunts. It was a Minnesota idea of development imported into the game at Kansas by Leonard Frank, Gopher star of many seasons past and now assistant coach of Kansas University. When Frank suggested the old sport for football men there were some who were inclined to believe that a joke was in progress, but the Coach was in earnest and the men soon got into the game with as much enthusiasm as they ever played it in their boyhood days.... But the men did other work and plenty of it. The men were lined up and proceeded to fall on the ball for about half an hour.... Linemen tore great holes in the opposing defense and backs made steady gains, quarterbacks yelled signals, coaches gave advice and kickers booted the ball. Altogether it was a busy session.... And out of that session there begins to be faint appearances of a team. Already the coaches have divided the men into two imaginary classes, hopeful, and hopeless. The weeding-out process probably will begin next week. In the hopeful class there are a number of good men and the general indications after two days work lead the fan to the conclusion that Kansas University will have a 'pretty fair' football machine in the going this season."

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