Let’s Talk Clovis: Clovis High’s First Football Team, 1922

The 1922 Clovis High School Football Team. (Clovis Museum)

We are sharing the article written in the 1922 Argus (now Cavalcade annual) that reviews the first year of football at Clovis High.

“The 1922 softball season saw the game of American football for the first time at the Clovis High School. This was made possible through the efforts of Coach Newman (teaching staff) and Mr. McKesson (Principal), and the cooperation of the Board of trustees.

At the first call for candidates it was very evident that the community and students in general had the wrong impression of football and what it means to the players and to the school.

However, after the first practice game with a team from the Fresno Technical High School, when our boys in spite of their scant knowledge of the game came out victorious over their opponents, a new spirit for the game was developed. The town team was then taken into camp.

On October 15, we met Fowler, the strongest team in our division, for the first league game. The outcome was as well as could be expected. Fowler was unable to score on line plays. Clovis was able to break through the Fowler line for yardage. The 32-0 score was made possible by our visitor’s forward passing game, which our inexperienced team was unable to solve. But in straight football and aggressive fight, Clovis had the edge.

Then on October 27, our team journeyed to Parlier for the second league game. Although we were out weighted the line charged harder than the Parlier line and the backs played a smashing game. Captain Mishler and Magatagan made the most yardage. Miller played a good defensive game at guard and Mishler and Wamsley did stellar work in the secondary defense. The final score was Clovis 14, Parlier, 0.

Our hardest game to lose was that with Madera, November 5. Outweighed and out experienced cost Clovis the game, 14-7. However considering that the opponents were playing their fourth year of football as against our first the result was a great credit to the hard fighting Clovis team. Williams furnished the thrill of the game by dashing 70 yards for our score.

The climax to our football season occurred on our home grounds November 10, when Clovis defeated Easton13-6. Easton had previously defeated Madera and held Fowler to a close score. Both Kosich and Landers played a smashing game in the line, while Captain Mishler, Wamsley and Morgan ruled the yardage. Morgan especially deserves credit as a ground gainer.

Thus our season ended with Clovis tied with Madera for second place in our division.

The team owes much of its success to the coaching of “Darkhorse” Newman, whose experience as a football player has enabled him to develop a hard fighting year. Much credit must be given the members of the team for their fighting spirit and sportsmanship.

Captain Galen Mishler, was the outstanding star of the team. He hits hard on the offense and was our best ground gainer. On the defense he was a sure tackle and backed up the line well. Captain Elect Wamsley, although rather diminutive in size for a football player well deserves the honor of being elected captain for his fighting spirit. Tom Magatagan, Claude Morgan and George Shimamoto were the other backfield men, and all performed creditably.

On the line Monroe Landers played the most consistent game. Louis Kosich and Hubert Nevins were two good smashing tackles and Bill Miller and Carl Williams held down the guard berths. The pivot positions were held down well by Claude Morgan, Gordon Wilson and Milton Reyburn. Considering their size and newness to the game, these ends are deserving of much credit.”

Clovis High’s first football team is a part of our rich heritage.

Peg Bos is the president of the Clovis Museum on 4th and Pollasky avenues in Old Town Clovis. She not only manages the museum but she also writes her Let's Talk Clovis column in our publication which features and highlight the amazing history of our city and culture. One fun fact about Peg Bos, she was the first female mayor of Clovis from 1984-86.