Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A 1952 Cherokean yearbook found its’ way onto my desk.

It reveals a rich Cherokee football history lesson.

In the fall football season’s of 1950 and 1951, Wilson High Brave gridders recorded perfect back-to-back 9-0 records.

It was the fourth time in six years that Cherokee won the Lakes Conference title with an unblemished record. According to the Cherokean yearbook of 1952, Sac City was the last school to defeat Cherokee, 20-6, in the eighth game of the 1949 season. The Tribe won the next game by crushing Storm Lake 27-7, and has won every game since to pile up 13 wins in a row.

In 1951, the Braves belted their foes 329 points to just 46, and the Wilson boys gained 3,100 yards rushing to 1,044 for their opponents. In one game against LeMars, the Braves racked up 582 net yards.

The Cherokean reported that a fitting climax to the season came with a Rotary Club sponsored turkey banquet at the Fern Room of the Lewis Hotel.

Cherokee Coach Otto Hueber was named The Des Moines Register’s high school football Coach of the Year, and the Sioux City Journal’s first ever Siouxland Coach of the Year.

Some of the notables attending the banquet were Lyle T. Quinn, executive secretary of the Iowa High School Athletic Association; Brad Wilson, staff sports writer of the Register; Alex Stoddard, sports editor of the Sioux City Journal-Tribune; and guest speaker Rube Hoy, athletic director at the University of South Dakota.

Wilson Braves in ’51 were Dennis Hoeppner, Sherald Grauer, Dale Cline, Ralph Martin, Douglas Huebner, Dean Trapp, Larry Larson, Tom Dushinske, Lloyd Conley, Leo Matt, Lawrence Kjorness, Harold Peterson, Robert Light, Rodney Maffin, Joe Lundsgaard, Harlan Wilson, Boyd Sinkey and Ralph Primas.


In ’51, Wilson Brave Harlan Wilson was named on the first team All-American high school football team chosen by Scholastic magazines, the national school weeklies. Wilson, a tackle, was also named to the first team on the Iowa Daily Press Association and Des Moines Registers’ all-state choices.


It was also in the 1951-52 basketball season that the Braves earned a trip to the state tournament in Iowa City. The Cherokean reports that four athletes from Immaculate Conception, Tom Dushinske, Bud Primus, Lloyd Conley and Leo Matt transferred to Wilson so they could participate in football. They also had a big impact on the state tourney basketball team of ’52.


Just fyi, Cherokee Wilson Coach Otto Hueber was a University of Iowa graduate and his roommate just happened to be Nile Kinnick, Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner. Huebner passed away in his late 30s from a heart attack and Kinnick was killed in WWII.

Also noteworthy, a couple stalwarts of the Wilson Braves of the time to go on and captain college teams were Joe Lundsgaard, who was captain of the University of South Dakota football team, and Leo Matt, who became captain of the University of Notre Dame golf team.


We want to tip our hat to Cherokee Middle School teacher and coach, Collin Johnson, for his positive leadership of our young people, and for exposing them to wonderful organization - The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

Johnson started a “Braves’ Power Club” for middle school student athletes with some emphasis on the FCA. A group of 28 participants began lifting weights in January and lift at the high school facility Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. After lifting, students willingly participate in some scripture readings and discuss the readings.

Johnson also instituted a weekly “Mission.” Participants are given a mission each week to work on. For example, one recent mission challenged students to be more optimistic in their daily lives. On Friday, a discussion is held after lifting about what they’ve done to be more optimistic.

Wow, what a wonderful concept!

Thank you Mr. Johnson. We would encourage all area athletes to participate in anything sponsored by the FCA. All it will do is make you happier and a better human being. No doubt about it.


Prep track, golf and tennis teams are already preparing for the upcoming seasons. We wish them all good luck and more favorable weather!

We also would encourage area coaches to remember us when turning in meet results. It’s simple, just email results to sports@ctimes.biz.



—“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” —Oscar Willde

—“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”—Audrey Hepburn

—“When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”.

They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” — John Lennon.

—“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”—Maya Angelou.

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