Listen to First-Hand Accounts of the 1920 Everett High National Championship Football Season

Everett High School championship football team, 1920 Everett Public Library photo

A few weeks ago, the Everett Herald began a new local history blog, and this morning they linked to a collection of oral history recordings housed at the Everett Public Library.  These recordings were made in the 1970s but have been recently edited into a series of podcasts.

Among this Everett Voices podcasts, and it looks like the first one produced, is an episode on the Everett High School football team, coached by Enoch Bagshaw, that won the mythical national high school championship in 1920.  It includes interviews conducted in 1976 with Glenn “Scoop” Carlson (QB) and Roy Sievers (end).  It’s a must-listen for any football fan and particularly those with an interest in history.  For example, at the time high school quarters were 15 minutes in length, but often coaches would agree that 12 minutes were appropriate.  However, according to Mr. Carlson, Coach Bagshaw would never agree to shorter quarters, confident that his players were in far better condition than the opposition.  I also find it fascinating that nearly 100 years ago, high school teams were traveling across the country to play.

For those unfamiliar, the Everett High School team of 1920 played and beat not only reluctant local high school teams, but also the University of Washington freshman team, St. Martin’s College, high school teams from California, Oregon and Utah, and finally a team from Cleveland for the national championship on New Year’s Day 1921. Excerpted from HistoryLink.org:

On January 1, 1921, the 1920 Everett High School football team plays against East Technical High School of Cleveland, Ohio, and wins the United States High School Football title, the highest honor possible in high school football. Coach Enoch Bagshaw (d. 1930) and halfback George Wilson (1901-1963) lead the team. Both coach “Baggy” and Wilson will join the Huskies of University of Washington (UW) in the fall of 1921. Other Everett High School players will follow. Coach Bagshaw will take the UW team to their first ever win at the Rose Bowl. Wilson will become an All-American football player and have a professional career with the Providence Steamrollers. UW will name him the greatest football player of the university’s first half-century.