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Home > Blog > Photo of the Week, 32: Are you ready for some football?

Pictured here is the 1915 University High School football team. The “U Men" (the school nickname “Pioneers" was still a long way off) went 4-3-2 that season, with wins coming against Paxton, Urbana and Normal (twice); loses to Joliet, Decatur and Peoria Manual; and ties with Champaign and Springfield.

The players are unidentified in this photograph, though we know the coach (far right) was Merton Jessie Lyon. He was an ISNU mechanical arts instructor. At this time players wore leather helmets (thus the nickname “leatherheads"), and it goes without saying that concern about concussions was negligible.

It appears this photograph was taken on the Illinois State Normal University Quad. Back then, U-High students attended classes on the ISNU campus.

Written By

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History

Posted in Historic Photos

September 11th, 2013