Museum of Northwest Colorado discovery puts Craig football in the record books
- Craig vs. Meeker — 18-0
- Craig vs. Hayden — 26-0
- Craig vs. Meeker — 3-0
- Craig vs. Steamboat Springs — 15-0
- Craig vs. Oak Creek — 45-0
- Craig vs. Oak Creek — 40-0
- Craig vs. Steamboat Springs — 10-0
- Craig vs. Hayden — Hayden forfeit
- Craig vs. Steamboat Springs — 6-0
- Craig vs. Hayden — 18-0
- Craig vs. Oak Creek — 13-0
- Craig vs. Meeker — 13-0
- Craig vs. Hayden — 0-0
- Craig vs. Hayden — 13-0
- Craig vs. Steamboat Springs — 12-0
- Craig vs. Hayden — 6-0
- Craig vs. Oak Creek — 25-0
- Craig vs. Meeker — 0-27
CRAIG — Moffat County has always been big on football and frequently fields a formidable team.
But back in the late 1920s, Craig assembled a squad that accomplished something only a few programs in the nation can boast, and as a result of research undertaken by the Museum of Northwest Colorado, that team will soon be recognized by the Colorado High School Activities Association.
In 1926, the Craig High School Mavericks not only went undefeated all season, but also did not allow a single point to be scored against them.
Statewide, only Grand Junction and Englewood can make the same boast.
But the Mavericks weren’t done at the end of 1926.
The following year, 1927, they repeated the feat, once again shutting out every team they met.
And incredibly, the next year, 1928, the team seemed poised to again blank every other squad it met, shutting out Steamboat Springs, Hayden, and Oak Creek in the first three games. The fourth week of the season, however, the team met a determined squad from Meeker, which “gave the Mavericks a dose of their own medicine” by handing them a 27-0 loss, according to Museum of Northwest Colorado Assistant Director Paul Knowles. When they finally fell to Meeker, Knowles said, the Mavericks had won either 14 or 17 consecutive games without allowing a single point to be scored against them.
Knowles said the uncertainty surrounding the number of consecutive shutouts arises from a 1927 Western Slope playoff tournament which, for some reason, never advanced to the finals.
In the semifinal game of the uncompleted series, the Mavericks met Glenwood Springs, and though they came out on top — the final score was 21-7 — they did allow Glenwood to cross the goal line.
Knowles said if the defunct Western Slope series game against Glenwood is discounted, the Mavericks’ record is 17 consecutive shutouts; if that game is included, the number would be 14.
Either would be a CHSAA record, and Knowles said he has already sent his documentation of his discovery to the association, which currently lists Grand Junction as the record holder, with 13 consecutive shutouts.
Reached for comment on Monday, Bert Borgmann, assistant commissioner with CHSAA, verified he has received Knowles’ notification and documentation of the record, and CHSAA will recognize it when it next updates its high school sports statistics.
“It’ll get updated when we update the records, and we generally do that once a year,” Borgmann said. “There’s an awful lot of records that get set during the course of a year.”
He added that, while receiving a new claim from so many years ago is not uncommon, word of Craig’s heretofore undocumented football record came as a pleasant surprise.
“We get lots and lots of people who suggest something from that long ago, and if they bring us some substantiation, we add them,” he said. “What’s kind of fun is, when you get something like this, and you weren’t expecting it. … This is something that had just been sitting out there in a museum that lots of people know about, but had never been recorded.”
He said that, while some schools keep meticulous records, the most telling documention of past sporting accomplishments often comes from the historic newspapers of the day.
“There are lots of records out there. Some schools never kept records; others were meticulous,” he said. “But it turns out, the most meticulous record keepers were the reporters covering these events.”
Knowles agreed, pointing to historic copies of “The Maverick,” Craig High School’s student newspaper, as one of his main research sources.
Knowles’ research also turned up another interesting fact about football in the Yampa Valley. Most people from the area know Craig’s football rivalry with Steamboat Springs has been around for quite a while, but they might not know it is the fourth oldest such rivalry in the state.
The Craig-Steamboat rivalry has been going on for 108 years, behind the Delta-Montrose rivalry, 111 years; the La Junta-Trinidad rivalry, 112 years; and the Pueblo Centennial-Pueblo Central rivalry, 125 years.
This rivalry will also be added when CHSAA updates its records.
Knowles said the discovery surprised him as much as anyone.
“I’d read a report that, in 1926, we had a pretty good football team, so I looked into it and found out it was a little more than ‘pretty good,’” he said. “… This has just been sitting there for 90 years, and we just uncovered it. It shows the kind of research we’re doing here, and it gives the community something else to be proud of.”
Contact Jim Patterson at 970-875-1790 or jpatterson@CraigDailyPress.com.
A learn-by-doing methodology was on display Friday at the Loudy-Simpson Park pond as Moffat County High School science students learned quickly whether or not they had a future in engineering.