Editor’s note: Have an old school photo, memory or lacrosse tall tale that you want featured on Lax All Stars? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with “OLD SCHOOL” in the subject and you could be featured in our weekly trip down memory lane.
Last week we had our first ever running diary of a mysterious black and white film showing two teams playing with wooden sticks and bucket helmets from back in the day.
What teams were they? What year was it? I had no idea but (wrongly) assumed it was from the 50’s.
Thankfully, a group of people much smarter than I were determined to find the answers.
“From looking at the cars passing by on the street at the beginning, it must be 1964 +/- 3 years. I love the opening fade in and somewhere in the early minutes the projector rolls through a bunch of frames. Reminds me of my Super-8 days although this must have been 16 mm.
They wore short shorts in those days.”
Some more sleuthing by our own Will Patton confirmed that the stadium was …
“Army’s Michie Stadium, which was opened in 1924. You can see in the photo (below) that the stadium is adjacent to a body of water, and the entrance the cadets are coming in is still in existence today with the same posts and a road between the stadium and water.”
We were getting close.
The mystery was almost solved. But who was the white team? Would we ever know? Enter reader Steve Bair (@CoachDrSteve on Twitter) who cracks the case wide open.
“After hours of research, I have in 100% confidence that the game was in fact not against Syracuse. It is, in fact, drum roll please, the Cornell Big Red! Cornell ended up winning this contest 16-15.
…After looking at every Army lacrosse score from 1923, when Mr. Patton pointed out the stadium was built, until 1980, only twice has Army lost at home with the score being at least 13-12 (that was the score when the clipped ended).
There was a 16-17 loss to Cornell on May 29th, 1971 and a 15-16 loss to Navy on June 3rd, 1978.
The Navy white jerseys clearly displayed the “Navy” logo across chest with blue shoulders while the Cornell whites had only the numbers.”
1971 Cornell team in white jerseys:
1978 Navy white jerseys:
As if it couldn’t get even cooler, the 1971 Cornell squad won the first ever NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship tournament that year with a 13-1 record. They beat Maryland 12-6 in the finals and were led by Hall of Fame coach Richard M. Moran.
Mystery solved. Just goes to show you the kind of lax-fiends we have reading this site.
We went from a video with no information whatsoever, to a full story and background on a historic lacrosse team. Amazing work. Even better story.
Go clean out the attic and relive your glory days. Submit your Old School photos and stories to email@example.com.