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January 27, 2015

The Beginning of Varsity Basketball at Case Institute of Technology

The first season of varsity basketball at Case Institute of Technology was during the 1911/1912 academic year. The first opponent was Oberlin College, who beat Case 37-25 on January 20, 1912. The captain of the team was senior Frederick E. Caine who played left forward. The manager was H. L. Senn. Other players included Frank E. Clarke, Charles S. Arms, Henning A. Johnson, Seaver C .Kenyon, Monroe F. McOmber, and C. A. Beck.

CITbasketball1911-12.jpg
Case basketball team, 1911-1912

Here is the text from the yearbook, Differential, regarding the season:

“Not until late in the fall term of this year did Case decide to put hockey on the shelf and try her hand at basket ball. Hockey was not in favor with the Athletic Association because of the impossible conditions demanded by the Elysium management. The students were also fast losing their interest in the game. it was, therefore, decided that , with the advent of the new Y. M. C. A., Case might be able to indulge in basket ball as other colleges do. The season just past, however, leaves us without a satisfactory winter varsity sport, and yet it is a difficult matter to compare the team with their opponents. Captain Caine and his men were able to get together only two hours each week and still were able to make a creditable showing against teams whose members have played continuously for many years and who are able to practice from fifteen to twenty hours every week.

“The advent of a new athletic endeavor is always beset with reverses which can be overcome only by practice and an excess of stick-to-it-iveness both by the the team and the student body. The support rendered the team by the students was deplorable in the extreme. Only by the hardest kind of work was the manager able to bring the best teams of the state to play here and still the students would not do their part to establish basket ball as the winter sport at Case. It is a well known fact that, thought [sic] there was a large number of men in school who have played and can play basket ball, yet a continual fight was necessary for Captain Caine to keep a dozen men interested. A start has been made, such that there is no reason why Case should not have one of the strongest fives in the state next year and it now rests with the student body to come out and make the team or at least enjoy the privileges of the well-equipped gym of the East End Y. M. C. A., which has made possible the existence of a winter sport.”

YMCA.jpg
Y.M.C.A. building

Case had a 0-10 record their first year. They did not field a team again until the 1914/15 academic year, also going 0-10. In 1915/16 Case turned itself around with the help of new coach Pat Pasini and finished the season 8-2. They continued to improve - going 12-1 the following year.

In contrast with Case, Western Reserve University had fielded its first team in the 1897/98 academic year and had 11 seasons under its belt by 1911/12.

Posted by hxy2 at January 27, 2015 09:28 PM

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