Fritz Pollard, an All-America halfback from Brown University was a pro football pioneer in more ways than one. The 5-9, 165-pound back, who led Brown to the Rose Bowl in 1915, turned pro in 1919, when he joined the Akron (OH) Pros following army service during World War I. In 1920, the Pros joined the newly founded American Professional Football Association, later renamed the National Football League. That season, with Pollard leading the charge, the Pros went undefeated (8-0-3) to win the league's first crown.
As a member of the new league, Pollard immediately earned a place in pro football history as one of just two African Americans in the new league. In 1921 he earned another distinction becoming the first African American head coach in NFL history when the Pros named him co-coach of the team.
Contemporary accounts indicate that Pollard, an exciting elusive runner, was the most feared running back in the fledgling league. During his pro football career the two-time All-America played and sometimes coached for four different NFL teams, the Pros/Indians (1920-21/1925-26), the Milwaukee Badgers (1922), the Hammond Pros (1923, 1925), and the Providence Steam Roller (1925). Fritz also spent time in 1923 and 1924 playing for the Gilberton Cadamounts, a strong independent pro team in the Pennsylvania “Coal League.”
In 1928, Pollard organized and coached the Chicago Black Hawks, an all-African American professional team based in the Windy City. Pollard's Black Hawks played against white teams around Chicago, but enjoyed their greatest success by scheduling exhibition games against West Coast teams during the winter months. From 1929 until 1932 when the Depression caused the team to fold, the Black Hawks had become one of the more popular teams on the West Coast.
Lane Tech High School has won the Chicago Public League Championship and appeared in the Prep Bowl 9 times.
|1950 ||Mount Carmel ||45 ||Lane ||20|
Thanks to Fred Mossman from the Championship team for providing the 1959 Prep Bowl Champion Menu. Lane tied Dick Butkus and CVS for the Public Championship and won the right to advance via penetration points. Lane went on to dominate Fenwick in the Prep Bowl. Seven years before this game was played a tie breaking format was instituted. The winner of a tie game was determined on the basis of statistics. One point was given for whom ever had the most first downs, another point given for the team with the most yardage, and a third point for the team with the most penetration "points." Lane Tech won the game on statistics 2 to 1. With about five minutes left in the game Coach Manasin called a time out and met with the officials in the center of the playing field. When he returned to the side lines he told Coach Labant that if we could hold CVS we would win. At that point in time Lane was "ahead." We did hold on and we won on that basis. I was standing next to Coach Labant and heard Coach Manasin's comment. Years later I talked to Dick Butkus about the game. He well remembered the game and the outcome. I closed my part of our conversation by observing that deciding the game on the basis of statistics left a bad taste in our mouths at the time. His response was "How do you think we felt - we lost!" Of course no one can predict how the game would have ended if we had had a different tie breaking system. I can tell you this though - I liked to hit ..... but, I did not enjoy hitting or being hit by Butkus. You could tell that he was destined to be a great football player. He was like a man playing against boys. I am in hopes that Lane will do something to recognize this team in 2009 on the 50th anniversary of this game. Lane has played in the Prep Bowl eight times - this team is the only one to win. We, of course, are losing members of the team - Quarterback George Bunda (Prep Bowl MVP) and Tackle Jerry Mroczek (Co Captain) are deceased. There are probably others I am not aware of- Wayne Kelpin Lane Tech '60
The 2004 Chicago Public League Champs at the coin toss before the Prep Bowl at the new Soldier Field
The 2004 Prep Bowl
1977 Prep Bowl Lane vs. St. Rita
'77 Public Championship award (notice a young Coach Rich Rio second from the left, and coaches Art Fuimetto and Luis Munoz in their playing days)
Coach Ron Rio and Prinicipal Norman Silber accept the '77 Championship trophy, now hanging in the halls with thousands of others at the "School of Champions"
Al Manasin coached his last game for Lane in the 1975 Chicago Public League Championship. He retired after a legendary career at the helm of one of the Public League's top programs year after year.
The 1975 team romped through the preaseason and regular season with crushing victories of 27-0 over Schurz, 35-0 against Austin, and a 35-0 walk over Prosser. The last easy game was a 41-6 victory against Taft. The regular season ended with a hard-fought, grueling 15-14 nailbiter over Sullivan.
The playoffs began as the regular season did with a 42-0 whitewashing against the Marshall Commandoes which gave Lane a berth against Simeon in the quarterfinals. The Indians prevailed again with a very close 14-12 victory. The semifinals against Morgan Park were even closer with Lane inching out a very tight 13-12 win to get them to the Championship game. This game was to played at Soldier Field against Keena Turner and his Chicago Vocational Cavaliers.
The Championsip game was a defensive battle from start to finish with neither team giving ground. The Indian's hearts were broken however on a late punt return from nemesis Ron Pennick to give CVS an 8-0 victory.
Lane Tech ended the season with a 9-1 record and helped Coach Manasin retire with another stellar season to add to his accomplishments.
1975 Varsity Team
Coach Manasin receiving a heartfelt gift honoring his retirement at the 1975 football banquet
Tim Moylan leads the way for Youree Holloway
1975 Captains (from left) Mike Lampa, Phil Lopez, Tim Moylan and Rich Rozkuszka
Updated December 10, 2008