You may have heard stories about the 1934 Hamburg High School Football Team. A record that has gone down in history. They had an undefeated season and incredible wins over schools some being much bigger than Hamburg. I heard about it growing up, as my Dad, Paul Folkes, was one of the players.
During the 1934 season, the team was coached Andy Selk. The first game was with Auburn, ending with a score of 32–0. Leland Vogel, Donald “Wap” Farley, Jimmie Glenn, Walter “Bud” Long, Garland Hutson, and Robert “Diddle” Matthews were named outstanding players of that game.
The team played South Omaha for their second game winning 27-0. The Hamburg Reporter referred to it as South Omaha's “practice game” and said that never at anytime did the South Omaha Packers prove a threat.
The next game was against Coin and brought a victory for the Hamburg Wildcats of 33-0. The game was started with the second string.
Hamburg then played Tarkio with the headline reading “Tarkio High Goes Down Fighting – Lose 46-0”. The game was played at Tarkio and was the first evening game the team ever played.
Even though Hamburg won, the 5th game of the season over Tabor, 19-0, it was reported that Tabor had a “scrappy” team which was too strong for Hamburg's second string and some of the first string had to be played.
Next Red Oak managed to score against the Wildcats with a final score of 26-7. This was the first time Hamburg's goal line was crossed during the season.
Then the team traveled to Council Bluffs to play Thomas Jefferson High School. The Wildcats defeated TJ by a score of 14-0. An Omaha sports writer covering the game termed the Hamburg team as a “bunch of farmer boys”. In response the Hamburg team reporter said the “farmer boys” went to town, saw the sights, brought home the bacon, knew their stuff, and were not awed by the boys of the “big town”.
The Wildcats played on their home field against Rock Port for the annual Armistice Day game. The final score was 27-6 . This was the second and last time Hamburg's goal line was crossed during the season.
The last game was played Thanksgiving Day at Shenandaoh. It was reported that both teams were equally handicapped with the wet and soggy field. It was not until the last quarter that Long made a touchdown. The final score was 6-0.
Long and Mitchell were named the outstanding players for the year on the Southwestern Iowa All-Star Team.
The story behind the team maybe you do not know? My Dad, like many young men in his generation left school for a time after 8th grade to work. Later on he was recruited to return to school, get his high school diploma, and sign up for the football team. He was 19 years old in the fall of 1934. It leaves me wondering if others on the team were also older than the usual high school senior? Was this maybe part of the reason for the Hamburg Wildcats undefeated season?