Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

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Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:49 pm

Happy Post- Packers family night. The WIAA has one week under their belts and the MHSAA football season starts tomorrow.

Wasn't sure to just add this to the Redmen thread. But using the Michigan-Football.com website wanted to go through the years and just "skim off the top" Marquette' s football schedule and the major changes since 1955.

Most of this will pertain to Marquette and their opponents, however when we get to a certain era if anyone wants to add anything related to the U.P. football landscape, feel free to jump in.

Through research in the Redmen thread and some in notebooks misplaced around the house, I do have pre-1955 information. Someday would enjoy spending time at the library up there in Marquette and gather as much as possible, but honestly don't see that happening in the near future.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:07 pm

When you go back 100yrs ago Marquette played a small schedule- for sure usually against Negaunee and Ishpeming, playing each team twice. Munising was also in the mix, just not sure if Munising was initially right there with Negaunee and Ishpeming when it all started.

It seems I read once Marquette' s first football game was against Negaunee. I believe Negaunee formed a team then challenged Marquette to a game, which Marquette accepted then formed a team.

There were some years Marquette would play Ishpeming twice and Negaunee once, or vice versa.

Up until the late 1960's Marquette was actually "Graveraet" and remember for many years you had two other high schools in Marquette- you had J.D. Pierce which was a training school at the college, as well as the private school Bishop Baraga.

However over the years many football alumni from other schools told me they simply referred to "Graveraet" as "Marquette" (or "Marquette High School") so for simplicity reasons we'll do the same ok?

Also keep in mind Marquette was a Class B school up until the late 60's. The majority of their U.P. opponents were solid Class B or C.

Also we have to keep in mind back then the mode of transportation was slower in terms of travel and many football fields did not have lights. The newspaper game write-ups played on Fridays and Saturdays weren't published until Mondays. Lots of little things we don't think of.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:31 pm

So we will pick up in 1955...

Marquette was a member of the "Great Lakes Conference." These were the 9 schools that made up the GLC back then:

1. Escanaba
2. Gladstone
3. Ishpeming
4. Manistique
5. Marquette
6. Munising
7. Newberry
8. Sault Sainte Marie
9. Stephenson

Now it seems for football although you had a conference, not all the teams in the GLC played each other. While most schools played an 8 game season back then, some played 7 games.

Also Marquette played a non-conference game Week 1. Doing research prior to 1955 various opponents were Kingsford and Bessemer. Want to say some years it was Menominee?

In 1955 Kingsford was Marquette' s non-conference opponent. Kingsford was a member of the 5 team "Menominee Range Conference" that consisted of Kingsford, Iron Mountain, Iron River, Norway and Stambaugh.

So in 1955 Marquette' s schedule looked like this:

1. Kingsford (NC)
2. Munising
3. Newberry
4. Ishpeming
5. Gladstone
6. Sault Sainte Marie
7. Negaunee
8. Manistique

Now in 1955 the two teams Marquette did not play in GLC games were Escanaba and Stephenson. Don't know if there was a rotation plan or if the whole conference thing was to help secure games. Some of those schools had a constant changing schedule-especially those near Wisconsin.

1958 season

For week 5, Marquette loses Gladstone, picks up Escanaba.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:56 pm

1959 season

In recent seasons there was an unbalanced internal schedule within the GLC. The 1958 conference champions- the Manistique Emeralds went 8-0 while other schools played 7, 6, 5 and 4 conference games.

In 1959 you would play 6 GLC games and 2 non-conference games. Though while not everyone in the GLC would play each other, you would play 6 GLC games that counted in the standings.

In 1959 Marquette lost Newberry, but for their 2nd non-conference game picked up the Menominee Maroons.

Menominee was a member of "Big River Conference." Menominee was in a conference with 4 Wisconsin schools- the Eau Claire Old Abes, the LaCrosse Central Red Raiders, the Marinette Marines and the Wausau East Lumberjacks.

So Marquette' s 1959 schedule looked like this:

1. Kingsford (NC)
2. Menominee (NC)
3. Munising
4. Manistique
5. Escanaba
6. Ishpeming
7. Negaunee
8. Manistique

Did not play either Newberry, Stephenson or Gladstone.

Manistique went undefeated again that season!

(This will be a work in progress...)
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:53 pm

So basically through the 1960's and a little into the 70's there would be a lot of stability in Marquette' s football schedule...

Unlike our American society where there would be little stability ha ha..

Marquette would play non-conference games against Kingsford and Menominee (Weeks 1 & 2 respectively) then what appears to be "rotating" GLC opponents.

1960 Season

Marquette loses Munising & Manistique, picks up Newberry & Stephenson.

1961 Season

Marquette loses Newberry & Stephenson, picks up Gladstone & Munising.

1962 Season

Marquette loses Gladstone & Munising, picks Stephenson & Newberry back up.

After playing each other in '60 & '62, Marquette and Stephenson would never play each other again.

1963 Season

Marquette loses Stephenson & Newberry, pick up Gladstone & Manistique.

Meanwhile Menominee is without a conference/must be Independent as there is no more sign of the Big River Conference. However Menominee will continue to play Marquette Week 2 as a non-conference opponent.

1964 Season

There is only one change this time. Marquette loses Gladstone, picks up Munising. So in 1964 the schedule looks like this:

Wk 1: Kingsford (NC)
Wk 2: Menominee (NC)
Wk 3: Munising
Wk 4: Negaunee
Wk 5: Escanaba
Wk 6: Ishpeming
Wk 7: Manistique
Wk 8: Sault Ste Marie

Now for many years Marquette and Negaunee would play each other in the "second to the last" game of the regular season. This year the Marquette/Negaunee rivalry game was played Week 4 and it would be about a decade later they would resume playing each other in the "second to the last" regular season game.

1965 Season

The opponents on the schedule would be same, However Escanaba pulls out of the Great Lakes Conference and become part of the newly formed "Great Northern Conference."

The new "Great Northern Conference" is comprised of the following teams:

Escanaba
Escanaba Holy Name
Iron Mountain
Kingsford
Menominee
Stephenson (Left Great Lakes Conference too w/Esky)

So now the Escanaba game is a "non-conference" game and all the teams in the Great Lakes Conference play a 5 game conference schedule.

Anyways prior to all this, many of Kingsford' s non-conference opponents were GLC teams. They had also picked up Menominee when the Maroons went Independent in '63 & '64, So for the next 3 seasons from 1965-67, Kingsford played in two conferences- The Menominee- Range and the Great Northern.

Not sure who spear headed the new GNC.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:58 pm

If I could, would like to hold up right here in the 1964-65 timeframe and take a look at the birth of the GNC.

Looking at the 6 teams that formed the GNC starting in 1965- Kingsford, Iron Mountain, Escanaba, Menominee, Stephenson and Escanaba Holy Name was curious how the conference affected their scheduling.

One thing we start to see about 1964 were some schools- like Kingsford and Escanaba- began playing a 9 game schedule.

A quick look at how the creation of the GNC in 1965 affected those member teams:

Kingsford and Iron Mountain:

Both Kingsford and Iron Mountain played in 2 conferences- the Menominee Range and GNC. Besides playing each other, both schools would pretty much play the same opponents- Norway, Stambaugh, Iron River, Escanaba, Escanaba Holy Name, Stephenson and Menominee. For their non-conference games Kingsford played Marquette while Iron Mountain played Ironwood.

Both schools had been pretty much playing most of these opponents anyways, but it did lock in their schedule nicely and geographically was a better fit.

Going back a few years earlier Kingford was playing Negaunee for a few years and seemed to have their number. Most of the games looked to be competitive but in 1963 Kingsford picked up Menominee while Negaunee replaced Kingsford with Gwinn. In 1964 Kingsford lost Stephenson and did pick up Sault Ste Marie for the season (That game wasn't pretty).

Escanaba

You all remember poster FDF? Remember back like 10 yrs ago he was taunting Negaunee saying because Negaunee struggled playing Escanaba these years, Negaunee "Took their football and went home?"

Maybe he was right? That's hard to say because 1965 shuffled Escanaba' s schedule around going from the Great Lakes to the Great Northern. Now Negaunee did have that week of the Esky game open in 1965, so who knows.

But we do know this, 1965 was the year Escanaba began playing Escanaba Holy Name and Alpena. The 'Mos also renewed a rivalry with Marinette (WI).

Menominee

Menominee maintained relations with the majority of their opponents, whether as a non-conference opponent or GNC foe. They did replace Green Bay Preble (WI) with Rhinelander (WI).

Stephenson

Like Escanaba, Stephenson left the Great Lakes Conference for the Great Northern Conference. They did a good job filling their schedule, playing GNC opponents Escanaba, Menominee, Kingsford, Iron Mountain and Escanaba Holy Name. Non-Conference opponents were Marinette Catholic Central, Gwinn, Gladstone and Norway.

Escanaba Holy Name

Prior to 1965 when Holy Name played as an Independent, they always filled their 8 game schedule. When they joined the GNC in 1965 they played their 5 conference opponents but filled 2 of their 3 potential non-conference games.

But in the future they would rebound in their scheduling and play 8-9 game seasons until the school shut down.

Anyways for all you U.P. football players and alumni of Scandanavian decent (Swedish, Norwegian and Danes) here is some Nordic music that should move your soul. But instead of jumping on a ship to raid Europe or England, etc, these days you can put on football equipment & hit opponents:

https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=bKMDcTnezvU

In accordance with safety/concussion protocol of course!

We'll get back to Marquette' s schedule...
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:57 pm

1965 was somewhat of a transition season for the Great Lakes Conference. With Escanaba and Stephenson pulling out to join the Great Northern Conference, that left the following schools remaining in the GLC:

Ishpeming, Gladstone, Negaunee, Newberry, Manistique, Marquette, Munising and Sault Ste Marie.

However in same fashion just like all the previous years, not all the GLC teams played each other on the schedule.

Instead, you only played 5 conference games and those games counted towards the standings. As you all know this really doesn't reflect the "true standings" but does lock in games.

Most of the Great Lakes teams played their traditional 8 game schedule. It did help having that "open" week because one thing you can say about these years- the AD's did a pretty good job filling their schedules.

Now the year before in 1964 Newberry-just like Kingsford and Escanaba- played a 9 game schedule when they picked up Marquette Bishop Baraga to fill their Wk 1 open slot. Gladstone and Munising followed & started playing a 9 game schedule in 1965.

1965 was also the beginning of "Marquette Senior High School." (No longer Graveraet). About 1961 the J.D. Pierce high school students now had to merge in with Graveraet- and like Bishop Baraga when you meet these people they were NOT happy with any merger.

The high school portion of J.D. Pierce was no longer but they would have grades 1-8 about 6 more years. It would be sometime soon Marquette would shoot up to Class A.

So Marquette' s 1965 schedule looked like this:

Wk 1: Kingsford (NC)
Wk 2: Menominee (NC)
Wk 3: Munising
Wk 4: Negaunee
Wk 5: Escanaba (NC)
Wk 6: Ishpeming
Wk 7: Manistique
Wk 8: Sault Ste Marie

GLC opponents they did not play: Gladstone & Newberry

For the other Great Lakes teams, these were their non-conference opponents they had been building a football relationship with:

Ishpeming-- Escanaba, Gwinn, Stambaugh
Gladstone-- Norway, Stephenson, Bishop Baraga, Gwinn, L'Anse
*note-Gladstone only played 4 conference games.
Manistique-- Gwinn, Escanaba Holy Name
Marquette-- Kingsford, Escanaba, Menominee
Munising-- Gwinn, Escanaba Holy Name, Cheboygan, Stambaugh
Negaunee-- Stambaugh, Gwinn (Gwinn replaced Esky)
Newberry-- Rudyard, Gwinn, Petoskey
Sault Ste Marie-- Traverse City Central, Rudyard, Alpena

Gwinn was a relatively new program to U.P. football, as was Marquette Bishop Baraga.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:31 pm

1966 season

So the next real major change in Marquette' s schedule was 1966. What happened was the Great Lakes Conference "closed ranks" and for the first time, every team in the conference played each other.

The 8-team conference played their 7 conference games and the standings represented a "true" conference champion. Five of the 8 schools played the traditional 8-game schedule, while 3 schools played the newer 9 game schedule. Those 3 schools were Sault Ste Marie, Gladstone and Munising.

So Marquette' s 1966 schedule looked like this:

Wk 1: Kingsford (NC)
Wk 2: Munising
Wk 3: Negaunee
Wk 4: Gladstone
Wk 5: Newberry
Wk 6: Sault Ste Marie
Wk 7: Ishpeming
Wk 8: Manistique

This would be a stable schedule for the next 5 seasons!

For the record in case anyone is wondering, in the first inaugural "true standings" for the Great Lakes Conference, the Negaunee Miners would win it. What's crazy was their only GLC loss- came against Marquette. The Redmen meanwhile would finish just above .500 this season.

Negaunee would also suffer only one other loss- a non-conference game 27-0 at the hands of Gwinn.

What we'll do here is "cut and paste" from the previous post all the non-conference opponents the GLC teams had a recent established relationship with. Then we'll "bold" the opponent they initially kept in 1966 as a NC opponent.

Some of you may notice future games would be reestablished with the lost opponents....

1. Ishpeming-- Escanaba, Gwinn, Stambaugh
2. Gladstone-- Norway, Stephenson, Bishop Baraga, Gwinn, L'Anse
3. Manistique-- Gwinn, Escanaba Holy Name
4. Marquette-- Kingsford, Escanaba, Menominee
5. Munising-- Gwinn, Escanaba Holy Name, Cheboygan, Stambaugh
6. Negaunee-- Stambaugh, Gwinn
7. Newberry-- Rudyard, Gwinn, Petoskey
8. Sault Ste Marie-- Traverse City Central, Rudyard, Alpena.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:59 pm

Surrounding events in U.P. football from 1966-1971

While Marquette enjoyed a stable schedule playing against many traditional rivals during these years, here were some events that transpired in other conferences...

1966 Season

The Great Northern Conference is in its 2nd year of existence. To recap the conference is comprised of Escanaba, Escanaba Holy Name, Iron Mountain, Stephenson and Menominee.

Also wanted to point out that for some time now, some of these schools had been establishing relations with Wisconsin schools and have been playing non-conference games against schools like Antigo, Marinette and Rhinelander to name a few.

After the 1966 season, Stephenson drops out of the Great Northern Conference.

1967 Season

Iron Mountain, Norway and Kingsford are all playing in 2 conferences. Like the past couple seasons Iron Mountain & Kingsford play in the GNC (schools listed above) and the Menominee-Range (Iron Mountain, Kingsford, Norway, Iron River & Stambaugh). Norway meanwhile also plays in the Menominee-Range and the Land-O-Lakes Conference.

Starting the 1967 season, Stephenson joins the Land-O-Lakes, joining Forest Park, Marquette Bishop Baraga, Gwinn and Norway. For the year they will play Kingsford and Iron Mountain as NC opponents. This would be the last time Stephenson would ever play Iron Mountain. They would play Kingsford two more times- once each in 1972 and 1984. (Both lopsided losses).

1968 Season

There is a new team joining the Great Northern Conference to replace Stephenson... West Iron County! Coming from the Menominee-Range Conference, the Stambaugh Hilltoppers have merged with the Iron River Redskins to form the "Wycons" and the Menominee-Range Conference is no more. So the Great Northern looks like this:

Escanaba
Escanaba Holy Name
Iron Mountain
Kingsford
Menominee
West Iron County

Meanwhile in the Land-O-Lakes, the struggling Marquette Bishop Baraga football program is done. The doors to the high school portion of the school will soon close for good.

1969 Season

The New York Mets win the World Series.

1970 Season

In the GNC, this would be one of Escanaba Holy Name's better seasons. They go 3-2 in the conference and an impressive 7-2 overall...however this would be their final season ever.

For Marquette up in the GLC, they have to replace Kingsford with Escanaba as their Week 1 non-conference opponent.

1971 Season

With the loss of Escanaba Holy Name, another team has stepped in to fill the void...Ironwood!

Ironwood came from the Michigan-Wisconsin Conference which also consisted of Bessemer, Wakefield, Hurley (WI), Ashland (WI), and Maple Northwestern (WI). They also had played other non-conference games in recent years against WIC, Calumet, Iron Mountain and Menominee- doing very well against them & winning their share.

Marquette meanwhile finally caught up to other schools & what some started 7 years prior...in 1971 Marquette started a 9 game season! The Redmen played Esky Week 1, their Great Lakes foes Weeks 2-8, then resumed their play against Kingsford Week 9.

Whew bite off more than I wanted this post!!!
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:24 pm

1972 Season

What is significant about the 1972 season, is this would be the last season Marquette would be a member of the Great Lakes Conference. Am positive this was the only conference Marquette had ever been a member of going back to their Graveraet Redmen days when they were a Class B school.

Marquette would finish 5-2 (5-4 overall). Two tough non-conference defeats-14-6 in Week 1 against Escanaba and a 13-12 loss to Iron Mountain Week 9. Iron Mountain replaced Kingsford that year.

Marquette finished 2nd in their final season as a member of the GLC.

Gladstone and Negaunee tied for 1st at 6-1 in conference play. Head to head Negaunee defeated Gladstone 7-0 that year, but Marquette handed Negaunee a 19-0 loss...but then Gladstone defeated Marquette in a tight 11-8 contest.

Then what's more crazy is Marquette' s other GLC loss came to Sault Ste Marie 15-13. Sault Ste Marie only won 2 games that year.

Might be wrong, but that may have been the game SSM' s kicker was laying on the stretcher for some time, then jumped off & ran out onto the field and kicked the game winning field goal on the last play of the game. Pretty sure it was.

Am also positive since 1955 Marquette only won the Great Lakes Conference twice-in 1957 and 1968. Someday will have to go back and record who all the GLC Champions were. Seemed to have a lot of parity!

But the landscape of the U.P. was slowly changing. A number of these GLC schools were slowly dropping from Class B to Class C.

1972 would mark the last time Marquette would ever play Munising, Manistique and Newberry at the varsity level in football.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:58 am

1973 Season

Marquette' s first season in the 7-team Great Northern Conference. In the transition however, Marquette initially would not play GNC member Ironwood.

The 1973 schedule would lay the foundation for upcoming schedules the next few years. GNC opponents will be in bold print:

Wk 1: Escanaba
Wk 2: Iron Mountain
Wk 3: Ishpeming
Wk 4: Gladstone
Wk 5: West Iron County
Wk 6: Menominee
Wk 7: DePere Pennings (WI)
Wk 8: Negaunee
Wk 9: Kingsford

For many years now Marquette played either Kingsford & Escanaba as a Week 1 and now a Week 9 non-conference opponent, so that part was set.

Iron Mountain replaced Munising Week 2.

Since 1966 GLC foe Gladstone was played in the Week 4 slot, so they kept playing together there as a non-conference game. The schools had also been rivals for many decades.

West Iron County replaced Newberry Week 5.

Menominee replaced Sault Ste Marie in the Week 6 slot. Menominee was no stranger and in the past was usually added as another non-conference opponent-when applicable.

To fill Week 7 Marquette somehow found DePere Pennings. This would be the first time ever Marquette played a Wisconsin school . Although shocking a Wisconsin school would travel that deep into the U.P., DePere Pennings was private and non-WIAA. Plus back when the privates were seperate from the public schools they had to travel more anyways.

Somewhere on this site a few years ago I did a post on the game, won by Pennings 14-13. Can't remember where though.

Marquette maintained 2 local rivalries as non-conference opponents-Negaunee and Ishpeming. The Ishpeming game was moved from Week 7 to Week 3. The loss of Manistique opened Week 8.

So the Negaunee game was now back to the "2nd to the last regular season game"- in this case Week 8.

Where it is still played today, ever since 1973!

Meanwhile the Great Lakes Conference continued on as a 7 -team conference: Ishpeming, Gladstone, Manistique, Munising, Negaunee, Newberry and Sault Ste Marie.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:04 pm

1974 - 1977 Seasons

The Great Northern Conference would be at its peak as it would expand 8 teams!

Marquette began to play GNC member Ironwood, also in 1974 Gladstone would join the conference as they eventually followed Marquette in leaving the Great Lakes Conference.

The Gladstone game stayed Week 4 & simply became a conference game while Ironwood filled the Week 7 slot.

All the schools had to do was find 2 non-conference games to fill a 9 game schedule. For Marquette this was easy as they would maintain local rivalry games against the schools who hated them the most- Ishpeming and Negaunee. These games were already set.

So for 4 straight seasons, the Redmen's schedule looked like this (GNC opponents in bold):

Wk 1: Escanaba
Wk 2: Iron Mountain
Wk 3: Ishpeming
Wk 4: Gladstone
Wk 5: West Iron County
Wk 6: Menominee
Wk 7: Ironwood
Wk 8: Negaunee
Wk 9: Kingsford

A side note- believe it or not, during this timeframe in 1975, Escanaba could not find a non-conference opponent and played a 7 game season.

Also you know who really did outstanding 3 of these 4 years ...West Iron County! They made it to the semifinals in 1977 before losing to Orchard Lake St. Mary's.

Meanwhile the Great Lakes Conference would have its final years in 1974 and 1975. What they did was split the remaining teams into an "East" and "West" division. Stephenson, Gwinn and Rudyard joined so the GLC broke down like this:

Great Lakes West
Gwinn
Ishpeming
Negaunee
Stephenson

Great Lakes East
Manistique
Munising
Newberry
Rudyard
Sault Ste Marie

What's interesting were any "cross-over" games within the Great Lakes Conference between the East and West teams did not count in the standings.

It appears this was more in helping each other fill their schedule and maintain other geographic rivalries. In 1975 Ishpeming actually played Sault Ste Marie twice. So Ishpeming played 3 Class A games that year and went on to win a Class C State Championship.

The Great Lakes Conference closed on a high note in its final season ever thanks to Ishpeming. (On a personal note-for many years I thought this '75 team was part of the Mid-Peninsula. However the Mid-Peninsula was formed in 1976!)

Also during these years, in 1976 a new conference started- the "Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference." Four of Marquette' s old GLC opponents became part of the Mid-Peninsula, who looked like this:

Gwinn
Ishpeming
Munising
Negaunee
Norway
Stephenson (would leave after one season)
Westwood (started a program in 1974)

Manistique would join in 1977, replacing Stephenson who went Independent for a few years.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:10 pm

1978 Season

When the 1977 season ended, there would be another major change to Marquette' s schedule- as well as the GNC.

Two teams would leave the GNC. One of them was Iron Mountain. Iron Mountain would become a member of the Mid-Peninsula.

There was a little turbulence at first when the MPC started in 1976. Stephenson struggled and left after 1 season. Manistique replaced them in 1977, however Manistique would be replaced by Iron Mountain for the 1978 season.

Am not sure what was going on in Manistique in 1978. They were not members of the MPC that year. They are shown to have forfeited their first game of the season to Negaunee, then did not field a team until Week 6.

They would become a part of the 8- team MPC again in 1979.

Anyways 1977 would be the last year Marquette played Iron Mountain at the varsity level.

The other school who left the Great Northern Conference after 1977 was Ironwood. When they started playing Marquette, Ironwood' s schedule looked like a district schedule. The first two weeks were non-conference games against Bessemer and Hurley (WI), then 7 GNC opponents.

Ironwood was dropping in enrollment and went 0-7 (2-7) against the GNC in '77. They had their share of wins against all the different GNC teams but their decline in size was beginning to show.

In 1978 Ironwood dropped from Class B to Class C and became members of the new "Superior-6 Conference" that consisted of Ironwood, Hancock, Houghton, Ontonagon, L'Anse and Calumet.

When Ironwood started playing Marquette, they lost Wakefield as an opponent. We know game scores don't tell the whole story, but in those 4 years from '74-'77, Ironwood gave the Redmen grinders all they could handle as Marquette won by scores of 22-21, 14-12, 6-0 and 12-6 respectively. In the Superior-6, Ironwood resumed their rivalry with Wakefield.

So due to Iron Mountain and Ironwood' s departure in 1978, there was shuffling throughout the GNC team's schedule, Marquette' s changed to this (GNC opponents in bold):

Wk 1: Kingsford (switched with Escanaba slot, back to the traditional week 1 game).
Wk 2: West Iron County (moved from Week 5, filled Iron Mountain slot).
Wk 3: Ishpeming
Wk 4: Gladstone
Wk 5: Sault Ste Marie (resumed an old rivalry from the old Great Lakes Conference days)
Wk 6: Menominee
Wk 7: Hancock
Wk 8: Negaunee
Wk 9: Escanaba (switched from Week 1 w/Kingsford)

This 1978 season was both the first and last time Marquette would ever play Hancock. Hancock won the game 22-7. Although Hancock was pretty good these years, do remember some very upset people in the Marquette football community venting losing this game.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:28 pm

1979-1981 Seasons

With the GNC still holding fast with 6 teams, these 3 years were very stable for the schedule. The only change in Marquette' s schedule was Week 7. The Hancock game was replaced by a new, local opponent- the Gwinn Modeltowners.

So for the next 4 years the schedule looked like this (GNC opponents in bold):

Wk 1: Kingsford
Wk 2: West Iron County
Wk 3: Ishpeming
Wk 4: Gladstone
Wk 5: Sault Ste Marie
Wk 6: Menominee
Wk 7: Gwinn
Wk 8: Negaunee
Wk 9: Escanaba

Now about 12 years ago I remember being told by Marquette' s old athletic director-who was the AD these years- telling me the tough decisions they had to make. Do you try finding other Class A opponents hours away to help with rankings/possible playoff appearances if you win, or do you try to find more local games that bring much more attendance (money) to the gates.

The MHSAA had started playoffs back in 1975.

Will also add he was probably under much pressure to fill the seats. Every Marquette football alumni over the years will probably agree Marquette vs Ishpeming and Marquette vs Negaunee had better attendance than any GNC game.

Marquette started facing budget cuts these years-and many school board/administrators did not like seeing money go towards athletics. For any alumni reading this, remember those educational trips to Bay Cliff? These people wanted that cut too.

Picking up Gwinn provided an opportunity to create another local rivalry game and bring in money to the gates.

Gwinn was also a Class B program who were gaining respect. The year prior they went 6-3, which included wins over Iron Mountain , Norway, as well as shutting out Negaunee. Now adding Marquette, Gwinn picked up the GNC' s Gladstone that season prior so they were serious in strengthening their schedule.

Those years Gwinn also had many very good athletes who were military dependents from KI Sawyer. The Air Force was (is) much more family oriented and move their military personnel less than the other branches, so there is more stability.

When the Marquette-Gwinn rivalry began, it was obvious Gwinn wanted to win these games bad. Marquette won the first meeting in a hard fought 12-6 win. The next year however Gwinn won 7-6. The 3rd game played in 1981, Marquette pulled off a crazy 42-36 win. What the score doesn't indicate is that game had many twists, turns and went into at least 3 overtimes (best to my memory).

However then the series would favor Marquette for the next few years.

Should also note during these years, it was one of the best for the Mid-Pen Conference. You had Norway winning back to back Class D state championships in '79 & '80, Ishpeming winning Class C again in 1979, Munising the Class C State Champion in 1980, and Iron Mountain losing in the 1981 semi-finals.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:55 pm

1982 Season

Initially had the 1982 season integrated with the above post. However after the 1981 season there were a few events that would ruffle the schedule a bit. This also would effect the GNC teams.

Here is what happened:

After the 1981 season, West Iron County dropped out of the Great Northern Conference. They did however, keep Marquette and Kingsford on their schedule. Menominee and West Iron County switched slots on Marquette' s 1982 schedule. This switch was Marquette played Menominee Week 2 and WIC Week 6.

Menominee had actually had a "Week 5 bye/open date" with the open date not reflected on their schedule. They would have a week off between their Escanaba and Marquette games but their season went a week later as they played rival Marinette (WI) their last regular season game.

In 1982 there were some sort of issues going on with West Iron County's football program. They had a couple forfeit' s and "no team" to start the season but eventually played a 5 game schedule.

Also after the 1981 season, Marquette' s old Great Lakes Conference foe Sault Ste Marie dropped Marquette as a non-conference opponent. The Blue Devils went 1-25 from 1979 thru 1981 and determined they needed to "circle the wagons" and figure how to get their football program back on its feet.

Sault Ste Marie eventually dropped both Marquette and Menominee off their schedule and joined the Huron-Shores I Conference with Cheboygan, Petoskey and Gaylord.

Then there was another major hit- in 1982 the Alpena Wildcats- did not field a football team.

Have no idea what happened in Alpena that year. If anyone does and wants to jump in or PM what happened, that would be appreciated. The same with WIC.

No Alpena meant an open slot to fill for Escanaba, as the two schools had been playing each other 12 of the previous 14 years.

Escanaba had just won their Class A state championship in 1981 and apparently came up short finding another opponent. So the following season in 1982, Marquette replaced the Sault Ste Marie opponent with Escanaba. Yes Marquette and Escanaba would play each other twice this season (and the following year). Usually when conference teams play each other twice in a season, the first game counts as the conference game. Saw this between Negaunee and Ishpeming in the old GLC. Marquette' s 1982 season was tweaked to this:

(Conference games in bold print)

Wk 1: Kingsford
Wk 2: Menominee
Wk 3: Ishpeming
Wk 4: Escanaba
Wk 5: Gladstone
Wk 6: West Iron County
Wk 7: Gwinn
Wk 8: Negaunee
Wk 9: Escanaba

Will probably need help / someone to explain the rest of the 1980's after the next post.

Again if anyone can educate us on the '82 WIC and Alpena (or PM/remain confidential) that would be appreciated!
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:53 pm

Hope to get back to this soon. Trying to get a hold of someone who can provide valuable input. Busy weekend & upcoming days ahead.

Can say the rest of the '80's will be known as "A-B-C" but am hesitant to use the words "conference & standings" when it all initially started. Eventually Marquette would become part of an "A-B-C Conference" but am positive it didn't start out that way.

There will be some, but minimum changes to the schedule throughout the rest of the 80's.

Can vouch there is an error on the Michigan-Football.com site. There was no Great Northern Conference the 1983 season.

Hopefully can talk to this point of contact soon!
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:16 pm

1983 Season

Marquette's 1983 season schedule looked exactly like the 1982 schedule opponent wise. For the 2nd straight season Marquette and Escanaba would play each other twice:

Wk 1: Kingsford (H)
Wk 2: Menominee (H)
Wk 3: Ishpeming (H)
Wk 4: Escanaba (A)
Wk 5: Gladstone (H)
Wk 6: West Iron County (A)
Wk 7: Gwinn (A)
Wk 8: Negaunee (A)
Wk 9: Escanaba (H)

Beginning 1983 there was no GNC- at least for football. As far as everybody knew at the time it was gone for good.

Someday down the road when I get a chance again I will research this up in the library. Instead of the GNC it was the "A-B-C" but am almost positive it was a U.P. Sportswriters "ranking" system ....or the "A-B-C rankings." I could be wrong, but believe this was how it all started out. The old newspapers can solve this.

To back this claim there were no "C" teams on michigan- football.com listed as part of the A-B-C...So why have such a "conference" if no Class C teams are part of it?

Also Escanaba and Kingsford did not play each other in 1983 (or the next in 1984). Escanaba played LaCrosse Central (WI) while Kingsford played Stephenson.

Am pretty sure this was because Escanaba was trying to beef up their schedule for playoff qualification reasons. It was a different playoff system back then.

What's hard too is back then at Marquette you didn't care about standings, rankings, individual awards, college scholarships, etc anyways. You played because you loved the game of football!

So this is why to get these years right I need to get to the library up there. No one can remember ha ha.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:13 pm

1984 and 1985 Seasons

One simple change in the schedule: Marquette and Escanaba were finally able to find opponents so they wouldn't have to play each other twice. So for Week 9 Marquette was able to schedule one of Escanaba' s Class A downstate foes- the Alpena Wildcats.

So for these two years Marquette' s schedule looked like this:

Wk 1: Kingsford
Wk 2: Menominee
Wk 3: Ishpeming
Wk 4: Escanaba
Wk 5: Gladstone
Wk 6: West Iron County
Wk 7: Gwinn
Wk 8: Negaunee
Wk 9: Alpena

It's written on another thread on this site, but way back in the 1930's (?) when Buck Nystrom' s dad played for Graveraet, Marquette was the "mythical U.P. champion" and went down state & got crushed bad by Saginaw.

Other than that, 1984 was the first time Marquette played a team from Lower Michigan (don't know which year who was home).

Here is something I also learned last week- some "behind the scenes" work among the AD's. This may come as a surprise to many. But during these years Negaunee did not like playing Marquette. Surprising as Negaunee won their share of hard fought defensive games.

Marquette' s AD unsuccessfully tried to accommodate them, unable to work out a game with the other school he tried to get along with picking up Alpena- Traverse City Central. (Will touch on the rise of the Miner Nation later).

A few other notes- 1984 was the 2nd year in a row Escanaba and Kingsford did not play each other.

In 1985 the normal "GNC" teams were back playing each other, but instead still known as "A-B-C." Class C West Iron County who still played Marquette and Kingsford since leaving the GNC, did pick up Gladstone again, but did not play Escanaba or Menominee.

It's also interesting learning what Menominee and Escanaba were doing. Never knew Menominee was playing Fond du Lac St. Mary Springs (WI) in the 80's.
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:12 pm

Evening,

Received a good email today and would like to make a correction.

First: If we could back track to 1982- West Iron County. We are positive the community failed to pass a millage proposal that caused them to start football later & the Wycons playing a shortened season.

Second: When Sault Ste Marie dropped Marquette and Menominee after the 1981 season, the schedule changes for Marquette went like this-

The Marquette - Gladstone game went from Week 4 to Week 5. (Week 5 was Marquette - Sault Ste Marie).

Marquette filled the Week 4 slot with the first of two Escanaba games ('82 & '83 seasons). So technically since 1982 Marquette and Escanaba have been playing each other in Week 4 ever since!

Meanwhile Gladstone and Menominee moved their game from Week 2 to Week 4....Then Marquette replaced Gladstone as Menominee' s Week 2 opponent, which back then was the Friday after Labor Day.

Couldn't help but to notice Gladstone those years...They were frickin' good!!! I never knew they had Munising on their schedule back then. Munising was very strong those years! Can't let Gladstone' s record deceive you. For example...

Back in 1979 Gladstone went 2-7...of which 5 of those losses were within 8 points or less!

So anyways I apologize I had the (1st of 2) Escanaba games switched with Gladstone on Marquette' s schedule these years. This has been corrected.

I should have known it would be someone with football blood living in Iron County to bring this to my attention! 8)

Have something else to pass along before moving on...
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:42 pm

Before moving on to the next major schedule changes to Marquette football, would like to touch on some events & a little history that took place during the early 80's.

But first a commercial:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UntdGA7gH3Q

Alright it was in the early 80's when Marquette' s AD at the time began "probing Alpena and Traverse City Central" for football games. It was a different playoff system back then and there were only four state champions crowned- one in each Class.

Take a look at Escanaba' s 1981 Class A State Championship team. Using their schedule as a model, in the regular season they played 4 Class A schools, 4 Class B schools and 1 Class C school.

Of these schools, Class A TCC was .500 at 4-4-1, We don't know how Madison West (WI) did, Menominee went 8-1 while Okemos went 7-2 and Kingsford 6-3. Am almost positive back then the voters went by your win-loss record. But a good team like Menominee was left out of the playoffs!

The following year in 1982 Menominee advanced to the semis before falling to Muskegon Catholic Central.

So you can see why Marquette' s AD wanted to beef up Marquette' s schedule with a little more Class A opponents. Also remember back in 1975 Marquette went 9-0...but they only played one Class A opponent-Escanaba.

Also the accomplishments of both Escanaba and Menominee' s football programs at the state level carried a lot of weight with many.

In Marquette' s 1983 season after a slow start, a healthy Marquette team went on a tear and ended the season on a 5 game win streak including shutting out Escanaba. The media classified Marquette as "The hottest team in the U.P."

Beginning the 1984 season, this carried over as Marquette finally exercised some more demons and defeated Kingsford and Menominee.

So at this point, Marquette got a very surprising "high ranking" by the Detroit Free Press. Some years back one of the alumni on this '84 team told me "Marquette was ranked #1 in Class A" but I find that hard to believe, so we'll just go a "very high ranking."

Anyways what did this ranking do? For Marquette's next opponent, it pretty much wrote their pre-game pep talk- for the Ishpeming Hematites.

That Marquette football alumni told me they became "very cocky and over confident" with this ranking and they paid for it. They were defeated by Ishpeming 8-7 (sounds like a typical defensive hard fought/exciting game). Then Marquette went on to lose 3 more straight (4 straight total) hard fought games to Escanaba, Gladstone and WIC.

The once exciting Marquette - Ishpeming rivalry would last 5 more years, but 1984 would be the last year Ishpeming would defeat Marquette.

This is just my personal opinion from what I gathered from Marquette' s former AD about these years, but if he had his way Marquette' s opponents would have been the closest Class A schools- Escanaba, Traverse City Central and Alpena. The next larger U.P. teams - Four Class B schools- Menominee, Kingsford, Sault Ste Marie and Gladstone, then 2 Class C opponents. Ishpeming for sure because that was a huge local rivalry. The other schools between Negaunee, Gwinn or West Iron County. (Remember he had to juggle pressure from school board/administrators wanting more local games for money reasons.) I believe he also wanted to help keep West Iron County on Marquette' s schedule as he was from there. He was/is a very successful person who loves U.P. football and believed in Marquette.

But just wanted to share that tidbit of history & help explain decisions that were made back then...to the best of my research .
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:31 pm

1986-1987 Seasons

From 1983-1985 we know we had some sort of "ABC rankings/modified standings" (someday to be clarified) but now for the 1986-1987 seasons, Marquette would be part of a more true "ABC Conference" that would consist of Class A Marquette, Class B schools Gladstone, Kingsford, Menominee and Class C schools Ironwood & West Iron County.

Escanaba was not a part of this but would continue to play their old GNC opponents. This was the first time in a few years Marquette was in a conference where all the conference teams played each other.

Marquette' s two year contract with Alpena was up. Alpena was a good matchup for Marquette. A similar rural Class A opponent.

It was a simple fix to Marquette' s schedule. West Iron County had remained on the schedule these years, the Escanaba game would stay but as a non-conference game and Ironwood simply replaced Alpena.

ABC Conference Schedule (conference games in bold)

Wk 1: Kingsford
Wk 2: Menominee
Wk 3: Ishpeming
Wk 4: Escanaba
Wk 5: Gladstone
Wk 6: West Iron County
Wk 7: Gwinn
Wk 8: Negaunee
Wk 9: Ironwood

This particular ABC Conference would change after the 1987 season as WIC and Ironwood would pull out.

So 1987 would be the last year Marquette would ever play West Iron County and Ironwood.

While Escanaba was out scheduling more Class A opponents, 1986 was the last time they played Madison West (WI). Madison West was a solid program. They played in the "Big Eight Conference" against very good Madison area schools.

Back in 1981 when Esky played Madison West, West went 7-2, made the playoffs and finished 9-3 overall. Afterwards they averaged about 3-6 wins per year in a tough conference.

Class A opponent Traverse City Central had their share of very good teams these years-winning Class A state championships in 1985 and 1988. They also played Escanaba.

Will stop here for a commercial break:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OKfj_NC86_8

Apologize this thread is slow posting. My heart goes out to the Marquette football players and at the same time just love the football up there I get caught up learning the other school's opponents. 8)
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby upfootball » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:41 pm

I really enjoy the research you do Hueby. Just excellent stuff
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:31 am

upfootball wrote:I really enjoy the research you do Hueby. Just excellent stuff


Thanks. It's just a lot of fun & an inexpensive little side hobby. Just wish I had the time and access to old U.P. newspapers on microfiche.

So much history with many of the U.P. football teams up there that come from the culture of hard work like iron ore mining, timber/forestry, metal working, Great Lakes shipping, construction, farming, "running team"/teamsters, Italian run businesses (Italian guy in a fedora hat, suit & tie/ part of a mafia telling a business owner "Sorry, if you don't buy our insurance coverage we can't guarantee protection for your business.") ha ha j/k
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:44 pm

1988-1989 Seasons

May have to stop this post and finish it later.

After the 1986-1987 seasons, both Class C schools West Iron County and Ironwood were not part of the "ABC." In 1988 & 1989 WIC would continue to play Kingsford these 2 years while Ironwood played both Kingsford and Menominee.

Also during these 2 years in '88-'89, both West Iron County and Ironwood would play as an Independent. A side note, in 1989 WIC went 8-1 and made the playoffs.

Many may not remember this, but in 1988 the Westwood Patriots played as an Independent too. It appears millage issues as they eventually played a 6-game schedule.

So losing Ironwood and West Iron County as opponents, Marquette would resume playing the Alpena Wildcats in the Week 9 slot that was vacated by Ironwood.

During the past 2 years due to Marquette's conference changes that stopped the short lived Marquette-Alpena series, Alpena had replaced Marquette with Sault Ste Marie. These years Alpena played as an Independent. This way on their schedule they had 6 Class A opponents, 2 Class B and they did play a Sault Ste Marie Ontario team.

Marquette' s Week 6 slot- that was vacated by WIC, was replaced by Menominee who moved from Week 2. Like usual Menominee had to shuffle their schedule around due to rotating Wisconsin opponents.

The Maroons appeared to have a good rapport with Wisconsin schools DePere Pennings and Fond du Mac St. Mary's Springs as they worked out many games among each other. Menominee replaced their Week 2 slots with Milwaukee City schools these years.

To be continued...
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Re: Evolution of Marquette' s football schedule

Postby Hueby » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:09 pm

1988-1989 Seasons continued

So with the Menominee game switched from Week 2 to Week 6, Marquette' s Week 2 slot was filled by Sault Ste Marie. The Blue Devils were like that boyfriend/girlfriend "on and off again" relationship. Now Marquette and Sault Ste Marie were back together playing each other and have still to this day.

Also a minor correction, Sault Ste Marie had dropped from Class A to Class B since the late 70's. Corrected this in previous posts.

The renewed Marquette- Sault Ste Marie schedule worked out good for Sault Ste Marie too. Being a member of the Michigan Huron Shores Conference, in 1988 the conference was restructured to a 7-team conference consisting of 4 Class B schools and 3 Class C schools.

All the conference games were played Weeks 4-9, so Sault Ste Marie filled their 1st three non-conference opponents with old Great Lakes Conference foes- Newberry, Marquette and Munising.

Class C Rogers City would be added to the MI Huron Shores in 1989 but this wouldn't affect the Marquette vs Sault Ste Marie rivalry.

So for the 1988-89 seasons, here is how Marquette's schedule looked:

("ABC" opponents in bold)

Wk 1: Kingsford
Wk 2: Sault Ste Marie
Wk 3: Ishpeming
Wk 4: Escanaba
Wk 5: Gladstone
Wk 6: Menominee
Wk 7: Gwinn
Wk 8: Negaunee
Wk 9: Alpena

But eventually major budget cuts were on the horizon and more Marquette kids were interested in teatherball and hunting up in Alaska:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xdaEdDdtAsA
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