The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Herrity

September 4, 2013

Lyons football and local athletics

Here is Lyons High School Football Team of 1937, with Lenny Dose in the back row.  The place is Root Park and, if you were at that spot today, you would see Lyons Middle School on the hill behind them. Lyons football is the stuff of legends! Their Hall of Fame Football Coach, John Crimmings, had a record of 63-13, with three of those losses to Savanna.  It's odd how a champion team can have trouble with just one opponent.

I used to tease Lenny Dose that, "No wonder you beat St. Mary's 17 years in a row, you had 13 men on the field!"  That year, Coach Mike Dardas had only 13 players, and they lost for the last time to St. Mary's team, which had Roy Glendenning as a star player. Roy later went to St. Ambrose and was a star there.  It seems nearly all of those early athletes were fine men. 

Dwayne Spooner wrote a book on the saga of Lyons football, but most stunning was his respect for opponents like St. Mary's…. "They had volunteer coaches like Glendenning, Mike Johansen, John Herrity, 'Chink' St. Clair, and many others.  They had to run down to south-side park and they didn't have a home field, but they produced a lot of good players."  He remembered them all, but specifically mentioned Gene and Nate Walton and Harold Judge.  His respect for his opponents was amazing!   Lyons always had two non-conference games, and they chose to play the toughest there were.  Lyons would often beat Cedar Rapids’ McKinley, Roosevelt, and the two other high schools. The even beat Davenport once.  Best of all, was the night they tied national power Loras, at Dubuque, in the early 1950's!   Another little-known star was John Russell, a tremendous high school and college player from Anamosa, who taught at Lyons Jr. High and could punt the ball a mile!

Text Only
Herrity
  • Rastrelli's Rastrelli's restaurant a cornerstone in Lyons District Pete Rastrelli (1900-1966) came here to work for Marcucci’s as a candy maker in 1926 after learning the trade at businesses like Curtis Candy Co. in Chicago.In Clinton, he met and married a nursing student named Ida Baldacci. Ida was an orphan from C

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 6-11-14 McEleney photo A closer look at the McEleneys' history Leo and Emmett McEleney started their business in 1914. Now, 100 years of service to the community has been accomplished. They started with Jeffery automobiles, and it was their mechanical prowess (Emmett) and business sense (Leo) which really helped

    June 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • St. Irenaeus Church marks 150 years Lyons was founded in 1835 by Elijah Buell. Just 13 years later, the Catholic parish of St. Irenaeus was organized by Father Cyril Jean, a French priest sent to Lyons by Bishop Matthew Loras who also presided at the first Mass in 1837. The first wood

    May 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Herrity history Picture showcases tower's fall You may have heard that "a picture is worth a thousand words." Well, this picture certainly is. History-lovers can often go on talking about some old photographs for a half-hour or more, and this is a fine example. Let's start with Sunday, July 27,

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-14-14 Longman service Clinton hero laid to rest

    ROCK ISLAND, Ill.-- After 70 years, Lt. Louis L. Longman, of Clinton, finally has been laid to rest with full military honors in the Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetery. First Lt. Chaplin Jacob Grenier, of Muscatine, performed Catholic burial rite

    April 12, 2014 4 Photos

  • Drive-in theatre dominant Clinton's own drive-in theater Spring brings many thoughts, but taking the family out to see a big-screen movie at the Clinton Drive-In Theatre on Iowa 136 and North 16th Street is sadly no longer an option. Large families were thirsting for family activities after World War II.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Longmann 70 years in the making: WWII soldier to be honored Imagine three boys, orphaned in the midst of the Great Depression, moving from Minnesota to an adjacent state to live with extended family. How hard it would be to lose both parents and, then, have to move away and take up a new life in a strange tow

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dale Gardner astronaut collage Let's celebrate our successful people There are many famous and successful people who have called Clinton home. We need to celebrate their lives as well as all of their contributions. Recently, former astronaut Dale Gardner, 65, died. He and two other astronauts have connections with Cli

    March 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • Lyons photo for Herrity column HERRITY: Residents have pride in neighborhood

    To this day, thousands of Clintonians say, "I was born and raised in Lyons." Founder Elijah Buell first set foot on the banks of what would become Lyons, Iowa in 1835. He built a cabin, laid out a town, platted the community, raised a family, sold

    December 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • Dem Convention.jpg Famous Clinton Lawyers

    Clinton lawyers in our history are a group of hugely contributing citizens.

    September 27, 2013 1 Photo