“SPORTS AT RMC IN THE POST-WAR ERA” #4
By 3201 Austen (Aus) Cambon, Cadet Wing Sports Officer, RMC 1953-54
First-Timers and Multiple-Sports Athletes, Junior Soccer, Harriers
In the early Post-War era the College needed support for its teams at all levels just to be able to field complete teams and also to have players available for scrimmages in team practices. In a conversation I had recently with 3026 Walt Conrad RMC’53 at the Canadian Army Officers Mess in Ottawa. We last talked at RMC about 64 years ago! Walt recalled how he had entered RMC in 1949 having played Rugger in High School, but having never played Canadian Football. Walt did not even know how to put on his pads but he learned how to do so very quickly as a newly-minted member of the Varsity Football Team. Coach Captain “The Wheel” Wagstaff assessed Walt as tough and fit and made him into a good football player in no time. In 1952 Walt also served as Editor of the RMC publication “The Marker”.
Some of our athletes played in multiple sports. Our teams were in serious need of players and these men stepped up. 2834 Palle Kiar RMC’52 was just one of our all-around athletes of the era. Palle played Varsity Football, Varsity Basketball, and was a prominent member of RMC’s very successful Intercollegiate Track and Field Team. 3068 Sid Lundell RMC’53 also played Varsity Football, Varsity Basketball and excelled on the Track and Field Team. 3035 Jerry Donahue RMC53 played Junior Football, Junior Soccer, Junior Hockey and ultimately became Captain of the Varsity Hockey Team. And, 3272 Ed Czaja RR’52/RMC’54 an outstanding boxer and all-around athlete who had excelled in sports at Royal Roads, did so at RMC, too. Arriving at the College in the Fall of 1952, Ed played Varsity Football, Varsity Volleyball and joined others who made an effort to get Curling going at the College. This is the way it was for the other College teams, too. Where there was a need good men came forward to fill it.
Replacement and reinforcement for the Varsity teams would be in good hands.
Junior Soccer / RMC Soccer II
The early Junior Soccer teams were made up of some cadets who had never before played soccer and others who had arrived at the College with some playing experience. The 1950 version of these Junior team, curiously, did not rate a mention nor a photo in The Review 1951. 3235 Ron Mann RMC’54 who also served as Editor of “The Marker” in 1953, recalled that the team played a few games in 1950 but also spent a lot of practice time serving as opposition for the Senior Soccer Team. Ron played goal for the Juniors but goaled for the Seniors in practices. “The Marker” reported on two of the Junior Team’s games in 1950: a loss to Trinity College School (TCS) Port Hope in mid-November, avenged by a victory over the same opponent later, in Port Hope, “playing before a large crowd of 12 boys and a dog”, a game in which “Mann made several terrific saves”. The loss was the Team’s only loss of the season.
The 1951 season for the Junior Team was considered “an excellent season from the standpoint of experience gained, teamwork, and sportsmanship” even though the team lost three of its five games.
Victories came against Asbury College and TCS and the losses were at the hands of TCS, Upper Canada College Toronto (U.C.C.) and TCS. In the 1952 season the Juniors split their home-and-home series with TCS Port Hope, played a scoreless tie with Ashbury College and lost to “a classier and more experienced U.C.C. team”.
In their 1953 season “the team was somewhat short of players but the game was receiving more recognition and support within the College and the Inter-Flight schedule was producing some fine talent for the future”. The Juniors were defeated soundly by U.C.C. “a team that had only been defeated once in their 30 previous starts” but won both games of their home-and-home series against C.M.R. In the first of those two games “the RMC II’s were sparked by Marshall on the forward line”. Like his predecessors, CWC’s Ian Williamson and Tony Hampson, 3300 Alick Marshall RR’52/RMC’54, another multi-sport athlete who arrived from Royal Roads in 1952, also played soccer and would become Cadet Wing Commander at RMC in his final year. Alick also played Varsity Hockey. More about Alick soon.
It is quite interesting that so many of my classmates in our Class of RR’52/RMC’54, a total of fifteen in all, played on our Soccer Teams, mostly on the Junior Team. Those who had entered at RMC included:
3035 Jerry Donahue, 3188 Tony Baba, 3189 Gerry Baker, 3195 Ed Bobinski, 3196 Finn Bogstad,
3235 Ron Mann, 3236 Andy Morrison, 3238 Fred Myers, and 3288 John Hulsemann. Those who started out at Royal Roads in 1950 and joined us at RMC in the Fall of 1952 included 3106 Bill Armstrong
3261 Laurie Altwasser, 3262 Hank Bepple, 3300 Alick Marshall, 3301 Gerry Martin, and 3314 Larry Shick. Bepple, Mann, Martin, and Shick got to play on the Senior Team. This level of participation by so many members of one class in one sport might be record of sorts.
Junior Soccer, sometimes also referred to as RMC Soccer II’s, maintained its important objective of supporting the Senior Soccer Team by preparing replacements players for the Seniors while also competing effectively in competition at the Junior level.
Varsity / Intercollegiate Harriers
RMC’s Harriers and Track and Field teams in The Fifties could be characterized as being small in terms of number of cadets on the teams but powered by an extraordinary level of competitive drive and spirit. They would achieve early success at the Senior Intercollegiate level and, quietly and unexpectedly, bring home championships from their meets early on in the Post-War era. We’ll look back at the Harriers Teams now and at the Track and Field Teams in a forthcoming Issue.
The traditional College Harriers Race was the testing ground for the building of RMC’s Harriers teams. Each Fall this race would see 250-300 cadets participate in the 3-mile race up to Fort Henry and back. This event was compulsory for all cadets until it was made optional for the senior-class cadets in 1951.
In the 1950 race “on a muddy course and in pouring rain” 3070 Hugh “Fritz” McDougall RMC’53 won the race, 3252 Ted Tromanhauser RMC’54 came 2nd, 3224 Bill Rolfe RMC’54 in 3rd , 2873 Archie Bowen RMC’53 was 4th and 3212 Kerry Gill RMC’54 in 5th. Some of these stalwarts would lead our RMC Harriers teams to success at future Senior Intercollegiate meets. The Queen’s Harriers Team visited RMC during the season and was decisively defeated by our harriers. The team, coached by Major Maclean, got its first taste of Senior Intercollegiate competition at a meet in Toronto, placing only 5th reflecting that work remained to be done.
In the 1951 season 3172 Marc Soule RMC’53 who had also raced while at Royal Roads, won the College Harriers Race and Ted Tromanhauser again came 2nd , Kerry Gill was 4th and 3384 Charlie Kingston RMC’55 finished 5th. Coach Campbell watched the Race and singled out a few cadets for the RMC Harriers Team including: Soule, Simons, Tromanhauser, Kingston and Gill. The team headed to Montreal for the Senior Intercollegiate Championship and, despite stiff competition, came second. This unexpected success resulted in an invitation for the team to participate in the Quebec Championship Five Mile Road Race. “Race day brought two inches on snow and ice on top of it. The cadets ran a perfect race and in the final half-mile Tromanhauser passed the lead runner to lead RMC to the Quebec Harriers Championship and the Montreal Star Trophy. Kerry Gill came 2nd and Marc Soule 3rd “. This victory was one of the earliest Post-War Intercollegiate Championships won by RMC.
The 1952 season brought even greater success for our harriers. The raced in the Senior Intercollegiate Harriers Championship in Kingston “on a course laid out around the Aluminum Company plant with ditches, spur lines, cow pastures, and one or two country roads”. RMC’s team of “Fritz”McDougall, Marc Soule, Ted Tromanhauser, 3592 Malcolm “Mac” Mcleod RMC’56 and 3517 Norm Sherman RMC’56 was victorious over strong competition from Toronto Varsity, Queen’s, McGill, McMaster and O.A.C. Guelph, bringing back to the College its first Senior Intercollegiate Harrier Championship of the Post-War era last won by RMC in 1924 and 1928. The following week in Montreal our harriers competed in the Quebec Harriers Championship which RMC had won the previous year. Norm Sherman saved the day for RMC outpacing a Montreal Track and Field Club runner to clinch the Championship for the College once again.
The 1953 season, with some seniors lost to Graduation, the team was led by Ted Tromanhauser and Kerry Gill and supported by “Mac” MacLeod, Charlie Kingston, Norm Sherman, as well as 3173 John “Stew” Stewart RMC’53 and 3492 “Mike” Rich RMC’55. They competed in Montreal once again for the Montreal Star Trophy. In a race “on Mount Royal winding for five miles along the bridal path, up the hill and back down” our harriers were clear winners over the Montreal Track & Field Club, McGill, and Cornwall Collegiate and brought the Montreal Star Trophy back to the College once again. In an invitational meet at the University of Western Ontario in London “in flying snow” the team lost to Western. After a period of intense training, the team travelled to Toronto for the Senior Intercollegiate Championship “held in Hyde Park over five miles of roads and rugged country”. Despite a valiant effort by Ted Tromanhauser RMC was edged out by a strong University of Toronto opponent.
These superb young athletes repeatedly demonstrated their stamina, endurance, and sheer determination to win and bring success to their teams and honour to the College while also holding to the RMC tradition of good sportsmanship.
Coming soon: Track and Field, Hockey, Basketball, and more. Feedback, please!