The Dayton Triangles-Colts Football Team
Remembrances of Ed Tate

 

Although the Triangles-Colts had no connection with the NFL Triangles there were similarities as we both had man excellent players from the University of Dayton.

In 1949 there were approximately twenty amateur teams playing football in the parks on Sunday afternoons and two of the finer teams were The Belmont Atomics who played their home games at Belmont grade school and the Washington Park Flyers. Both teams were undefeated and played a season ending game for the mythical City of Dayton Championship.

Washington Park won that game and afterwards an alliance of the two teams were made. Sponsors were needed to finance the new team and a sponsor was found in The Triangle Cafe located at Huffman and Linden Avenue's on the East side of town.

The players formed an Athletic Club and the football team decided to use the name Dayton Triangles. The Triangles began an uphill struggle as they began to schedule very good teams from all over the Midwest and it wasn't until 1955 that the hard work began to pay off.

A combination of organization,good coaching and good players made the wining fairly easy but the team did lose two games on the road to Delevan, Wis. and Ft. Madison, Iowa and finished with a 8 win 2 loss record.

The 1956 team was a powerhouse winning 8 games but losing to the Chicago Ravens in the opening game. The 1956 team was un-scored  upon in the last six games claimed the Ohio Semi-Pro Championship after beating Zanesville 40 to 0 and Ashtabula 63 to 0 on successive weekends. A new league was formed in 1967 called the "Ohio Semi-PRO Conference" and a new football field was built at Overlook Homes.

The Triangles now had a home field and went undefeated ,winning their league championship and a season record of 12 wins and 1 tie. The 1958 team was a power house setting team records in most every department and going undefeated with a record of 13 wins.

This team claimed the five state mid-west championship. The Triangles continued to play with their financial support coming from The Triangle Athletic Club and enjoyed great success on the field.

In 1964 a group of businessmen sponsored the team and changed the name to the Dayton Colts. The players were the same but a new name was used. They Dayton Colts played till 1975 when the insurance and travel expense became much more than our paid attendance would permit.

We had many players tryout for NFL teams and some that played are as follows:

Pete Miklajewski quarterback from Kent State U. played two years with the San Diego Chargers,
Jim Overman fullback from U of Dayton played with the Green Bay Packers and Winnipeg, Canada,
Bill Almashy from the U.of Dayton wide receiver. played for Sarnia, Canada and
Cal Withrow an All-American center from the U of Kentucky played for the Green Bay Packers.

We played in Iowa, Wisconsin, St. Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Sarnia Canada, Ft.Wayne, Michigan-Flint-Port Huron-Grand Rapids-as well as Columbus, Hamilton, Cincinnati, Zanesville, Ashtabula, Newark, Cambridge and Toledo.

Some of the outstanding players on opposing teams were:

Curly Morrison-Ohio State-Chicago Bears-Cleveland Browns,
Carl Sweetan-Detroit Lions,
Tommy Myers-All American At Northwestern-Detroit Lions,
Charlie Scales-Cleveland Browns,
Maurice Bassett-Cleveland Browns,
Horrace Gillum-Cleveland Browns,
Jerry Fields-Ohio State and
Louis Polk from Maryland State who was the 1949 College scoring leader.

There were many more but I can't remember them all. What fun we had.

The players that played semi-pro football had a real love for the game as most were married and had full time jobs. We would practice three times a week and play on Saturday night or Sunday afternoons.

When I was general manager (1954--58) I scheduled two games in one weekend. We played on both Saturday and Sunday the drove seven hours so we could get back for work on Monday morning. We tried to drive station wagons so we could lay down in the back to get some sleep on the way home. Sometimes we had to lay over to wait for a player to get released from the hospital. We had some great bosses in those days.

When you play together on a team like this you become family and the friendships last forever. We never saw a difference in the color of a mans skin, only a big hearted person who loved to play football and share the fellowship with others. These ex-players are my best friends today and I will be 70 years old this year. Sixty-one of our players have passed away but are never forgotten as we review picture and update the obits at every reunion. We have had reunions in 1981, 1985, 1991, 1994 and this will be our fifth. We are on the Internet at Active Dayton and are details and statistics are shown there.

I played from 1950 till 1962. I was an end playing both ways until our club got stronger and had greater depth. I was General Manager (GM) from 1954 till 1958. My record as GM was 46 wins with 5 losses and 1 tie. I played beside some great players and against some great players.

The GM job got me started in the Sporting Goods business and even though I came up to Indian Lake, I built another store and still love talking sports.

Some of the Triangles-Colts coaches were:

Jack Lenniger ex-Ohio State,
Bill Lange ex-University of Dayton and Chicago Cardinals,
Tony Furst ex-University of Dayton and Detroit Lion and
Don "Butch" Zimmerman ex-University of Dayton and St. Josephs College coach.

The Dayton Triangles-Colts Football Team Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame was started by Ed Tate when he was club president and operating the club bar on Xenia Ave in 1981.

The people voting on the Hall of Fame members were Ed Tate, Chuck Malloy, Roland Matthews, John Pierce, Butch Zimmerman and Lee Wellbaum. The first group elected in 1981 were as follows:

Ben Pate -- Running Back
Chuck Malloy -- Running Back
John Pierce -- End - Quarterback - Coach
Chuck McEllicott - Wide Receiver
Ed McCracken - Running Back - Coach

The second group elected in 1982 were as follows:

Ed Hill - Running Back
Doug Kramer - Guard - Tackle
Roland Matthews - Tackle
Jim Welsh - Linebacker
Pete Mikolijewski - Quarterback

As part of the second group we selected people who helped our team through the years and elected them as Honorary Members a follows:

Charlie Hall - Overlook Homes Trustee
Wade Furgerson - Overlook Homes Trustee
Ward Freeze - Overlook Homes Trustee
Ed "Lefty" McFadden - Sports Writer
Tom Hamlin - Sports Announcer an Writer

These 15 people represent the Dayton Triangles-Colts Hall of Fame as of June 1, 2000.

 

 

Source: Ed Tate, http://community.webtv.net/elts/EdTatesIndianLake,
http://community.webtv.net/elts/Stopinandletstalk, 937-842-6635 or e-mail at elts@webtv.net.  
 


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