Teddy Roosevelt was re-elected President of the United States on November 8, 1904. A week later, Denison finally got its first victory ever against the Sherman Bearcats on the football field. The Yellow Jackets held on for an 11-5 win, and the Dallas Morning News wrote about the game.
The official working the game was a Roo. There’s always a Roo involved.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football calls the Sherman-Denison Battle of the Ax the “granddaddy of them all”. The rivalry is the oldest continually played matchup in the state of Texas. That shouldn’t be surprising for those familiar with Grayson County history.
There’s debate about the origin of the series. Some peg the first game in 1901. Others claim the first game in 1900, with records lost in a fire. Still others trace the first unofficial match-ups to the 1890s. That’s the way it goes for institutions with a lot of history. It gets murky.
But what we can definitively say is that Sherman and Denison have been playing a LONG time, and that a Roo is usually involved.
There are strong historical ties between AC and both towns. Roo coaches can be found throughout the decades on both squads, and numerous Bearcats and Yellow Jackets have made the jump to AC as players.
Verde Dickey, a standout under Pete Cawthon, took over the reins at Sherman and led the Bearcats to one of their best seasons ever in 1932. After defeating Denison 19-6 to win a district title, Dickey and his Sherman team advanced all the way to the state quarterfinals. At the brand new Amon Carter stadium in Fort Worth, they fell to the Masonic Home Orphans 20-0.
Never heard of the Mighty Mites of Masonic Home? Let Jim Dent fill you in.
Never heard of Verde Dickey? Maybe you should spend more time at the AC weight room.
Congratulations to Coach Charlie Means and the Denison Yellow Jackets, who got the best of Sherman last week in the 119th edition of the Battle of the Ax.
Coach Means is a Roo. See? There’s always a Roo involved.