When Jack Trice was in high school at East Tech in Cleveland, all eyes were drawn to him on the football field. His presence was controversial and political. It was rare for Jack to see another Black athlete to commiserate with. In tribute of his sacrifice, I’m pleased to unveil a new photo of Jack Trice playing for East Tech in a game almost 100 years ago.
This discovery was many years in the making.
I was able to use my expertise to descend into a particular, yet obscure, spot of Cleveland history to experience life during the early 1920s. Hunch after hunch had to be followed along an unknown path until one day came the metaphorical clink of my shovel. This photo was not labeled or dated, but I knew immediately. There was the lanky frame of Jack on the right, opening up a hole for Johnny Behm to plunge through. Johnny was the captain of East Tech and went on to become the captain of Iowa State, finishing his career as a honorable mention All-American quarterback.
The photo is not an original copy, but a printed version and white marks are visible on some of the players–which was a common practice for reprinting in newspapers. Johnny is not wearing an helmet again, just like the other photo I discovered of Jack and Johnny in the prep national championship game in Washington, seen in Jack Trice and the Nazi Olympiad.
Once again, let us pay homage to the hero of Iowa State formed in the crucible of East Tech.