October 11th, 2021 by Gary Osberg

Today is homecoming in Upsala. In my day it was the Upsala `Cardinals’, but some time ago Upsala football merged with Swanville and now it is the USA (Upsala Swanville Area) `Patriots’.  I plan on being there in my letterman’s jacket. 

I was an overweight freshman on the Upsala Cardinal football team in 1957. Freshmen wore the old uniforms and helmets and we did not win any fashion awards. John Atkinson, a senior running back, ran with his knees pumping up and down high and hard. He still managed to make yardage. In practice, I would simply bounce off of his knees. The memory of the pain is still with me. That was the year when no other team even scored on the Upsala team. Clarissa got to our three yard line, but our defense held.

A couple of years ago, the 1957 Upsala football team was inducted into the Upsala Sports Hall of Fame. I was one of nine of the twenty-nine original members of the 1957 Upsala Cardinal football team who showed up for our induction into the Sports Hall of Fame. One of the guys, Dave Chuba, came all the way from Ohio. Bob Soltis was the quarterback and captain of the 1957 team. That year Bob was named to the All State Football Team.

It was the second year that inductees were chosen for the Upsala Sports Hall of Fame. Bob’s brother Ralph was chosen the previous year and another brother John, who was a junior on the 1957 football team, accepted an individual award for his brother Bob. There were lots of Soltis boys and they all played football. No one lifted weights in those days, they just threw bales of hay all summer. Us “village kids” had a tough time keeping up.


“Man’s finest hour is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle victorious.” Vince Lombardi’’

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