This past week the SDSU football team hosted the College of Holy Cross from Worcester, MA.
Holy Cross has a long history in Division I athletics. They are one of eight schools to have won an NCAA championship in both baseball and basketball. Those achievements were a long time ago – the 1947 basketball championship and the 1952 College World Series.
The football team played in the 1946 Orange Bowl.
In more recent times, they upset a #1 Minnesota hockey team and a #25 Nebraska baseball team.
Economics have changed college sports; at least in football, it has affected schools like Holy Cross, which now plays in the FCS.
Like most eastern schools, Holy Cross has more sports, like rowing. Their league gives out a conference award, the rowing boat of the week.
The Jesuit school is located in a town of approximately 180,000, its population similar to in 1920. Today, 22 percent of the population was born out of the United States. Catholics account for 38 percent of the population while mainline Protestants account for only five.
There are other historical connections. Football coach Bob Devaney, at both Wyoming and then Nebraska, recruited athletes from Massachusetts. As an Irish Catholic, he connected with the families of his recruits.
An interesting fact – the plane that flew Holy Cross to Sioux Falls was the exact same one that flew Carroll College to Sioux City and back to Helena, MT.
We are a diverse nation in many ways and we continue to evolve. Sports gives us insights we may otherwise not encounter.