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Forty Years Ago - October 23, 1959
Pat Calligan
Derby, Kansas
Rolfe High School Class of 1960

Time has a way of erasing one’s reflection of memorable events. This is my memory of what happened on October 23, 1959. I hope that my schoolmates at Rolfe will add their memories of that day.

It was the fall of my senior year at Rolfe High, and life seemed to revolve around athletic events. The Rolfe Rams’ football team was 5 - 1 coming into the homecoming game with only an early-season loss coming at the hands of the Manson Eagles.

Why someone picked the Twin Rivers Pirates (Bode, Ottosen, and Livermore) as our homecoming opponent was unknown. Twin Rivers was a powerhouse football team every year, and this season was no exception as they were undefeated and had already defeated Manson.

On the afternoon of Friday, October 23, 1959, a pep rally was held on Main Street. The student body was let out of school to attend, the band played, and, as usual, we had motivational speakers. Dick Hodaway, one of the speakers, told us that he was recently in Bode and the Bode town folks told him they (the Twin Rivers Pirates) were looking forward to their upcoming game with the Rolfe Lambs. Whether this was true or not was unimportant as the story fired up the team and the rally.

The game was played under the lights at the football field on the golf course. The evening of the game it was extremely windy and it was impossible to pass. Coach Bob Nielsen had us play an 8 - 3 defense (everyone up near the line of scrimmage) which helped us stop Twin Rivers’ running attack. Twin Rivers did the same thing when they were on defense. Neither team was able to move the football on the field. The score at half time was 0 - 0.

In the third quarter, we ran a double reverse which tricked Twin Rivers, and Jerry Rickard ran down the sideline wide open for approximately a sixty yards touchdown. We were unable to connect on the extra point and the score was Rolfe 6, Twin Rivers 0.

The other big play of the game came in the fourth quarter when Steve Hodaway hiked the ball over Rolfe’s punter’s (Gary Wolfe) head and it went into the end zone which resulted in a safety. This safety made the score Rolfe 6, Twin Rivers 2, which was the final score. Steve Hodaway later claimed that he intentionally hiked the ball into the end zone because we were backed up against our goal and the safety allowed us a free kick which improved our field position. Most of the other members of the team, I recall, doubted Steve’s explanation.

It was a great upset and great homecoming victory for the Rolfe Rams. Needless to say, the extremely windy conditions played a role in the upset, but it was the Rolfe Rams who took full advantage of this opportunity.

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