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CACHE Chats: Tales of Exeter and Beyond

May 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Free

The Center for Art, Culture, and History – Exeter, or CACHE, will be
kicking off a new series of local history talks by CACHE’s board
president, Dwight Miller, entitled CACHE Chats: Tales of Exeter and
Beyond. Dwight’s first discussion is scheduled for Monday, May 20th,
at 5:30 p.m., and the topic is “The Invincibles,” an Exeter football
team that won two state championships a century ago and is the subject
of the outdoor mural located on the Exeter Union High School gym.

At age twenty-three, Jim Pogue and Al Griggs, both EUHS alumni, were
key parts of putting together a semi pro football team to play as part
of a large Exeter-Visalia celebration. One of the first Armistice Day
events in 1920, it was sponsored by the newly formed American Legion
Post 94 in Exeter. Besides the high school and semi-pro football games
scheduled, the event included airplane flyovers, a large parade,
barbeques, patriotic speakers, a rodeo, races, boxing and wrestling
matches, dancing, and fireworks, bringing an estimated 25,000 Tulare
County citizens to town.

The celebration was all about recognition for the U.S. servicemen in
the Great War (WWI) and to honor those who died. Pogue recruited a
number of high-profile college athletes from St. Mary’s, Cal Berkeley,
Marquette, USC, Washington State, and Oregon State, to name a few.
Pogue secured Reedley as the opposing team, and Exeter won 33-0.

After the game, the players decided to seek more opponents from the
region and continued together as a team. They kept winning, beating
San Francisco for the state title and then Selma in a “challenge
game.” The next year, they were more organized and formed an American
Legion-sponsored league. Local farmer Charles Pruner fenced his large
dirt lot west of Wilson School and built bleachers to seat 3,000 fans.
This was at a time when Exeter’s population was about 1800. Exeter Sun
Publisher Watt Clawson served as publicity chair, providing regular
front-page articles about their successes. Clawson dubbed them “The
Invincibles.”

This team enjoyed immense popularity. In the next season, they
continued to win, including a battle against Bakersfield in the
three-day 1921 Armistice Day event in Tulare, watched by over 5,000
fans. They went on to secure the second State Championship with their
final win in San Bernardino, 13-0. Al Griggs was the Captain and
Quarterback for all fourteen games. One notable Pogue recruit was
Nebraska All American Paul Dobson who because of his short term with
the team decided to make Exeter his home.

This event is free and open to the public; $5 donations are
encouraged.

For more information, visit our website at
www.cach-exeter.org.

Additional info:
https://cach-exeter.org/events/

Details

Date:
May 20
Time:
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Cost:
Free
Website:
https://cach-exeter.org/events/

Organizer

CACHE
Website:
www.cach-exeter.org

Venue

CACHE
125 S B Street
Exeter, CA 93221 United States
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