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History of South Football

Football Overview

Football is an American creation which evolved from two other sports, association football (what Americans call soccer) and rugby.  The first game of American Football was played on November 6, 1869.  However, there were no formal rules of the game until 1880 when Walter Camp first wrote them down.  He established the “snap,” 11-player teams, and “downs.”

At South, football is the oldest sport played, with its first season being in 1894-95 school year.  (The old Minneapolis Central and Minneapolis East high schools were the first schools to field a team in the 1891-92 school year.)

South has won 21 conference championships.  The first was in 1894/95 school year.  The others were in 1895/96, 1896/97, 1897/98, 1903/04, 1911/12, 1912/13, 1920/21, 1923/24, 1928/29, 1929/30, 1930/31, 1931/32, 1934/35, 1936/37, 1943/44, 1947/48, 1957/58, 1991/92, 1992/93, and 2010/11 school years.

In Twin City Championships games against the winner of the St. Paul City Conference, the Tigers are 5-3.  The first Twin City game the Tigers played was in the 1928/29 school year. Four times, the Tigers tied for the city title and the team with whom they tied represented Minneapolis.

The Tigers have never played in the State Football Tournament.

With a quick turnover of coaches, many records have been lost.  Information for this history has come from South High Yearbooks, various Minneapolis newspapers, Minneapolis Athletic Department, and former and current players and coaches. 

Also, it is important to understand that rules have changed, especially in scoring.  Today, if a final score was 5-0, we would probably assume the score was a field goal and safety.  However, in the early days, a touchdown counted for five points. So there were some interesting scores in the early years of Tiger football.

***The information on this and the yearly historical pages, including photographs, has been amassed through a variety of sources, including South High School yearbooks (much of the written information is directly from what was written in the yearbooks), Minneapolis Newspapers, and District archives.

***If there are additions or corrections, please contact the South High Athletic Department.

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