Ohio League and AAA Pro Football Team 1914-1920
Home Field: St. Patrick’s Parish, Youngstown, Ohio.
Honours: World Champions (USA Pro Champions) 1915 (Defeteated Washington Vigilants 13-7). City Champions 1914 (Defetated Crescent AC 3-0) and 1920 (Defeated St. Edwards Saints 10-0)
Career Record: Unknown
History Youngstown Patricians appear to be named after St. Patrick. On the 22 November 1920, the day the Patricians defeated St. Edwards Saints for the City Championship, the Youngstown Daily Vindicator’s Front Page Headline was ” Battles in Ireland Follow Bloody Day” (Monday, November 22, 1920). They started off as the Church team in St. Patrick’s Parish, before becoming the city’s team. The team was made up of Irish, Poles and Italians, tough men who worked in the steel mills. [Reference: 45]
They were formed in 1914 in St. Patrick’s Parish, Mahoning, Northeast Ohio (near Cleveland), and entered that years Mahoning Valley Championship, winning 7 and losing one of their 8 games against teams from Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
In 1915 they scheduled matches against more experienced teams: Akron Pros, McKeesport Olympics, Pitcairn Quakers, Columbus Panhandles, and Washington Vigilants. The Vigilants had claimed the Pro Championship since 1907 with a record of 90 wins, three losses and one tie, with the three losses coming against College All-Star teams after the Vigilants had finished training for the season (In those days the top College teams were still the best in the country).
The Youngstown team increased their squad to 25 players, including some under contract, unheard of back then, and under “The Man of the Hour” player-coach Ray L. Thomas, the “Pats” as they were known won 8 lost none and tied one, including an outstanding 13-7 victory over the Washington Vigilants. Opponents were outscored 271 to 22.
In 1916 the Patricians scheduled matches against top Ohio teams (Ohio was then the hotbed of Pro Football), including the top two Canton Bulldogs and Massillon Tigers and increased their schedule to 11 matches. They won handsomely against all comers – except Canton and Massillon – the latter two defeating the Pats.
In 1917 a similar pattern emerged, after the early season games were won, the tough games against Canton and Massillon proved their undoing, although this time they beat Massillon 14-6.
With World War I staring for the USA, there was no Pro Football in Northeast Ohio in 1918, and in 1919 two brief games were scheduled, and then in 1920, another half-season played by the Patricians, including a game against Columbus Panhandles on the last day of the season which the Pats won 2-0, no mean feat considering the Panhandles were in the fledgling APFA (soon to be renamed the NFL in 1922). There was an attempt to restart the Patricians in the NFL in 1922, but even though they were awarded a franchise, the money to get a team together could not be found.
The Patricians also won the City Championship, then an important source of end-of-season bragging rights, in 1914 (beating Crescent AC at the end of the season) and 1920 (defeating St. edward’s Saints)
Their match with Canton Bulldogs in 1917 read like a whos-who of Pro Football at the time, including players of the calibre of Jim Thorpe, a Native American who is still a household name in American Football circles 100 years later, and who kicked the game-winning Field Goal to beat Youngstown 3-0. In that game for the Patricians were players like F. Fitzgerald (Right Guard), Bill Kelleher (Right End) and Stan Cofall (Left Half), all Irish names, who had graduated from the famous Irish Catholic College in South Bend, Indiana, Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
1914 Results Mahoning Valley Circuit (Ohio)
|8||1914||??||Crescent AC (OH)||W||3-0|
1915 Results Pro Circuit (Northeast USA)
|??||??||??||Akron Pros (OH)||W|
|??||??||??||McKeesport Olympics (PA)||W|
|??||??||??||Pitcairn Quakers (PA)||W|
|??||??||??||Columbus Panhandles (OH)||T||0-0|
|??||??||??||Washington Vigilants (DC)||W||13-7|
1916 Results Pro Circuit (Northeast USA)
|5||1916||??||Pitcairn Quakers (PA)||W||7-0|
|6||1916||??||Massillon Tigers (OH)||L||0-3|
|7||1916||??||McKeesport Olympics (PA)||W||20-3|
|8||1916||??||Canton Bulldogs (OH)||L||0-6|
|9||1916||??||Washington Vigilants (DC)||W||10-9|
|10||1916||??||Massillon Tigers (OH)||L||0-26|
|11||1916||??||Columbus Panhandles (OH)||L||0-13|
1917 Results Pro Circuit
|2||10.10.1920||H||Akron Independents (OH)||W||15-14|
|7||14.11.1920||H||Pitcairn Quakers (PA)||–||C-C|
|8||21.11.1920||H||St. Edwards Saints (OH)||W||10-0|
|9||28.11.1920||H||Columbus Panhandles (OH)||W||2-0|
 Vic Frolund, The Coffin Corner Vol. 1 No. 4, Pro Football Researchers Association (1979) The story of the Patricians- [Internet] Available from: http://www.profootballresearchers.org/coffin-corner70s/01-04-005.pdf [Accessed 20 September 2020]
 Cleveland (2015) 100 Years ago, were Youngstown Patricians pro football’s world champs? (photos) [Internet] available from: https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2015/11/100_years_ago_youngstown_patri.html [Accessed 20 September 2020]
 Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, November 29, 1920. pg. 15 Pat’s defeat Panhandles in last game [Internet] Available from: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=pqgf-8x9CmQC&dat=19201129&printsec=frontpage&hl=en [Accessed 19 September 2020]
 Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, November 15, 1920. pg. 15 Patricians defeat St. Edwards at Idora 10-0 [Internet] Available from: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=pqgf-8x9CmQC&dat=19201122&printsec=frontpage&hl=en [Accessed 19 September 2020]
 Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, November 15, 1920. pg. 5 Train wrecked prevents game [Internet] Available from: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Oy1KAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_YUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1754%2C4170258 [Accessed 20 September 2020]
 Google News: Youngsown Vindicator, October 11, 1920 pg. 10. Akron downs “Pats” in close contest [Internet] Available from: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=eGxKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QYYMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1462%2C4224078 [Accessed 19 September 2020]
 Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, October 4, 1920. pg. 14 Sharon beaten by Patricians [Internet] Available from: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=dGxKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QYYMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3879%2C2787954 [Accessed 20 September 2020]
 Ohio Memory (2020) Patricians Football Team 1915 [internet] Available from: https://ohiomemory.org/digital/collection/p267401coll36/id/17544 [Accessed 20 September 2020]
Thanks to Decy Maher and Sondra Maher.
About this document
Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the
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Last Updated: 1 April 2022
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