Today’s post celebrates the memory of Norman Sterry who went to rest in peace on this day in 1971. Norman Sedgwick “Norm” Sterry was born in Emporia, Kansas on July 8, 1878. He lived a long and very successful life and died at 92 years of age.
(Note: Norm Sterry is pictured here with the entire 1902 Michigan football team. Sterry is in the first row and is the tenth man from the right. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.)
Norman Sterry came to Michigan from California in 1900 to study law and play football for the Wolverines. Sterry is another one of the many unsung heroes of Michigan football. He came to Ann Arbor to play for the Michigan Wolverines in 1900. Norm Sterry was listed as a reserve tackle from Los Angeles, California on the 1990 Michigan Football Roster. He was also listed as a reserve on the 1901 and 1902 teams. Apparently, Norm Sterry never played a down for his beloved Wolverines. However, he was not a quitter. But at 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 160 pounds, he wasn’t really big enough to play tackle at Michigan. In 1902, he was listed as a “left end.” I guess he wasn’t big enough for that position either.
Obviously, a lot of players had trouble cracking Lea’s and Yost’s starting line-ups and Norm Sterry was one of them. To his credit, Sterry stuck with it for three years which makes him a “MIchigan Man” in my book. If he showed that kind of dedication for Bo Schembechler, he would have earned a letter in his last year.
Norman S. Sterry is associated with some interesting Michigan “football firsts.” Here are the ones that I could find:
· First man from California to show up on a Michigan Football Roster in 1900.
· Member of the first, and only, team coached by Langdon “Bif” Lea in 1900
· Member of the first Michigan football team of the twentieth century in 1900.
· Part of the first team ever coached by Fielding H. Yost in 1901.
So, today is a good day to remember another Michigan Man named Norman Sterry (UM Law 1903). Although he didn’t earn any varsity letters at Michigan, he still contributed to the history of Michigan Football. Yes, Norman Sterry was an undersized “reserve” who practiced with some very talented teammates. In fact, he helped produce some of the greatest teams in Wolverine football History.
After graduation in 1903, Norman Sterry practiced law in Los Angeles for over thirty-five years. Read about his very successful career by clicking on the Wikipedia article linked below. Thanks to Norm Sterry for showing people how a true “Michigan Man” lives his life! May he always rest in peace. Go Blue!
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