Today is a perfect day to honor the memory of Clayton Teetzel who went to rest in peace on this day in 1948. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Claton Tryon Teetzel was born somewhere in Michigan on August 26, 1876. He definitely qualifies as a Wolverine “Pigskin Pioneer” in my book.
Clayton Teetzel’s name first showed up on a Michigan Football Roster in 1897. He is listed as a “Sub” at the End position. According to the roster, Teetzel’s hometown was Chicago, Illinois. Clayton started at least one game in 1897 and scored a touchdown in the season ending loss at Chicago. He is listed as a letterman for the season. The Wolverines, under first-year coach Gustave Ferbert, posted an excellent record of 6 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie. They finished third in the conference with a record of 2-1-0. So, it appears that Clayton Teetzel’s Michigan Football career was off to a good start.
Coach Gustave Ferbert expected more from himself and his players in 1898 and he got more from everyone! Michigan had a record setting season in year two of the Gustave Ferbert Era. The Wolverines posted a record of 10 wins, 0 losses and 0 ties. They were perfect in the conference with a record of 3-0-0. Most importantly, Michigan won their first Western Conference title in 1898. Apparently, Clayton Teetzel didn’t start any games during the season. He was listed as a “R” on the team roster which meant “reserve.”
Clayton’s third year on the Michigan Football team was a lot like his second. He did start two games at halfback, but was not pictured with the letter winners at the end of the season. The Wolverines slipped a little in the won-loss column in 1899. Michigan finished the last season of the nineteenth century with an excellent record of 8 wins and 2 losses. They went 1-1-0 in the conference which dropped them to third place.
Clayton Teetzel played some good football on Michigan’s last three teams of the 19th Century. The Wolverines posted a record of 24 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie during the Ferbert/Teetzel years.
Clayton Teetzel left Ann Arbor with a law degree (1900) along with a Michigan varsity football letter, and a claim to the first conference championship in school history. He helped the Wolverines finish STRONG in the last three years of the Nineteenth Century. He also ran track for the Wolverines so he gave his all for Michigan! It is certainly a good day to remember this “Pigskin Pioneer” on the sixty-ninth of his death. May Michigan Man Clayton Teetzel continue to rest in peace. Go Blue!
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