FROM THE ARCHIVE: Spanish flu takes turn at interrupting college football schedule

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The name plate for the K-State Collegian on Oct. 18, 1918.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Volume 25 of the K-State Collegian. It was published for the first time on Oct. 18, 1918. At that time, the influenza pandemic had cancelled many social gatherings and saw the institution of a campus-wide quarantine.

Football was not immune from the “influenza holiday” — in addition to the suspension of classes, several football games that season were postponed or cancelled. Ultimately, the team didn’t complete their season, but predictions in the Royal Purple Yearbook of that year suggest the young team would have been a sight to see.

The Aggie football schedule has been interrupted to quite an extent due to the epidemic of the Spanish influenza. The Aggies have been unable to carry out their schedule this season, because of the orders of military authorities, which forbade teams in a valley school where there is an [Student Army Training Corp] to leave their school for more than a day. The closing of the schools throughout the valley has likewise made it impossible to schedule games with teams within one day’s traveling distances.

It had been planned by Coach Clevenger to have Kansas University here this Saturday for a game, but the closing of the school made it necessary to cancel this game. It is currently being planned to schedule a game for a week from Saturday here with either Kansas University, the Haskell Indians or Washburn.

A page from the 1918-1919 Royal Purple Yearbook.
A page from the 1918-1919 Royal Purple Yearbook about the "Big Five" — the players expected to lead the team for the season limited by the formation of the Student Army Training Corp and eventually, the Spanish flu epidemic.

Only one Aggie starter has been in the hospital, and it was reported this afternoon that is was fullback Azel Husted. Husted has been quite ill during the past week, but is now starting to improve and is expected to be out of the hospital within the next few days.

On November 2 the Aggies will travel to Lawrence and face off with Kansas University. The game is scheduled to be played at McCook field and will be carried out as far as we know. It is the endeavor of Coach Clevenger to schedule a game with Missouri sometime during the month of November, as the game scheduled last week could not be played.

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