?? MIDGETS ??


So where did the name Midgets come from? The below is taken from The Cynosure, Fargo Central High School Alumni Association, Volume 23 Number 1 2008. If you have other stories on this very common question, send them to me and I will be glad to add below

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Editor's note:
We have received numerous requests on how the FCHS Midgets got their name. Therefore, we are reprinting two stories from the Cynosure Vol 19, #3, Sept. 2004.


How The Midgets Got Their Name
By Don Bredell '41 and Doris Headland Bredell '44

We read the summer issue of the Cynosure (1988) and noticed the request for information on the name "Midgets". This rang a bell for Doris, and she began searching through her memorabilia. She recalled her uncle, Bob Nesbit, had played for Central High during the years 1909-1911 and had told her that the name originated from that time period.

Shortly after the death of Bob Nesbit in 1970, an article appeared in the Fargo Forum by Ed Kolpack, titled "Original Midget Nesbit Battled Odds to Compete." We quote: "Sixty years ago Fargo Central High School's athletic teams were without a nickname. That was before Bob Nesbit came on the scene. Back in 1911 Nesbit was captain of the Fargo football team. The team was the smallest in the history of the school and Nesbit at five feet five and one hundred and forty pounds-was the smallest player. Someone referred to Fargo High as the team of midgets, and it caught on. From then until Central split into North and South, Fargo High School teams were known as the Midgets. The man who many considered the original Midget died in 1970 in Fargo.

High school teams sixty years ago did not field the physical brutes of today. But even then it must have been hazardous for a 115 pound freshman to attempt to make a varsity football team. The 1909 Fargo High School team boasted sixteen seniors. Nesbit not only challenged these veterans, but the spunky freshman earned a berth on the varsity. The story goes that the 1909 Fargo High football team was one of the greatest assembled. Nesbit earned eight varsity letters in football, basketball and track in less than three years (he quit school before his junior track season to go to work). After high school days he played baseball in Fargo, Enderlin and Detroit Lakes."

Don and Doris recall many talks with Bob. He was very proud of the Midgets and rarely missed a football, basketball or track event in which the Midgets were involved. His loyalty to the school sets a high standard for all alumni. Bob was a teller at First National Bank & Trust Company in Fargo and later served as a comptroller of Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance until his retirement.

Jack Kimball, '64, writes the following on the Midget name.

My father, Charles (Charlie) Kimball was an industrial arts teacher and basketball coach at Fargo Central from about 1915-1927. Fargo Central was dominant in this era, winning seven state basketball championships. Fargo was generally taller than the opponents so they were dubbed "Midgets". Recently I found a '22 state championship trophy at our house on which was engraved the team members: Rudd, (Captain), Rusch, Watkins, Arnold, Powers, Miller, Fisher and C. H. Kimball - Coach. In 1926 the Midgets took second place in the 8th Annual Interscholastic National Basketball Tournament at the University of Chicago.

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