Having grown up in Minneapolis my notion of Minneapolis North High School is that its a tough school that had a great basketball program. My dad used to take me to North to see basketball games. But a 120 year old high school has a lot more history than just my fond memories and humble bragging about watching Khalid El-Amin.
Things have always been tough in north Minneapolis. The school has burned down, and in 1917 the football team cancelled its season because of a smallpox epidemic. In the 1930s and 1940s north Minneapolis was predominantly a Jewish neighborhood and so was the football team, making games against certain schools (Roosevelt most prominently) a gridiron contest of Jew vs Gentile. No matter the obstacle North High fielded some great football teams and have sent at least three players onto the U of M.
North High School Varsity Football Team Photo, 1949. Courtesy of Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.
- Wallace Hamilton North Class of 1910. Wallace went on from captaining the Polars in 1910 to scoring the winning touchdown against Wisconsin in 1914.
- Sid Gillman North Class of 1929. Sike, Gillman played for Ohio State, but I'm giving him a shoutout anyway. He would make a name for himself later on as a coach, and is credited with inventing the practice of studying game film.
- Bob Bjorklund North Class of 1936. Bjorklund played center during the glory days of Gopher football, captaining Bernie Bierman's 1940 National Championship team.
- Wayne Robinson North Class of 1948. Wayne may be the most recent North Polar to play football for the University of Minnesota. He was drafted by the Eagles in 1952.