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After 1907
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Ottawa East Annual Frost Bowl
The sense of community that was felt in the village of Ottawa East at the beginning of the Twentieth Century still persisted 50 years later. And this spirit was manifest in a decidedly unique way - through a New Year's Day football game called the "Frost Bowl".

The tradition of "bowl" games on the first day of the new year had been established decades before in that country south of the border. By the end of the 1940's, many Canadian cities decided that they needed their own grid iron classic to bring in the new year. A fad was started. The first bowl game in Ottawa was played at Brewer's Park in 1949. The "Snow Bowl" pitted the Red Devils against the All Stars of the "Ottawa South League". The Devils won 6-0 that year. As reported in the Ottawa Journal, this was to be "Ottawa's own New Year's Annual" (it lasted until 1956, and was resurrected in later years).

Not to be outdone, the lads in Ottawa East decided that their community needed its own competition. On January 1, 1950 the "First Annual Ottawa East Frost Bowl" was held at St. Patrick's College on Main St. There are differing stories as to the genesis of the game but it is clear that Ottawa East at this point had more than a fair share of excellent athletes. As the names below reveal, the men (and boys) who played in this classic were also involved in every sport in the Ottawa region. Chasing a pigskin around a knee-deep field of snow in freezing cold weather with a hangover was a logical extension to their usual athletic endeavours. It was just more fun!
Don Peters, Sam Dibartalo and unknown at this time.
The Ottawa Citizen described the 1950 teams as lacking "trimming and dressing up but nothing in enthusiasm . . . There was at least one football helmet, possibly two of three sets of pads but the rest was strictly informal. Toques, caps, parka hoods, parkas, sweaters from a number of clubs, gloves, mitts, overshoes, galoshes, ski boots and basketball shoes all could be picked out as the rival squads battled".

The teams were based on street addresses. Those living north of Springhurst formed Upper Ottawa East and those south of the line were the Lowers. This boundary was later changed to Clegg St. for certain years. There was always a debate about certain player's eligibility but in the end nobody cared. Even the odd "alien" was permitted to play depending on the particular New Year's Eve party he had attended.

The score depended to a large extent on the field conditions. Knee-deep snow usually meant a low score. January thaws meant more running and higher scores but also more bruises and sopping wet clothes. Rules were similar to normal football but with no "white" lines, enforcement was at the pleasure of the referee. "First and ten" was paced off by the ref' and he decided if the necessary yardage was achieved. For those few who argued, they were told to shut up and play - by their own teammates. The game was fun!

In the early days a touchdown was worth five points, a convert one and a "rouge" was one point. Rouge, for those who don't remember, was scored when a player was tackled in his own end zone (I think?). Early articles list "flying wings, middles and outsides" for positions. For a long time the teams were named the Upper and Lower Slobovians or Slobs (Editor's Note: Yes, even grown men can be silly when having fun).

In 1952, Sammy Dibartalo, who operated a local corner store, donated a trophy for the winning team. The "Most Valuable Player" trophy was donated in 1955 by Patsy Guzzo, Ottawa East's most famous athlete of all time. There is more on his story here.

The Frost Bowl was a major event in Ottawa East during the 1950's. Newspaper accounts report crowds of over 400 people lining the hill next to the field. By the 1960's there was less interest and younger brothers or even sons largely replaced the original group of players. The tradition continued and every January 1st, around one o'clock in the afternoon, motley dressed males would be seen trudging their way to St. Pat's field - no matter what the weather.

The descriptions below covers the period from the beginning in 1950 to 1968 after which the newspaper reporting becomes inconsistent. The status of the Frost Bowl after that year has been left for the next researcher. Highlights of the scoring have been condensed from the newspaper articles and where possible team rosters have been reproduced. The historical value of this data may be debated by some but as Springsteen sings, those were the "glory days" for many! This writer hopes that it will rekindle memories of a time when it was just fun to play.
Ottawa East Annual Frost Bowl
U = Upper Ottawa East, L = Lower Ottawa East
Highlights and Roster
(Most Valuable Player in Bold)
U6 - L5
Shields kicks single - Royden James rouged, J. Culhane pass to T. Shields -TD; James 35 yd pass to Gary Craig who runs 45 yards for TD, convert missed.
Upper:John Hamilton, Jimmy Blondeau, Bob Kinder, Bev Coughlan, Jack Culbane, Glen Murray, Bernie Thompson, Phil McBride, Earl Donoughue, Gerry Orielly, Don Peters and Tommy Shields.
Lower:Gary Craig, Roy McHugh, Ken Brown, Bud McGuire, Royden James, John Aldrich, Tommy Rodger, Aurel Bonnefant, Mike Eno, Ron Lacelle, Ronnie McHugh, Brian Tyrell, Vessie Eno, Lawrence Lacelle and Billy Rodger.
Officials: Bob Duncan, Gord Renick and Gary Edmonds.
U5 - L0
Dick Bunyan takes handoff from Glen Murray on end around for TD, no convert.
Upper: Ross Duncan, Dick Bunyan, Jim Blondin, Don Poulin, Glen Murray, Brian Kilrea, E. Philips, E. Donahue, Don Peters, Tom Shields and Ray McAllister.
Lower: G. Oreilly, G. Edmunds, G. Craig, Chuck Paul, Roy James, John Aldrick, Lucien Aldrick, Jack Culhane, Breeze Rennick, G. Rennick, Grant Edmunds, Don Tyrell and Bob Williams:
Officials: A. Bonnefant, John Denofrio and Bern Manley
L5 - U0
Gerry O'Reilly scores second quarter TD, no convert. Over 400 spectators.
Upper: Bunyan, Culhane, Murray, Junior Presley, Kilrea, Drew, Wilson, Thompson, McBride, Peters, Chuck Presley, Phillips, McAllister, Coughlan, Donahue, N, Rennick and G. Rennick.
Lower: O'Reilly, Dagenais, Paul Craig, Gray, Aldrich, James, Brown, J. Aldrich, Rennick, Tyrell, Grant, Edmonds, Lacelle and Bottomley.
Officials: None listed
L6 - U6
Bern Thompson recovers loose punt runs 30 yards for TD, convert missed. Bunyan rouged on Parker Smith punt. Gord Rennick drops punt and Gary Craig recovers runs to the 10 yard line. Next play Roy James passes to Ernie Paul for TD, convert missed. Tie Game.
Upper: Blondeau, Bunyan, Hamilton, R. McAllister, Culhane, Kilrea, Wilson, Murray, Thompson, McBride, Ellis, Peters, Sims, Brennan, Presley, Philipps, L. McAllister, Coughlan, G. Rennick and N. Rennick.
Lower: Smith, Craig, James, Guigues, O'Reilly, H. Rennick, Brown, Rodger, Aldrich, Lacelle, Edmonds, M. Gravelle, R. Gravelle, T. Gravelle and Paul.
Officials: Don Loney, Des Bloom and Don Kennedy.
U11 - L6
Tommy Shields blocked punt, recovered by Chuck Presely who ran 30 yards for TD, unconverted. Bunyan passed to Rennick for second TD, Bunyan kicked convert. Roy James passed to Chuck Paul for TD and Roger Gravelle converted.
Upper: Monk McAllister, John Hamilton, Gord Rennick, Norm Rennick, Dick Bunyan, Tom Shields, Bun thompson, Bruce Hamilton, Ed Phillips, Lynn McAlister, Chuck Presley, Don Peters, Don Coughlan, Terry Brennan.
Lower: Roger Gravelle, Chuck Paul, Garry Craig, John Guigues, Roy James, John Aldrich, Garry Edmunds, Ron Lacelle, Moe Gravelle, Ray Moore, Grant Edmunds, Brian Tyrell, Frank McAllister, and Tom Beaudry.
Official: Des Bloom
U5 - L0

Lineman Jay Fleming trapped a return kick with 5 minutes to play and was pushed over the line for the only score, no convert. Red Bunyan received the first Patsy Guzzo trophy as the game's most valuable player.
Upper: Dick Bunyan, Roy McAllister, John Hamilton, Bruce Hamilton, Len McAllister, Chucj Presley, Don Peters, Terry Brennan, Roy Phillips, Gerry Lepage, Tome Clark and Jay Fleming.
Lower: Brian Tyrell, tom Beaudry, Aurel Bonnefant, Leo Dagenais, Geryy O'Reilly, roy James, John McDonald, Roy Moore, Chuch Paul, Toem Rodger, Gary Craig, Grant Edmunds, John Aldrich, John Guigues, Bob Leclair, Roger Gravelle and Moe Gravelle.
Officials: none reported

U6 - L0
No report of the game was found in either newspaper
U14 - L6
Dick Bunyan and Don Peters scored TD's and Bunyan kicked two singles. Chuck Paul scored only TD for Lower.
Upper: R. McAllister, Bunyan, Hamilton, Clark, N, Rennick, G. Rennick, Poulin, Brennan, Graham, Phillip, Presley, Peters, Coughlan, Duncan, Laframboise and L. McAllister.
Lower: James, Paul, Edmunds, Craig, Smith, Guigues, Aldrich, B. Leclair, Marshal, N. Leclair, O'Brien, Little, O'Reilley, Rock, P. McAllister, H. Rennick.
No officials reported.
U13 - L0
Tom Clark and Norm Rennick scored TD's, Len McAllister scored convert from Rennick pass. Lineman Don Poulin received Guzzo Trophy.
No rosters or game officials reported.
U19 - L0
Norm Rennick scored tow TD's in second quarter and a single point in the third - he received Guzzo Trophy. Tom Clark scored TD in final quarter.
Upper: Roy McAllister, Tom Clark, Gord Rennick, Len McAllister, Norm Rennick, Gary Hamilton, Don Poulin, Bruce Hamilton, Pat Presley, Don Coughlan, Chuck Presley, Don Peters, Mike Meshan, Ray Phillips, Ken McBride, Graham Higgins and Bob Thompson.
Lower: Roy James, Parker Smith, Grant Edmonds, Hal Hawkins, Chuck Paul, Ron Halverson, Harold Rennick, Bob Leclair, John Guigue, George Winters, Barry Edwards, Moe Gravelle, Ray Dagenais, Jim O'Reilly and Ray Moore.
No officials reported
L7 - U0
Terry Nador scored third quarter TD after Gary Craig recovered loose punt on Upper 45 yard line. Next play Chuck Paul passed 10 yards to Nador who ran 35 yards for score. Grant Edmonds received the Guzzo trophy.
Upper: Clark, Rennick, L. McAllister, R. McAllister, Gary Hamilton, Poulin, B. Hamilton, Coughlan, Meehann, McBride, Presley, Peters, Crook, Gord Hamilton, Cooper, Simpson, Bedford, Paul, Soubliere, Millington and Duncan.
Lower: James, Paul, G. Edmonds, Craig, Smith, Guigues, Lelcair, Hawkins, Halverson, Parker Smith, D. Edmonds, Kelly, McAllister, Lacelle, Nador, Bonefant, O'Reilly, York and Little.
Officials: Don Loney and Des Bloom
L6 - U2
Bob Leclair recovered fumble, Gary Craig then passed 30 yards to Ernie Paul for the TD. Goprd Rennick kicked two singles. Ernie Paul received Guzzo trophy.
No rosters or officials reported.
L6 - U6
Don Peters recovered Ernie Paul fumble after hard tackle by Bruce Hamilton. Jock Simpson handed off to Gord Rennick for a one-yard TD. Chuck Paul intercepted a Rennick pass and ran 20 yards for the score. No converts.
No rosters or officials reported.
L13 - U0
Bob Leclair recovered Gord Rennick fumble on five yard line in early fourth quarter, Chuck Paul went over for score. Paul McAllister intercepted a pass intended for Len McAllister and ran 30 yards for score. Ray Partridge converted.
Upper: Gord Hamilton, Gary Hamilton, Al Rotar, Art Crook, Ray Phillips, Len McAllister, Ricky Wallace, Gord Rennick, Beert Soubliere, Ross Duncan, Dave Mullingotn and Ray McAllister.
Lower: John Guigues, Roy Partridge, Bob Leclair, Barry Edmonds, Grant Edmonds, Paul McAllister, Don Little, Chuck Paul, Ernie Paul, Gary Craig, Parker Smith, Hubie Garneau, Bob Smith.
No Officials reported.
L12 - U0
Chuck Paul passed to Ernie Paul in second quarter for TD. Terry Edmonds intercepted Gord Rennick pass and returned it to the Upper 23 yard line. Chuck Paul passed to Grant Edmonds for the second TD in final minutes of game.
No roster or officials reported.
U21 - L2
Gord Hamilton dropped for a safety in second quarter. Ray McAllister blocked punt, dribbled 50 yards into end zone where Don Peters fell on ball for score. In third quarter Rick Wallace intercepted a Chuck Paul pass and ran 75 yards for the score. In final quarter Dave Mulington caught 35 yard TD pass from Hamilton. Bert Soubliere converted all 3 TD's.
No rosters or officials reported.
U6 - L0
Dan Edmunds fumbled on Don Poulin tackle at 15 yard line. Gord Hamilton passed to Dave Mullington for the TD. Paul Bolton received the Guzzo trophy.
No roster or officials reported.
U6 - L0
Gord Hamilton passed to Len McAllister for score.
No description, roster or officials reported.
U13 - L6
Picture only with the score.
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