Roar, Lion, Roar: A Celebration of Columbia Football

Early Days

Early Days, 1870-1905

Columbia played its first football game, only the fourth intercollegiate contest in the history of the sport, on November 12, 1870, losing to Rutgers by a score of 6-3. Stuyvesant Fish, CC 1871, was elected captain of the twenty-player team (out of 125 students enrolled at the College). The leather ball was not yet in use. Players used a black rubber ball (a sphere, not an oval) which could be batted with a fist as well as kicked.

Columbia participated in intercollegiate football intermittently from the 1870s to the 1890s. After the arrival on Morningside Heights and the availability of a practice field, the team started to face a regular schedule in 1899 and had seven consecutive winning seasons from 1899 to 1905.

Class of 1887 Freshman Football Team

Class of 1887 Freshman Football Team, 1883

From Top to Bottom: William Hull Browning. Shriver, William Frederick Ward, Stuyvesant Le Roy, Sidney Harris; Charles Albert Stevens, Benoni Lockwood; Edwards Ogden Schuyler; Shriver, Guy Richards, Smith.

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