1926 State Champs
Just as Ishpeming’s victory in 1900 would become a watershed moment for U.P. football, two teams in 1926 would do the same for U.P. basketball. After years of competing against teams in the Lower Peninsula in tournaments, the U.P. had yet to see a team win the coveted State Championship. There were teams that came close (see Negaunee’s 1922 team), but none was able to take home the title.
The Newberry Indians had finished what they considered a disastrous 1924-25 campaign, but hopes were high for the 1925-26 season. After finishing the season with only one loss, the Indians swept through the Districts in Munising and entered into the U.P. Championship in Marquette. Newberry won the U.P. Class C tournament, but lost to Class B Negaunee for the U.P. Championship (at the time, there was a separate U.P. championship game beyond the state tournament). The team then headed to Lansing for the Class C State Championship tournament. The Indian’s first game was against the heavily favored and undefeated Reed City team, but the Newberry pulled out a victory. They then defeated Three Oaks in the semi and St. James to take the 1926 Class C State Champion title.
Across the U.P, another team, Michigamme, was on the march to a Class D title. Under the direction of C.C. Walther and leadership of A1 Treado, the Michigamme Eagles went downstate after a stellar season. In the Class D final, the Eagles defeated Alpena St. Bernard by the score of 27-15. On March 29, 1926, both the Newberry and Michigamme teams shared the same train back to the Upper Peninsula, and they were both received by a thunderous ovation at the Newberry Depot. Upon arriving home, the Michigamme team received a similar welcome.