Book tackles UA football past

” While many students have been anticipating the first football game at the new Infocision Stadium this weekend, Tara Kaloz, editor of Our Boys in Blue and Gold, has been researching the past. The book, which was released last month, chronicles University of Akron football since 1891 – UA’s first football season.”

While many students have been anticipating the first football game at the new Infocision Stadium this weekend, Tara Kaloz, editor of Our Boys in Blue and Gold, has been researching the past.

The book, which was released last month, chronicles University of Akron football since 1891 – UA’s first football season.

Kaloz received her bachelor’s degree in English at UA in 2008 and grew up in a household where college football was greatly admired.

My dad was a big football trivia nut, she said, smiling.

Although she wasn’t a huge football fan growing up, Kaloz proudly stated that she now has a greater appreciation for the game.

Our Boys in Blue and Gold is divided into chapters covering 10 years each. The first chapter captures the reader with a photograph of the first Zips football team in 1891.

The book explains that before 1891, Buchtel College, as it was then called, participated in many sports, but had yet to include football.

It was that year that Buchtel College made the decision to form their first football team.

Kaloz explained that many other colleges had football teams prior to 1891.

There was simply a lack of interest here in the sport at that time, she added.

Buchtel Field was the first designated football field. It still stands at Wheeler and Kling Street.

The majority of the book consists of historic articles about the games over the years. Most of the articles were gathered from the Buchtelite, Tel-Buch and the UA Archives, located in Polsky.

The Department of Athletics was also very helpful, Kaloz praised.

She explained that she was able to get the majority of the photographs used in the book from the department.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of great pictures that we just couldn’t use in the book because of their quality and resolution, she said.

The book briefly explains the legend of the wagon wheel between UA and Kent State University. The last chapter of the book provides a photograph of ecstatic UA football players holding the wagon wheel after defeating Kent in the 2008 season.

It also provides a brief history of Zippy, UA cheerleaders, the marching band, coaches and Acme-Zip games.

Kaloz said that she loves the scrap-book feel of the cover of the book, which was chosen through a contest between design students.

There were so many different stages to this project, she said.

She explained that the UA Press had been throwing around the idea of a book that would chronicle UA football history when she became involved in August 2008.

We started out doing very broad, general research, she said.

We typed a lot more articles than are actually in the book … it was very time consuming.

Our Boys in Blue and Gold also covers the history of the Rubber Bowl.

Kaloz explained that the Rubber Bowl, although off-campus, was greatly appreciated when it was first put to use by UA in the 1940s.

The university, at that time, needed a bigger and more official-looking football field, she said.

Recently, however, attendence had been relatively low at the Rubber Bowl. Kaloz agreed that a big cause of this was its location.

This is why she is so excited about the Infocision Stadium.

For many students, the games will now just be a walk away instead of a car ride, she said.

I’m just so happy they brought it back to campus.

She hopes that it will bring a high school-like spirit back to campus during football season.

Kaloz said that it was sometimes difficult to edit and choose which articles to use, but that overall, it was fun and interesting to research.

She said the articles from the late 1800s and early 1900s are the most memorable to her because of the out-dated language used.

They were just fantastic to read, she said.

Our Boys in Blue and Gold is available in campus bookstores and had been released just in time for the upcoming football season.

Take a break during the excitement of the next couple of days and look into the history of UA’s football history.

It will make this first historic game even more meaningful.