The Originals, the first Carleton College football team, played its first organized game on a rainy October day in 1945. The Second World War had just ended and 36 war veterans, turned students, lined up to face their opponents Macdonald College in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que. Though the Carleton College team was bigger and more experienced, Macdonald took horne the win (15-0). Carleton College, established in 1942, did not have the facilities or finances for academics, let alone a football team. Citizens of Ottawa rallied to help out the newborn squad. W.D.T. Atkinson allowed the team to practice at Glebe Collegiate, the school where he was principal. Charlie Kerr, one of the players, found the team matching brown and orange hockey jerseys to wear and the Strathcona junior team donated equipment. Tiny Hermann, a former Rough Rider star, agreed to volunteer his time as head coach. Joe Scanlon, author of History of Football at Carleton, lists these fine gentlemen as the members of the Originals:

Bob Forbes, Frank MacIntyre, Mel Carson, Bill O'Neill, Johnny Urquhart, Bill Rankin, Charlie Kerr, Don Sim, Johnny Moore, Charlie Charlebois, Donald MacGregor, Merton Keith Salisbury, Wayne Dunphy, Ross Cavey, Al Holtby, Johnny Chown, Jim McNee, Lyall Graham, Bernard Garand, Harold Barnhart, Jim McKnight, Chuck Winters, Peter Ayearst, Russ Brown, Rock Robillard, Ted Graves, Robert Forbes, John Bell, Bill Morgan, Doug Good, Dave Morgan, Al Holley, J W York, Ted Ricker, Peter McDougal and Johnny Shore. The two managers were Jim Hanna and Don Anderson.

1945 Ravens Football Team

The Originals ended their first season with one win, two losses and a tie. The "Ravens" name came from the Carleton College student newspaper staff in 1948, when they started using that moniker with no explanation. It may have had something to do with the team's raven-like black uniform. By 1946, Carleton College was located on First Avenue, with the Ravens occupying a 12'x15' locker room in the basement. The dressing room was in the attic and practices were held in a small, poorly-lit yard behind the school. In 1947, the team entered the intermediate league with St. Patrick's College, the University of Ottawa and Queen's University. It was in this newly-formed league that the long rivalry between the University of Ottawa and Carleton College began, and the Ravens became an integral part of college life. Fans would rally and march from First Avenue to Lansdowne Park for home games and pile onto buses for the away games. The first decade of Ravens football history endured hardships such as under-funding, changes in leadership and, as veterans graduated, depleting numbers. Despite these odds, a foundation was laid and a tradition had begun!

Key Game - The Originals won their first game just one week after their inaugural match when they again met the Macdonald Aggies at Lansdowne Park. Scanlon reports:

"Russ Brown carried the ball twice for a total of 15 yards and a first down. On the third play of the game Ted Graves, the flying wing, threw a 25-yard pass to Robillard; Robillard ran the remaining 40 yards for a touchdown. The Aggies were plagued by fumbles. Al Holley scooped up a fumble for a Carleton touchdown. Robillard converted. On the next play, Ted Graves ran a reverse 30 yards for a third Carleton touchdown. Robillard converted. Mel Carson, a 245 lb. recovered a fumble for another major for Carleton. In the end, it was Carleton 22, Macdonald 1."

Key Player - Ross Robertson joined the Ravens in 1947. As a rookie halfback, Robertson was an immediate star, kicking Carleton's first field goal and achieving four singles in five games. The College voted him Athlete of the Year and in 1949 Robertson was team captain.

Statistics (wins/loses/ties)

  • 1945 (1/2/1)
  • 1946 (1/2/0)
  • 1947 (3/3/0)
  • 1948 (2/2/0)
  • 1949 (2/3/1)