VAC Corner: Do you know about the football legacy of Laporte?




Nov. 30, 2009

 

Varsity Athletes Club

Laporte, Colorado was a community of a few hundred people in the late 1940s and 1950s. The ‘big’ city down the road was Fort Collins with a population of 10,000. It was like growing up in ‘American Graffiti.’ Little Laporte was the home of three ‘American Graffiti’ football players who eventually starred in the NFL starting with Dale Dodrill, then Gary Glick, then brother Freddy Glick. How remarkable was that?

Dale Dodrill spent his childhood days on a farm in Kansas, but attended school in Laporte during his junior high and early high school years. He later graduated from Loveland High School where he was all-state for two years and led the school to the 1942 state championship. Immediately after high school he served in World War II. When he returned, he starred for four years at Colorado A&M, twice earning All-Skyline Conference honors and helping the Aggies to a 28-11-1 record as well as to a berth in the 1949 Raisin Bowl. At the end of his college career, Dale played in both the East-West Shrine game and the Chicago All-Star game.

The Pittsburg Steelers drafted Dodrill in 1951 when he began a distinguished career in the NFL. He earned All-Pro honors five times in nine seasons. He played in five pro bowls. He was defensive captain of the team for three years and defensive MVP in 1954. In 2007, the Steelers organization named Dale to it’s Legends team (people who played prior to 1970), thus joining other NFL greats such as Bobby Layne, Eugene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb, and Ernie Stautner. He later went into coaching, serving on the Denver Broncos’ first staff in 1960. Dale then turned his attention to building a successful insurance business in the Denver area where he now lives.

Dale Is in the CSU Hall Of Fame, and in 1992 CSU selected him as a member of the school’s all-century team. He was, in 1993, the ninth CSU athlete to be inducted into the Colorado Hall of Fame, becoming the third member of the 1949 Raisin Bowl team to be so honored joining Fum McGraw and Jack Christensen.

CSU had a preference for the Glick brothers. Ivan started the parade lettering as a lineman from 1951-1952. Gary followed from 1952-1955. Leon lettered as a running back in 1955 and Fred lettered at quarterback and safety from 56-59.

Gary Glick went from his family's Laporte farm to fame. He graduated from high school and joined the Navy in 1948. Four years later he was a 6-foot-1, 190-pound chiseled veteran of Navy ball (chosen Navy athlete of the year in 1952) and on his way to becoming a member of CSU's all-century team and to being inducted into both CSU's Hall of Fame and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

Gary played quarterback, linebacker, and defensive back at CSU where he was a multi-time all- conference player and an All-American. He led CSU in 1955 as the school secured its first Skyline Conference championship in 21 years.

After the 1955 season, the Pittsburg Steelers drafted Gary to play professional football. He was the only defensive back ever chosen No.1 in the NFL draft. Among the players available when Gary was drafted No.1 were Michigan State's Earl Morrall, Ohio State's Howard `Hopalong'Cassidy, Penn State's Lenny Moore, and West Virginia's Sam Huff.  

Gary played for the Steelers from 1956-59, for the Redskins from `59-`60 and for the Colts in `61. Ankle surgery kept him from playing in 1962. He concluded his playing career in 1963 with the San Diego Chargers who paid him a career high $14,500 to help them win the American Football League championship. Then he turned his attention to building successful Fort Collins based businesses. Gary Glick now lives in Fort Collins.

"Sports pretty much steered us to CSU" said Fred Glick from his Fort Collins home. "But sports were steering us before we got to college. My Dad told us we didn't need to milk cows at night if we played athletics. Needless to say we kept going out for athletics." 

Freddie played both quarterback and defensive back for CSU from 1956-1959.During that time he was chosen outstanding senior athlete, most valuable player, and captain of the football team.       

Fred started his professional career with the Chicago Cardinals in 1959. He played with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960 and the Houston Oilers from 1961 to 1967.  

Look at the following list of honors this farm kid from little Laporte, Colo. garnered while with the Houston team:

  • Set NFL interception record of 12 in 1963.
  • All-AFL three years 1962, `63, `64.
  • Most Valuable Player 1964.
  • Co-Captain with George Blanda 1966.
  • Player representative 1964, `65, `66.
  • Sports Illustrated Coaches Best Defensive Back 1966.       
  • Houston Oilers 30 year "Dream Team"1989.
      

After his playing days ended in 1967, Fred began a college and professional football coaching career that extended through 1988 when he stepped down as head coach of the Ottawa Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.    

Freddie Glick lives in Fort Collins where he tends to his various business interests. He is often spotted on golf courses in Colorado during the summer months and in Arizona during the winter months. He is a member of CSU's Hall of Fame.

So, what are the odds that three boys reared on farms in the same small Colorado community would later become legends at CSU and go on to find fame as all-stars in the National Football League? Good things happen to good people. Dale Dodrill, Gary Glick, and Freddie Glick are good people.

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