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1928 WPCD Team
The 1928 West Point Cavalry Detachment team members were identified based on the labeled team picture that appeared in the 1929 Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide. Seven members of the 1928 West Point Cavalry Detachment team were on the 1925 team. While those men are listed below, their profiles are on the 1925-1926 team page. The available biographies and/or images of the remaining twenty-four players and Coach Wood are below.
The 1928 team played in the West Point Enlisted Men's Football League and had a game scheduled with the Kingston (NY) Yellow Jackets, but the outcome of those games is unknown.
1928 Team Members
Bailey, unknown. No other information
Bell, Percy A. See 1925-1926 team page.
Benefield, William R. See 1925-1926 team page.
Bledsoe, unknown. Left end. Started some football games at end. No other information is available.
Boswell, Morris "Isam." Unknown position. (b. December 6, 1909 in Montgomery, AL / m. to unknown. Widowed by 1940 / d. January 1986 in Philadelphia ) Boswell grew up on a family farm in Alabama, before moved to Corning, New York in his teens. He enlisted in the Cavalry Detachment in May 1926 along with four others from the Corning area. Boswell helped the detachment win the 1927 West Point Enlisted Men's track championship. He appears to have left the Army after his first tour and lived in Youngstown, Ohio until 1940 or later. According to a 1985 newspaper article describing the 1925 enlistee group from Corning, Boswell served during WWII, becoming a Staff Sgt. He was living in Philadelphia in 1985 and at his death in 1986. Highest rank: Staff Sgt.
Cassey, Walter. Halfback / Tackle. (b. January, 12, 1910 in Americus, GA / m. Nancy Perkins / d. December 11, 1978 in Gadsen, SC ) Cassey grew up on a family farm in Americus, GA and reportedly attended and played football for Paine College (GA) before enlisting in 1928. He served until 1934 before moving to Newark where he worked construction until the early 1940s. Cassey reenlisted in 1942, serving with the Corps of Engineers until late 1945. Highest rank: Private.
Clark, unknown. No other information is available.
Corbin, Harold Francis. Halfback. (b. November 15, 1905 in Wilmington, DE / m. Lillie May Washington on April 21, 1930 in Highland Falls, NY / d. December 30, 1968 in Wilmington, DE/ i. Mount Olive Cemetery in Wilmington, DE) Raised in Wilmington, Delaware, Corbin appears to have joined the Army shortly after turning eighteen, and .was on the 1928, 1929, and 1930 football teams. After leaving the service, Corbin returned to Wilmington and worked as a janitor for DuPoint. In 1939, he ran for the Wilmington City Council on the Civic Action Party ticket. At the time of his death, he was employed as a guard for the Post Office.
Ellis, Leon. Center. (b. August 27, 1908 in Trenton, NJ / m. unknown / d. May 1987 in Newburgh, NY / i. unknown) Ellis appears to hav spent time in foster care before returning to his mother by 1920. Reported to have been a football star at Camden HS, he enlisted by 1928. Captained the Cavalry Detachment football team in 1931, playing through the 1933 season. He returned to Trenton by 1940 and worked for Cross & Brown, an NYC real estate firm. Highest rank: unknown
Fenter, Alconley or Al Conley. End. (b. October 24, 1909 in Arkadelphia, AR / m. Carolyn Hancock in 1931 in NJ / d. December 26, 1987 / i. Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery) Fenter is reported to have played for Arkansas Baptist before enlisting in 1928, after which he played football, basketball, baseball, and ran sprints for the Cavalry Detachment teams. Discharged in 1934, Fenter made the news in 1950 for winning money playing the numbers and being arrested for non-payment of child support. Highest rank: Private
Fisher, unknown. Left guard. Started some 1928 games at guard. No other information is available.
Foote, Thomas Jerome. See 1925-1926 team page.
Harper, Henry C. Manager. See 1925-1926 team page.
Hodges, unknown. No other information
Jackson, John Leroy. Left halfback. (b. September 18, 1903 / m. April 2, 1931 to Ethel Ruth Wiggins in Orange County, NY / d. February 4, 1955 in Bethesda, MD / i. Galilee Baptist Church Cemetery in Branchville, VA) Jackson grew up on a family farm in Virginia, enlisted in June 1928, and quickly became a star running back for the detachment. He was with the Cavalry Detachment through WWII and, after the Cavalry Detachment disbanded in 1947, Jackson became an Army recruiter in the region. He was assigned to the 1802th Special Regiment at West Point at the time of death in 1955. Highest rank: Technical Sergeant
Jackson, P. No other information
Johnson, Lonnie. See 1925-1926 team page.
Long, Aaron Rodger. Center. (b. February 10, 1905 in Broad Run, VA / m. Elizabeth Samuel on December 8, 1937 in Alexandria, VA / d. April 2, 1997 in Newburgh, NY / i. Cedar Hill Cemetery, Newburgh, NY) Long grew up on a family farm in Virginia. He was at West Point by 1928, starting at guard and other line positions until 1932. He left the Army between 1935 and 1940, moved to Washington, D.C., and worked as plumber. Long reenlisted during WWII and for a period after the war. His tombstone is the only one known among the football players that mentions his being a Buffalo Soldier. It is also worth noting that Long's great grand nephew graduated from West Point. Highest rank: Sergeant First Class.
Mason, unknown. End. No other information.
O'Neal, Monroe. Left guard. (b. July 17, 1903 in NJ / m. unknown / d. July 20, 1987 / i. unknown ) O'Neal reportedly starred in football for Camden HS in New Jersey before enlisting. Although pictured with the 1928 and 1929 teams, he did not start consistently until 1930, and played until at least the 1933 season. O'Neal was with the Cavalry Detachment in 1940, but no additional information is available about him. Highest known rank: Private First Class
Payne, Matthew. Manager. See 1925-1926 team page.
Peachey, Samuel. position. (b. May 1, 1904 in Augusta, GA / m. / d. July 23, 1957 in NYC / i. Long Island National Cemetery) Born in Georgia, Peachey moved north and enlisted in the New York National Guard's 369th Regiment in 1924, perhaps competing with the Harlem Hellfighters in athletic competitions with The Cavalry Detachment. He then switched to active duty with West Point Cavalry Detachment, making him both a Harlem Hellfighter and a Buffalo Soldier. Peachey remained at West Point until 1940 or later, serving in the Army until after the war ended in Europe, before returning to New York City
Pryor, Robert. Right end. See 1925-1926 team page.
Roberts, John W. Right guard. (b. November 26, 1906 in New York City / m. unknown / d. unknown / i. unknown ) Born of immigrant parents from the British West Indies, Roberts grew up in Brooklyn. He enlisted between 1925 and 1928, played football between 1928 and 1932, and was still at West Point in 1939. No additional information is known about Roberts. Highest rank: Private First Class
Simmons, William Floyd. Guard / tackle. (b. April 20, 1900 in Vander, NC / m. Annie Rhone on September 9, 1941 in New York, NY / d. March 15, 1983 in Newburgh, NY / i. West Point Post Cemetery) Growing up in North Carolina, Simmons was a farm laborer when he registered for the WWI draft. He enlisted, playing for the Cavalry Detachment football team in 1928 and 1930. He remained at West Point until 1940 or later. Simmons' duties during WWII and the Korean War are unknown, but he did not leave the Army until 1956. Highest rank: Master Sergeant
Smith, Leroy. No other information.
Weston, unknown. No other information
White #1, unknown. No other information.
White #2, unknown. No other information.
Wood, William Holmes. Coach. (b. September 6, 1900 in Waterbury, CT/ m. Elizabeth Tuttle in April 1927 / d. June 7, 1988 in Easton, MD / i. Arlington National Cemetery) Holmes attended school in Baltimore, staying local to attend Johns Hopkins, where he studied three years and lettered nine times, before transferring to West Point. An All America fullback as a senior, Holmes also played basketball and baseball, and was a twelve-time letterman. (At the time, Army did not follow standard eligibility rules for transfers.) After graduation, he remained at West Point as an assistant football coach, working with the varsity reserves and coaching the Cavalry Detachment team. He moved to other cavalry duties in 1929, returned to West Point as an assistant coach in 1932 and was Army's football head coach from 1938-1940. Wood served in China and Europe during WWII, remaining in Europe for several years post-war, before returning to the States to command the Army's Armored School. He retired in 1956. Highest rank: Brigadier General
This page will be updated as additional information comes available.