Kansas State

1958-63 Wildcats
(Authentic Reproduction)





Despite teams that entered each game with a well-deserved reputation for "playing hard", the 3-7 season of 1958 was little better than Mertes' usual entries. He had removed the black numerals that were worn on the sides of the helmets for 1957 only, leaving the white helmet shell with one-inch purple center stripe as a "clean" look that would be maintained until the start of the '64 season. Other than the play of end Joe Vader and a late-season win over Iowa State, the season was undistinguished and Mertes entered 1959 under a great deal of pressure. He felt that recruiting speedy talent from the track team to augment end Vader would move him up in the standings but the 2-8 finish ended his reign. Doug Weaver was named the new coach for 1960, a Michigan State man who had spent the previous season on Dan Devine's Missouri staff. Weaver maintained the white shell with purple one-inch center stripe as he replaced Mertes' Wing-T with a straight T-Formation offense. The numbers posted by '59's leading rusher (245 yards), receiver (23 receptions for 224 yards), and scorer (24 points), returning HB Dale Evans, were such that Weaver knew he had a tough job in front of him. Soph FB Willie Crenshaw looked to have potential but the 1-9 record was a surprise to no one except perhaps the enthusiastic Weaver. With Kansas now a contender for Oklahoma's Big Eight throne, the Wildcat backers were lamenting their inability to move forward. The further development of former St. Louis Soldan H.S. fullback Willie Crenshaw was missed in 1961 as he was suspended for the season due to disciplinary reasons, leaving the offensive numbers anemic. Two 14-point outings were the extent of the K-State fireworks in a 2-8 year that included being shut out four times. 1962 promised more and delivered less, a completely winless 0-10 season complete with six shutouts suffered in the first seven games and a grand total of thirty-nine points scored for the entire season! The offensive highlight was the 102 yards Crenshaw put up against Arizona. In '63 FB Willis (no longer Willie) Crenshaw was the attack and the Wildcats two wins, one in-conference over Iowa State, indicated that the offense was at least awakening. Crenshaw moved back home to the St. Louis Cardinals where he played fullback and returned kickoffs for six years and finished his NFL career with the Broncos.

If interested in any of these KSU helmets please click on the photos below.