James Fred “Pop” McKale (June 12, 1887 – June 1, 1967) was a high school standout in Lansing, Michigan, a catcher and tight end for Albion College and the “Father of High School Athletics” in Tucson. After graduating from college in 1910 and teaching in Wisconsin, McKale took a teaching job in Tucson in 1911, coached the Badgers to state titles and was hired away by the University of Arizona in 1914 and the rest is history:
Harold Steele was also a graduate of Albion and he offered McKale a job in 1911 teaching history, physiography and coaching athletics.
Tucson beat Bisbee 24-6 on Nov. 26, 1911 to go 5-0 and claim the territorial championship. Bisbee requested a rematch three weeks later and beat Tucson 17-6 and then Bisbee claimed the state title. It was a dubious claim because the Bisbee media had previously claimed the first game was the state championship. Bisbee finished the year 3-1-1.
McKale coached Tucson to another title in 1912 and he was part of the first Tucson Citizen/Coaches All-Star Poll that year.
1912 CITIZEN/COACHES STATE HIGH SCHOOL ALL-STAR 11
Harry Turvey, Douglas: FB
Byron Thomas, Bisbee: HB
Thomas Wyche, Tucson: HB
Merritt, Prescott: QB
Frank Champion, Bisbee: END
Petersen, Tucson: END
Hendry, Tucson: T (Captain)
Paul Meyer, Tucson: T (Kicks)
Drown, Tucson: G
Harrison, Phoenix: G
Medigovich, Bisbee: C
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and was given the Amphi Distinguished Service Award. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org