Charlie “Doc” Ulrichs graduated from Norwich High School in 1945. In his senior year, he was captain of both football and basketball, only the second in Norwich’s history to be so honored. In those days, captains were chosen by their teammates, and co-captains were a rarity. Ulrichs also lettered in baseball, starting at third base, but it was as a football player that he was most renowned.
Just as Glenn Manning was called “Tommy” after his father, Charlie’s nickname came from his father, Dr. Frank Ulrichs, who was a dentist. “Doc” Ulrichs was the epitome of the All-American Boy: handsome, smart, humble, and athletically talented. Many younger Norwich kids (alas, now old) remember him from the Cortland Street swimming pool or the old Y Camp, where he served as head life guard and head counselor respectively, and where he set an example for many to emulate. He and his younger brother, “Inky,” were excellent divers, and put on exhibitions, doing “1 1/2 gainers” into the dammed-up Canasawacta Creek.
The football teams of 1943 and 1944 had a combined record of 13 and 2, each losing only its last game. The ’43 team, captained by John Kelly, who was injured for most of the season, won seven games before losing to The Manlius School, 7-6. Despite the last-minute loss, Norwich was named the Southern Tier champion as a result of its win the previous week over unbeaten Johnson City. In that game, Charlie Ulrichs played a major role scoring half of the Norwich points in a 28-14 triumph. For the season, Norwich scored 186 points against 34 for the opposition.