The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

BHS Has Fielded Teams Since 1920

 

First Brevard football team, 1925.

Brevard's first high school opened in 1908. Almost from its beginning Brevard High had intramural sports. The earliest record of teams competing against other schools are from 1922 when a men's basketball team was formed. Baseball, football, track and tennis teams were added in the 1920s, as well.

In the early 1920s with a fast growing enrollment, plans were made to construct a new high school. An Aug. 22, 1924 Brevard News article states, "In order to cut down the cost, the Board of Education cut out the swimming pool which was in the original plan." This would have been an indoor pool in the basement of the school and may have led to the addition of a swim team.

Girls began playing inter-school basketball during the 1925-26 school year. These early teams wore black uniforms with loose fitting bloomer-style shorts.

Vera Jones Stinson, talking about the first game they wore shorts, stated, "We were so busy trying to hide behind each other out of embarrassment, we lost the game."

Brevard High School played its first football game on Oct. 10, 1925 against Canton. Their first win was a 6-0 victory over Weaverville on Nov. 27. Initially all games were played during the day.

In 1945 the Brevard Athletic and Recreation Association was formed with the goal of providing improvements to the athletic fields at Brevard High and Brevard College. The Blue Devils played their first night game on Oct. 5, 1945. Approximately 500 people attended the game despite a cold and rainy night. Three weeks later the second night game draw over 2,000 people.

The Blue Devils won their first state championship in 1960 under Coach Cliff Brookshire. In 1963 the team made history when it became the first integrated high school team in North Carolina. That team finished the season with a record of 10-1-1 and was the Class AAA Co-Champions. The championship game was a very somber affair as it was played on Nov. 23, 1963 - the day after President Kennedy was assassinated. The championship trophy is on display at the library with the "Hometown Teams" exhibit.

The 1928 Brevard High girls' basketball team was the Western North Carolina champions. Left to right first row: Coach Tilson, Mildred Clayton, Lillian Ponder, Josephine Clayton, Vera Jones and Dot Fetzer. Second row: Molly Snelson, Liza Nicholson, Frances Morris, Sue Hollingsworth, Beulah May Zachary, and Adelaide Silversteen. Third row: Mary Osborne Wilkins, Ethel McMinn, and Ruth Snelson.

As schools went through the integration process of the mid-1960s, cheerleading squads lagged behind. At Brevard High African-American girls tried out for cheerleading every year but were led to believe they were not talented enough. Finally, in 1970 the African-American students protested by refusing to leave after school one day. There was a lot of controversy involving students, parents, community members and the school board before an African-American girl was selected and added to the squad as an alternate. She was only allowed to cheer at home games though.

Today Brevard High athletes participate in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, softball, soccer, tennis, track and field, volleyball and wrestling.

Cheer on the Blue Devils this coming Friday evening when they meet Tuscola High for the 2015 Homecoming game.

(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the N.C. Room during regular library hours Monday-Friday to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected] transylvaniacounty.org or (828) 884-3151 ext. 242.)

 
 

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