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More about St. Albans

Last week I wrote in this column some history of the sports program at St. Albans Boys School, located at the Pulaski County end of the highway bridge crossing New River at Radford. This will be a continuation of that story.
St. Albans had a yearbook, or annual called “The Promus;” a beautiful book with a crimson colored velvet cover. Much of the information in this story was taken from copies of the yearbook, that gave blow-by-blow descriptions of the various athletic events. I was fortunate in being able to look through many of the yearbooks at the Radford University Library archives. There were stories, pictures, write-ups, biographies etc.

Football
In the fall of the year 1892, the school had hardly opened when football practice was started. The river bottom at the Radford end of the toll bridge connecting Pulaski County and the City of Radford was the practice field. It was not made clear in the yearbooks whether St Albans played any home games that year, but a list of football games and scores were printed in the Promus. Five games were played, with St Albans winning five. In the first game they were beaten by the agriculture and Mechanical school at Blacksburg, that I will refer to as V.P.I., by a score of 14-10. In a second game the same year with V.P.I., St. Albans beat V.P.I. 10-0. From that point they went on to defeat Randolph Macon, Emory and Henry, and Pantops. I have no idea who Pantops were.
The following year, 1893, was a very successful year, showing St. Albans defeating Georgia Tech in an away game, by a score of 6-0. Then in 1895, the unbelievable St Albans team traveled down the road and walloped the University of Tennessee by a score of 38- 0.
After the 1892 game with V.P. I, a historian for V. P. I. wrote the following,
“The game proved to be a revelation to V.P.I. St. Albans, though heavily outweighed by our team, was captained by a Yale graduate who demonstrated clearly that football was a game of skill and tactics as well as strength, weight, and staying powers.
“Largely as a result of the demonstration of skill and tactics displayed by St. Albans, the V.P.I. team of 1893 started off with a determination to really learn the game. Professor E. A. Smyth, Jr. after studying the book of rules, took a leading role as tudor. As a result of his efforts, he came to be known as ‘the father of football’ at V.P.I.”
St Albans had good baseball teams, as well as teams on the gridiron. According to stories in the Promus, the teams defeated , or played equal to those of all of the Virginia State colleges, among those beaten were V.P.I., V.M.I., William and Mary , King College and U. Va. The highest score run up in baseball by St. Albans was their win over King College of Bristol one year by the score of 40-0.
Next week we will look at the age old question of the origin of the word, “Hokie.”

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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More about St. Albans

Last week I wrote in this column some history of the sports program at St. Albans Boys School, located at the Pulaski County end of the highway bridge crossing New River at Radford. This will be a continuation of that story.
St. Albans had a yearbook, or annual called “The Promus;” a beautiful book with a crimson colored velvet cover. Much of the information in this story was taken from copies of the yearbook, that gave blow-by-blow descriptions of the various athletic events. I was fortunate in being able to look through many of the yearbooks at the Radford University Library archives. There were stories, pictures, write-ups, biographies etc.

Football
In the fall of the year 1892, the school had hardly opened when football practice was started. The river bottom at the Radford end of the toll bridge connecting Pulaski County and the City of Radford was the practice field. It was not made clear in the yearbooks whether St Albans played any home games that year, but a list of football games and scores were printed in the Promus. Five games were played, with St Albans winning five. In the first game they were beaten by the agriculture and Mechanical school at Blacksburg, that I will refer to as V.P.I., by a score of 14-10. In a second game the same year with V.P.I., St. Albans beat V.P.I. 10-0. From that point they went on to defeat Randolph Macon, Emory and Henry, and Pantops. I have no idea who Pantops were.
The following year, 1893, was a very successful year, showing St. Albans defeating Georgia Tech in an away game, by a score of 6-0. Then in 1895, the unbelievable St Albans team traveled down the road and walloped the University of Tennessee by a score of 38- 0.
After the 1892 game with V.P. I, a historian for V. P. I. wrote the following,
“The game proved to be a revelation to V.P.I. St. Albans, though heavily outweighed by our team, was captained by a Yale graduate who demonstrated clearly that football was a game of skill and tactics as well as strength, weight, and staying powers.
“Largely as a result of the demonstration of skill and tactics displayed by St. Albans, the V.P.I. team of 1893 started off with a determination to really learn the game. Professor E. A. Smyth, Jr. after studying the book of rules, took a leading role as tudor. As a result of his efforts, he came to be known as ‘the father of football’ at V.P.I.”
St Albans had good baseball teams, as well as teams on the gridiron. According to stories in the Promus, the teams defeated , or played equal to those of all of the Virginia State colleges, among those beaten were V.P.I., V.M.I., William and Mary , King College and U. Va. The highest score run up in baseball by St. Albans was their win over King College of Bristol one year by the score of 40-0.
Next week we will look at the age old question of the origin of the word, “Hokie.”

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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