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Hoki revised and revisited

At the close of last week’s article I may have left the impression that I had solved the age-old question of what a “Hoki” is. But that will probably have to wait another hundred years.
What is a Hokie? Maybe the answer lies hidden away in some diary of one of the former students of the little prep school that sat on the hill at the Pulaski end of the bridge over New River leading to the city of Radford. I have heard it described as a “no” word. Some have said it means a student or former student of V.P.I. Others have said it is a Tech fan, while others just shake their heads I plan to keep looking, but I doubt if I will live long enough to learn the answer.
During the decade between 1892 and 1902, both St. Albans and V.P.I. included the word, “Hoki”, in their fight song. In 1892 an athletic program was started at V. P.I., and the following college yell was adopted.

Rip Rah Ree!
V.A., V.A., Vee!
Virginia, Virginia!
M.C.

Several years later the school held a contest, giving students the opportunity to create a yell that would be suitable. A football player by the name of O. M. Stull won the contest with the following:

Hoki, Hoki, Hoki Hy!
Tech! Tech! V. P. I.
Sola-Rex, Sola-Rah
Polytech-Virgin-i-a
Rae, Ri, V. P. I.

In later years Mr. Stull said the words of the yell had no specific meaning; that he used them just to get attention.
Sometime between the year 1892, when St. Albans fielded its first football team and the year 1902, the football team had a yell that contained the word “Hoki.”. That yell also had the word “gobble,” before the first gobble ever sounded at V.P.I. That yell was as follows:

Hobble, Gobble, Razzle Dazzle
Hoki Poki Ri.
Play Ball Albans,
Rah, Rah, Ri!

Now, as I understand it, these two teams never had any love for each other, and I wonder if either would have cared enough to steal the other school’s yell; or words from it. I seriously doubt if Mr. Stull invented the word, Hoki, but I would not be at all surprised to learn that he picked it up at one of his team’s games against St. Albans. But it looks like we will never know.
Whether the word Hoki originated in the halls of St. Albans Boys School, or in the dorms of V.P.I., I am proud to be a Hokie fan. My friends at the coffee club have dared me to show up for coffee Sunday, with the threat that I will be serenaded with many corn husks. It’ll never happen.

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

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Hoki revised and revisited

At the close of last week’s article I may have left the impression that I had solved the age-old question of what a “Hoki” is. But that will probably have to wait another hundred years.
What is a Hokie? Maybe the answer lies hidden away in some diary of one of the former students of the little prep school that sat on the hill at the Pulaski end of the bridge over New River leading to the city of Radford. I have heard it described as a “no” word. Some have said it means a student or former student of V.P.I. Others have said it is a Tech fan, while others just shake their heads I plan to keep looking, but I doubt if I will live long enough to learn the answer.
During the decade between 1892 and 1902, both St. Albans and V.P.I. included the word, “Hoki”, in their fight song. In 1892 an athletic program was started at V. P.I., and the following college yell was adopted.

Rip Rah Ree!
V.A., V.A., Vee!
Virginia, Virginia!
M.C.

Several years later the school held a contest, giving students the opportunity to create a yell that would be suitable. A football player by the name of O. M. Stull won the contest with the following:

Hoki, Hoki, Hoki Hy!
Tech! Tech! V. P. I.
Sola-Rex, Sola-Rah
Polytech-Virgin-i-a
Rae, Ri, V. P. I.

In later years Mr. Stull said the words of the yell had no specific meaning; that he used them just to get attention.
Sometime between the year 1892, when St. Albans fielded its first football team and the year 1902, the football team had a yell that contained the word “Hoki.”. That yell also had the word “gobble,” before the first gobble ever sounded at V.P.I. That yell was as follows:

Hobble, Gobble, Razzle Dazzle
Hoki Poki Ri.
Play Ball Albans,
Rah, Rah, Ri!

Now, as I understand it, these two teams never had any love for each other, and I wonder if either would have cared enough to steal the other school’s yell; or words from it. I seriously doubt if Mr. Stull invented the word, Hoki, but I would not be at all surprised to learn that he picked it up at one of his team’s games against St. Albans. But it looks like we will never know.
Whether the word Hoki originated in the halls of St. Albans Boys School, or in the dorms of V.P.I., I am proud to be a Hokie fan. My friends at the coffee club have dared me to show up for coffee Sunday, with the threat that I will be serenaded with many corn husks. It’ll never happen.

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

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