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Monday, October 10, 2016

105th Anniversary of Tivy High School Football

1913 Tivy High School football team.
Tivy had its first football team in 1911.
With the homecoming festivities at Kerrville's Tivy High School this week, I was reminded of an article I wrote some time ago, about the very first Tivy football team, and their first season.
In 1911 Professor Alvin Dille, who later was superintendent of the Kerrville Schools, organized the first football team at Tivy.
Jan Wilkinson, a Facebook friend and descendent of Joshua Brown (the founder of Kerrville) emailed me an article from the September 26, 1957 issue of the Kerrville Times, written by E. T. Butt, who was himself a member of an interesting Kerrville family.
"Football came to Tivy in the fall of 1911," the page one article begins. "Prior to this time baseball was the principal sport and when school started in September the boys started baseball and played until the weather became too cold.
"Then the games became varied. A form of Rugby football was played in which sides were chosen and the opponents tried to kick the ball over the goal line of the opposing team. One and Over, which is a form of leap frog, was played a great deal.
"Basketball was also a popular sport and Tivy had top teams both of boys and girls. Games were played with Center Point, Bandera, etc. Of course, the game was a great deal different from the way it is played at present, and a player would not get very far dribbling as they do now. It was mostly a passing game.
"Volleyball was also played, and track came in for its share of the time. In each of these, however, there were no opponents from other schools.
"Then in the spring when it began to get warm, baseball was started again and played until school was out in May. Games were played with teams from other towns near Kerrville.
"In the summer of 1911, Professor Alvin Dille . . . was elected head of the Kerrville Schools. When school started in September, one of the first things he did was call all of the older boys together and to say, 'Boys, we are going to organize a Tivy Football Team. Who wants to try out for the team?'
"Of course, almost all of the boys were interested, although there was not a boy who had played football before and but few of them had even seen a game. There were a very few holdbacks, however, for nearly every boy who wore 'long breeches' tried out and there were about twenty on the first squad."
"Professor Dille taught the boys the fundamentals of the game. The team worked from a straight T formation. Only simple plays were used -- such as end runs, 'line bucks,' and forward passing.
"We had one or two so called trick plays. One was the criss-cross in which the quarterback gave the ball to one end and he gave it to the other end coming from the opposite direction. It was slow, though, and we never gained much with it.
"The Tivy boys had no uniforms, but wore old baseball uniforms or caps, old sweaters, or anything they had. A few of them got hold of old pieces of football equipment," Butt wrote. "I acquired a nose guard somewhere and it was responsible for the only touchdown we scored that season.
"The town team was punting and I broke through the line and the ball hit my nose guard and bounced back over the kicker's head and over their goal line, and Lewis Moore, a Tivy end, fell on it for a touchdown.
"The football field we played on was on the southwest side of the campus from Tivy Street back to where the Auld building is now." The Auld building still stands behind the old Tivy Elementary School campus; I'm guessing the field they used was the big field along College Street.
"The regulars on Tivy's first [football] team were Bob Horne and Lewis Moore, ends; Alex Dietert and Gene Butt, tackles; Claud Denton and Harry Dietert, guards; Eric Beecroft, center; Earl Garrett, quarterback; John Williams, right halfback; Remus Kelly, left halfback; and Tate Hodges, fullback. On the squad were Alois Remschel, Dan Auld, Payne Williamson, Jack Pearson, and others I do not recall."
Thanks, Jan, for sending me the article.
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who's been in Kerrville for more than half of the Tivy football team's history.  This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times October 8, 2016

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