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Salisbury Graded School - 8th Grade Football Team

Salisbury N. C. Graded School, 8th Grade Football Team.

Not a usual team shot, as the boys are in suits, not uniforms, but they are showing their purpose with the football.  Team sports as part of the regular school activities did not catch on until after the Civil War, though there were informal athletic clubs staging rugby matches at the collegiate level.  Rugby proved to be the cause of so many injuries that some schools banned the game on their campuses.  The first intercollegiate sporting game played in America was on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, where Rutgers won in what was an early version of modern football.  As the philosophy of public education shifted its focus from theological and classical studies to a more rounded education that incorporated physical education, the emphasis on sports also grew.  Eventually sports such as football, cross-country, basketball, and baseball became part of the athletic programs of high schools and grade schools as well. 

Postcard series no. 0162 Raphael Tuck & Sons “Salisbury, N.C.”

Source:

Unger, Harlow G.  Encyclopedia of American Education. New York, Facts on File, 1996.

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