Football, from midget league to the NFL, is a Fall tradition all
across America.  Fans gather at stadiums,
parks, clubs, sports bars, restaurants and in their homes to cheer on “their”
team. 

This year, 2020, is different though.  Restrictions related to the coronavirus
pandemic have led to cancelations, changes in schedules and limits on
attendance.  The North Carolina High
School Athletic Association announced in August that football would be played
in the Spring, beginning in February. 

For Brevard High School this is just the second year there has not
been Fall football since the first squad was organized in 1925.  According to the 1944 Brevard High yearbook,
“One of the highlights at Brevard High School this year (1943-44) was the
return of football to the gridiron.  For
the past two years the pigskin has been put aside, chiefly because the Blue
Devils could not find a coach.”

Despite this claim, the Transylvania Times reported on games
played during the Fall of 1941.  Head Coach
Cox and Assistant Coach Middleton led an inexperienced team to a 5-5 record,
finishing the season with a 39-0 defeat of Franklin in the Thanksgiving Day
match-up at home. 

In 1942 the “Brevard High School News” column in the Transylvania
Times announced that there would not be an athletic program that year.  It stated, “Mr. Middleton would have been
coach, but Uncle Sam seemed to have more to say about that than Mr. Kimzey, so
he is now in the army.”

1943 Brevard High football team. 
Photo from the 1944 Brevardier.

Then Slim Bullock, an Ecusta employee, volunteered to coach the
Blue Devils in 1943.  The team was
winless in six games during Bullock’s first year but improved to a 5-4 record
in 1944.  During his final season, they
won eight games and lost just four, finishing with a 6-2 victory over Brevard
College on Thanksgiving Day. 

During Bullock’s
tenure as head coach the Brevard Athletic and Recreation Association was
established.  Their goal was to improve
the athletic fields at Brevard High and Brevard College.  One of their first accomplishments was to
install lights for night games at Brevard High School.  

The team played
their first home, night game on October 5, 1945.  Approximately 500 people
attended and cheered the Blue Devils to a victory despite a cold and rainy
night.  Three weeks later, over 2000 fans came out for the second game
under the lights.  Brevard lost that
match against Hendersonville High by a score of 20-12. 

Raymond “Slim” Bullock came to Brevard in 1939 with the original
construction of the Ecusta Plant. Following his stint as coach, Bullock
continued to support the Blue Devils through the Athletic Association.

Rosman High School has fielded a football team
every Fall since its first season in 1959. Bill Cathey was the Tigers’ first
head coach.  He led the team to a 52-39-7
record over the course of ten years.
 

Although the local high school football season
will look different this year local fans are sure to cheer on “their” team
whenever they play.
 

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the
Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. For more
information, comments, or suggestions contact NCRoom staff at [email protected]
or 828-884-1820.

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212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712