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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