St. Albans School for Boys Ad, 1902
To fill the role of president at the age of 16, Wistar Heald must have been a popular and well-respected student leader at EHS. A testament to these attributes, later in life Heald would go on to become a community leader for the Lynchburg City Council, Virginia Manufacturer's Association, Virginia Post-War Employment Commission, Lynchburg Rotary Club and People's National Bank.
Through additional searches I learned that Heald was a graduate of the University of Virginia, a southern football powerhouse in the early 1900's. In fact, Heald was named to the All-Southern team as a Virginia halfback in 1903. Heald's heroics helped lead the the Cavaliers to an 8-1-1 record in 1902, and his score against North Carolina helped preserve a 12-12 tie in the "South's Oldest Rivalry."
Wistar Heald, 1902 UVA team photo
November 28, 1902 UVA-UNC Game illustration, The Richmond Dispatch
Three names on the plaque did not appear on the census schedule; Mr. C.N. Davis, Mr. C.P. MacGill, and Mr. R.G. Campbell, and all three were listed as "Mr." on the plaque. As it turns out, my assumption that these players had come of age and were therefore referred to as "Mister" was incorrect. "Mr." was actually an abbreviation for "Master", or teacher.
By the mid-nineteenth century, many boarding schools sought to recruit young, athletic masters to instruct students. According to Endicott Peabody, "Masters are men who are united first of all by devotion to a common cause or loyalty to an institution and then become friends, one of the other, through their love for the school and its boys." Masters were expected to commit themselves "fully into the lives of the boys in all their engagements and experiences," including being "an athlete able to play with boys in some of their games and coach them in others. This will give them a good opportunity to know the boys and will also provide the sense of proportion in the relation of the School to athletics," (Bundgaard, 2005, 117).
By the late nineteenth century, masters commonly played alongside students in football and baseball teams. Most highly sought by schools were "'triple-threat' men, that is masters who could teach, play, and coach, as well as supervise the dormitory," (Bundgaard 2005, 154). In 1900, C.N. Davis, Episcopal High School's right end, was 25-years-old, C.P. MacGill, the left end, was 23, and R.G. Campbell, the right halfback was 22.
As athletic competition between schools grew, so did claims of cheating through the use of ineligible "ringers" and post-graduates. The issue of masters playing alongside pupils soon became a matter of contention as well. The 1887 football match between Groton and St. Mark's was canceled due to a disagreement on whether or not masters should be permitted to play. The matter was settled by agreement that no more than two masters could play at a time and neither could be over 150 lbs (Bundgaard 2005, 127)! By 1900, the practice of masters playing on sports teams had lost favor and began to be discouraged. This may explain why the 1900 Episcopal High School first team photo includes 15 players. In addition to the need for substitutes, masters may not have been permitted to play against some schools.
The Role of the "Master"
Wistar Morris Heald, the team's left halfback, was 16-years-old in 1900. The same name is listed at the top of the plaque as the President of the Athletic Association. This role couldn't have been held by a 16-year-old, could it? My first theory was that Heald's father's filled the role for the team, but, as confirmed by the Jones Memorial Library, his name was Charles and he lived in Lynchburg, Virginia, nearly 200 miles away from EHS, in 1900. As it turns out, Wistar the halfback was in fact the Athletic Association President. The explanation how this could occur provides an interesting insight into turn of the century football in American boarding schools and the importance of the plaque.
The Athletic Association President - Wistar Morris Heald
Every student in an academy like this should be interested in athletic sports. The very scholarly student often makes the excuse, that he don't [sic] understand the games, and really has not time for them. And so the physical sports are left to a certain class, who while they are perfectly willing to incur all the expense, are obligated too frequently to resort to the subscription list or hat-passing. The present Athletic Association is designed to do away with all this; to divide the expense of athletic games and exercise among the school; to give each member a lively interest in all feats of endurance or physical prowess.
(Phillipian 1878, no.1)
In many late nineteenth century secondary schools, the Athletic Association was a student-run organization whose membership included the entire student body. The Association's powers could include the selection of players to represent the school, the election of team captains and managers, the scheduling of games with opposing teams, and perhaps most importantly, raising operating funds for equipment and travel. Just as a church would select its vestry and advertise their positions to the congregation, the plaque records the student elected officers of the athletic association and members of the football team. A major clue to the plaque's purpose is the order in which the names are listed. It is likely no coincidence that the President of the Athletic Association, not the coach, captain, or even headmaster, achieved top billing on the plaque. The plaque was intended to not only instill pride in the team, but to encourage the financial support of the Athletic Association by the student body through contributions or "subscriptions."
In 1878, the Phillipian, the school paper for Andover Academy, published an appeal to students justifying their athletic association:
The Manager - Winslow Hoxton Randolph
Winslow Hoxton Randolph's connections to Episcopal High School ran deep. His father's brother was the Right Reverend Alfred MacGill Randolph, who served as Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. His mother's brother was Llewellen Hoxton, who had served as the Associate Principal at Episcopal High School until his death in 1891. Hoxton House on campus is named in his honor. Winslow's brother Buckner was a master at EHS in the early 1890's. Winslow Randolph graduated from Episcopal High in the late 1880's and served as the school's headmaster in charge of the modern languages and history departments from 1896-1902.
In 1900, Winslow Randolph was 31-years-old. There is no record that he ever played or coached football. However, the manager for an Athletic Association in the early 1900's was essentially a treasurer and chaperone, responsible for collecting and holding funds in support of school athletics and to disburse payments for equipment, uniforms, and travel expenses; not coaching the team. It is likely that Randolph traveled with the school teams for away games and served as a reliable advisor to Headmaster Blackford on school athletic issues prior to the days of hiring full-time physical education instructors and athletic directors. Based on Randolph's career after EHS, one could conclude that he was a highly respected and competent school leader. In 1902, he left Episcopal to become a principal at St. Albans School for Boys in Radford, Virginia. Three years later in 1905, Randolph founded the Emerson Institute, where he served as proprietor and principal until his death in 1939.
Plaque at Episcopal High entrance gate
The Captain/Coach - Roger Kenneth Waters
While athletics were an important part of secondary school curriculum, most team sports in the nineteenth century were student-run with minimal to moderate school oversight. Team captains frequently served as the coach, calling plays and managing substitutions. Older players were responsible for teaching and developing younger players on the first team, second team, and those playing in the intramural leagues on campus. It is likely that R.K. Waters, as captain of the team, served as Episcopal High School's coach on the field during the 1900 season, and that the masters who played for the team assisted in teaching technique and strategy.
Perhaps in light of his leadership abilities, Waters also served as head monitor for EHS during the the 1900-1901 session. Roger Kenneth Waters would go on to become the captain of the Lehigh University football team in 1904. The Waters family must have had football in their blood. Roger's older brother, Herbert Dorsey Waters, also attended Episcopal High School, leaving in 1900 to attend the University of Virginia. In 1902, Herbert Waters would be named captain of the UVA football team.
As with all young men their age, after high school the members of the 1900 EHS football team grew up and moved on with their lives. The lessons they learned in the classrooms and on the field at EHS undoubtedly prepared them for their future careers as lawyers, business owners, surveyors, farmers, educators, and community leaders. Some would go on to play football at the collegiate level, while others would later rejoin EHS as masters or trustees.
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