WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL

History of WWHS Football

WWHS Football History 1919-2009 by Robert F. Bonar

WWHS Football History 1919-2014 Statistics by Bonar, spreadsheet by Rick Baker

WWHS Football History 1919-2016 Spreadsheet by Rick Baker


Here is an exchange of emails with Robert Bonar which provides some additional information for his document.

Subject: WWHS All-Time Records
From: Robert F. Bonar
Date: 4/26/2010 2:06:45 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Attached is a document containing all the information I have on WWHS football. I've finally finished the records from 1921-2009 (thanks for the help, Coach Young!) and can now present full schedules and results, coaching records, records vs. opponents, etc. from that era. I contacted the Register-Herald two weeks ago about pre-1921 newspapers but have have had no response - I fear those records may be lost. One of these days I'll go through old Charleston papers from 1919-20 to see if they have any records, but I'm doubtful I'll find anything. If you guys find any mistakes, or have any suggestions to make this document better, please don't hesitate to let me know.

I have a couple of corrections to previous e-mails. One is that I made a mistake on the Eagles’ 1993 record. They were actually 6-4, not 7-3 (I had the Greenbrier East game as a win instead of a loss). Therefore, WWHS’s record stands at 555-320-26.

Second is that I have discovered a couple of other schools with more wins than WWHS. I claimed earlier that other older schools simply had not been successful enough to amass more than 500 wins, but I was wrong. I guess that'll teach me to comment on things I know little about! Anyway, here’s a revised list with the additions to the list in bold:

1. Parkersburg, 759
2. Morgantown, 610 (records incomplete)
3. Magnolia, 609
4. Saint Albans, 586
5. Charleston, 581 (I apparently didn't have a complete record for them earlier)
6. Woodrow Wilson, 555
7. Bluefield, around 540
8. Weir, 525
9. East Bank, 521
St. Marys (497) and Martinsburg (496) are close.

With the possible exceptions of Fairmont Senior and Grafton, there should not be anyone else close to 500 wins. Schools in the southern part of the state didn't start football until the late 1910s, so only WW and Bluefield have been successful enough to get that many wins. Keyser is a possibility in the Eastern Panhandle. I know for certain that no team in Cabell or Putnam Counties have this many wins, nor any other program in Kanawha County, the Mid-Ohio Valley or the Northern Panhandle.


From: Jeff Miller
To: Robert F. Bonar
Date: April 26, 2010

Robert, I'm sorry I didn't do this search earlier, but I just found reports on four more early Beckley football games, although scores on only two of them.

The Raleigh Register of Nov. 27, 1919, reported that Beckley would play Marlinton on Thanksgiving Day, which would have been that day, and that Beckley would play Hinton on Sat., Nov. 29.

The next available newspaper is Dec. 11, 1919, which does not mention football, so apparently Dec. 4 is lost, and the next newspaper after Dec. 11 is in March of 1920.

The Raleigh Register of Oct. 14, 1920, reported that Charleston defeated Beckley 64-0 on Saturday.

The Raleigh Register of Oct. 21, 1920, reported that Beckley and East Bank played to a 0-0 tie on Saturday.

The Oct. 28, 1920, newspaper is missing.

I found these searching newspaperarchive.org for the word "football" in any Beckley newspaper of 1919 or 1920. These were the only articles about high school football that turned up. I will send you images of the three articles in the next three emails.


Subject: Woodrow Wilson football history
Date: 12/21/2010 10:44:52 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: cobcom78@yahoo.com
To: jeff560@aol.com

Jeff,

I have updated the WWHS football history I sent you last year. I gave a copy to Coach Lilly and he reminded me to send one to you for posting on the alumni website. It is complete throught the 2010 and includes honorees on the 2010 AAA All-State team.

I've included a new section on WWHS helmets through the years. I've typed a request for more information on helmets at the bottom of that page in the document, but I wonder if you could reprint that on your webpage. There have to be some people out there with photos including the helmets....

Also, at some point I'd like to do a little writeup about the new and old VanMeter Stadiums. I took a decent picture of the current field a few years back, but I've never been able to get one of the old field (it's either been raining or the field has been in use when I come through town, or both). If anyone has a good photo of the old field, I'd appreciate a scan.

Merry Christmas!

Robert Bonar


Subject: Re: Woodrow Wilson football history
Date: 12/22/2010 9:07:21 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: cobcom78@yahoo.com
To: Jeff560@aol.com

Jeff,

Thanks for reminding me about those early games. I did get your e-mail and added those games to my database in the spring, but I neglected to make the changes in the Word document I sent you. When it came time to add the 2010 information to the Word document, I completely forgot that I hadn't made the changes. I've attached a copy of the revised edition for posting on your website.

I did some checking on the Charleston-WW game in 1920 in the Charleston Gazette, and found that WW actually played Charleston High's JV team that year. It wasn't uncommon at that time for new programs to schedule games against nearby JV squads or smaller schools. It helped the players learn the game without taking too much of a beating, and sometimes those were the only games they could get until the program was more established.

I also neglected to send an updated list of schools with 500 wins. 2 new schools joined the club this year, and I discovered a few more schools during some work I did this summer. I've confirmed that schools like Grafton and Huntington have not won 500 games yet, and so I'm 95% sure this list is complete: 784 Parkersburg
628 Morgantown
623 Magnolia
597 Bluefield
588 Bridgeport
588 Saint Albans
581 Charleston
574 Fairmont Senior
559 Woodrow Wilson
535 Keyser
526 Weir
521 East Bank
510 Martinsburg
502 Saint Marys

Please note that out of the schools that are on this list, Bridgeport (1921), Martinsburg (1919) and Woodrow Wilson (1919) are the only schools to have not had a team prior to World War I. Every other school had at least a 5-year head start on these three programs.

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