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1895: Thomasville Preps for First 'Foot Ball' Game Ever in City

July 25, 2009 --- Click to print

It's 1895. The University of Georgia and Auburn University played their first football games only 3 years earlier. Horses and trains are the main methods of transportation. There's no television, no radio, no Internet, and only a few phones. Thomasville High won't start its great football tradition for nearly 20 years, but the rivalry between Thomasville and Valdosta will start this Thanksgiving day when "town teams" from the two south Georgia cities meet for the first game in Thomasville.

This small article appeared in the November 28, 1895, edition of the Thomasville newspaper:

The first game of foot ball that has ever been played in Thomasville will take place in Athletic Park this afternoon, when a team from Valdosta will tackle the Thomasvilles. The game will be called promptly at 3 o'clock and it is expected that a large crowd will witness it.

Valdosta, it is said, will be a splendid team, but we doubt very seriously if they have any advantage of our boys. The home team is composed of the best athletes in the city and they have been doing some hard work preparing for the struggle to-day. They are fully equipped with uniforms, protectors, masks, etc., and feel confident that they will win the game. Go out and see it. It is sure to entertain you.

A drop kick from the field of play that goes over the goal counts 5. A drop kick is made by letting the ball fall and kicking it the instant it rises from the ground. The side having the most points at the end of the second half or to be more plain, the last 30 minutes of the play wins the game.

The game on Thursday will be the first of its kind ever played in South Georgia, and it goes without saying that it will be most interesting. Everyone who can should go. Adminission 25 cents, children 15 cents. Game call promptly at 3 p.m. Gates open at 1:30.