1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


The First Football Game in Alderson
Tom Dameron
October 31, 2009

The game of football holds a fascination for many Americans as well as others around the world. We have learned that American Football has its "roots" in a combination of soccer and rugby. According to SportsKnowHow.com - History of American Football "A form of soccer was played as early as 206 BC in the Han Dynasty of China where teams competed in a game called Tsu Chu to celebrate the emperor's birthday." In November, 1869 Rutgers and Princeton met to play the first college football game in America. The result was a 6 - 4 victory for Rutgers.

Co-incidentally Alderson and Hinton met on or about September 3, 1906 to play what I believe to be the first organized football game played in Alderson. Unfortunately at this writing there is no evidence as to where the field was located or who participated in the game. The final score was 6 - 4 in favor of Alderson - identical score to the aforementioned college game.

As in most sports the rules have evolved throughout history. Most of the time the rules are as result of "fan" interest in one or more particular situation and in other cases it is a matter of perceived "safety" for the participants. In 1905 Theodore Roosevelt threatened to ban football if safety was not introduced. This admonition came after 18 players died and 159 were critically injured in 1905. These deaths and injuries were a result of the so called "flying wedge." (See SportsKnowHow.com - History of football page 2). Scoring in football has also evolved over time. The scores for the Alderson-Hinton game and the Rutgers-Princeton were identical however the method of the scoring was quite different. In 1883 the rule was 2 points for a touchdown and 4 points for the extra point or point(s) after. The rules were modified in 1897 wherein a touchdown was worth 5 points and 1 for the point after. In 1904 a field goal was scored as 4 points from the previous 5 points in 1883.

The result of the rule changes in 1897 and 1904 would suggest that Alderson scored a touchdown and extra point and that Hinton scored a field goal. The result in the Rutgers-Princeton match up were quite different. It is possible that there were 5 touchdowns scored in that game with no extra points; however it is uncertain what scoring method was used as early as 1869. The result described here would only be applicable if the rule was the same in 1869 as it was in 1883. Regardless of the method by which scores are tallied Alderson may be included along with Rutgers as a first in "sports trivia."

The Alderson Advertiser in its September 6, 1906 edition reported the following:

Hinton Defeated

"The Hinton delegation of kickers came up Monday afternoon and played a game of ball with the local team. The Hinton team did considerable more kicking than they did playing, and after their own umpire allowed them everything for which they contended, Alderson won by a score of 6 to 4.

The gate receipts were not enough to pay expenses but several gentlemen contributed liberally and made up the deficiency for which the ball team desires to express its thanks."