I’ve been involved in a project the last week that has put me in contact with many old Grove and Jay high school yearbooks. The administrative offices of both school systems have been very gracious and helpful in providing me access to the books and I appreciate it very much.
The weather can really play havoc with spring sports. For today’s page I was supposed to go to a Grove and Jay baseball game and get coverage and pictures. However, someone forgot to mention to Mother Nature what we had planned here and so the heavens have opened up. I’ve always heard that the best way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans for the future.
Still, deadlines are looming and rather than pull something off the AP wire for this page I thought I’d share some things from the oldest annual that I have come across yet, the 1939 Ridgerunner.
Being the sports writer for the paper, and with football season right around the corner, I leafed through the pages, gently!, until I found the page with the football team.
I’ve only been in the Grove area a relatively short time and my exposure to Ridgerunner culture is even more limited, but for me the findings from the ’39 book seem a little surreal.
For instance, it’s hard for me to imagine the Ridgerunners playing football against teams like Fairland, Afton, and Colcord. That’s not meant as a shot to those schools; indeed, every time I’ve been to those schools to cover an event I have always found the people very friendly and engaging and I’ve been equally as impressed with their athletes and facilities. No, it’s just hard for me to imagine that at one time Grove was a very small community similar to the aforementioned locales.
Of course, the “City Fathers” that gather daily at the local coffee spots have told me that the town today has really grown since “the old days.” It’s one thing to hear about it but it’s another thing to actually see it.
Something else that caught my eye about the ’38 team was that old rivals Jay and Vinita were on the schedule then as they are today.
The leather helmets are another item that makes me shake my head. Those guys must have been tough!
1938 Schedule & Results
Grove 20 Colcord 0 W
Grove 0 Vinita 0 T
Grove 32 Adair 7 W
Grove 6 Afton 0 W
Grove 6 Picher 0 W
Grove 18 Fairland 0 W
Grove 6 Wyandotte 0 W
Grove 0 Commerce 7 L
Grove 38 Quapaw 6 W
Grove 20 Jay 0 W