Almost 77 years ago, on Nov. 1, 1941, Tivy Stadium was dedicated with some great football, speeches and fanfare.
The Tivy football team played Kingsville, beating them 14 to 7. That night was a double header — the Schreiner Institute football team played the North Texas Agricultural College Aggies. A crowd of about almost 6,000 people showed up, and even the Fredericksburg High School band and pep squad was there to celebrate, along with bands from Tivy and Schreiner Institute.
Previously Tivy played on a field just behind the elementary school, back when Tivy High School was on Tivy Street, about where the B.T. Wilson campus stands today. The old football field was in the block bordered by Tivy, Barnett, Third and College streets. When I was a child, this was the Tivy Elementary campus.
The stadium site on Sidney Baker Street was donated to the school district by L.A. Schreiner, and the community approved a $25,000 bond issue early in 1941. In today’s dollars, that $25,000 would equal about $437,000.
“It is truly a monument to the foresight and co-operative spirit which typifies this progressive area of the great Hill Country, and will serve the needs of youth for long years to come,” the Kerrville Mountain Sun reported.
Prices for the Nov. 1 event were modest: $1.10 for reserved seats; 75 cents for general admission and 20 cents for students. Tickets were on sale at the Blue Bonnet Hotel.
“There are 3,000 permanent seats in the concrete section of the stadium, with another 3,000 bleacher seats along the south sideline. And should the need arise there is ample room for the placing of several thousand temporary seats.
Student sections, and the press box, with broadcasting and public address facilities, have been built on the south side, while the main entrance ticket windows, rest rooms, concession stands and business office are located atop the promenade deck on the north bowl. Team dressing rooms are also located on the south side.”
Not wanting to disrupt an evening of football, the school planned for the dedication ceremony to be held between the two football games.
“A brief ceremony of dedication will be held between the Schreiner-NTAC and Tivy-Kingsville games, however it will be very brief and filled with interest.”
I love how the writer of the story used the word “brief” twice to describe the ceremony, and assured the readers the event would be filled with interest.
Community spirit was also evident in the way the proceeds from the games were distributed.
“The Saturday program has been turned solely into a stadium benefit, with all the proceeds being directed into the bond retirement fund. This was made possible by the kind co-operation of Schreiner Institute authorities with the public schools.”
The old field behind the high school was not abandoned without ceremony. Charles Lochte, president of Tivy’s senior class that year, gave a short talk, and the student body sang a farewell song to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne.” Then the goalposts were taken down by the students and taken to the new field, with a downtown pep rally afterward.
This marks the 77th football season played at Antler Stadium. Tivy had its first football team in 1911, so this is the 107th season of Tivy football.
Until next week, all the best.
Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native and has often yelled “Tivy Fight, Never Dies!”