Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Dec. 6, 2022

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Tim Martinez: Battle Ground football celebrates 100 years

Tim Martinez: High school sports

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

On Friday, Battle Ground High School is celebrating 100 years of high school football before and during its game at District Stadium against Mount Tahoma of Tacoma.

So, of course, that inspired me to dive into The Columbian’s archive.

Battle Ground played its first football game on Oct. 21, 1922 against Washougal.

The Columbian on Monday, Oct. 23, 1922, had two reports on that game — presumably one from Washougal, and one from Battle Ground. The reports appeared next to one another.

The Washougal report noted: “Washougal High School opened its football season by winning from Battle Ground High School 44 to 0. A forward passing game swamped the Battle Ground team, which was decidedly lacking in experience.”

But Battle Ground’s report noted: “Several members of this new football team had never seen a football game other than their practice games until Saturday, and the score against them mounted rapidly.”

It continued: “Some said the score stood 32 to 0 in favor of the visitors, others gave the visitors’ score as high as 46. But neither our boys or their coaches expected any startling results from this opening game, so none were disappointed.”

Battle Ground would also play games against Ridgefield and Camas that fall before culminating the season with a Thanksgiving Day matchup at Kalama. Kalama won 38-7 with Battle Ground scoring its first points in program history.

Festivities for Friday’s celebration at District Stadium begin at 5 p.m. with tailgating in the East Parking Lot (and yes, there will be birthday cake).

There will also be a memorabilia tent with vintage equipment, photos and other items to mark the past 100 years of Battle Ground football.

Honorary captains for Friday’s game will include members of football teams from the 1950s, including the undefeated 1955 team. Battle Ground Public Schools superintendent Denny Watters and WIAA executive director Mick Hoffman also will be on hand to serve as honorary captains.

The school is also inviting former Battle Ground football players to attend Friday’s game. All former players in attendance will be asked to come down to the field at halftime to help unfurl a new large American flag, which will be presented by the school’s Junior ROTC, along with teacher veterans, school board members and other VIP members.

The school’s Associated Student Body is selling 100-year commemorative T-shirts for $12 at Battle Ground’s ASB office. Anyone wearing the 100-year commemorative T-shirt will be granted free entry into Friday’s game, and any remaining T-shirts will be on sale at the game.

Kickoff against Mount Tahoma is 7 p.m. at District Stadium at Battle Ground High School.

Non-Friday football

This week’s Trico League opener between La Center and King’s Way Christian has been rescheduled to 6 p.m. Thursday at King’s Way. The game was originally scheduled for Friday night, but the game was moved up one day because of a shortage of officials.

Ridgefield athletic director Brynan Shipley said this will be a common occurrence this season and next season as the Evergreen Football Officials Association deals with dwindling membership.

Ridgefield’s Week 8 game against R.A. Long, originally a Friday night game, was moved to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at Ridgefield High School. That same week, Hockinson will host Hudson’s Bay at 2 p.m. Saturday, also because of officiating scheduling.

“That’s our Senior Night game, so playing it on Saturday night is not ideal,” Shipley said. “But it’s just something we have to do. Luckily, we made the change a month ahead so we have time to plan for it.”

Expect more schedule adjustments as the season continues.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/preps coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.