Digital Commonwealth

Lawrence High School Athletic Department

Lawrence Public Library

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Football started as a school team in 1881; baseball started as early as 1887; basketball in 1926. Lawrence High School’s first football team played Phillips on Oct. 8, 1881 (Lawrence lost). In those days the manager (not a coach) would travel to the town that he wanted the team to play and they would set up a date. It was usually on a weekday so they could get enough players. The football team won state titles in 1900, 1901, 1909, 1912, 1927, 1933, and 1934. In 1957, the Lawrence High football team became the Class A champions. The team was invited to the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida to play the 23rd annual Kiwanis game. They played Miami Edison High School on Dec. 13, 1957. This final game meant the end of the winning streak. The football teams of both 1958 and 1961 had winning teams.

In the first Blue and White (the Lawrence High School yearbook) of 1944, the high school fielded football, basketball, track, baseball, and teams for men. The first cheerleading squad started in 1946. It was coed, but by the next year it was all girls. Majorettes would be added in 1957, a drill squad in 1971, a flag squad in 1974, twirl team in 1976, pompom and banner squads in 1978, and finally a rifle squad in 1979. Over the years a variety of sports were added to the high school’s teams: a girls bowling team (1947), golf (1954), indoor track (1955), cross country (1964), ice hockey and girls basketball (1965), wrestling (1967), soccer (1972), girls field hockey (1975), girls volley ball (1977), girls tennis, girls track, and softball (1980), boys tennis (1981), girls cross country (1983), swimming (1987), and boys volleyball (2003).

The original athletic teams were purely extracurricular activities. It took many years before the school initiated a program devoted to physical education. In 1908, the playground movement is first mentioned in school committee reports. In 1917, the Educational Council presented a report on the possibility of extending physical training to all students in the public schools. 1924 saw the introduction of a complete system of physical education (some years after it was required by state law). This coordinated with the new extension of the high school, which included a gymnasium and a sum of $25,000 investment in the program. For the first time, you see physical education teachers listed in the faculty of the high school. Although the school committee reports do not say when the athletic teams came under the aegis of the Athletic Department, the teams were part of the department by the time the yearbook started in 1944.

This collection is composed of black and white photographs measuring 19 x 15.5 inches. There are a few duplicates. Most of the images are original photographs and all but a few have the date and names of the players on the front. All have now been identified from yearbooks. The entire collection has been sleeved in mylar, boxed in seven boxes, and digitally scanned. The scanning took place in November of 2007 at the offices of the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System. The resulting scans are TIFFs (600 dpi) on 13 CDs. A second copy of the images was given to Lawrence High School.

Locations in this Collection: