Students at Arkadelphia High School collaborated with Mattison Griffin, a student in the Public History program at Ouachita Baptist University, to explore the history of the high school’s athletic teams and supporting organizations. They located many photographs and conducted oral history interviews with former students like Caroline Wood.
Caroline Wood(00:01): Okay. When I came to high school in this building in 1962, all of the basketball games were played in the gymnasium. That's now used for Central's PE and we had this one set of high bleachers that you go upstairs for. And then down on the floor, there was another set out of bleachers.
Speaker 2 (00:21): So right there?
Caroline Wood (00:21): Right.
Speaker 2 (00:22): Okay.
Caroline Wood (00:22): And that was very crowded. So I believe it was in our junior year, the second year I was here, that the school district was able to start using Henderson's Gymnasium for our basketball, but we still use this for lots of things PE of course, but only guys could go to PE, not girls.
Speaker 2 (00:46): Really? I didn't know that.
Caroline Wood (00:46): And we also would have pep rallies in here if we didn't have them out on the lawn.
Speaker 2 (00:54): And did y'all have like practices in here for any sports?
Caroline Wood (00:57): Oh yes. When you think of sports now it's like a different world. We had football, basketball, golf, tennis, track. That was it.
Speaker 2 (01:10): Hmm. So y'all didn't have baseball?
Caroline Wood (01:14): No, no.
Speaker 2 (01:15): Wow.
Caroline Wood (01:16): I remember as I worked here in the administration for the school board, when we got baseball and it had been a battle for a while. Some wanted it, some didn't, and they were afraid it would affect the football program.
Speaker 2 (01:31): Oh. So, what do you mean affect?
Caroline Wood (01:34): Take away from them.
Speaker 2 (01:34): They would lose players?
Caroline Wood (01:35): Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 2 (01:36): Gotcha.
Caroline Wood (01:37): Right.
Speaker 2 (01:38): That's pretty interesting.
Caroline Wood (01:38): Yes.
Asset ID: 2021.09.02.c
Themes: Hometown Teams, sports, football, basketball, golf, baseball, Title IX, gender, school, facilities, small-town life
Date recorded: 2017
Length of recording: 01:24 m
File Type: Audio
Related traveling exhibition: Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Arkadelphia High School, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in collaboration with the Public History program at Ouachita Baptist University
More information: https://arkansashumanitiescouncil.org/hometown-teams-exhibit/