RIDGEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL (NJ) ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
DID YOU KNOW…SOME RHS ATHLETIC HISTORY
The girls athletic Club (GAC) at Ridgewood High School began around 1905. There was no gymnasium available at the Beech Street location, so the girls negotiated gym space at the White Star Athletic Clubhouse. They played their first basketball game on Dec 22, 1906. The team record for 1906-07 was 7-4. In 1907 the team joined the New Jersey Interscholastic League which also had as members the Hackensack, Englewood, Passaic and Orange High Schools.
The Boys Athletic Association (BAA) voted to add Football to its roster of athletic teams being sponsored for the first time in the fall of 1908.The team played 3 games that year. All of the games were played against the same competition; the Saginaw AC.The team record was 2 wins and 1 tie. It is recorded that RHS won their first ever football game 2-0, their second 5-0 and tied their third 5-5.
The BAA voted to drop Football for the 1909 season, but brought it back in 1910.
Five games were played in the 1910 season with the record finalized at 2 wins 1 loss and 2 ties. The Paterson HS second team was defeated twice by the scores of 5-0 and 3-0.Paterson High Shool had a last minute victory 6-5 in their final contest.RHS played two games vs. the Allendales that year with both games resulting in 0-0 ties.
Basketball for Boys and Girls remained the main focus for interscholastic competition during the 1909-10 school year.
The first recorded reference to the RHS colors of “Maroon and White” were made in the winter issue of the 1910 “Arrow(published seasonally) when describing the actions of the boys basketball team as the “Maroon and White”. The colors were officially declared in the written constitution of the Ridgewood High School Athletic Association (RAA) which was formed by the student body in 1913. The constitution was written sometime between 1913 and 1916. Article VIII Insignia Sec.1 states”The colors of the Ridgewood High School are Maroon and White’. Section 2 goes on to explain “The insignia of the Ridgewood High School are the letters R.H.S. maroon and white; the letter R. in white”
Interestingly our tradition of giving a star for second, third, and now fourth year varsity letters was formulated in the original RAA constitution.
Sec .4 under Article VIll states:”Only one letter shall be awarded to any student during the course for any one sport. For each additional year in which it services the requirements of the insignia as heretofore stated, shall be awarded a star.
In 1911 a baseball team was formed for the first time since 1906. As stated in the “Arrow” 1911 spring quarterly “For the first game the Ridgewood team were faultlessly attired in their new suits which were cut décolleté and up to date in every particular and so becoming! However this fact did not help them on to victory for they met with a glorious defeat at the hands of the Ridgefield Park High School – which the score of 7-2 will show. This is not discouraging for with the able assistance of their new coach Dr. Whitney, and the enthusiasm the national game always inspires, and the necessary practice they expect to reach satisfactory results in games that are scheduled for the future”.
The first track meet was held at RHS June 6, 1913 which became an annual interclass (intramural) competition. There was a call to organize an interscholastic team for 1914.Records show that in the spring of 1914 a banner was won by RHS for defeating Paterson in a dual meet with each school having won a leg of a three meet competition, the next winner would be eligible to keep the banner.
A group of RHS athletes went to the Thirteenth Regimental Armory in Brooklyn on January 5, 1915 to compete for the Eastern Scholastic Championship. Practices were carried out through the winter months in order to prepare for this and various other track meets”. Further, “This practice will be for everybody because of the coming Interclass Meet and the Badge contest.”
The first recorded soccer match at RHS took place October 27, 1918 with the freshman class defeating the sophomore class 2-0.The junior and senior classes also played, but no record of a score has been found.
After many years playing as minor sport soccer became a varsity sport in the fall of 1927.The sport was given major sport status after much discussion and an election by the RAA committee. As stated in the 1927 “Arrow” “The fine spirit of the squad certainly deserves this reward.”
The first cross country meet at RHS was run on November 22, 1918. It was an interclass competition over a two and one half mile course with the finish on the new football field (now located at RHS) before the crowd that had gathered to watch the home gridiron battle with Marist High School.
In 1917 the students of RHS had an intense fund raising campaign to complete the refurbishing of the new athletic field at RHS which is now the new field turf stadium. They surpassed their goal of raising $1,600.00 reaching nearly $1,700.00. The fund raising total was kept on a giant board resembling a thermometer in a location that is now Wilsey Square. The athletic field was purchased in 1917 from the White Stare Athletic Club and has been used ever since for Ridgewood High School Athletics.