Athletics arrived on the Sam Houston Normal Institute in the early years of the twentieth century - specifically baseball and football, both played on the recreational fields west of main campus.
The SHNI football team, nicknamed the Normals, played their first game at Pritchett Field on October 6, 1912, loosing to Rice 20-6 - the first football contest played by either school.
The Work Progress Administration constructed the stone bleachers on both sides of Pritchett Field in the 1930s. In 1967, the bleachers on the east side were constructed after the stone ones were removed.
Many commencement ceremonies took place at the athletic field in the mid-twentieth century.
The Bearkats won the last home game at Pritchett Field in 1985, beating Washburn University of Kansas, 51-7. The following year the team began playing in Bearkat Stadium.
Today the Pritchett Field complex maintains its long sporting tradition as home to several Club Sports programs such as lacrosse, rugby, and soccer, as well as a quarter-mile track.
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