Pritchett Field

419 17th St
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c.1910 Field christened
1912 First football game
1930s East/west side stone bleachers installed
1967 East side bleachers removed
1985 Final football game


Joseph Pritchett

The SHNI athletic fields were in their infancy in the 1920s.

A 1950s photograph of the athletics area, with the stone bleachers surroundings both sides of the playing field.

The old stone bleachers must have made for some long games.


Vision Realized, Mary Estill, 1970

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.

A rudimentary baseball diamond was just southeast of the football area on land today part of the museum complex. Baseball moved to its own field further south in 1948.

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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