110 History of Wake Forest College
while football is interesting, develops college spirit, and prohibits
dissipation, its evils outweighed its good and that it, had become so
rough that, without improvement, it would be abolished. But even at
this time developments were in progress which made the reinstitution
of football at the College inevitable. The danger of injury to the
players was being lessened by improved toggery and the more open
game; but much more effective in bringing the game back to the
college was the growing interest in football in the high schools of the
State. With increased attendance in the high schools it became
possible for many of them to have football teams which were
permitted to play match games with other high school teams. This
new interest was fostered especially by the University of North
Carolina which had been on an inequality with its chief rival, the
University of Virginia, since the high schools of Virginia had been
furnishing players with several years of training for the football teams
of that institution, whereas the high schools of North Carolina had had
no football or very little. When early in the century, however, many
North Carolina high schools began to have football teams, the men
trained in these teams were going to the State University and State
College. Many of these were men who would normally have gone to
Wake Forest, but the college had to look on helpless while one class
of students, and that the best class physically, was going to other
institutions.5 Students coming to Wake Forest from the high schools
brought the interest in football with them, and they began again to
play intramural games with teams developed among themselves. In
the fall of 1906 they were already having match games, in which
much enthusiasm was displayed and much spectacular playing done,
which led the unsophisticated spectators to believe that if the Trustees
would lift the ban on intercollegiate football Wake Forest could put
out a team second to
none.6
In
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5 O. Max Gardner, used to tell that he would have become a student of Wake
Forest College in 1903, if football had not been prohibited there; he went to State,
and became an excellent player.
6
From the Wake Forest Student, XXVI, 174, November, 1906: "The enthusiasm
was at high pitch and the rooting strong and loud. There is nothing that will aid
college spirit more than football. These two games prove con-
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