Early History of Spring Athletics
Much like the fall and winter athletic seasons, the spring athletic season has a rich history. The original interscholastic athletic teams included crew and baseball. The intermural athletics included track and boxing, with annual tournaments in both sports.
As one of the original spring athletic teams, the baseball program started in the very first year with a full interscholastic game schedule.
First baseball game on the original field, 1924. (Photograph Collection)
The field shown above is in the same location as where the fields are now. The number of buildings on campus were very few, but a small athletic building, named "the Cage," was built to support the blossoming athletic program.
First baseball season schedule and team, 1924. (School Scrapbook Collection)
Because of the size of the School at the time, the first baseball team was small, but they were able to get a few wins against some of our usual opponents.
Baseball Team Photograph, 1925. (Photography Collection)
Baseball and crew schedules, 1926. (School Scrapbook Collection)
The 1926 schedule shows more of our steady opponents. The baseball schedule also includes a 17-12 win over the faculty team!
Baseball Game, ca. 1940s. (Photograph Collection)
As the other original interscholastic spring athletic team, the crew program was strong from the beginning. Our first Head of School, Dr. R. Heber Howe, was the Director of Rowing at Harvard directly before Belmont Hill was established, so creating a crew program at the School was an easy decision.
Rowing on Mystic Lake, 1924. (Photograph Collection)
Additionally, Dr. Howe believed in "the beneficial power of healthy physical activity in the life of a boys' school," so the athletic programs were truly an important piece of our foundation. (75th Anniversary Album)
Boston area newspaper article, ca. 1924 (School Scrapbook Collection)
The crew program first used locations such as Spy Pond and the Mystic Lakes.
Finish line of the Belmont Hill-Middlesex race on Spy Pond, May 27, 1925. (School Scrapbook Collection)
Since many of our opponents were closer to Boston, numerous races were hosted on the Charles River. Our boathouse was physically moved from Mystic Lake to the Charles River in 1936.
The spring athletic program grew in the early 1930s with the establishment of the tennis team.
Tennis team photograph, 1933. (Photography Collection)
Like the crew program, the competition was small, but they were typically tough opponents.
Spring athletic schedules booklet with tennis season, 1930. (School Scrapbook Collection)
These early sports established a strong spring athletic program and paved the way for other interscholastic athletic teams to be established, which includes golf (1960s), track (1960s), sailing (1970s), and lacrosse (1990s).
Member of the golf team, ca. 1970s. (Photograph Collection)
Lacrosse game, ca. 1990s. (Photography Collection)
Sailing, ca. 1990s. (Photograph Collection)