United in Rivalry: Richmond's Armstrong-Maggie Walker Classic

United in Rivalry: Richmond's Armstrong-Maggie Walker Classic

by Michael Whitt


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Around Richmond, it's simply known as "The Classic." From 1938 to 1979, Armstrong High and Maggie Walker High, the only two all-black high schools within the city limits, converged on the gridiron each Thanksgiving weekend as spirited rivals. Each year more and more people packed the old City Stadium, sometimes as many as thirty thousand, sometimes too many to count. They cheered as the players fought for field position, pride, and bragging rights, and when the game was over, they fought for equality in the face of segregation, prejudice, and Jim Crow justice. Enjoy a view from the press box as Richmond sports historian Michael Whitt offers a summary of every Armstrong-Maggie Walker Classic and the often volatile social and political context in which they were played. The two schools may have produced one of Virginia's greatest prep rivalries, but they also helped shape its greatest achievement in unity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596296541
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 11/13/2009
Series: Sports
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Currently, Mr. Whitt works as a Special Projects Assistant at the Virginia Baptist Historical Society on the campus of the University of Richmond. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and spent twenty years in the newspaper business including positions as a sports reporter both in Richmond and Fredericksburg. An active member of the Touchdown Club of Richmond, Virginia Historical Society and the Library of Virginia, he has lived in the Richmond area since 1960.

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Acknowledgements 11

Pregame 13

Section I First Quarter

1938: The First Meeting 21

1939: "Segregation of Schools According to Race a Wise Policy" 23

1940: Two Firsts and a Last 25

1941: A New Home 27

1942: Honoring Those Not There 29

1943: Two Teams, No Champion 31

1944: The Wildcats Stopped 32

1945: And the Rout Was On 33

1946: No Winner, but Still an Upset 36

1947: A State Champion (Act One) 38

1948: Topping Twenty Thousand 41

1949: Everything But Points 42

Section II Second Quarter

1950: Snow on the Field, Fires in the Stands 45

1951: A State Champion (Act Two) 48

1952: Maxie's Best 50

1953: Don't Believe the Headlines 53

1954: Rain, Rain Go Away 55

1955: All You Need Is One Play 57

1956: For Once, the Stats Told the Story 59

1957: Just for Kicks 60

1958: No Picnic, but Still a Win 62

1959: The Defense Rests 64

Halftime 69

Section III Third Quarter

1960: "Cannonball" Takes Over 71

1961: Maxie's "Sweetest Win" 73

1962: A State Champion (Act Three) 75

1963: Taking Advantage of the Little Things 78

1964: Finally, a Three-Peat 80

1965: A State Champion (Act Four) 82

1966: Just Follow the Bouncing Ball 85

1967: The Law of Averages Delayed 87

1968: Change and Controversy 90

1969: It Was Over Before it Began 94

1970: It Doesn't Matter How 97

Section IV Fourth Quarter

1971: "Next Year" Finally Arrives 103

1972: Payback for All Those Years 109

1973: One Half Is Better than None 110

1974: The Best Game Ever? 113

1975: 10 and 0 and No Place to Go119

1976: An Upset Taken Away 123

1977: Just Glad to Get Off the Field 128

1978: The Last Classic 131

The Postgame Wrap-Up 137

Appendix. Maggie Walker-Armstrong 139

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