Athletics at Lawrence Academy have come a long way since James Lawrence donated the first gymnasium equipment in 1878. Used by both boys and girls, the gym — which also served as a study hall, theatre, and faculty meeting space — featured horizontal bars, dumbbells, Indian clubs, and the like. There were no fields until 1900, when Shumway Field opened, so outdoor “sports” were limited to walking and running. There was, however, a tennis court, which the Student Aid of June 1889 called “one of the pleasant features connected with our school.”
Football had been played informally since around 1880, though the principal, Mr. Ball, quickly banned it because of the destruction it wrought on the lawns (he proposed croquet in its place!). With a new field created in 1901, however, the sport caught on quickly. Out of a total school enrollment of 28 boys, 13 were on the team during that first season. Baseball thrived in those days as well, and basketball became a team sport within a few years.
"To set the causeabove renown,
To love the gamebeyond the prize."From Clifton Chapel, by Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938)
Visit the Athletics homepage to view an on-going list of all the most recent tournament finishes and championships won by our Lawrence Academy Spartans.
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