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The Heartland Archives

1908 Arcadia vs. Bartow Football Game

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Hello,

Thank you for accepting my registration to join this forum board. As my username suggests, I will be posting old newspaper articles, yearbooks, and pictures of High School Football teams from the Florida Heartland area. For my first post I will be sharing something I found in an old local newspaper, The ChampionThe Champion was a local newspaper in DeSoto County from 1895-1911. Archives of this newspaper can be found on newspapers.com and online at the Library of Congress, but it only last from 1906-1908.

In the Thursday, July 23, 1908 edition of The Champion I found a mention about an upcoming Football game to be played at the Arcadia Baseball Park between Arcadia and Bartow on Saturday, July 25, 1908 at 3:30 in the afternoon. However, when looking through later newspapers I can not find a score for this game. Arcadia is today known as the DeSoto County Bulldogs. This 1908 mention is the earliest known mention of an Arcadia Football team. This makes DeSoto County one of the oldest High School Football teams in Florida still currently playing. Bartow, along with Lakeland had their first teams in 1907. Arcadia's biggest rival Wauchula (today known as the Hardee Wildcats) had their first team in 1909. Another Heartland team, Fort Meade I have their first Football team as 1912.

When I have more time, I will be leaving some more info I have on here.

Best Regards,

The Heartland Archives

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It is possible this wasn’t a typical high school football game. 
back in those times there were “town teams”. Teams of random people who organized to make a team and would use the name where they we’re from. The YMCA would organize teams and play high schools and college teams.

 

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