1892 VAMC football team

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1892 VAMC football
1892 VAMC football team.jpg
VAMC's inaugural football team in 1892
1892 record1–1
Head coachE. A. Smyth (1st season)
CaptainWilliam E. Anderson
1893 →

The 1892 VAMC football team represented Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in the 1892 college football season. The team was led by their head coach E. A. Smyth. In what was the inaugural season of Virginia Tech football, the team finished with a record of one win and one loss (1–1).

On October 21, 1892, the first game ever played in Blacksburg, Virginia was against St. Albans Lutheran Boys School from Radford, Virginia. The game was a 14-10 victory for VAMC and William E. Anderson scored the first touchdown in Virginia Tech football history.[1]


The first college football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and the College of New Jersey.[2] Although the sport continued to grow, it was not introduced for another 23 years at VAMC. In September 1891, VAMC President John McBryde approved an athletic association for the college. Later that fall, a group of students gathered in a field behind the Number One Barracks (now Lane Hall)[3] to play the first pick-up games of football.[1] In September 1892, with the help of Biology Professor Ellison Adger Smyth (known as the father of modern football at Virginia Tech),[1] Physics Professor William E. Anderson, and cadets H. B. Pratt and John Walter Stull, a call went out for cadet players and two teams were formed, which would become Virginia Tech's first football squad.[1][3] Smyth served as coach of the team and Anderson was chosen as captain.[1] They had to go to the barracks every day and ask cadets to participate, since most of the players who were assigned to the second team felt that they had been insulted and refused to return to practice on the following day.[1][3]

Practices (and the first home game) were held in a plowed wheat field, located behind Number Four Barracks[4] (near present-day Shanks Hall)[5] that was "about as level as a side of Brush Mountain"[3][6] and "not as smooth as the bed of the new Blacksburg railroad, but ran up and down hill, with interesting little hollows with hid the play from spectators on the other side of the field."[4]


Date Opponent Site Result
October 21 St. Albans Lutheran Boys School[7] Blacksburg, VA W 14–10  
October 29 at St. Albans Lutheran Boys School Radford, VA L 0–10  
  • Source: HokieSports.com: 1892 Virginia Tech football schedule[8]


The following players were members of the 1892 football team according to the roster published in the 1903 edition of The Bugle, the Virginia Tech yearbook.[4] The roster is also found in the Virginia Tech University Archives.[9]

VAMC 1892 roster
  • Clinton Wakefield Courtland


  • T. P. Bowles
  • Robert Emmett Chumbley
  • John Lynn Preston


  • William E. Anderson (Capt.)
  • William Howe Minor
  • John Walter Stull


  • Christopher Gadsden Porcher
  • Charles Thomas Friend


  • Christopher Gadsden Guignard
  • E. H. Rowe
  • Leslie Helm Lancaster
  • Tarpley Douglas Martin


  • William Jackson Barnes
  • Robert Wood Cowardin
  • Solomon Vance Lovenstein
  • Robert Kyle Slaughter

Season summary[edit]

St. Albans[edit]

In what was the first ever game played by Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, a team from St. Albans Lutheran Boys School in Radford, Virginia lost to VAMC 14–10 in Blacksburg, Virginia on October 21, 1892. William E. Anderson scored the first touchdown in Virginia Tech football history.[1]

At St. Albans[edit]

The second and final game of the season was also against St. Albans Lutheran Boys School and played in Radford. St. Albans led 10–0 at the end of the first half and then the second half was call off with consent of both teams' captains, due to "continued disputes and disagreements."[4]A newspaper article of the time states that the game was "declared off at the end of the first pass.".[10] Another newspaper article cites the score as 12–0.[11]

Roanoke game[edit]

VAMC attempted to schedule a game with Roanoke College, but they were unsuccessful.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "From The Beginning ... To The Beamer Era". hokiesports.com. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  2. ^ Schlabach, Mark (2013). "Rutgers Scarlet Knights–Nov. 6, 1869". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "Football". Virginia Tech. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Bugle 1903" (PDF). Virginia Tech Bugle. 1903. p. 123. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  5. ^ Pieper, Lindsay (2006-09-02). "From wheat to Worsham: The history of Lane". Collegiate Times. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
  6. ^ "The Bugle 1911" (PDF). Virginia Tech Bugle. 1911. p. 179. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  7. ^ "Foot-Ball". The Richmond Dispatch. Library of Virginia. October 13, 1892. p. 6. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Virginia Tech Football Past Schedules "1892–1893". Virginia Tech Sports Information Department, Hokiesports.com. Accessed October 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "The Beginnings of Intercollegiate Football". Virginia Tech. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  10. ^ "A Corrected Statement". The Richmond Dispatch. Library of Virginia. November 1, 1892. p. 4. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "St. Albans Triumphant". The Richmond Dispatch. Library of Virginia. October 30, 1892. p. 12. Retrieved October 17, 2017.