JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Shorpy members who are Patreon contributors now get an ad-free experience! (Mostly -- there's still an ad above the comments.) Click here for details or to sign up.

Rootstown High: 1930

Rootstown High: 1930

A friend found this at a thrift shop. On the back someone wrote "Harry's football team, High School, Rootstown, Ohio." I can't help but notice the size of the football and lack of helmets. I wonder if this was before helmets. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5


Anyone notice the little guy watching from the window in the center? Looks a little ghost-like.


I want to be transported back to 1930 so I can meet the seductively handsome young guy in the front row, second from left. Swoon!

The Last Dropkick

The football

I believe that fat style football was in use until the late 40's or early 50's. It was a heck of a lot harder to throw a tight spiral with one of those big boys. Makes you appreciate the exploits of Sammy Baugh a lot more when you realize what a watermelon of a football he was hurling down field.

That was also the era of the drop kick. The place kicker received the snap, took two steps forward and dropped the ball on the ground, making sure it hit the ground at just a certain point to make it bounce back up. Then he would would kick it, hopefully through the uprights.

When I was a kid in the 50's we still used to attempt that kicking style, even tho I think it was no longer in use at any competitive level. You really need that fat type of ball for a proper drop kick.

Helmets set aside?

Maybe they just didn't wear or hold helmets as we've become accustomed to. Maybe to psych out the other team? It seems that adding safety equipment to boys' games always has a chance of rejection due to a "sissy factor."

[This was the era of leather helmets (below: 1923). Most team portraits leave out the headgear. - Dave]

Ding Dong

The kid next to the coach looks to have gotten his bell rung a few times too many.

Faculty at Rootstown

It's interesting to see the faces on these teachers. The young ones have the fresh look of optimism and hope. While the older ones show what it looks like after years of being beaten down by the students.

Perhaps there was slightly less need for helmets...

in an age when when there were slightly fewer 300 pound high school football players.

Tall boy in the back

Must have been the inspiration for "helmet hair."

Regarding the 1931 photo of faculty

The 1931 faculty picture was submitted by Dr. Gary Savage.
According to his sources, the man with glasses is Ward Davis and the fourth lady from the left in the front row is Bertha Bradshaw.


The Wikipedia entry says this building is still in use, though it's now the Rootstown Middle School. Considering it was built in 1916, it's fairly modern looking with the way the windows are. Also, in 1930, it housed all grades (until 1958, so that list of picture of teachers from 1931, they were teaching (K?)1-12), so the kid in the window really could be contemplating his joining the team in a half decade or so.

Rootstown High: 1930

This is Joe Manning. I found this photo of the 1931 faculty at Rootstown High. The second person from the left in the back row is the same guy who is wearing the tie in the football picture. I guess he is a teacher and the football coach. Could this be Harry? Does anyone out there know his last name?


The back row looks like it has a young Patrick Swayze on the left, and on the right, if not the face, certainly the inspiration for Lyle Lovett's hair.

HHelmets were first used in 1893, but were not mandatory until the 30s it says here.

Rootstown Rovers..

Rover Fight Song

Here we are from Rootstown High School
The best in all the land
See our colors blue and white
All for which we stand
When the schools all get together-
They'll see our colors fly!
There's no other school that's any better
Than good old Rootstown High!

A little dab

11 of the 12 have tried to slick their hair straight back - with varying degrees of succcess. I wonder if the other (front row, 2nd from left) is self-confident enough to buck the trend, or if he simply had even less success than his buddies at getting the hair to cooperate?


Very funny!

Little Room for Error

12 players only leaves one sub. Hope everyone stays healthy.

He can dream

Boy in the window: "Can't wait til I'm old enough to make the team!"

The roster

12 players, a coach, and a team manager.

It takes 11 players on the field at a time. These guys played the whole 60 minutes. No wonder they look so tough. Most coaches today would have parents complaining if they worked the core starters both ways and special teams the whole game, with almost no subbing.

Take No Prisoners

Photographer to team: "Say cheese."
Coach to team: "Look mean."
Relative emptying Grandma's house: "What the heck do we need this for?"

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2020 Shorpy Inc.