When a group of boys took the field on a fall afternoon some 100 years ago to play the first football game at their new school, they couldn’t have known what they were starting.
They were probably focused only on the game at hand, perhaps coping with a range of emotions from confidence to fear as they tried to remember their coach’s instructions, just as the current group of Admirals will be when they open their season Friday.
How could they have known that they were planting the seeds for one of the most tradition-rich programs in Kentucky football? Or that a school building that wouldn’t be constructed for another 50 years would one day have a display case packed with championship trophies? Or that what they did would even be remembered 100 years later?
Their names have been forgotten, and pictures of their faces cannot be found, but they and those who followed them are being remembered as Danville commemorates the start of its 100th season of football.
The celebration began earlier this summer online — something else those first players couldn’t have imagined — with the creation of a Facebook page that has served as an electronic bulletin board for former players, their families and fans to post and comment on photographs that have long been stashed away in scrapbooks and boxes.
It was to continue Saturday night at a fan day event where a video featuring highlights of Danville’s 13 state finalists was to be screened. And that will be followed by another video, a compilation of photos and videos called “A Century of Tradition,” that is expected to be completed by this winter.
All of that is part of an effort to link the past and present of Danville football while the program celebrates its centennial.
“How many opportunities do you get to celebrate 100 years of football at any particular institution?” said current Danville coach Sam Harp, the longest-tenured and winningest coach in the program’s history. “Danville has been a special place for football down through the years, and it’s been important to the people that attended Danville.”