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Pikeville Collegiate Institute Baseball

Pikeville Collegiate Institute Baseball Team, 1910

In a small book entitled The Greater Worth, strong support for athletic participation at Pikeville College is expressed.

        "Mental Training alone is not adequate to fit the student for the 'battle of life' and at Pikeville all students,

        from the primary grades on through the college, are strongly urged to enter into some form of physical training."

Physical activity was considered a necessary part of everyone's education, even before the school added structured sports teams. Structured sports did develop on campus, with one of the first being ladies' basketball. Began between 1904 and 1905, the young men of the school initally refused to play basketball, considering it "girl's play." The young women formed a team and played against other girls in the town. According to stories left my some of the early players, the most difficult part of forming the team was convincing all of the mothers to allow their daughters to wear bloomers instead of the long dresses the ladies wore on a daily basis. It was a challenge, but they knew if they could get one mother to agree, all the rest would follow. Finally, one mother conceded, and they were able to push for the change. Little has been recorded about the early coaches, but Mary Spilman was the ladies' basketball coach in 1918, her first year at the school.

Pikeville College Women's Basketball

Pikeville College Women's Basketball, 1921

Left to right: Thelma Morgan, Bessie Riddle,

Irene Spears, Miss Johnston (coach),

Ora Hatcher, and Lora Rogers.

The college began construction on a gymnasium in 1918. The president at that time, James Record, solicited donations from both the local community and from various northern cities. Though there was a contractor, Thomas Harmon, many students helped in the actual building. Once constructed, the students played against teams made from individuals from the various mining towns. A fire destroyed the gym in 1946, and it was replaced with a converted World War II airplane hangar. The hangar is still in use to this day.

The 1920s saw the addition of tennis teams for the college, as well as the first Pikeville College Bears men's basketball team. This brought the athletic program up to two sports for women and three for men. The date is unclear, but the Pikeville Collegiate Institute did have a baseball team as early as 1910. In 2000, the school started a football program. Currently, the University of Pikeville is a member of the NAIA, and has various men and women's sports, including baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field for men, and basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball for women.

 

Resources:

Kinder, Alice. (1989). Pikeville College Looks to the Hills, 1889-1989. Pikeville, KY: Pikeville College.

The Greater Worth. (1928). Pikeville, KY: Pikeville College.

University of Pikeville Athletics. (2010). University of Pikeville Sports, http://www.gopcbears.com/sports/2010/11/30/GEN_1130103451.aspx?tab=aboutpikevilleathletics


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