Hampton Academy and its Board of Trustees

Hampton Academy & Winnacunnet High School Alumni Association
65th Anniversary, Historic Souvenir Booklet, 1972

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By Arthur J. Moody, Class of '53


Sports at the High School; Awards and Scholarships

Hampton High School - as many preferred to call the school - prospered during the postWar years and the years until the last graduation in 1958. During the final phase of the school's century-and-a-half existence, graduating classes approached 50 in size and the faculty increased to a high of 22 in 1957-58. Still more graduates went on to colleges or technical and vocational school. World War II advances in science and other areas of endeavor required more and more education.

Extracurricular activities at the Academy proliferated. Organized intramural and interscholastic sports were especially prominent in the lives of the 200-member student body. Of course, the school's first gym provided e great boost to indoor sports (the Junior High also used the Academy's gym). For the boys, there were baseball, football, basketball, cross-country and track (added in 1947-48) teams led by Cheerleaders and, on occasion, the School Band.The first serious effort in field hockey for the girls was undertaken in 1935 or 1936. Softball was not added until after Mrs. Dorothea Stevens developed the first organized basketball team in 1940-41. Intramural volleyball also proved to he very popular with all the students with inter-class rivalries being carried from year to year.

The boys' interscholastic varsity teams played in a number of tourneys and won many league championships. Some of these were: Southeastern B League in baseball, 1949 and 1950; football State Class D, 1944 and 1948, and Class C, 1954; basketball Southeastern B League, 1949-50 and 1952-53, and Southeastern M League, 1957-58 (State Class M Runnerups).{*} After only three seasons of organized boys' basketball at the school, the 1941-42 "Tall Timbers" State Tournament team helped to turn Hampton into a "basketball town" and bleachers were quickly installed in the new gym to accommodate the twice-a-week overflow crowds.

{*} Winnacunnet High School, in its short history since opening in September 1958, has also copped its share of State and regional championships. Its second football season brought the Granite State League Championship (Division IV) and in 1968 it won Co-Champ honors of Division III. The basketball Warriors were Southeastern M. League victors in 1961-62, and State Class I Champs for the 1965-66 season. In baseball, W.H.S. was upset winner in Class I for 1966. Wrestling was one of the school's strong suits during the early years. Winnacunnet wrestlers won the Team Championship at the Brooks Invitational in December 1962 and also at the Northern New England Tournament in both 1962 and 1963. The track team also garnered its share of silver in 1963, winning the Seacoast Conference. Many cross-country trophies gracer the school's display cases: Champs of Class M. in 1959, 1960 and 1961, of Class I in 1965 and 1966, and of the seacoast Conference in 1967. And the Cheerleaders got into the trophy picture by bringing home first place in the Nashua High Cheerleading Tournament.

A number of outstanding athletes were developed on Buccaneer teams under the guidance of fine teacher-coaches. And many players were named to honorary "All State" teams in the various sports. Yes, Academy athletics had come a long way since the first uniformed baseball team in 1914, the first football team in 1924 and the first interscholastic basketball team in 1938-39.

Recognition for the athletes came in the form of trophies, medals, "letters" and banquets. One of the special trophies was established by Trustee Paul W. Hobbs '25 in memory of his father, Joseph O. Hobbs, once also a Trustee. During the 12 years (1941-1952) of its existence, the award annually went to a boy based on sports ability, sportsmanship and scholarship. This Hobbs Trophy, along with the others reconditioned several years ago by the Alumni Association, remains on display in the Class of 1941 trophy case at the 1939-40 Academy building, now the Academy Junior High.

Customarily, these awards were presented at Class Day exercises or awards assemblies. The presentations included the American Legion School Award by the Hamptons' Post No. 35 to a girl and a boy who exemplified "Courage, Honor, Service, Leadership and Scholarship." Also: The Marion Cogswell Seavey Trophy (music: boy or girl), the John H. Elliot Medal (MVP in baseball), the Becker Junior College Commercial Award (boy or girl, sometimes two awards), the READER'S DIGEST Award, the Bausch & Lomb Science Medal, the Danforth (Foundation) Leadership Award (boy and girl), the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award (boy and girl), the Annual Track Award (boy) from 1953, the D.A.R. Citizenship Medal (girl), and other local and national specialty awards. The Alumni Association Medals to three graduating Seniors for scholarship achievement and extracurricular activities were presented at graduation by the Association's President.

Local scholarship grants were nearly nonexistent until the establishment of the George and Grace Ashworth Scholarship, which was first presented in 1953 to a resident of Hampton Beach. Col. George Ashworth, who passed away in 1952 at age 87, was a businessman and public servant for many years at the Beach, and was host to many Alumni Association banquets at the Hotel Ashworth. A new idea hit the country after "Sputnik" in 1957: community-based scholarship paid to promising high-school graduates who could not afford college. In 1961, citizens of the Seacoast Area formed the Winnacunnet High Scholarship Foundation, Inc., which solicited dimes to dollars from residents of the W.H.S. School District and awarded aid to W.H.S. graduates who had excelled academically but were financially unable to continue their education. In 10-plus years, the Foundation has grown substantially and annually awards about 20 grants including continuing mid to second- and third-year college students. A number of memorial scholarships have been established within the framework of the Foundation whose grants are determined on the basis of certain general prerequisites (Princeton Criteria) together with any special requirements of the specific scholarship. Scholarships have been established in memory of several H.A. & H.S. cool W.H.S. Alumni including Sarah Hobbs Lane '87, Edward S. Seavey, Jr. '32. Edward Gerard Grenier '48, Becky Lougee Wallace '54 (nursing award) and June D. McDonald '69. Also, many have presented donations to the Foundation in memory of other deceased Alumni. Those who have benefited from Foundation grants have contributed to a "W.S.F. Alumni Award." The "Class of 1970 Award" comes from income earned by a fund left by that Class. The Hampton Academy and Winnacunnet High School Alumni Association has also set up an "Alumni Association Scholarship." This is awarded to a graduating Senior, at least one of whose parents is a graduate Alumna or Alumnus of H.A. & H.S. or W.H.S., and who otherwise meets the Foundation's requirements of scholastic, achievement, financial need and college acceptance.

Although no chapter of the National Honor Society was established at H.A. & H.S., the Ora Maritima Chapter of the organization was founded at W.H.S. in its first year of operation. A faculty committee elects Junior and Senior students to mmembershipup on evidence of scholarship, service, leadership and character.

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