Sports played a key role in the identity of the Bolling School community. Former students remember the excitement of key sporting events, like the Bolling High School football team winning the State championship in 1939. Yet, sports at Bolling highlight the inequality that Black students and teachers faced. The same football team that won States practiced in a rocky field near the school rather than a real football field. Bolling High School did not have a gymnasium until 1950, which was built in part with student labor. Despite this inequality, sports remained an important source of school spirit and pride.
Football was a major part of the identity of Bolling, particularly for the young men who attended the school. Despite its important role, the football team faced difficulties. Students at Bolling came from across the county which made it difficult to find transportation and practice times that accommodated all players. Because Bolling was a Black school, its football team was not provided the same equipment and field that white students were provided. In fact, the schools field was known as the 'cow pasture', because of its poor condition. In the 1930s one student even broke his neck in a game due to improper equipment. In spite of all of this, Bolling's football team carried on and in 1939 the school won the state championship
Dorie Miller Park
The 1977 dedication of Dorie Miller Park tells the history of the Lewisburg park created for the recreation and activity of Black youth. The park, located above Bolling High School, was originally an athletic field for the Black community. This was were Bolling football players practiced. Bolling's coach, Alonzo Branch, played a key role in developing the park into a fun and safe space. Continue reading below to learn more about the park and the people who made it possible.