Pritchett Field, site of Sam Houston State women's soccer home matches, is one of the university's most historic spots.
Named for the late Joseph Pritchett, a professor for 42 years and Dean of Men at Sam Houston, Pritchett Field was the site of the university's earliest athletic competitions.
Athletics arrived on the Sam Houston Normal Institute in the early years of the twentieth century - specifically baseball and football, both played on the recreational fields west of main campus.
The SHNI football team, nicknamed the Normals, played their first game at Pritchett Field on October 6, 1912, losing to Rice 20-6, the first football contest played by either school.
Joseph Pritchett on his horse Ginger.
The dean of men at Sam Houston, Pritchett
road his horse to campus every day.
|Photo courtesy of his granddaughter
A rudimentary baseball diamond was just southeast of the football area on land today part of the Sam Houston Museum museum complex. Baseball moved to its own Holleman Field further south in 1948 and into the Don Sanders Stadium in 2006.
The Work Progress Administration constructed the stone bleachers on both sides of Pritchett Field in the 1930s. In 1967, the bleachers on the east side were constructed after the stone ones were removed.
Many commencement ceremonies took place at the athletic field in the mid-twentieth century.
The Bearkats won the last home game at Pritchett Field in 1985, beating Washburn University of Kansas, 51-7. The following year the team began playing in Bowers Stadium.
The Pritchett Field field house appears on maps in the late 1980s - after the move to the new stadium - as Housing Storage. Maps from the early 1990s identify it again as a field house until its demolition to make way for the Walker Education Center and parking for the museum complex.
The field's namesake, Joseph Pritchett, was the brother of Henry Carr Pritchett (Sam Houston's fourth president, serving from 1891 to 1908). Joseph and his wife, Lenora Melissa (Evans) moved to Huntsville in 1888. Pritchett owned much of the property west of the university including the area which is now Pritchett Field.