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The construction of the Circle houses in 1885 breathed life into a potent amalgam of next-door proximity, teenage energy, and an unmistakable es-

prit de house, forging the ferocious rivalries that would become the nation’s oldest intramural football league. Since 1892, when these houses first competed against each other in a five-game season, House Football has endured in the hearts of the Lawrentians who buckled up their helmets – whether leather or plastic – for the honor of house. This is the story of House Football at Lawrenceville, as told by just a handful of the thousands who have sustained it over the years. About this story: The Lawrentian solicited reflections from any and all readers about the 125th season of House Football in the spring 2016 issue, and again in May via email. Every effort was made to include portions of all shared recollections in this oral history. The Lawrentian is grateful to everyone who contributed their thoughts.

House, House, House! DAVE SCHORR P’80 ’82 ’88 H’02, House Football coach, 1986 to 2002: What separates Lawrenceville from its peer schools is the House system. An integral part of the House system is House sports, and for the Circle Houses, House Football helps to set the tone for the upcoming year.

JEFFREY DURSO-FINLEY P’13 ’14 ’19, Director of College Counseling, Woodhull coach: It bonds a house together when it’s working well, both participants and housemates. As the season is in the fall, when houses begin to form personalities and friendships, House Football contributes to that in an emotional, visceral way. Schorr: When a football coach is asked what the three most important words in football are, he will respond: “Team, Team, TEAM!” When a House Football coach is asked the same question, the response will be: “House, House, HOUSE!”

BRUCE KRAUT ’75, Director of Medical Services: It’s part of our newly proposed mission statement, which begins “Through House and Harkness…” – the house is that important. House sports really effectively create the camaraderie and closeness among students assigned to particular houses.

PAUL MOTT ’47: House Football – maybe the greatest bonding experience of my life. We fourteen or fifteen Kennedy House footballers suited up together, got down in the mud together, blocked and tackled (ineptly) together, and celebrated in the locker room when we won!

MARY ELIZABETH MCCLELLAN H’50 ’52 ’57 ’59 ’65 ’79 GP’10: Bruce McClellan, housemaster and therefore coach of Hamill, would say, “I only chewed gum twice in my life. Once was flying over Berlin, and the other was the [1954] Hamill-Dawes championship game.”

BILL MCINTYRE ’57: We had a good [Hamill] team in 1954, and I vaguely remember the championship game. Since we had Bruce for a coach, my guess is that we won.


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The Lawrentian - Fall 2016  
The Lawrentian - Fall 2016