This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

When the Phoenix Indian High School played the college in Tempe


If you're a fan of ASU sports, it may come as a surprise to find that in its earliest years, when it was called the Tempe Normal School (which was an old-fashioned term for teaching "norms"), its teams played against a high school, the Phoenix Indian School.

I'm reluctant to write about the Phoenix Indian School, even though it was a very important part of Phoenix history from 1891 to 1990, as even well-meaning people seem to say the most ignorant things about it. I guess I can't blame people for jumping to conclusions about it, but I'd like to share what I am finding out, because it's way more interesting than common misconceptions.

Now waitaminute, before you go comparing the Phoenix Indian School High School team to the college in Tempe, stop and think about 1914. Arizona State University (as it was later called) was a teaching college. And while I have no desire to stereotype teachers, my best guess is that they weren't the toughest guys around. The Braves (the Indian team), however, were.

High School and college sports weren't as organized then as they are nowadays. And the Braves took on whoever could give them some competition, and they usually won.



Images above: From the Library of Congress.


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