Bradley indeed had a football team in the 1930s, but I don’t know the precise year that the football program of that era began, or the precise year that it ended.
Below is a photo of one of those Bradley football teams, probably in the early 1930s. The tall young man in the back row, second from left, with his left hand on his hip is Ralph C. “Bruz” Hamner. If any reader is able to identify any of the rest of these formidable gridiron gladiators, it would be much appreciated.
Shown below is an announcement of a game against Lewisville. A date and time for the game are given, but the year is unknown. While this may appear to be a handbill which would be posted on a utility pole, or something similar, it is actually a small card about twice the size of today’s business cards.
Wednesday, Nov. 23
Bradley Athletic Field
Come out and see the Bears drub the Red Devils in the last big game of the season. Watch those Bears pull those Red Devil tails.
Admission 10 and 25c. Time 3 P. M.”
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The diaries of Della Cochran make mention of four home games in 1931 and 1932. On September 25, 1931, Bradley defeated Waskom, Texas, 27–0. On October 2, 1931, Bradley defeated St. John’s, 19–0. Who “St. John’s” was is a mystery. From the two 1931 scores, it appears that team defense was quite good that year.
On October 28, 1932, Hope defeated Bradley, 12–6. On November 4, 1932, Stamps defeated Bradley, 26–0, and the Stamps High School Band made an appearance. From the two 1932 scores, it appears that offense was a problem for Bradley that year.
As for the eventual fate of the 1930s-era football program, I’ve heard tales of a bus or auto accident which injured some of the players on the way back home from an away game, causing the cancellation of the remainder of the season. I don’t know what year that happened, but apparently the program was not resumed in the following year.