It’s football season in Douglas County! Archives & Local History’s newest reading room display exhibits some of our materials on youth sports from the early 1960s through 1990. You can also learn about local youth sports here.
Do you have a local sports collection you’d like to donate? ALH is looking for papers, photographs, records, minutes, diaries, ephemera (like posters and brochures), audiovisual materials (videos, recordings), and more. We’d love to chat with you. Contact Local History.
The Arapahoe Youth League
The Arapahoe Youth League has been around since at least the early 1970s. ALH’s Arapahoe Youth League (AYL) materials (2001.060) contain records, playbook diagrams, ephemera (posters, stickers, brochures), correspondence, and photographs. Coach Mark Lee oversaw Douglas County’s AYL football and baseball teams, both called the Dolphins. Today, the AYL football team is called the Raptors.
Flaunt It While You’ve Got It!
The 1980 sports uniform catalog Southern Athletic/Bike advertised these interesting outfits for football practice. Many people in the 1970s cast off traditionally modest clothing in favor of flaunting it! Due to the soaring popularity of fitness through the ’80s, short-shorts and crop tops found themselves a staple of mainstream fashion—for both men and women. The crop top is said to have been inspired by football jerseys ripped on the field. What do you think? Should we bring the look back?
Even though dental injuries accounted for about half of sports injuries in the 1940s, it wasn’t until 1962 that mouth guards were made mandatory for high school football players. “Boil and bite” mouth guards can be easily fitted to an individual player’s teeth. This one belonged to the Arapahoe Youth League, though it appears not to have been used.
Jake Snakenberg, 1990-2004
Karen McAvoy, Director of the Center for Concussion at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, was a school psychologist at Grandview High School in Aurora when freshman Jake Snakenberg died of injuries sustained by multiple concussions. The incident affected McAvoy deeply and inspired her work on combatting concussions in youth sports. In honor of Jake, please take the time to review the hospital’s tips for recognizing and managing pediatric concussions.
- “History of Shorts,” Old Bull Lee, https://www.oldbullshorts.com/history-of-shorts, undated, accessed September 27, 2021.
- “When did straight men stop wearing crop tops?” i-D, https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/43kyqg/straight-men-crop-tops-90s-80s-fashion, August 12, 2019, accessed September 27, 2021.
- “How Mouth Guard Technology Has Evolved Through the Ages,” Shock Doctor, https://www.shockdoctor.com/blogs/posts/mouth-guard-technology-evolved-ages, March 11, 2019, accessed September 27, 2021.
- “The Tooth-Shattering History of Mouth Guards,” HoustonsPediatricDentist.com, https://www.houstonspediatricdentist.com/blog/the-tooth-shattering-history-of-mouthguards/, January 19, 2017, accessed September 27, 2021.