Saunders Stadium
located directly behind
Newport News High School
3100 Huntington Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607

Just a nostalgia shot of our once-glorious Saunders Stadium

Stadium Ticket Gate: Another place where we spent some time, either entering on crisp Fall Friday nights for football games or just going in to class each morning.

Friday, November 14, 2003
Images by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/13/03
Thanks, Dave!
Image by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 11/14/03
Thanks, Dave!
These four incredible images,
taken Sunday, August 8, 2004,
are courtesy
of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA
and his Wonder Camera - 08/08/04
WOWZERS!!!  Thank you so much, Dave!
These are so real they brought tears to my eye!


My husband, Bruce Howell, Class of 69, went down this morning and took some pictures of Saunders Stadium. He was told last week that
the Navy will began tearing down the stadium because of unsafe conditions in the next 30 days. Just thought some would like to know.

- Jean Baker Howell ('69) of VA - 03/07/09

Saturday, March 7, 2009
Images by Bruce Howell ('69) of VA
Thank you, Jean - and thanks so much for these last images, Bruce!
Re: Demolition of Saunders Stadium.

It would be a wonderful gesture if the Navy would permit NNHS alumni to retrieve a piece of the stadium as a keepsake. It wouldn’t take much to set aside some rubble in a safe place and let us grab a small chunk.

If there is a subscriber with a connection to local Navy authorities, perhaps he or she could make contact quickly about this, before the trucks haul away our memories to the landfill.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 03/08/09
What a super idea! Thanks, Dave!

I just sent the following Letter to the Editor to the Daily Press: 

I have learned that the Navy will soon begin demolition of the stands at Saunders Stadium at the former Newport News High School. I can understand how this is now necessary, as the structure has become a danger. However, I think I can speak for most alumni in saying that this will be very sad day for us. There are so many wonderful memories over so many years of football games, track meets, and gym classes. To think that all of that will end up as rubble in a landfill is painful. 

Perhaps there is a way to ease that pain. Perhaps the Navy could arrange for some of the smaller pieces of the rubble to be set aside in a safe place for a few days and allow Alumni to retrieve them as keepsakes. What a magnanimous gesture by the Navy that would be ... to permit us old Typhoons to have a tangible artifact of the school we all still love so much. I like to think that Julie Conn would have wanted that.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 03/08/09
EXCELLENT! Thank you so much, Dave!

Dear Carol,

I’d like to add my thanks to Bruce Howell ('69 - of VA) for his images of Saunders Stadium. This will likely be the last time I see it as it is.

Talk about a flood of memories. I took one look at the field and immediately saw the Turkey Day game in progress. Closed my eyes and heard  Coach Conn “motivating” all of us during track and field practice.

The field looks like it is covered with grass! All I can remember is dirt, maybe some grass in the end zones. And what a plush locker room we had under the stadium!! But I wouldn’t trade that experience nor the memories for all the tea in China.

Thanks again, Bruce. This was a trip down memory lane that I thoroughly enjoyed. I know I’m not alone.


- Joe Wingo, President of the Class of 1965, of NC - 03/08/09
Thanks, Joe!

That was just the right picture of the stadium! I took my driver's ed class under there. Made me feel rather naughty being in such a small room with boys and not the school proper. Of course, then I thought you could get pregnant just letting a boy lean on you. Took me until 40 to figure out if you're both standing up and have your clothes on, you're OK.

It took me three tries to get my permit. Back then you had to parallel park in a three sided form on the ground. I had to drive my father's Kaiser. For those who do not know, that's a pregnant Edsel. BIG, BIG car.

My father gave me "flat" tire drills. Said if I had to drive I had to know how to take care of myself. Said I was not the type of looker men did things for. So I learned to change a tire. I weighed 95 pounds, the tire weighed 70, so Father put two jacks in the car - one for the car and one for the tire.

The truth be known, Father did not want me to drive; it meant he had to share the car. But I persevered to the point of almost losing the officer in the car with me! Poor man, I'm sure he quit that same day.

I am still the type of looker men do not do things for and they will risk causing a traffic accident just to avoid doing so. True- I almost got a ticket for it.

Thanks for the memories---I think.......

Linda May

- Linda May Bond Crayton ('66) of VA - 03/08/09
GIGGLES! Thanks, Linda May!

Hi Carol,
I'm really sorry to hear that Saunders Stadium is being torn down.  I'd like to add my thanks to Bruce Howell ('69 - of VA) for the pictures.  I have several very specific memories associated with that stadium.  The following is an excerpt from Childhood Memories, a collection of memories that I wrote last year for my children and grandchildren.
In one of those "what was I thinking" moments, I decided to go out for eighth and ninth grade football.  I found out real quickly that this was a lot different than playing football with your friends at Wilson School.  In my eighth grade homeroom picture, I was  one of the smallest guys in the picture.  I probably only weighed about a hundred and twenty pounds dripping wet and every one of the guys coming out for football was a lot bigger and better than me.  The coaches couldn't quite decide what to do with me, so they kept trying me at different positions.  After a couple of weeks of getting nearly killed at every position they put me in, I finally decided that high school football wasn't for me.
I wasn't great at track and field events either.  In gym class, when the weather was nice we would go outside into the stadium where we would run some track, with and without hurdles and do some long jumps and high jumps.  I can't remember ever trying to do a pole vault.  Probably a good thing too, I can just imagine what the end result of that would have been.  One day, we went outside and were told that we were going to run a timed mile.  I don't know exactly what kind of time was expected of us.   Probably a pretty good time for a bunch of young high schoolers was somewhere between six and seven minutes.  The four minute mile wasn't broken until 1954 by Roger Bannister; it wasn't broken by a high school student until Jim Ryun did it ten years later.  The record was in no danger that day!  I may be wrong but I think a mile was four times around our track.  I've never seen so much huffing and puffing in my life when we rounded the last turn for the finish line.  I do not remember what my time was, but it probably says a lot that neither Coach Conn nor Coach Plummer ever approached me about coming out for the track team.

- Sydney Dearing ('56) of TN - 03/10/09
MORE GIGGLES! Thanks, Sydney!

Hi Carol...thought this little "happening" might be of interest.. My brother Clarence was the Class of 1953.....
First this little tidbit of information:
Even though physical structures (Saunders Stadium) are disappearing our NNHS lives on through proud TYPHOONS and others.
In addition, in the past month in talking with my neighbor Rob Saunders, an attorney next door, come to find out that Saunders Stadium was named in honor of his grandfather who was Superintendent of the NN School Board bank in the late 1930's. Just another example of how NNHS lives on with its outstanding tradition.
Here is the story:
So my brother Clarence (1953 Class) and I had just finished the robust buffet at Carolina BBQ in Gloucester (sounds at little weird, Carolina BBQ in Gloucester, but true) and Clarence is having dessert, I remarked that it looked like some type of cherry cobbler, but the waitress informed us that "it is strawberry shortcake"...are you thinking what I was thinking? out of the blue my response was Huckleberry Pie !!!...Wow !!!  from a table across the room comes the follow-up....V-I-C-T-O-R-Y..!!
Clarence and I say.. Wow, some more TYPHOONS in the house !!!. Like NNHS was/is the only school which had this cheer (did find out later that in fact we may have been the only school)...The guy responds that no, he was a St. Vincent guy.. (by the way, we did not know the gentleman and his wife)...and this is another reason that TYPHOONS are so special.. he explains that he and BUCKY KELLER ('58) had their first Communion together at St. Vincent way back when.. I understand that Bucky was at St. Vincent before he entered the NN school system...So even though this gentleman was a St. Vincent student over the years he followed NNHS and knew the cheer....NNHS lives on!!!
As a little footnote, after we all introduced ourselves.. the gentleman asked Clarence and me about a Lt. Hilling who was CO of The National Guard Unit in NN back in the 50's maybe early 60's...That would be our oldest brother Harry (NNHS Class of June 1944).
All of this from a recent visit at the Carolina BBQ in Gloucester, VA...Life is Good !!!

- Bobby Hilling ('62) of VA - 03/13/09
WOWZERONI! Thanks, Bobby!


My brother Charlie was home last week.  He was leaving Monday 3/9 to go home.  But when he heard the stadium is slated to be demolished on the 30th, he stayed until 3/10.  He so loved his track years at NNHS that he felt compelled to take these pictures.  The Pinkerton guard actually allowed him on the track and took the picture of him.

He also visited Coach Nuttycombe for several hours.  We are certainly saddened to know our great high school is slowly becoming only a memory.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
#6 #7 #8 #9 #10
#11 #12 #13 #14 #15
#16 #17 #18 #19 #20
#21 #22 #23 #24 #25

- Cookie Phillips Tyndall ('64) of VA - 03/13/09; Images by Charlie Phillips ('65) of TN - 03/09/09
YOWZERS-WOWZERS! Thanks, Cookie and Charlie!

Images #14, 16-20, 22 and 23 re-doctored by My #6 Son, Dale Harty of MA -3/20/09
Thanks, Dale!

(Added 03/20/09)

It's terrific that our "team" is on the job trying to get a lasting memorial of Saunders Stadium before the concrete grandstand is dismantled.  I assume that's all that will be razed -- of course the shops and dressing rooms, etc. go as well.
Much appreciation to Dave Spriggs ('64) VA, for his usual vigilance and letter to the Daily Press (was it printed?); also his pictures and those of Bruce Howell ('69) VA, and more recently Charlie Phillips ('65) of TN, whose photos captured the site of my sports career's demise, the high jump pit, where Coach Julie Conn and Charlie Nuttycombe caucused after I injured my back from hitting the wintered-over sawdust in early spring practice in 1959. We scissored with our legs in those days, not the Fosbury Flop. It was decided that sports writing was in my future with The Beacon and the Daily Press.
A photo of our press corps in the fall of 1958 in the Saunders Stadium Press Box is in order. Shown in this photo from the Anchor are (from left) Edward Travis, sports editor of The Times-Herald, Chick Damron of the Daily Press, and the inimitable Julian Rice, who loved NNHS with a passion, usually ran the clock and argued constantly with Coach Conn and the sports staff of both newspapers. He was a lovable curmudgeon.
Mr. Travis (and Charles Karmosky of the Daily Press) always allowed us to use staff game game photos in The Beacon and encouraged me to be a better reporter and writer. His advice sometimes made our advisor unhappy, but that's another story.

Like so many of us, I ran the steps of Saunders Stadium in fitness regimes, shivered in cold and rainy weather football games, enjoyed the magic of Turkey Day football against the Crabbers, and joined my band colleagues in warming our mouthpieces in our pockets so we could play the fight songs and start our halftime shows with the full front formation at the south goal line. Thanks for the memories.


   - Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 03/25/09
WOWZERS!!! Thank you so much, Norm!

Thursday, April 16, 2009
3:03 PM - I arrived a bit early at Saunders Stadium to snap a few digitals before “The NNHS Scavengers” appeared.
Here is the brick pile I saw.
3:13 PM - With some time to kill, I walked around the stadium and up 32nd Street. Through a gate, I could begin to see the demolition. As I walked on, I stopped at the corner of Huntington Avenue and 32nd Street. From here I could get a good image of the Navy construction on the west side of Huntington.
Walking further along, I stopped in front of NNHS and looked west where 31st Street was once located. Now, 31st Street is closed and occupied by Navy construction. 3:44 PM - It was time for The Scavengers to arrive, so I returned to the 30th Street gate. I had two cancellations, so the party consisted of Chuck Forrest ('64), Cookie Phillips Tyndall ('64), and your humble correspondent. Cookie had come straight from work in nice clothes, but she pitched right in and loaded her share of brick.
After a few loads were safely deposited in Chuck’s trailer, I sneaked behind the stadium for a closer look at the demolition. My recollection is that this view is centered on the football locker room and showers. 4:04 PM - My eye was caught by this “mural” on a wall. We all pondered when and by whom it was drawn. It had a kind of Grandma Moses primitiveness to it. 4:04 PM - demolition near the band room
4:24 PM - And then, who should appear, but H.P. Lucas ('65), who had heard of our project through the Peninsula grapevine. He, too, had come from work and was dressed not for loading brick, but he did anyway.  4:24 PM - After about an hour, The Scavengers had loaded as many bricks as we could handle, but we knew that we could return for more as the demolition progresses. 4:25 PM - Final Looks - So, farewell to Cookie and HP, as Chuck and I travelled to a secret location to store the bricks, while we figure out what to do with them. It will take some labor to remove the mortar and clean them up a bit.  6:20 PM - So, we felt good that we had saved a small part of our beloved stadium.
 - Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/16/09
SOBBING WOWZERS!!! Thank you so much, Dave!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
  I was in NN this morning, so I drove by and caught this image.

I know it is painful, but I feel that it must be documented.

The orange device is the great toothed beast gnawing at the corpse.
 - Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/21/09
Oh, GLORY, David! I feel totally nauseated...  But thanks. You're right; we need to know.

... Once all the debris is cleared away there will be room for commemorative monuments.  I'll be taking donations for a stone marker
recognizing my 1943 invention of the
Four Lap Mile.

My other stadium achievement probably does not rate recognition.  This happened the day I cleared all but the last high hurdle in a semester test. 
Probably a substantial amount of my bloodstains survives in the cinders from the track.  If anyone is interested, I can still show the scars. 

Nostalgic best wishes,

 - Fred Field (June '45) of CA - 05/26/09
Hmmm. I hadn't thought of commemorative monuments, Fred! Put me down for my 1964 record setting Slowest 50-Yard Dash. :o)

Thought I would share my achievement and memories of Saunders Stadium....I already have a piece of the cement wall that surrounded that place ! 
I got it in 1959 when I, not being used to power steering, turned a corner and ran into the Stadium wall in my mother's brand new two day old, Plymouth
Station Wagon !  The damage done to the wall and the car was nothing compared to the damage that was done to me after my dad told her what happened ! 
Daddy always ran interference for me and I was never again allowed to drive my mother's car...   I would like to add that I was taking Driver's Ed and
Lefty Driesell (Granby HS - '50 - of VA) was my teacher.  After facing my mom the next hardest thing I had to do was face Lefty and pray that he wouldn't
flunk me....he didn't ...such a kind and understanding man...he could have given my mom lessons in compassion !   Every time I look at that small chunk
I have memories of Newport News High School that no one else has !
 - Dimples Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC - 05/27/09
YOWZERONI-WOWZERONI!! What a classic memory! Thanks, Dimples!
  … and the caption?






 - Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/30/09
OH, DAVID! Ohhh, David!!! OH! Oh! Ohhhhh.....
Thank you for chronicling this for us, David - no matter how great the pain!

The Alma Mater

Words and Music by Arthur Hundley, 1937
(d. 2 Sept 2008)


Within these sacred walls we stand,
To praise thine honored name,
We sing to thee, dear Newport High,
Thy glories we proclaim.


Hail, hail to the Gold and Blue,
We raise thy banners high,
And ever through thine endless days,
In triumph, may they fly.

O Alma Mater, in our hearts,
We'll often turn to thee,
And echo once again the songs
Of thy dear memory.


(This page was created on 03/09/09.)

"The NNHS Alma Mater" by Arthur Hundley was sequenced by Dale Harty of VA (assisted by Carol Buckley Harty - '65 - of NC)
on 01/03/07, and added to the NNHS page that night.  It was switched to this page on 04/02/09.
Thanks so much, Dale!

"The NNHS Alma Mater" lyrics transcribed by Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of IL - 07/13/00

"The NNHS Alma Mater" sheet music (prepared by Al Simms - '60 - of VA) on 01/24/07, finally added 03/31/09
Thanks so much, Al!

Animated Anchor clip art courtesy of - 05/06/03

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