Pasco's Edgar Brown Stadium hosts its first game on September 13, 1957.

  • By Elizabeth Gibson
  • Posted 11/20/2005
  • Essay 7521
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On September 13, 1957, the Pasco Bull Dogs play the first football game on their new field. Edgar Brown Stadium, named for the land's former owner, had once been a gravel pit. Despite logistical problems, the stadium is ready for the first game. As is fitting for such an auspicious occasion, Pasco High School wins the game against the Walla Walla Blue Devils.

At one time, the stadium's location on Sylvester Street and 18th Avenue stood at the western edge of town. Construction companies dug a huge hole here as they excavated gravel to be used in road construction and concrete buildings. As Pasco grew toward the west, citizens considered the gravel pit to be an eyesore that did not fit with the expanding city. Eventually Edgar Brown sold the property to the school district for $25,000. He stipulated that the land be used for a stadium. The Bull Dogs, who had previously played their games at the junior high school, were thrilled to have a new home.

On Friday, September 13, 1957, the Pasco Bull Dogs faced the Walla Walla Blue Devils. Up until an hour and a half before the game started, school superintendent Herman Haeger did not know whether the stadium would be ready. Only three of the six towers of lights functioned, although these alone provided more light to the new field than the team and fans had enjoyed on the old field.

The crowd eagerly anticipated the game since it renewed a rivalry from a few years before when Walla Walla sent a varsity team to play against the Pasco junior varsity. Fans hoped for a rematch. Until 1954 the Pasco-Walla Walla game was a non-conference game. In 1955 both schools were reorganized into the Yakima Valley AA league (later the Big Nine Conference).

Pasco Coach Dwight Pool had attended Walla Walla High School and was a star football player there. That old loyalty did not get in the way as he led Pasco to a 16-14 victory against his alma mater. Pasco had not won against Walla Walla since 1953.

Pasco won with only two starters from 1956, but several lettermen. Rich Beck started at quarterback. Dave Milam scored the league's most receiving yards the previous year. Milam and Nalon Cowgill were the leading receivers in this game. Kicker Ray Amstadt's field goal in the fourth quarter would prove to be the difference in the game.

A huge crowd was on hand to watch the game, despite the fact that the stadium wasn't quite ready. Haeger promised that the lighting would be ready for the next week's game.

Today Pasco has grown so that the stadium is situated somewhat to the east of the center of the city. Pasco High School still uses Edgar Brown Stadium for athletic events. It is also used for regional track meets and other special events, and has been used for Fourth of July fireworks displays. The capacity of the stadium is 6,000.

Sources: Walter A. Oberst, Railroads, Reclamation and the River: A History of Pasco (Pasco: Franklin County Historical Society, 1978); "Prep Football Starts Here Tonight," Tri-City Herald (Kennewick), September 19, 1957; Gil Gilmore, "Pasco's Field Goal Provides 16-14 Margin Over Wa-Hi," Ibid., September 21, 1957.

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