A pulling guard and also pulling tobacco the same day and which do you prefer, Morning or Afternoon practice???(Back when “Tobacco was King”)

Posted by Andy Durham on August 2, 2014 at 11:24 pm under High School | 9 Comments to Read

We were talking about the football practices back in the day and someone said back in the day, their team here in Guilford County used to practice at 5:30am because many of their players had to work in the tobacco fields and the early morning practice would be done by 6:15, they would go hard for 45 minutes and then the tobacco kids would go hit the fields and work the tobacco priming/pulling during the day and come back for football practice with another session starting that night at around 7:30pm….

So kids were practicing twice a-day and then pulling/priming tobacco during the day in-between football practices….

That sounds like a real load, especially if your practicing full at 5:30am and then at 7:30pm and working in tobacco all day…Maybe some were back up at the tobacco barn sorting or handing the tobacco to the ones stringing it or unloading the tobacco sleds or even stringing too, or putting it(tobacco) up in the barns….

Sounds like a load if you are hitting the football sled and the tobacco sled all in the same day….

Has anyone else heard of times like these and what schools would have been effected here?????

I am thinking Northwest Guilford, Northeast Guilford, Southeast Guilford and schools like that…

Some of the most interesting input I have seen….

A kid that might have been a pulling guard early in the morning and then he might have been pulling tobacco all day long before his evening practice….

*****Do you prefer the morning or afternoon/evening practices? I will take afternoon/evening over morning all day…Hard to get your body going right when you are still trying to wake up and by afternoon, you should be awake and ready to go….*****


  • Chuckie Brown said,

    I bet Eastern Guilford, Northeast Guilford and Southern Guilford had more tobacco pullers than all the others. Heck last year Eastern and Southern had tobacco fields growing across from the school entrances. Of course they are the 3 most rural county schools.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Good point, I have seen those tobacco fields down around Eastern and had seen other crops down and around Southern Guilford, lots of condos and shopping centers going/growing up out around Northeast…

    There was a time when the area around Northwest Guilford was the tobacco capital of the county….

    The city has come toward the county and sometimes that call that the urban sprawl yall…

    These days with all of the migrant workers, I doubt the kids playing football are still pulling any tobacco….

    Some the kickers may have family that are priming the tobacco plants and that is not an ethnic slam, that is just the way the game and the crop harvesting have changed…

  • Gfan said,

    Mexicans have taken over the job of tobacco around here. I tell my kids about getting through with tobacco for the day then it was fun to go practice or play baseball.

    It would be a great experience for some local kids to go work some tobacco the old fashion way. Stick not bulk barns and mules so that more can be planted on one acre.

  • SE Parent said,

    Andy,
    I would say am practice, most farmers I worked for prefered the dew to get off the crops before harvest. This included tobacco and or hay (square bails). And yee, two a days and priming tobacco or putting up hay was a Bit–.

  • TimHolleman said,

    I remember Coach Grayson at Eastern Guilford always having summer practices at 4:30 pm so we could spend all day in the tobacco fields. how times have changed!

  • Andy Durham said,

    I don’t think the kids today realize how easy they have it, but maybe a few do……

  • street said,

    OMG, Andy you are bringing back memories. I am from the Eastern part of the state..TOBACCO IS KING. I can remember practicing at 8:00 pm because 90% of our players either worked at Warehouses or in the fields. Ask Coach Norris at HPA about those days practicing down east in the evening while fighting off mosquitoes that were the size of hummingbirds.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Yes sir, and I thought it was kind of tough when we would play those Friday night games and I would have to be down to the Tex and Shirley’s Restaurant at Friendly Shopping Center, on Saturday mornings at 7am, to bus/clean those tables and wipe up all of that pancake syrup….

    Sounds like those who were digging in the the tobacco fields may have had it harder/tougher fighting off that tobacco tar/gum here in the Tar Heel state….

    They always said those players that could/would run in the sand/dirt/tar down east, had better explosion off of the ball on the line and in the backfield….

  • DG said,

    I will take the morning practice. Get in done early and you are done for the day.