Keeping the Dream Alive

THE WINSTON-SALEM INDIANS WAS STARTED IN 1955 AT THE SITE OF THE SALVATION ARMY BOYS' CLUB, WHERE WE BECAME A CHARTER MEMBER OF THE NORTHWEST MIDGET FOOTBALL TEAM, WHICH WAS FORMED BY POP WARNER. THE NAME "RED SHIELD BOYS' CLUB FOOTBALL TEAM" WAS THE FIRST OFFICIAL NAME GIVEN BECAUSE OF THE EMBLEM THAT THE SALVATION ARMY USED AND WAS ONE OF THE FIRST "AFRICAN AMERICAN TEAMS" TO PLAY IN AN "ALL WHITE" LEAGUE. DURING THE EARLY YEARS, THE TEAM STRUGGLED TO ATTRACT YOUTHS FROM THE SOUTH SIDE OF WINSTON-SALEM TO PARTICIPATE ON ITS THREE TEAMS-JUNIOR PEE WEES, PEE WEES, AND MIDGETS. ONE STANDOUT INDIVIDUAL, DREW BUIE BECOME A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER FOR THE OAKLAND RAIDERS.
IN 1964, THE NAME CHANGED TO THE TINY INDIANS FOOTBALL CLUB. THE PROGRAM BEGAN A SLOW CLIMB TOWARDS RESPECTABILITY AND PUSHED TOWARD A NEW DIRECTION. AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN FROM THE HAPPY HILL GARDENS HOUSING PROJECT OF FORSYTH COUNTY FOUND OUT ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND ASKED TO TRY OUT FOR THE TEAM. IT TOOK A PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT FOR THE PROGRAM TO RISE ABOVE CONFLICT, AS MOST OF THE OTHER TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE FROWNED UPON HAVING AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THEIR PROGRAMS, BUT WITH ALL HEADS HELD HIGH, A TRY WAS GIVEN.
BY 1967, THE SECOND SEASON THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS PARTICIPATED IN THE PROGRAM, THE COACHES REALIZED THAT DESPITE RACIAL INTOLERANCE BY OTHER TEAMS, THE TINY INDIANS COULD ONLY FIELD COMPETITIVE TEAMS BY PROMINENTLY USING AFRICAN AMERICAN PLAYERS. AMONG THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICANS TO SUCCEED IN THE PROGRAM WERE ERNEST BROWN, WALT LARRY, PHILLIP JEFFRIES, AND FRANK DRAPER.
THE 1969 SEASON MARKED A MILESTONE IN THE PROGRAM. THE MIDGET TEAM FINISHED THE SEASON WITH AN UNDEFEATED RECORD AND ADVANCED TO THE PLAY-OFFS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE PROGRAM'S HISTORY. IN ADDITION, IRONICALLY, THE TEAM INCLUDED THE FIRST GROUP OF AFRICAN AMERICANS PLAYERS WHO HAD GONE THROUGH THE PROGRAM FROM THE JR. PEEWEES TO THE MIDGETS. SOME OF THE PLAYERS WERE MARVIN BONNER, REGINAL LITTLE, VERLIE FIELDS, VINCENT PLEDGER, TIM DAVIS, CURTIS SPEAS AND KARL GARY.
FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS OF THE 1969 TEAM, BLACKS THROUGHOUT WINSTON-SALEM BEGAN TO JOIN THE ORGANIZATION. THEY INCLUDED KENNY DUCKETT WHO PLAYED WITH THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AND THE DALLAS COWBOYS; LEONARDO HORNE, WHO PLAYED WITH WINSTON-SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY; DARRYL NICHOLSON, WHO PLAYED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA; EDWARD BYERS, WHO PLAYED AT WINSTON-SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY(CURRENTLY COACHING WEST FORSYTH TITANS JR. VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM). DAVID PEARSON, WILLIE MAC, THOMAS EATON, AND CHARLIE IMES.
JOE ADAMS BECAME THE FIRST BLACK HEAD COACH FOR THE ORGANIZATION IN 1975. THE FIRST GROUP OF BLACK COACHES INCLUDED ULYSSES HUNTER(CURRENTLY STILL ACTIVE WITH THE ORGANIZATION AS THE EQUIPMENT MANAGER), ROBERT WYNN, ARTHUR RAPLEY, IKE HOWARD, DOUG TURNER, AND TOM BROWN. IT WAS DURING THIS PERIOD THAT THE PROGRAM'S JUNIOR PEE WEE'S BEGAN THEIR ERA OF DOMINATION. THE TEAM WON SERTOMA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN '74, '75, AND '76.
DESPITE THE PROGRAMS' SUCCESS IN ATHLETICS AND IN MOLDING THE LIVES OF THE BLACK YOUTHS, THE FUTURE OF THE ORGANIZATION FOUND ITSELF IN LIMBO IN 1981. THE BOYS CLUB SAID IT COULD NO LONGER FINANCE THE PROGRAM OR OFFER THE FACILITIES FOR THE TEAM TO PRACTICE AND PLAY ITS GAMES. BY THE 1982 SEASON, A HOME HAS BEEN FOUND AND WITH THE LEADERSHIP AND DEDICATION OF SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS, THE DREAM WAS KEPT ALIVE. WSSU TOOK THE PROGRAM UNDER ITS WINGS AND OFFERED A TEMPORARY HOME.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF ISAAC"IKE"HOWARD, THE TINY INDIANS FOOTBALL CLUB, INC. WAS FOUNDED. THE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION WOULD HAVE TO RAISE ITS OWN MONEY AND CONTROL ITS OWN DESTINY. THE JR. MIDGET SQUAD WON ITS FIRST FOOTBALL TITLE IN PENSACOLA, FL. PLAYERS THAT WERE ON THE TEAM INCLUDED ROSCOE POUNCEY, CARLOS McCLAM, DWAYNE SMITH, JOHN TIMMONS, KEVIN DENDY, RANDY JONES, AND TOMMY McRAY JUST TO NAME A FEW. THE TEAM PLAYED AGAINST EMIT SMITH OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS AND PUT HIM OUT OF THE GAME IN THE FIRST QUARTER WITH A NAGGING SHOULDER INJURY THAT HAS NAGGED HIM THROUGH OUT HIS CAREER. TWO YEARS LATER, THE PROGRAM MOVED TO THE NOW (ATKINS MIDDLE SCHOOL) FIELD. FROM THE HISTORY AND DEDICATION OF THE ATKINS HIGH SCHOOL, THE COLORS OF "BURAGNDY AND GOLD" WERE ADOPTED. THESE POWERFUL COLORS SYMBOLIZE STRENGTH AND COURAGE TO REMAIN STRONG WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT.
AS ATKINS SCHOOL WENT UNDER CONSTRUCTION, THE TINY INDIANS MOVED THEIR PROGRAM TO KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL THAT WAS LOCATED ON HIGHLAND AVENUE, FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS. AFTER RUMORS AND TALKS OF A NEW HOME FOR THE INDIANS, IN 1997, THE CITY OF WINSTON-SALEM NAMED ONE OF THEIR PARKS, "THE RAY AGNEW SPORTS COMPLEX" AFTER THE TALENTED FOOTBALL PLAYER,RAY AGNEW. IT IS CURRENTLY THE HOME OF THE WINSTON-SALEM TINY INDIANS. RAY AGNEW GREW UP IN WINSTON-SALEM IN THE PIEDMONT CIRCLE COMMUNITY. HE HAS PLAYED PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL WITH THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, NEW YORK GIANTS, AND THE ST. LOUIS RAMS.
IN 1998, THE TINY INDIAN PEEWEE TEAM WON THE SERTOMA BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AND TRAVELED TO THE NATIONALS IN FLORIDA WHERE THEY RECIEVED AND EARNED THE RUNNER-UP TITLE. 1999 GAINED A REPEAT TITLE AS THE JR. MIDGETS WON THE SERTOMA BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP.
THE YEARS OF THE 2000'S HAVE MARKED STRONG CHANGES WITH THE ORGANIZATION. THE MEANING OF "COMING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY" BECAME A MAJOR GOAL SO THAT WE COULD UNIONIZE TOGETHER WITH NOT ONLY THE YOUTHS IN THE PROGRAM BUT TO INTERACT WITH ONE ANOTHER AND MAKE NEW FRIENDS. THE SLOGAN "KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE" WAS ADOPTED AND DEDICATED TO MR. CLAYTON(DADDY)RICE SR. FOR HIS TWENTY YEARS OF COACHING AND VOLUNTEERING ESPECIALLY WITH THE MIGHTY-MITES. MR. ULYSSES HUNTER MARKED ANIOTHER MILE STONE IN THE PROGRAM WITH HIS THIRTY YEARS OF VOLUNTEERING AND DEDICATION TO THE ORGANIZATION AND WAS HONORED DURING THE 2009 HOMECOMING EVENT. MR. HUNTER ASSISTED IN OBTAINING THE ORIGINAL CHARTER MEMBERSHIP, WATCHED HIS CHILDREN GROW THROUGH THE PROGRAM, HAS COACHED, AND HAS HELD THE TITLE OF EQUIPMENT MANAGER AND PRESIDENT FOR SEVERAL YEARS.
EACH AGE GROUP HAS HELD TITLES FOR UNDEFEATED SEASONS WITH MANY OBTAINING CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES. THE WINSTON-SALEM INDIANS HAVE GROWN INTO AN ORGANIZATION WITH THE CONTINUED STRENGTH OF STRONG LEADERSHIP AND MENTORS FOR YOUTHS AGES FIVE TO FIFTEEN OFFERING FOOTBALL AND CHEERLEADING. THE PROGRAM NOW OFFERS TWO FLAG FOOTBALL TEAMS, TWO MITEY-MITE FOOTBALL TEAMS, TWO JR. PEEWEE FOOTBALL TEAMS, A PEEWEE TEAM, JR. MIDGET AND MIDGET FOOTBALL TEAM. WITH MUCH SUPPORT, OUR CHEERLEADING SQUADS CONSIST OF FLAG, MITEY-MITE, JR. PEEWEE, PEEWEE, JR. MIDGET. AND MIDGET. HISTORY WAS MADE IN 2008 AS THE BURGANDY JR. PEEWEE'S, PEEWEE'S, AND JR. MIDGET FOOTBALL SQUADS ALL WON THE NORTHWEST MIDGET DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIPS. OUR PEEWEE CHEERLEADERS WON FIRST PLACE IN THE NORTHWEST MIDGET LOCAL SMALL NOVICE CHAMPIONSHIP. THE INDIAN'S JR. MIDGET FOOTBALL SQUAD OBTAINED TO THE REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HELD IN GASTONIA THEN ADVANCED TO THE NATIONALS WHERE THEY COMPETED IN WALT DISNEY WORLD'S WILD WORLD OF SPORTS BEINGING HOME THE SPORTMANSHIP AWARD OF THE YEAR. THE INDIAN PEEWEE CHEERLEADERS ALSO ADVANCED AND PLACED SECOND IN THE REGIONAL FINALS THEN PARTICIPATED IN THE NATIONAL COMPETITION ALSO IN DISNEY WORLD. THE WINSTON-SALEM INDIANS ALSO PARTICIPATE IN THE LITTLE SCHOLARS PROGRAM AND OFFERS TUTORING TO SUPPORT THOSE IN NEED. EACH CHILD MUST MAINTAIN A 2.0 OR HIGHER IN ORDER TO QUALIFY AND MAINTAIN ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN THE PROGRAM