RHS FOOTBALL HISTORY
Football was played at RHS, probably as a club sport, beginning at the turn of the century in 1900. Pictures showing a team in 1902 and beyond are available at News Review, Douglas County Museum, and RHS. Former games were played on any surface that was vacant.
During the years 1918-1925, the RHS student body rented grounds adjacent to the present RHS site for athletic events. Although, not until the building of the 1925-26 Roseburg High School, did the football field become a permanent site. (“Then to Now With Roseburg Schools (1854-1970)”, pg. 117, by Eli S. Hall)
About 1925, the RHS student body purchased the rented ground at a price of $2500 and gave it to the school district. The acreage purchased was 11.02 acres, room for a school and athletic fields (page 47, Hall).
Finlay Field became a reality on November 5, 1925, as voted by the school board. Dr. G.C. Finlay, DDS, was honored for all the support he had given to the athletic program and youth. Finlay began coaching basketball and assisted wherever there was a need to help programs develop (page 47, Hall).
An article appeared in the Roseburg News Review on 9/10/1930. This article was titled “Night Football at Roseburg High School Discussed”. A group called “Grant Manufacturing Company” was discussing the project with the Roseburg School District. The proposal was to install sixteen floodlights with each light of 1500 watt power. The cost was to range from $1800-$3200, including labor. Finally, an article in the 1934 yearbook established that new lights had been installed on the RHS football field.
In 1933, with W.P.A. help, the old north grandstand was built with minimum cost to the district. (RHS had leased the old Deady sawmill to cut the lumber).
In 1956, the south grandstand was built with sponsorship of the “Indian Club”. Materials and labor were provided by members of the community (Page 47, Hall).
In 1997, a multi-faceted program was undertaken at Finlay field to build a new north covered grandstand, a new 8-lane all-weather surfaced track, and to provide uncovered bleachers for the south side.
In 2005, Finlay’s grass football field was upgraded to a new state-of-the-art synthetic grass surface. The new surface allows for extended field use by many activities.