“The Orange and the Black” is the official website of Monroe Bearcats Football History. The purpose of the website is for everyone from alumni and current students of Monroe High School to have an understanding of their shared history and pride in the team by knowing the story of Bearcat football. The Bearcats have been playing football since 1911 and even though Monroe has changed greatly in that time, football is a way for residents new and old to find common ground as a community.
Monroe is a small city located about 30 miles northeast of Seattle in Snohomish County. The city was incorporated in 1902 and the first high school, named Monroe Union High School, was opened in 1911. The creation of a football program would be spearheaded by Superintendent Tooker in 1910 and the following year would be the very first season of Monroe football.
Despite Monroe being a small rural community for the majority of its history, the city has steadily grown since the 1970’s and experienced a massive population boom in the 1990’s. Even with Monroe’s growth, the city still possesses a small town atmosphere and Monroe High is renowned for its school spirit and support of its football program.
Creating the Orange and the Black
The inspiration for creating this website was a desire to create an accurate and complete history of Monroe football that was easily accessible to the public. As a lifelong resident of Monroe and a graduate of Monroe High School, I wanted to create something meaningful for my hometown history. After graduating from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s in History, I joined the Monroe Historical Society as an intern and started work on the history of Bearcat football in the summer of 2018.
The inspiration to name the site “The Orange and the Black” comes from two sources. Orange and Black are the school colors of Monroe High School and as far back as the 1920’s, the team has been referred to as “The Orange and the Black” within articles of the Monroe Monitor. The other source is an homage to my alma mater and comes from a book called “The Crimson and the Gray” by Richard B. Fry, which details the history of WSU athletics.
Through pictures, interviews with Bearcats, and recording every game the team has ever played in, this site contains the largest and most complete history of the Monroe football. Months of scouring through newspapers, microfilm, and yearbooks have been used to make this site what it is today. Even with all the work so far, this site strives for improvement with each new findings, new seasons, and help by the people of Monroe.
None of this would have been possible without the continued assistance and encouragement of the Monroe Historical Society. Their collection of countless yearbooks and vintage photographs of the team not found anywhere else is invaluable as well as setting up interviews with many former members of the team. The staff have always been invested in the advancement of the project every step of the way and they have my deepest thanks.
Special thanks especially to Anna Wegenast Photography, Ritzie Photography and Striped Hat Photography for graciously allowing this site to use their pictures. Anna Wegenast Photography and Ritzie Photography both document the 2016 and 2017 seasons and Striped Hat Photography is used for the headers on each page. Their help in allowing us to host their work is extremely appreciated and I highly recommend visiting their respective pages to support local photographers.
After this site was spread through various Monroe groups, many people have stepped forward to provide stories and photographs. The reception by the community and desire to help is extremely encouraging and will help to make this site better and better.