The Wooster City School District is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. to unveil a new Ohio historical marker honoring Charles W. Follis. The ceremony will take place at Follis Field, which is also named after the local hero.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by the Wooster High School versus Dover High School football game. Attendees of the ribbon cutting are encouraged to stay for the game.
“We are excited to debut this new historical marker that honors our local hero, Charles W. Follis, at his namesake field,” said Wooster City School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Tefs. “We sincerely hope that many in our community will be able to join the celebration to help us pay tribute to Charles and his contributions to the Wooster community.”
Charles W. Follis helped establish the Wooster High School football team. He went on to play baseball at the College of Wooster and football for the Wooster Athletic Association. In 1904, Follis became the first African-American professional football player when he signed a contract with the Shelby Athletic Club. He went on to play professional baseball for the Cuban Giants of Long Island. Follis passed away from pneumonia in 1910 at the age of 31.