Fairchild Repeats History Fifty Years Later
By Angela White, 1985
They say history repeats itself and perhaps there’s some truth to the saying. Fifty years ago, in the fall of 1935, Emery Fairchild was elected as president of the 270 Conference, a newly formed sports conference. This fall, the eighty-one year old former teacher, administrator, and coach was once again elected to the office of president of the 270 Conference.
The 270 Conference began fifty years ago at Mutual, Oklahoma, in the fall of 1935. Fairchild and area coaches and administrators met to organize the conference to make their hometown athletics more interesting and competition better. Originally the conference was for baseball, basketball, and track but presently only includes baseball and basketball.
At the time of the meeting the 270 Highway was under construction. Someone suggested using the name of the highway because almost all of the towns interested in forming the conference lay along the highway. The schools who were in the first conference were Camargo, Vici, Sharon, Mutual, Mooreland, Seiling, Richmond and Taloga.
The conference has seen quite a few changes over the years. At present the conference is divided into the east half and west half. Originally each school played every other school in the conference one game. The ball teams did not have to have a playoff, the ball team with the best record automatically won. The first boy’s basketball team to win the 270 conference in 1936 was Camargo and their coach was Emery Fairchild.
Rules for the sports have changed over the years, especially for girl’s basketball according to Fairchild. It was a much harder game to play fifty years ago. “They could only dribble the ball once,” says Fairchild. It was a different kind of game from our present girl’s basketball. “They had a three division court, two forwards, two centers, and two guards,” says Fairchild. He feels girl’s basketball is much more interesting today.
The conference was eventually split into a north side and a south side and each team played two conference games against teams in their half of the conference. At the end of the season a playoff was held between the winners of each side.
“The first year we had playoffs was in 1940. I won it (the conference) with my boys (Camargo team). It was against Sharon and we played at Vici,” the former coach says. Fairchild coached the Camargo team for ten or eleven years and some more years during the war. Fairchild replied, “I don’t know why I can’t remember for sure, it’s only been fifty years ago.”
The All Star Program is also an addition to the conference. All Star players are nominated by the coaches and then voted on. Each team in the conference must have at least one player on the All Star Team and no coach may vote for his own players.
“Many schools that participated in the conference over the years no longer have schools,” says Cleo Moran, Vici High School principal and Secretary-Treasurer of the 270 Conference. “Those schools are Camargo, Quinlan, Tangier, Longdale, Putnam, Richmond, Oakwood, Faye, and Cheyenne Valley.”
This spring the 270 conference will celebrate its 50th anniversary by inviting more than one hundred coaches and administrators still living who have served on the conference. “There are probably over three hundred coaches and administrators who have been in the conference,” says Moran. At least twenty teams have played in the conference over the years. The only original teams that are still in the conference are Vici, Sharon-Mutual, and Taloga.
Fifty years of teams, coaches, and administrators but one thing hasn’t changed. Emery Fairchild is still going strong.