Championship coach joins Hall of Honor

The 1955 State Championship Lady Jackrabbits Team with their Coach Wanda Edwards. (Seated): Linda Bradfield, Sue Jackson, Joan Baxter, Glenda Brooks, Ruth Ann Wright, Linda Campbell and Lynda McLeland. (Standing) Margin Stovall, Coach Wanda Edwards, Betty Andreasen, Mildred McCraw, Carol Ann Smith, Lornda Sue McLeland, Lawana Robinson and Johnny Shytles.

Wanda Edwards, coach of the 1955 state championship Lady Rabbits is the fall inductee for the Bowie High School Hall of Honor presented by the Bowie Boosters. Due to ill health Edwards will be unable to attend, but her sister-in-law and nephew will be accepting on her behalf.  A reception honoring the new inductee will take place at 6 p.m. on Sept. 21 in the high school cafeteria. The public is invited. The inductee also will be introduced during half-time ceremonies.

By Carol Ann Smith MacDonald
Born Too Earlv

Often the phrase used when talking about Wanda Edwards is “Born too early.”

Coach Wanda Edwards spent a lifetime in education coaching, teaching and as an administrator.

Born before the landmark Title IX and almost before NACCA incorporated women’s basketball in 1982. Born too early when the prevailing thought existed sports weren’t for women. Born too early in a time that colleges used

benefactors of the business community for scholarships and funding.

Colleges that had women’s programs hired players out of high school by the sponsoring company, these young women worked during the day, but of course, their job was basketball. The exception was Wayland College.
Named All State in both AAU and TAF competition in high school her list of honors earned in her lifetime is impressive. Being born too early didn’t stop her from becoming an all-around sports figure and a successful educator.

At age 16 at Poly in Fort Worth, her Coach Pat Clifford, said of Wanda, “She can kick a football further than most boys,” and her physical education teacher said, “She is good at anything she tackles.”
Wanda was determined to engage in her love-playing sports. In the early 1950s, when Wayland’s Coach Harley Redin was at the helm, Edwards traveled to Plainview to try out for the only college that offered a place for women to play college basketball and was greeted with a super dust storm.

Wanting no more of the dust, she came home and entered Texas Wesleyan College. She was quickly offered the opportunity to play for Tandy Motorettes, a team put together by the Fort Worth Texas Parks and Recreation. The team had other names through the years – Tandy Leatherettes and Wooten Motorettes.

Edwards may have been born too early, but as an 18-year old freshman at Texas Wesleyan she broke a new barrier.

Read the full story in the weekend edition of The Bowie News.