History

The Redlands Benchwarmers was conceived in the 1952/53 Redlands High School calendar year.

RHS football coaches Buck Weaver, Oral Baker, Walt Anderson and Bob Campbell met in the living room of Oral Baker’s home at 1121 E. Central Avenue in Redlands to formally organize and name the group. The first officers were, Kenneth Lewis-President, Joe Ciano-VP, Marshall Phelps-Secretary, Willard Farquhar-Treasure, and Ralph (Buck) Weaver as Program Chairman.

The original Mission Statement for the newest support organization in the Redlands community was as follows:

  • To help promote more interest in all athletic sports at RHS
  • To assist in the advancement and development of boys attending RHS athletically, socially, physically and mentally
  • To give recognition, assistance, guidance, supervision or help of every kind or nature to these boys, and particularly, to all the members on the athletic teams at RHS
  • To generally counsel or assist the athletic coaches at RHS whenever called upon
  • To generally encourage athletics and to give recognition to boys on the RHS athletic teams for outstanding achievement and sportsmanship
1957 benchwarmers
A photo from 1957. From left to right: Frank Serrano, Walt Anderson, Ralph (Buck) Waver, Bob Baker.

Since the inception of Redlands Benchwarmers, much has changed.

RHS in 1952 had a total student population of 867 students. Of those students there were an estimated 318 student athletes in all sports. Today, 60 years later, the total student count at RHS is 2,525. This number does not include Redlands East Valley High School, Citrus Valley High School, Orangewood High School or Grove High School. Today the Redlands Unified School District has five (5) high schools with 7,598 total students and 3,178 student athletes. There have been 2,860 student athletes added to the RUSD since Benchwarmers inception.

In addition to the growth in the Redlands school district, there were also many changes to the landscape of the RUSD funding sources. Some of the biggest that effected athletics were California State Law Proposition 13 which reduced the state funding of all education in California. The other was Title 9 which leveled the playing field for all students, boys and girls, who participate in athletics. During this time Redlands Benchwarmers changed as well to take on the new challenges while maintaining their original mission.

This change was a must for the current and past Board of Directors in order to meet its obligation to purse its stated goals. Thanks to the continuing community support and the leadership of its all volunteer Board of Directors, Redlands Benchwarmers has continued to meet and surpass those goals to the betterment of the Redlands community.

Today, one of the prime directives of Redlands Benchwarmers is the raising of funds in order to help fill the gap between budget cuts and the needs caused by the growth in the number of RUSD’s high school student athletes.

REV Football Coach, Kurt Bruich, visits members of the Redlands Benchwarmers.