R. R. Jones Stadium
Armistice Day - Nov 1918
Courtesy of The El Paso Times
Courtesy of 1915 Tatler
EPHS' first Assistant Principal, Mr. Randolph Jones was noted as an esteemed principal and knew every student by name. The 1915 dedicated the school’s yearbook, “The Tatler”, was dedicated to him. It read “To Mr. R. Randolph Jones, whose unfailing courtesy, untiring spirit and high ideals have been an inspiration to all.” In October 1943 the student body president asked the school board to name the El Paso High School (EPHS) stadium for the school’s first Assistant Principal, Mr. Randolph Jones. He was born on May 3, 1873 in Virginia. Mr. Jones was later promoted to Assistant Supervisor of Schools and retired in 1943.
An article by The El Paso Herald Post dated April 1915 stated, “The stadium which will be built in the natural amphitheater formed by foothills has been prepared for the concrete seats and the floor has been graded. The construction of the concrete seats will probably be the final thing to be built as it will require another appropriation. The stadium ground will be used by the high school for all its athletic games for the rest of this season and next year. The baseball games will be played here this spring as the spectators can seat themselves on the hillsides to watch the games.” The additional stadium appropriation was reported in the January 1916 El Paso Herald Post. It read, “The stadium is to have concrete seats. The contract has been let for these, to cost $26,000.” J.F. Woodward Jr constructed the stadium with a seating capacity of 12,000, and it was one of the first concrete stadiums in the country.
The R.R Jones stadium has hosted a multitude of historic school and city events as well as other important activities. In 1916, General John J. Pershing used the stadium as a staging area for the U.S. Army’s pursuit of Francisco “Pancho” Villa in Mexico during the “Punitive Expedition.” It was also used to celebrate the end of World War I with General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing riding his horse into Jones Stadium.
General Pershing once reviewed the EPHS Cadets in the stadium. In 1919, El Paso High School was among five schools in the nation and the first in Texas to have a Military Cadet Program. The program is now known as JROTC. Because of this, the EPHS cadets still have the distinction of wearing a #1 insignia on their uniform’s sleeve.
In 1925, nine years after the completion of the stadium and school, the El Paso High School stadium was sodded, and the streets adjacent to the High School were paved.
In 1928, The El Paso Herald Post reported the following:
“THE FIRST OFFICIAL FOOTBALL GAME TO BE PLAYED IN THE SOUTHWEST AT NIGHT"
On September 29, 1928, before the largest crowd of football fans ever assembled in El Paso, the El Paso High School Tigers BEAT the Alpine Ross Cubs. The score was 26 to 0.
The game attracted over 10,000 fans to the huge bowl, while hundreds of other fans lined the two hills known as Poverty and Deadbeat hills. The field was lighted with 80 300-watts bulbs so every play could be seen from the stands.”
The El Paso High School Jones Stadium also has the distinction of having hosted the first three Sun Bowl games from 1935 through 1937. In the first game, the El Paso All-Stars defeated the Rangers 25-21.
Many honors have been bestowed upon the El Paso High School stadium. On July 27, 2014, Maxpreps.com, an affiliate of CBSSportsline.com, named R.R. Jones Stadium one of “10 high school football stadiums to see before you die.” On June 22, 2015, "The Old Coach", a Texas football magazine, deemed R.R. Jones Stadium as the best stadium in the state of Texas. On March 10, 2016, Texasfootball.com selected the EPHS stadium as one of “10 Texas high school stadiums you have to see to believe.” R. R. Jones Stadium is indeed a magnificent stadium at a grand school.