I was pleasantly surprised as a I drove by the campus at Lee Williams High School last week. I noticed that the large sign on Beale Street’s Lee Williams Campus that read “Lee Williams Volunteers” now has an additional graphic that reads “Dick Grounds Field.”
Dick Grounds, a Kingman native, was an accomplished young man who came from generations of Mohave County pioneers. While at Kingman High School (now Lee Williams High School), Dick was a student body officer, class officer, delegate to Boys State and an athlete who earned varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track.
During Dick’s senior year, the KHS Bulldogs basketball team finished in the Arizona State Final Four and the KHS football team made the Arizona State Final Four football playoffs. Dick Grounds was an integral part of both of those squads.
In fact, the 1960 Kingman Bulldogs were the first KHS football team to participate in the state football playoffs, as there had been no high school playoffs authorized until 1958. Had there been playoffs prior, Kingman could have won the championship in 1956 (60 years ago). That year the Bulldogs finished their season with only one loss. A 12-6 contest against Nevada State Champion Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. Kingman, Buckeye and Superior all finished the season as the best football teams in the small school division but nothing could be arranged as far as a playoff series. The Bulldogs’ quarterback that year was present KUSD school board member Bruce Ricca.
I salute and thank those responsible for continuing to remember the life of Dick Grounds by continuing to keep his name and legacy alive on the downtown campus.