Brock StricklerVenable School, Lane High School
Brock Strickler, born in 1945 in Charlottesville, attended Venable School through 1958 before entering Lane High School in eighth grade. His athletic passions were football and track. He was on the legendary football team when they won the state championship in 1963. He shared that honor with the first four African Americans who transferred to Lane and who became, in his words, friends: “We were glad to have those four with us because they were good. They were nice. They’re still friends. It didn’t matter. But we were there as a team, as a group for everybody’s interest and everybody’s protection if something were to happen.” And things did happen. Strickler recounts race-based issues when playing away games in both Richmond and Danville and the responses of their coaches. He strongly believes that football—being the only integrated team in the state—brought the community closer together. After graduation, he was recruited to UVA on a football scholarship. Following his Army service, he built his career in mortgage lending through mortgage lending with Virginia Federal Savings and Loan and later ran the utility billing office for the City of Charlottesville.
“It was enjoyable to have them there.”
“Shut the door, start the engine, and let’s get out of here.”
“It was the only integrated team in the state.”
“It was a good experience for me personally.”
“I am proud of what we had done.”