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During the College’s first five years, students spent much of the day studying and doing manual labor. Only on Saturday afternoons were they allowed to participate in some form of recreation such as music or fishing.
Eventually sports became a greater part of college life. When the school reopened after the Civil War, students played bandy (a form of hockey) and baseball on a regular basis.
Football became very popular in the late 1880s, even though many faculty members viewed the game as dangerous and even forced a football moratorium for several years.
In October 1888, Wake Forest defeated UNC in football in the first intercollegiate game in the state.
Arising out of campus clubs, baseball was formally organized in 1891 and rapidly grew in popularity. Tennis followed in 1903, track in 1905, basketball in 1906, and golf in 1933.