Last Updated: Feb 12th, 2017 - 16:14:33

A History of Blue Devils Football
Feb 12, 2017, 16:12

STAFF PHOTOS/DANIEL PARKER : Lisa Mann speaking to her students.

HOPEWELL – Did you know that the Blue Devils aren’t named after the Duke Blue Devils, but after a French Air Force Group that was at Fort Lee?
The City of Hopewell’s football history will become a book created by Hopewell High School life skills class comprised of special needs students. Blue Devils fans have a year to wait until the release of a book by Lisa Mann’s Life Skills class about Hopewell Football.
Hopewell has a rich tradition of football spanning from the 50’s to the present, reining in state championships and pulling together members of the city to this very day. Now Hopewell High School is going to draw upon that history: there’s excitement in the air at Lisa Mann’s life skills class and for their latest project chronicling the rich tradition of football in Hopewell.
The life skills class is doing a long term study of football with activities to learn about football and to build upon skills.
“It will enable them to get out into the community and practice their social skills and language skills,” said Lisa Mann, a Special Education teacher at Hopewell High School. “I hope it give them a sense of accomplishment when it’s all done.”
The student’s eyes lit up as they talked about the NFL and their tour by former football coach Marshall Parker, who showed them the sizable loot of trophies from successful championship runs in Hopewell’s past. Already, the class has made noise-makers for Hopewell football games. They made collages from sports magazines, solved football related problems, and interviewed Jonathon Lewis, Hopewell High School teacher and former NFL player.
The book will go from the origins of the football team to its present day. Current Blue Devils Football Coach Ricky Irby will be a part of the project as well.
“It’s just a great thing that they’re doing. Not only is it great for the class to do,” said Blue Devils Coach Ricky Irby. “it’s great for the city of Hopewell to learn about the history of football. It’s such a rich history here in Hopewell.”
The project is still looking for stories from former players, coaches, parents, cheerleaders, teachers and fans, if you have something you’d like to submit for the project, you can submit it at

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