Local author Archie McDonald and photographer Hardy Meredith have teamed up with Archadia Publishing to put forth a new pictorial history: "Stephen F. Austin State University Jacks."
SFA first opened its doors in 1923, and its administrators instituted intercollegiate athletics almost immediately. Over the next eight decades, the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks — team names derived from the area's predominant forest product industries — participated successfully in the Lone Star, Gulf Star and Southland Conferences.
Such outstanding Lumberjacks as James Silas, Mark Moseley and Jeremiah Trotter have gone on to successful careers in the NBA and NFL.
This book offers readers a retrospective look at the success of SFA's athletic programs, as well as the players, coaches and fans that led them to victory.
"The power is all in the pictures, beginning with Bob Shelton's earliest efforts and running through the Jacks' appearances at NCAA basketball's 'big dance' in the national tournament in 2009," said McDonald. "We hope these photos bring back fond memories for those who participated and for those who cheered them, either way."
"Stephen F. Austin State University Jacks" features more than 200 vintage images showcasing the history of Jacks athletics, as well as many photographs taken by Meredith.
"The many photos I've taken throughout the years, which recorded such special events for all SFASU Lumberjacks, will forever be part of the history of the university," Meredith said.
The book also includes memories of all sports played at SFA.
McDonald and Meredith are long time employees of SFA, and their own personal associations with the university are about as integral to SFA's history as the book they produced together. They both agreed they share a passion for the Jacks and for preserving their history.
The duo will hold book signings on Sept. 14 at the SFA fieldhouse, Sept. 22 and 23 at the Rotary Club lunches, on Oct. 3 at Hastings Books Music & Videos on North Street in Nacogdoches, and again on Nov. 12 at the East Texas Research Center from 3 to 5 p.m.
The book will be available Aug. 31 at area bookstores and independent retailers. It can also be found online or through Archadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or www.archadiapublishing.com.