WAYNE COUNTY, OHIO, Feb. 1, 2022 — An event to commemorate the life and legacy of Charles Follis, initially scheduled for Feb. 3, has been rescheduled due to the possibility of inclement weather. It will be held in the hallway outside of the Wayne County Convention and Visitors Bureau (WCCVB), 428 W. Liberty St., Wooster, on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.
Former Governor John Kasich enacted legislation in 2018 to name Feb. 3 “Charles Follis Day” to honor the first African-American professional football player. Follis attended Wooster High School and helped establish the first varsity football team in 1899.
After a successful high school career, Follis attended the College of Wooster before signing a contract to play professionally for the Shelby (Ohio) Blues for $10 per game, making him the first African-American pro football player. Follis died at 31 years old in 1910 due to pneumonia.
Attending the event will be Jim Stoner, Director of The Black Cyclone play. For additional information about Follis, visit https://blackcyclone.org.