"Once a Driller always a Drilleris a phase that every player who ever put on a blue and white jersey is familiar with. It’s a motto that each and every team for more than the first 100 years have tried to live up to and, for the most part, have kept the Drillers name legendary. It all began in an old brick building on Railroad Avenue, now Truxtun Avenue. A few years later, it moved to its present location at F Street and California Avenue and has been there ever since.
1993 marked the 100th anniversary of Bakersfield High, formerly known as Kern County High School. Since it’s inception in 1893, Kern County High has fielded a football team. Local folklore says the first football game was played against a local grammar school on February 22, 1893, one month after the school opened. In the February 21, 1893, edition of The Bakersfield Californian, a brief paragraph read: The Football Match “The public is cordially invited to witness the game of football tomorrow between the grammar school and high school teams. The game will take place at the Athletic Park at 1:00 p.m.This Match game is for the County Championship. A footrace will be run off before the game is called.” - Rick Van Horne, Chapter 1, Friday Night Heroes: 100 Years of Driller Football.
Rick Van Horne, QB #11 for Bakersfield High School (Class of 1978)
Author of Friday Night Heroes: 100 Years of Driller Football
1977, Rick Van Horne QB #11, 86 Yard TD Run vs West High School
In the summer of 1993, Rick Van Horne embarked on a journey to preserve the past of one of the most storied high schools in the state of California, Bakersfield High School. Van Horne is currently a teacher at East Bakersfield High School, but has been part of the fabric of Kern County football as a quarterback and player for BHS under the legend Paul Briggs, as well as a coach at his alma mater, EBHS, and Liberty High School. From 1993-2006, Van Horne committed himself to adding facts and figures about the historic football program at Bakersfield High School and writing a book, Friday Night Heroes: 100 Years of Driller Football, to honor the long legacy of Driller football. Van Horne is a third generation Driller as his father and grandmother were Drillers and his son became a fourth generation Driller to don the blue and white. There is a lot of information in 100 years of football at Bakersfield High School and this page is dedicated to Van Horne's research and dedication to remembering the Driller Legacy. Photos, videos, and other media has been graciously donated to the KHSD from Van Horne, Ken Hooper and his archiving class at BHS, as well as other coaches, staff in the KHSD, and community members from Kern County.
1924, Walter Thornton of Kern County Union High School (BHS) captures Griffith Stadium in its 1st Year
A Rare Shot of Frank Gifford of BHS in 1947.
Junior Quarterback of the "Big Blue" and went on to become a
USC and NY Giants Legend as well as NFL Hall of Famer
1954 - Carl Bowser #5 RB for BHS Running Hard against East Bakersfield High School
Bowser was Head Coach at Bakersfield College (National Championship 1988)
1993 BHS Drillers Football through Hometown Sports Highlights