C. Melvin Brooks, Sr.

Class of


C. Melvin Brooks Sr. was a three-sport athlete at Newark High School from 1935-1938. He won 10 letters (three in football, four in baseball, three in  track) and was one of Newark’s most
talented athletes and student leaders. He played American Legion baseball on a team, which went to the Regionals twice. He also played semi-pro baseball. Melvin won gold medals in the 100-yd dash and
the medley relay in the 1938 Delaware High School Interscholastic meet, which featured 31 teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. He won gold medals in the half-mile and mile relays at the
Jacob Tome Institute Invitational Meet. He also participated in the Penn Relays. At the University of Delaware Mel earned nine varsity letters (four in football, three in track, two in baseball). He
was a football starter the third game of his freshman year. He earned the nickname “Ripper” Brooks with his style of running. At 170 pounds, he was a two-way performer, halfback on offense,
linebacker on defense and he played 60 minutes three straight games. Featured by Robert Vance in a Journal Every Evening caricature, Mel played on the University of Delaware’s first undefeated team
in 1941. He was a brilliant ball carrier his first three years and leading ground gainer his junior season. He was hampered with nagging injuries in his senior year, but he played through them. Twice
suffering a broken nose, Mel was one of the first players to wear a facemask. Mel was selected co-captain his senior year along with Jim Mullen.



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