Fillmore Clifton

Class of


Fillmore Clifton left a big footprint as a player and later as a coach in Sussex County, Delaware over a 30-year period. Clifton was a standout in three sports – soccer, basketball and baseball –
for the Lewes High School Pirates from 1930 to 1934. In all three sports Clifton was team captain as both a junior and senior. His leadership skills were apparent to his fellow students with Clifton
serving as class president as well as president of the Student Council. Clifton took his considerable athletic talents to West Chester (Pa.) University where he swapped football for soccer while also
continuing to play basketball and baseball. Clifton captained the 1938 Golden Rams baseball team to a winning record. Clifton’s coaching career started right out of college and, for the 1941-42
school year, he was head coach of all boys’ sports at Bridgeville (De.) High School – introducing 11-man football – while also coaching girls’ basketball. World War II intervened and Clifton served
three years in the Army. When he returned to Bridgeville in 1945, he re-started the football program (dropped during the war) and his boys basketball team went 15-1. For better than two seasons, from
1949 to 1951, Clifton’s girls hoops team ran off a 36-game winning streak. Clifton’s Bridgeville football team, led by All-State guard Paul Myers, went undefeated in 1950. Clifton had another
All-State performer, end Dick Lewis, on his 8-1 1953 squad. When the Henlopen Conference was formed in 1959, Bridgeville took the football title. Today when visiting football teams arrive at
Woodbridge High School – formerly Bridgeville – they play in the stadium named for Fillmore Clifton. And, at eachWoodbridge graduation, an outstanding senior athlete – boy or girl – receives a
scholarship that carries the name Fillmore Clifton.



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