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Wooster Digital History Project

Second Baptist Members in History: Charles Follis

Charles W. Follis (1879-1910), the son of Jacob Follis, one of the founders of Second Baptist Church, was the first African American to play professional football. Follis signed with the Shelby Athletic Club in 1904, where he earned the nickname, “the Black Cyclone,” but he got his start at Wooster High School. In fact, Follis organized the school’s first football team in 1899. He also played at the University of Wooster before leaving to play professionally. Today, the Wooster Generals play on a field named in Follis’s honor.1

For more information on Charles Follis, see:   

1 Ernie Infield, “The ‘Black Cyclone’: A Closer Look at Charles Follis,” The Daily Record, April 18, 1994, A12.