The Willie Six Field was dedicated to Willie Sims, for nearly forty years a trainer for Sewanee’s football team and a devoted family man. He was born in the 1880s in Pelham, Tennessee. He worked for Sewanee for 38 years (1909-1947). We know only a little about his family. His wife, Molly, worked in Sewanee’s hotel facilities and did sewing on the side to make extra money. They had a son, John Haden, a daughter, Frances, and a grandson, Willie. He was nicknamed Willie “Six” because of the second-hand football jersey with the number six on the front that he sometimes wore to work.
The people of the neighborhood often call Willie Six Field simply the “ball field.” The date of its opening is unknown, but throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, Black people from Sewanee and surrounding communities gathered here. The field served community families, their friends and their children, who flocked to the playground equipment and games of softball, soccer, and basketball. Now all that remains is the basketball court and its two goals, reminders of a past that is yet still present in the memories of the people who grew up here