Culver Academy fielded three varsity sports, football, baseball, and track, in its first year of operation, 1894-95. Though James Naismith's new game of basketball was created as an "athletic distraction" for the brutal winter months in New England, its reception, particularly among schools with small enrollments in Indiana, was rapid and passionate. However, the sport which would soon become "Hoosier Hysteria" received short shrift on the Culver campus until 1904.
Inauspiciously, the Academy opened the 1904-05 season with a 30 to 15 loss to Crawfordsville High School, but the remainder of the five-game schedule went into the victory column. Through the next five decades, competition with a variety of private schools and many out-of-state public schools was the norm. By the mid-1950's, Culver was playing more Indiana high schools, having become an associate member in the IHSAA. In the early 1970's, full membership in the IHSAA opened the door to tournament play and in the 1974-75 season, the Eagles appeared in its first sectional tournament.