Mary Ann is correct in terms of popular school sports; I grew up in the Richmond, also in the 40s. My most active sport was baseball; Big Rec was within walking distance. But in school, through high school, football and basketball were by far the most popular among all students. I went to Lowell, and our games with Washington and SI were near sellouts at Kezar Pavilion.
Also, depends on which school you attended. In those days, Poly, SI and Washington [especially when Ollie Matson played for them] had strong football teams. Washington even had its own stadium on campus.