1971 Lagrange High Class celebrates 50 years in Troup vs. Lagrange match – LaGrange Daily News
The 1971 LaGrange High School class hosted a tailgate to celebrate the LaGrange vs. Troup game on Friday night. The idea for the hatchback came after an increase in COVID-19 cases affected their 50th class reunion last August.
Marcia Camp Johnson, the event planner, said the reunion was of particular significance not only to their class, but to Troup County as a whole.
“We decided it might be fun going back to a soccer game, especially LaGrange vs. Troup, because we were the first class where they took black high school and white high school and combined them,” Johnson said. “So we’re kind of celebrating this milestone because we were pioneers. “
As the group discussed the spread of Johnson’s prepared food, they recalled their time at LaGrange High 50 years ago. Former basketball player and student Henry Keller said he believed high schools’ competitive advantage was not the same as it was years ago.
“These guys run together… Any school, when we were in school, the other school was the enemy,” Keller said.
For Johnson and two other women at the hatchback, the football game struck a chord as they cheered together in high school. Johnson and Thomasina Snellings Thornton remembered what it was like when their two teams merged after integrating high schools.
“We had so much fun. It was so unusual because we had different styles of cheerleaders so we had to work together,” Johnson said.
“We came to dance, there was no contact with the toes, no separation. We had to learn that, ”Thornton said with a laugh and recalled the stark contrasts between the two teams.
“They tried to teach us how to dance, but it wasn’t a pretty sight,” Johnson said. “We tried.”
Steve Earles, former football player and current LaGrange resident, reflected on integrating the football team and how their coach has handled the transition.
“The bus stops on that side street where the old gymnasium was located and members of the Board of Education and the LaGrange Daily News were there to take pictures and talk about the quality of what was going to be and all of it.” Earle said. “But it was a bit awkward for both parties.”
Earle said that on the first day of training, coach Oliver Hunnicutt saw a disparity between the equipment of the two teams and chose to be proactive in resolving the issue.
“He said, ‘Well, practice is canceled…. We’re not going to practice until these players in this repository have the same gear as us, ”said Earles. “Everyone was in shock. But after that we didn’t have a lot of problems.
The group reflected on their time in high school and spent much of the hatchback catching up on their lives.
“It was a great school to be a part of and a great school to graduate to,” Johnson said.