|Valdosta High School|
|3101 N. Forrest St.
Valdosta, Georgia 31602
|School type||Public, high school|
|School district||Valdosta City School District|
|Principal||Dr. Janice Richardson|
|Color(s)||Gold and black|
|Website||Valdosta High School|
Valdosta High School serves grades 9-12 in the Valdosta City School District. It offers a wide range of academic choices, including technical, college preparatory, Dual Enrollment, Advanced Placement, and an International Baccalaureate programme.
Valdosta High is home to 31-faculty sponsored clubs, including Debate, Robotics, Key Club, FBLA, DECA, Model UN, Science, Journalism, and Beta Club. The Valdosta High Math team won the 2009 regional championship, and VHS won the regional Academic Bowl 4 of the last 5 years.
Valdosta High was fully integrated in 1969, when it combined with Pinevale High School. Although full integration did not happen until 1969, the first African American students attended Valdosta High in 1965, well ahead of most high schools in the state. Full integration was achieved by merging two high schools into one, causing severe overcrowding, and in 1971, VHS had 1400 students in a building designed to hold 700. This was quickly remedied after additions were built, however the school remained extremely full for many years.
The present school building opened in 1973; it replaced the old Williams Street building which had served as Valdosta High since 1922 and burned to the ground in 1977. J.L. Newbern and Valdosta Middle School are the two main feeder schools for Valdosta High.
As of July 1, 2014, the Valdosta City School system still has a federal lawsuit against for failing to comply fully with desegregation. The lawsuit originally filed in 1970 is being reviewed for dismissal by a federal judge.
The Cats have had a long winning tradition on the baseball diamond. Valdosta High has one state title and multiple region titles.
Valdosta High School is home to the winningest high school football program in the United States with a record 899 wins, 220 losses, and 34 ties, for a winning percentage of 79.44% as of November 20, 2015. From 1913-2015, the Wildcats have won 6 national championships in football, 23 state championships, and 41 regional championships.
Valdosta High plays its home games at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium in downtown Valdosta. Cross-town rival Lowndes High School has also built a strong program, winning five state titles (1980, 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2007). Since 1968, the Wildcats' record against Lowndes County is 33-16 with 0 ties, scoring an average of 20.9 ppg as compared to Lowndes County's 10.1 ppg. The Wildcats, however, had a dry run, losing seven straight until their 21-17 come-from-behind victory in 2011.
In the summer of 2008, due in part to the successes of the Valdosta High School athletic programs, Valdosta was featured on ESPN as a candidate for TitleTown USA. This was a month-long segment on ESPN that started in the spring of 2008 and continued through July. Fans nominated towns and cities across the country based on their championship pedigree. A panel reviewed the nominees and fan voting in May determined the 20th finalist. SportsCenter visited each city in July, and fan voting July 23–27 determined the winner. On July 28, 2008 Valdosta was named Titletown, United States by ESPN.
In 2008 the Valdosta High School Basketball Team was one of the most successful basketball teams in Valdosta High School history while also one of the best in the state of Georgia; they went 28-2. The team was coached by Rufus McDuffie who previously coached Mitchell Baker High and won five state championships.
The boys' golf team at Valdosta High won six consecutive state championships in the 1950s. Valdosta won three state titles in Class A (1954, 1955, 1956), two in Class AA (1957, 1958), and one title in Class AAA (1959). The golf team has won seven region championships (1959, 1961, 1970, 1977, 1978, 2002, 2003, 2014).
The girls' golf team has also been region champions four times (2000, 2002, 2004, 2005).
The boys' soccer team has not currently won any championships. It is a relatively new development in the history of the school. The current head coach is Jacob Crawford.
The girls' soccer team also has not won any championships and was instituted at the same time as the boys' team. The current head coach is Brent Doughty.
This is currently a new sport at VHS starting in 2015 and has completed just one season so far.
The marching band "Marchin' Cats" is the most recognizable performing group of Valdosta High School. They have a history of success, beginning with their former and nationally recognized director, Frank Butenschon. Butenschon led the Marchin' Cats to numerous national field and parade championships and sweepstakes during his tenure as head director.
The band is now under the leadership of Michael Thomas. Since Thomas' arrival in 2006, the Marchin' Cats have won five contest grand championships. Their latest win was at the Battle On The Border in Lowndes County, on October 22, 2011.
Thomas also conducts the wind ensemble, which has received straight superior ratings at the Georgia Large Group Performance Evaluations held in Waycross and then Jesup . In 2006, the wind ensemble performed in the Heritage Festival in New York City, receiving superior ratings and 2nd place overall in the concert band category. In 2007, the ensemble performed at the Music USA Festival in Orlando, Florida, receiving straight superior ratings as well as overall concert band grand champion. The ensemble consistently performs level 6 music, which is most challenging level in the state of Georgia.
The jazz ensemble is under the direction of world-renowned trombonist and vocalist Andrew Hill. They perform at events in the state of Georgia, including the ABAC Jazz Festival, the Waycross Jazz festival, and country club and social events in south Georgia. Its musical selections include swing, Latin, bebop, funk, rock, and big band.
In 2008 Valdosta High School's music program added an indoor percussion ensemble led by percussion instructor Ted Turner. It is now led by Travis Downs. In its first year the percussion ensemble won a best-in-class award in the novice class of the Ware County indoor percussion festival and contest, and also performed in a festival in the Florida circuit.
Starting in 2015, a new symphonic band was added and was instituted to add more variety to the program.
- Buck Belue - football and baseball player, sports radio personality
- John Bond - four-year starting quarterback at Mississippi State
- Dusty Bonner - Valdosta State Blazers quarterback, later played for Kentucky and eventually National Football League for the Atlanta Falcons and Arena Football League
- Dana Brinson - former National Football League player
- Ellis Clary - Former professional baseball player (Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns)
- Buck Coats - former professional baseball player (Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays)
- William "Red" Dawson - only surviving coach of the 1970 Marshall tragedy, chronicled in the documentary Marshall University: Ashes to Glory and dramatized in the movie We Are Marshall
- Willie Gary - St. Louis Rams National Football League player who played in Super Bowl XXXVI
- Noah Langdale - president of Georgia State University 1957-1988
- Todd Peterson (born 1970) - former National Football League player
- Charles Ramsey - saved three kidnapped girls
- Stan Rome - former Kansas City Chiefs National Football League player
- Coleman Rudolph - football player, former Georgia Tech college player, New York Giants and New York Jets National Football League player
- National High School Sports Record Book
- "Titletown" (English). Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- "ESPN - TitleTown USA - SportsCenter". Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Valdosta High School". vhs.gocats.org. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
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