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Agreed, school spirit will grow naturally over time.
But if VISD decides to jack up the high schools again, say, they determine we need a third school, and they wipe away what was, then you're back to square one, i.e., no nothing.
The best way to build school spirit at East or West is to just let them be.
True enough, Edith, it is what it is. Given that, what would anyone suggest about building school spirit at both high schools? Or at just West if you accept the view that East's spirit is stronger for some reason?Personally, I think the spirit at both schools will grow naturally over time, but I've appreciated all of your insights so far on the topic.
It probably would have been no different than the redistricting that we just completed for voting. It would not have been easy because of the north/south divide, but it could have been done. And think about this--they were able to make an east/west divide with relative ease. Are we to believe that it was only because the two schools were consolidated that they could be split again? Boundary lines could not have been redrawn to accomodate the numbers? Sure they could have been.
Consolidation was not the only solution. But don't verify that with a real estate agent--they'll tell you it was. Suddenly, the kids on the east side of the county didn't have to go to the school on the 'other side of town'.
Chris, are you aware that as consolidation was taking place, trophy cases were being emptied at both schools into dumpsters? And at the risk of beating a very dead horse, not only did the name Stroman remain, but so did the name Victoriadores.
It's not a do or die matter, but it was very disturbing for many folks. VHS and Stroman alumni have no homecoming. Memorial alumni have no homecoming. St Joe just had their homecoming and a class reunion.
This could be discussed forever, but it is what it is.
Me? I'll just continue to follow my Refugio Bobcats.
Hole,Thanks for joining the conversation. I appreciate the disconnect you must feel. Will that change in a decade or two of grandchildren or other relatives attending the new schools?I'd welcome input from school officials or others directly involved in the consolidation decision. From everything I've been told and read, the district had to make a drastic move. You might be interested in searching our Google digital archives on the topic. Here's one search query I tried that pulled up a five-part series the Advocate did on consolidation in 1991. Let me know if you find anything enlightening here: http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/searc...
Chris, I'm glad that you brought this up. As a VHS grad I feel a total disconnect with the local high schools. I actually live close to East and I do support them, but I am by no means a rabid fan. I wish I could say the same if VHS was still around, but I can't lie. I would probably have season tickets. VISD committed one of the biggest boneheaded maneuvers in all of Victoria's history. I know you probably have researched the topic of consolidation, but it was my understanding that the superintendent at the time actually lied to the community to force the consolidation. That could be hooey, too. All I know is that the alumni of VHS and Stroman lost.
For years we had a tremendous rivalry that was feverously supported on both sides of town. In one swoop it was all taken away. Now we're back to a two school system, but it's not the same. The school board created this and they are the ones that should be answering the question about school spirit. If I remember correctly, they already did. Something along the lines of wanting to remove any possibility of controversy or favoritism. Therefore, they selected mascots that are nearly identical, school colors that are nearly identical, school designs that are nearly identical, etc. And yet, that has failed to produce the desired results. There is plenty of perceived favoritism and controversy. Dear VISD School Board and Mr. Klimist...EPIC FAIL.
It's not just the Sting alumni that feels this way. I've talked to plenty of my former hated rivals, they feel the same way. Edith is right, we have to connection to the current programs and probably never will.
One thing that really chaps me, the Stroman name has managed to stay around through 3 transitions, but other school names have been tossed like yesterday's news. What's up with that?
Sorry. Maybe I didn't respond in context to your blog post. I got caught up in memory lane and didn't even see your comment.
It's a painful topic, but it (the sense of loss) was discussed today during tennis lessons among the homeschool moms. It was fresh on my mind. D=
I think people support whatever teams their kids play for. So, we can build tradition and team (community) spirit from here on out. =D
I just wish high schools here were smaller so that we could stay in town more to play our games!
When I went to my twenty year high school reunion we all sat on the field during the Calhoun homecoming game and cheered on our team! I feel sad for the parents around here who can't do that. We were proud to have been special guests at the game. I'm still a fan of the Sandcrabs.
None of my children will be Sandcrabs, but I will be excited when (and if) their teams are able to play my old school. I'll cheer for both teams and I'll be proud of both.
That's actually what I like about small towns. I imagine the small towns around Victoria having that sense of identity and pride that spans generations... keeps the old folks coming to the games and involved in the community - familiar schools and school pride help glue and strengthen community.
Maybe that's what got "jacked?"
Rebecca,I competely understand what you and Edith are saying about tradition. There's no denying new schools lack that. Given the disparity that existed between the two old high schools -- enough so that the feds got involved -- how could VISD have avoided consolidation without busing or some other similarly drastic step?That's a big question, but it seems to be at the heart of the ongoing community dialogue about our high schools. Thanks for adding your voice to this topic.
I think tradition plays into school spirit: I can go back home and cheer for the same team I cheered for or played for when I was in high school. Grandparents can cheer for their grandchildren who are now Sandcrabs. When you have generations cheering for the same team, it brings a community together.
We should have kept the Stings and the Raiders and added a third (or fourth) high school. Then, parents who attended a local high school could still root for their alma mater. That's school spirit. If their child played for a "rival" team, the rivalry would be nice - still a sense of community and tradition.
School spirit matters a lot. I witnessed several losing seasons at Memorial where the only fans were the parents of the Band, football, cheer and drill teams. Now that the students can spend all four year at the same school, hopefully they can feel more of a connection to the sports teams. While I can’t speak for West, there seem to be a lot of student spirit at East. To get the public to come out to the games, you have to have a winning program, but there shouldn’t be an excuse for the students not being there. Win or lose, they should be there and support the team. Football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, or whatever sport, show the players you support and believe in them. It matters.
Thanks for your insight, Edith. I agree with your conclusion, although I wouldn't say VISD has been "jacking with the high schools." Of course, you have the perspective of time while I bring the view of a parent with kids now in high school.
School spirit matters a great deal, and not just in sports. Sports, however, is usually the visible place we see school spirit.
But, in as much as the high schools in Victoria seem to have their names attached to the buildings with velcro, is anyone really surprised that there isn't more school spirit?
Look at St. Joe, smaller school, huge school spirit. The surrounding communities, smaller schools, huge school spirit. Win or lose, it's there.
To expect a school with 600 students to have the loyalty and support of the whole community is unrealistic because there are other high schools in town. Folks who love high school football will participate and I am sure there are many who attend a game every Friday night, no matter who is playing. But, my kid, a graduate of Stroman High School, has no loyalty to East or West. He has no connection to either.
For many there has to be a connection, and with five different high schools (and St. Joe) in about fifteen year in Victoria, there's not a lot of connection to be had.
Now, if VISD will quit jacking with the high schools, and as the teams play a good season, it will get there.