Despite the famous Northside versus Warner Robins high school rivalry that is known across the state, the Northside High School and the Warner Robins High School classes of 1965 don’t see themselves as combatants in that conflict.
In fact, both schools will be celebrating their 50th class reunions together, said Northside’s Class of 1965 President Mike Ginn. The reunion this year will be extra special because it is not only celebrating the 50th class reunion for both schools, but it consists of the very first graduating class for Northside High School.
Ginn said the two classes actually went from kindergarten through high school together until the fall of 1963 when Northside High opened its doors. At that point, Ginn said, starting with the upcoming junior class at Warner Robins High, the class was “split basically down Watson Boulevard” where students north of Watson went to Northside and those south of it went to Warner Robins. The rising senior class then was not split so that it could stay together and graduate from Warner Robins High in 1964. Consequently, there wasn’t a senior class at Northside that first year.
“We had been together since kindergarten,” said Butch Sartain, a Warner Robins High School Class of 1965 graduate and reunion committee member. “It was tough splitting up the schools because we had all gone to school together ever since preschool.”
“There was some crying, wailing and gnashing of teeth about us separating ... but also we were excited about having our own school, starting a school and being involved in the formation of the school ... lot of emotion involved both ways ... some positive emotion and some negative emotion,” Ginn said. “During the beginning of school, we were fortunate to be able to pick the school mascot and the school colors, and a group of students wrote the alma mater ... and this was all under the guidance of our advisers that year.”
Consequently, the Eagle mascot was selected and the colors officially selected were blue and white, said Ginn, who explained that the orange was later added by Northside’s head football coach Conrad Nix in the late 1980s.
Sartain said one thing that is very special about their class, “is that except for when we played them, we always pulled for NS to win all their games.”
Ginn said the Northside High Class of 1965 had 172 graduates, and the graduation ceremony was held outdoors, behind the school and under the trees, located between the vocational building and the track. The school set up chairs and used a temporary platform for the ceremony.
Although 172 students graduated from Northside that year, the reunion committee members have identified 202 students to invite to the reunion from Northside, Ginn said. Some of the students had left for various reasons during their senior year or graduated in summer school, so the committee felt like those should be invited as well. He said that all but 22 students in the senior class have been located, and approximately 185 people are registered for the reunion.
The reunion will be held Friday and Saturday and costs $25 per person. People can pay at the door, but are encouraged to pre-register, due to food, Ginn said.
On Friday, a “meet and greet” will be held at the Marriott Courtyard in Warner Robins from 6 p.m. until midnight and will feature the band Tres Hombres and T. C. Walters. On Saturday the event will take place at the VFW on Corder Road in Warner Robins from 6 p.m. to midnight and will feature the band Good Vibrations, starting at 8 p.m. A PowerPoint presentation will also be shown in memory of the 32 deceased Northside and 22 deceased Warner Robins students from the class.
“It’s our 50th reunion ... and Northside’s first 50th reunion ... so we’re gonna make it special,” Sartain said.
For more information, contact Mike Ginn at email@example.com