Colorado Springs, CO - As Harrison High School in Colorado Springs gets ready to kick off their homecoming game on Sept 24, 2010 at 7:00pm, Ron Roehrich and Oren McClure have been busy making plans to gather the original players from Harrison's first football game that was played back in 1955.
It's hard to believe that it was 55 years ago (on the afternoon of 23 Sep 1955) that Coach Anderson and Coach Gordon lead Harrison's first official high school game to victory, beating Cripple Creek 13-0.
Oren McClure and Ron Roehrich both graduated from Harrison back in the late 50's and they remember their high school days fondly. In fact, the more they talk about it the more details come into play and the bigger their smiles get and who could forget, Harrison 's first football season ever!
Pat Smith a pretty brunette was a cheerleader at the time and she remembers practicing hard that year to get the routines down. She and the other cheerleaders Rogene Gilbreath, Lena Kuder, Bette Bertolet and Marni Suydam were all anxiously looking forward to getting out there on the field and cheering on their team. Their cheerleading coach, Miss Janitell worked the girls hard but they didn't mind after all, they wanted to be the best.
Pat commented, "I transferred to Harrison from Nurnberg American High School at the end of my junior year so wasn't around for football until that fall season. I remember that football at HHS was such a big deal, that we were let out of school at noon on Fridays - that is, until Marni and Bette were in the car accident and Marni had to have stitches. After that, we no longer got "early release", I guess to keep us all out of trouble."
That original game between Cripple Creek High School and Harrison was played on a dirt field next to the schoolhouse off Janitell Rd., adjacent to where the current football is today. Ron has the newspaper clipping from the local paper from that day, it states that Sam Powell scored both touch downs for the winning team, climaxing a drive in the second quarter with a one yard plunge and ripping 22 yards in the fourth period. Ronnie Roehrich kicked the extra point after the second touch down. The following week Harrison played Manitou Springs in their season opener.
What ever happened to those former football players and cheerleaders from those early classes at Harrison High in Colorado Springs, CO.? They will forever live in the hearts and stories of Ron, Oren and Pat.
Their stories are endless and fascinating, Harrison High School did not have an official twelfth grade class until 1955 and it was then that several programs and electives were introduced including the school's first football team.
The trio enjoys sharing stories about Harrison's past and the students that once walked through those halls. Pat Smith recalls that there were so many great memories that year, it's hard to narrow it down but she said, "The Panthers downed Fountain 14-6 in their Homecoming Game (Nov. 2, 1956) and Rogene Gilbreath was crowned queen and Lena Kuder. Pat Thomas and Marni Suydam as attendants. She went onto say, "That evening we celebrated at the Homecoming Dance and the two tunes that I recall being played over and over were, "Little Brown Jug" By Glen Miller and "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley. . .
Ron, Oren and Pat communicate regularly via email and the trio decided it would be good for ol time sake to round up their former classmates and sit in the stands to cheer on Harrison High School 's current players and coaches.
Harrison High School is a landmark in Colorado Springs a school that has served the Southern part of Colorado Springs for many years. The HHS pioneers look forward to this year Homecoming game and want to applaud Athletic Director Dave Hogan, for all his hard work.
The students at Harrison are bright, energetic and have a lot going for them, I hope in 55 years they too will look back at their high school days and fondly remember their classmates and coaches. The past, present and future alumni will all meet up at the Homecoming game this September generating some new memories.
This is a book that highlights the stories and memories from six generations of students. A book for anyone who has ever gone to high school! A book that is nostalgic in nature and at the same time it is history.