Sorry Spartans, Rebels, Rams, Polar Bears and Indians, but 2013 is the year of the Bulldogs.
Scott High School, opened in 1913 on Collingwood Boulevard, kicked off its centennial celebration today, the start of a year of events that will bring the Bulldog Nation's past and present together. About 300 people came to the opening event in Scott's fieldhouse, where proclamations were made, alumni honored, and tributes to the school given.
"A hundred years, woo!" yelled student body president Akia Williams as she started the show. "That's a looooong time."
Much has happened at Scott over those 100 years, with thousands walking its halls, including distinguished visitors such as Rosa Parks, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Obama, said Toledo Board of Education member Larry Sykes.
There were current and former administrators, graduates from the 1940s to 2012, city officials, and longtime Scott fixtures at tonight's rally. Former choir members joined together to sing the school's alma mater, past cheerleaders - including current principal Treva Jeffries - joined the current squad, and a mix of alumni and current band members were led by Edward Dixon, the longtime director of the Scott High School marching band.
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night came when Scott's first black homecoming queen, Janet Quinn-Wyatt, Class of 1957, showed off cheer moves she still remembered.
A refurbished Scott High School reopened last year after a more than two-year, $42 million renovation project. Most Toledo schools were reconstructed during the district's $635 million, decade-long building program. Some were closed because of enrollment declines and demolished.
But the original Scott was saved, though it took a fight. The school's size and cost to renovate left the building's future in limbo. Alumni and neighbors banded together to push for renovation.
The district eventually began renovation after voters approved a bond issue. While a fight to get done, the finished product has been acclaimed as a successful restoration of what the Lucas County Board of Commissioners called "one of the most beautiful buildings in the City of Toledo."
"It will be here another 100 years," Toledo Board of Education President Brenda Hill said of Scott, "and it will look just as good then."
Scott pride abounded at the event, with the obligatory "Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog" declarations frequent. It's hard not to boast when it's your year, after all.
"If you didn't go to Scott, your parents didn't love you," Scott alumni association President Avie Dixon said to laughs from the crowd.
There's nearly 20 events scheduled for Scott's centennial celebration. The next event will be at the Jan. 25 basketball game versus Bowsher High School at the Scott fieldhouse. The 100-year homecoming grand event will be Oct. 19, with a banquet at the SeaGate Centre.
Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: email@example.com or 419-724-6086.