Going Waaaaaay Back To School

Area students, educators and staffs are well in to their first week back in school, after the long Christmas break.  Here at the Welcome To Sanford Throwback Thursday column, it seems like a good excuse to “go back to school” as well, as we take a look at the sights from some area schools in years gone by. We begin with the Sanford Central Class of 1957 and visit with the school’s senior class officers — Treasurer Larry Lazarus, Vice President Paul Kelly, President Reuben Gainey and Secretary Lou Graham.  Apparently their advisors are trying to decide if the students will “measure up” to their responsibilities.

A few decades later in 1973, Sanford Central enjoyed a very successful year in athletics.  As with this year’s Lee County squad, the Yellow Jackets football team made it all the way to the state championship game.  When the weather turned colder, Coach Mike Brown and the boys basketball squad posted a dominating record of 19 wins and 3 losses.  Here we see the coach and the players from his senior class plotting their strategies for the next game.

Next, we’ll move a little closer to modern day scholastics and drop in on the Grace Christian Class of 2000. Here we see the senior class from two decades ago as they prepare to embrace their final year of classes. Grace Christian School was established in 1970 and celebrates a half-century of service this year!

Forty years ago, Lee County was home to one public high school. Sanford Central and the county’s small community schools merged to create Lee County High School a few years earlier. In 1980, the Yellow Jackets were home to a very impressive girls’ basketball team, which began its season by winning its first several games and being ranked among the top teams in the state.

Finally, let’s end this time travel on a musical note with a visit to Central’s Class of 1949. In those days, many of the school’s clubs and social organizations were gender-specific. As a result, the school was home to both the Junior Music Club (the ladies) and the Melodians (the gents).

Editorial content, pictures and research background , compliments of Jimmy Haire and Images of America: Sanford and Lee County, by Jimmy Haire & W.W. Seymour, Jr, available here for purchase. All book proceeds go to Sanford’s Railroad House Historical Association, Inc.

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