Finding the Trophies
the years literally thousands of trophies were
earned by the various groups that represented NNHS on the District, Region,
State, and National level. Athletic teams, choral groups, marching
bands, literary societies, magazines, theatrical
productions, yearbooks, and academic groups all making the name Newport
News High School synonymous with
success. The tangible evidence of these successes was usually a trophy
which graced the halls at NNHS.
When NNHS closed its doors at
the end of the 1970-71
school year the trophies still remained at Newport News
Intermediate School. When the city sold the building to the Navy,
the trophies no longer had a home.
Over the years the trophies
slowly began to disappear; some were lost, many were broken and discarded,
some were given to former NNHS students, and the remaining trophies that
were in the attic and showcases at the Julie Conn gym were moved to the
city's Scott warehouse for storage.
When the class of ’64 was
planning their 40th reunion,
David Spriggs (‘64) asked Gary Silvey of the Newport News
Athletic Department if he could borrow some trophies or other memorabilia
for the reunion. Mr. Silvey’s office was able to get
a couple of trophies and a band uniform for the class of ’64.
(‘66), athletic director at Woodside High School
in Newport News, was in Mr. Silvey’s office and upon seeing
the uniform and trophies inquired about them. After learning
the reason they were there and that more existed, Dorner got permission to
investigate the city’s Scott warehouse and see
what was left. What he found on the second floor in a dimly lit
corner was Typhoon heaven. There were several bookcases
and a number of boxes with old trophies, scrap books, yearbooks,
and plaques. A few years prior, the director of the warehouse,
in order to help protect them, had shrink wrapped the trophies
in two large bookcases and had put all the other memorabilia
in cardboard boxes. Given their age, most of the trophies were
in amazingly good condition. Understandably, many of the Beacon
newspapers which date back to 1937 and the one Daily Press
from 1918 were in very fragile condition.
Four trips to the
warehouse later and Dorner was able
to obtain 45 trophies and plaques that date back to 1912.
He was also able to collect a number of Beacons, Launchings, Anchors,
as well as several scrapbooks. Also, all the cast iron cornerstone
plaques from the school are stored at the warehouse.
All of these items have been cleaned when appropriate, catalogued, and
properly stored, and remain the property of the city of Newport News.
Mr. Silvey’s office has been very helpful in obtaining
prevailed for years that there was a “secret”
stash of trophies still remaining at Conn gym. Mike Barber,
Assistant Director with NN Parks and Recreation, was contacted
by Dorner, and a trip to the gym did not produce any more
In November a group of Typhoon
headed by Joe Drewry (‘58)
met to discuss the many possibilities of creating a place to display
all NNHS memorabilia. Other members of the group included
Carol Wornom Sorensen (‘57), Dave Spriggs (‘64),
Thelma Spade Roberts (‘57), Mickey Marcella (‘54), Albert Dorner (‘66),
Bobby Turpin (‘58), Jimmy Walker (‘62), Brenda Amos Williams (‘62), and
Tzina Zwerdling Richman (’58). Any interested Typhoon should contact
if you want to help with this major undertaking.
Albert Dorner ('66) of VA - 12/04/04
n. pl. tro·phies A prize or memento, such as a cup
or plaque, received as a symbol of victory, especially in sports.
News High School trophies were a way of life;
first in the hall by the old gym, and later in the beautiful showcases
in the new Julie Conn Gym. We were all reminded of the rich
heritage and great successes of the all the Typhoon that came
before us. No other high school in the state of Virginia can
claim the number of State Championships in track or basketball.
It has been nearly 35 years since the school was last open,
and we still have more State Championships than any other school.
We did not
confine our dominance to the court, field, or track. Trophies representing
such diverse groups as the literary
society, the debate team, the band, the chorus, the Beacon,
and the Anchor filled the many showcases found throughout
the hallowed halls at NNHS.
how many times incoming Mice looked into these showcases wondering what the
big deal was about a bunch of old trophies, and left as Seniors knowing they
had had a part in putting another trophy in the case.
learned anything at NNHS we learned the importance
of hard work and team work. Dedicated teachers, sponsors,
and coaches that pushed the gifted, the average, and the not so
gifted to heights they never thought attainable. Many more
championships and first places were won through hard work
than with natural ability. Winning was an expectation, not an
exception. Many Typhoon graduates took the lessons learned
at NNHS and used them to become outstanding citizens in all
walks of life. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, coaches, military leaders,
politicians, small business owners, shipyard workers, nurses, principals,
preachers, secretaries, all learned invaluable
lessons as Typhoon.
As we look
at the few remaining tangible evidences
of the many successes at NNHS, hopefully we will take
a second to think about all the Typhoon that came before
and after us, and be proud of all that NNHS still stands for today.
Thank you, Albert -