Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Wichita South High School

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School type  Public, High School
School board  boe.usd259.org
Superintendent  John Allison
Phone  +1 316-973-5450
Number of students  1,922 (2016–2017)
Established  1959
School district  USD 259
CEEB code  173211
Founded  1959
Colors  Red, Blue
Address  701 W 33rd St S, Wichita, KS 67217, USA

Wichita South High School, known locally as South, is a fully accredited high school, serving students in grades 9-12, located in Wichita, Kansas. It is also known as Wichita High School South. The school colors are blue and red. The schools enrollment was 1,922 during the 2016–2017 school year, making it the 9th largest high school in Kansas.

Contents

History

South first opened its doors in 1959. South's floor plan was modeled exactly after the Southeast's floor plan for their original building on Edgemoor. When South opened, their sports teams were known as the Colonels, though their colors were still red and blue. In the 1970s, the Wichita School board requested that South change their mascot name. The name Titans was chosen by students and the original Titan logo, that is still used by the school to this day, was drawn by a student. In the late 1970s, a $2 million football stadium was built. In 1985, South High athletic director C. Elmer Carpenter died and the football stadium was named in his honor. Also, in the 1980s, Sims Elementary, which was situated just a few hundred feet from the eastern end of the school, closed. South began using the old elementary school for the language arts department.

The school went up to 2004 without any major changes. In 2003, the school board approved a construction project to connect the main building of South to the "Sim Building" (as students and faculty called it), the project also added two new hallways and 20 new classrooms. The project began in early 2004 and was finally completed a year later in 2005. Also added to the school, from the same bond issue, was a baseball field that opened for play in 2007.

In 2008, another bond issue was passed by the Wichita School Board to create "equal athletic facility opportunities" for all Wichita high schools. South's share of the bond issue was $10 million, which was used to put a new floor on the gym, buy new equipment for the schools weight room, improvements to the school's tennis court, and renovations to Carpenter Stadium including putting in Fieldturf on the field and new goal posts, as well as resurfacing the track.

On October 24, 2011, the Wichita School Board approved a $14.2 million bond issue to build a new 2,400-seat gym, a new practice room for the wrestling team, a walking track, and new locker rooms, as well as a new swimming pool, music suite, new pottery studio, art space, digital photography classrooms, a culinary arts room and a room devoted to its new fire science program that started in the 2011–2012 school year.

Student demographics

Wichita South's 2008–2009 enrollment was 1,617 students. The demographic breakdown of the population is as follows: 55.6% of students are white, 19.6% are African-American, 13.9% are Hispanic, 2.7% are Asian, 4.1% are American Indian, and 4.2% are multi-ethnic. As 2008, 59% of South's students, due to a low-income family, qualified for reduced lunches. The student-teacher ratio is 22:1. South teachers had an average of 7 years of teaching experience as of 2008. Additionally, South High employed 114 certified classroom teachers, 61 of whom hold master's degrees. The drop-out rate in 2007 was 7%, compared to a district average of 4%. The graduation rate for 2007 was 67.7%, compared to a district average of 76.4%.

Athletics

South is a member of the Kansas State High School Activities Association and offers a variety of sports programs. Athletic teams compete in the 6A division and the Greater Wichita Athletic League and are known as the Titans. Throughout its history, South has won 26 state championships in 7 of its 19 varsity sports, the majority of which are from the boys' and girls' basketball teams and girls' gymnastics teams.

Rivalry with West

South's Primary rival is Wichita West. The rivalry is widely known across Wichita among fans and local media as one of the fiercest and bitter high school rivalries in the area. The origin of the rivalry is unknown. During sporting events between the two schools, fights often occur during the event between the two teams and even in the stands, and in the parking lots after the events. Extra security is often present by the Wichita Police Department at the request of the Wichita School Board.

Boys

South High fielded the most dominant high school basketball team in Kansas for almost 30 years, winning 15 state championships in that period of time, including 4 straight in 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1981. Coach Steve Eck led South High to 10 consecutive Wichita City League titles from 1986 to 1996. During Eck's tenure, he coached two Mr. Kansas Basketball award winners, Val Barnes and B.J. Williams.

Girls

Early in the schools existence, South's girls basketball struggled to find success. During the 2005–2006, the Lady Titans played cross town school Heights in the 6A state championship, which South lost. In 2013, the Titans won their 2nd state title in school history, the first since 1978. South eventually went on to win 4 consecutive state titles, the first girls team ever to win 4 straight 6A titles.

Early success

South has won 3 city championships. Only 1 city championship season resulted in a state appearance, the 1971 team. South waited another 16 years before winning its next City League championship in 1987, and they repeated in 1991.

1996 to 2001

The school's football team began to fall off after some success in the early 1990s. The team eventually lost 50 straight games between 1996 and 2001. The losing streak caused players in the graduating class of 2001 to go their entire high school careers without a single win. The streak finally came to an end in October 2001 against North. South finished the season with a 1-8 record.

2003 to 2008

South then improved to 2-7 in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, South improved their record to 3-6 and was one win away from making its first appearance in the state playoffs since 1971.

2009 to present

In 2009, South hired a new coach, Cory Brack. In his first season South finished the season with their best record since the 2005 season, their first winning season since 1996, finishing the season 5-4. The season led to Brack being named City League coach of the year. The Titans defeated Campus 12-9 qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 1971. South went on to lose in the 1st round of the state playoffs 46-14 to Wichita Heights. South failed to follow up that season and dropped to a 1-8 record in 2010. On October 21, 2011, South defeated Campus 30-14 and the win, along with a win the previous week against Wichita North, gave South its 2nd playoff appearance in 3 seasons under Brack and only its 3rd appearance in the previous 40 years. On November 4, the Titans lost to Garden City in the first round of the state playoffs 35-7 finishing the season with a 4-6 record. After only 3 seasons as South's head coach, Brack had more wins than the 5 coaches that preceded him combined. Under Brack, South had a win percentage of .370, a vast improvement compared to the .124 win percentage of the previous 11 seasons for South. At the end of the 2011–2012 school year Brack accepted a coaching job at Cheney High School. South assistant coach Kevin Steiner was named head coach on June 11, 2012.

Wrestling

South has had a prominent wrestling program since its inception, winning 11 City League Championships, 2 state championships, multiple runner-up finishes, 50 individual state champions, and 1 legendary coach. South's former head wrestling coach, David Nigg, is one of the all-time winningest wrestling coaches in Kansas history and 2nd all time in Wichita behind his own high school wrestling coach. In 2005, Nigg demoted himself to an assistant coach and gave the head coaching job to one of his former wrestlers, Mike Church. After 2007, Mike Church took a coaching position at Heights and Mike Atlee took over as the new wrestling coach at Wichita South, and Nigg went to coach with his former wrestler Eric Prichard at Wichita Northwest. Nigg has since retired from teaching and continues to coach at Northwest. Notable former wrestlers include current UFC flyweight fighter Tim Elliott, who was a state wrestling champion at South, and former NFL football player Allen Lyday.

Gymnastics

South's girls' gymanstics team was one of winningest programs in the city from the time South opened its doors to when the GWAL ended gymnastics after the 1996–1997 school year, winning 11 city titles. The boys' gymnastics team also had success, winning 13 city titles over the course of 14 years, including the last city title awarded for the sport in 1980. (GWAL eliminated gymnastics after the 1979–1980 school year.)

Notable alumni

  • Ricky Coon, defensive line coach at Southeast Missouri State University
  • Robert Courtney, pharmacist who diluted cancer drugs
  • Tim Elliott, professional mixed martial artist, current UFC flyweight fighter, former Titan FC Flyweight Champion, winner of the 24th season of the MMA reality show The Ultimate Fighter
  • Ted Gilmore, played college football at Wyoming, current wide receivers coach at Wisconsin
  • Don Johnson, actor, star of television show Miami Vice
  • Allen Lyday, former NFL player for the Houston Oilers
  • Lawrence Pete, former NFL player for the Detroit Lions
  • Steve Woodberry, current college basketball assistant coach at Wake Forest and former NBA player
  • References

    Wichita South High School Wikipedia