Decatur High will honor athletes from its 23 state championship teams Friday at 6 p.m. in the hospitality room of the school’s Arena and Performing Arts Center.
The gathering, prior to the 7:30 p.m. game between Decatur (3-4) and Towers (0-8), is part of Homecoming Weekend and the 100th anniversary of the school’s founding.
Athletics Director Carter Wilson said Thursday afternoon that he’d heard from 50 former athletes who plan on attending, although he added, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a lot more than that.”
Decatur High opened in 1912, sharing facilities that first year with an older school called the Fraser School. A year later it moved into upper floor of Glenwood Elementary, staying there until moving to the present campus in 1921.
The first known varsity contest was a football game, played Oct. 13, 1913, when Decatur lost to arch-rival Fraser 39-0. But from those origins the high school built a powerful sports culture, winning North Georgia Interscholastic Association championships in a number of sports from the 1920s through the 1940s
It wasn’t until 1948, however, when the Georgia High School Association divided schools into two classes and created the first state championships in varsity sports.
Decatur’s baseball team won a state title that very first year, and followed it up with football championships in 1949 and 1950. The most recent state championship was won by the girls track team in 2011.
Also this weekend, the school’s celebrating the 12-year history of the softball program, and the tenth year of varsity play. The team was founded in 2001 by Iris Gibbons (currently a counselor at Decatur High) and Gary Anderson, who remains the assistant coach.
Approximately 70 current and former players are expected to attend Friday’s football game. This year’s softball team advanced to the state playoffs for only the second time in school history, and the first time since 2005.
Here is a breakdown of Decatur High’s 23 state championship teams, including Trinity High’s 1965 football championship in the all-black Georgia Interscholastic Association:
1965-football (Trinity High)